My Resoc Poll Reactions
By Michael Albert at Jan 11, 2010
Taking the Resoc Poll required some time. Of course, I had worked much longer already, helping to create and prepare the poll, which meant I was very familiar with its questions when I finally answered them, and still it took some time. Given its length, therefore, my first impression is that folks might best take it in a few sessions. I also felt, even being familiar with it already, that it helped me to read all the questions in a section, and only then to answer them each in turn, then save the answers, and move on to another section. A little care goes a long way, was my experience of it.
I also found that sometimes it was a bit much to have to answer essentially the same question from two opposite angles, but I guess it could help focus people’s attention and for some people there will be nuances of difference leading to what others might consider contradictory answers. The two way approach to issues also avoided or reduced bias in the questions, I felt.
My main experience of the poll, however, was that the questions seemed to me to pretty closely cover the broad range of concerns that would arise in creating a new organization of any size. I felt that I would like very much to know how all the readers of Z Magazine or the all the users of ZNet or all the readers and users of other sites, and all the members of various movements and organizations, would answer these questions.
Perhaps through a compilation of answers by many people we would discover that once we ignore nitpicking differences, a great many of us have way more in common, as a strong basis for working together, than we think. OR, perhaps we would discover that we have real and serious differences - but also pinpoint where those differences lie, so we can try to hear each other about them, and work through the differences to arrive at some new agreements.
Taking the poll, I felt - how come, if changing the world is our agenda - and if we believe in participation and democracy - in the past forty years I have never answered anything like this, and have thus never known where hundreds much less thousands or tens of thousands or even millions of other people stand on these issues? Were we afraid to know? Didn’t we think that to know would be a powerful basis for working together, or for working on becoming able to work together?
Whatever the reason we haven’t tried to determine these views before, I very much hope other ZCom users will take the time to add their answers now. Are you deciding whether to take the poll or not? If so, then yes, of course it could turn out that other users won’t take it, so you will look like a fool, along with me and some others, for having taken seriously what others ignored.
And yes, it could be that while hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of people take the poll, even so it winds up too vague or incomplete to help much with future efforts. BUT - it is also possible that if many folks take the poll seriously, it will help galvanize further communication, exploration, and perhaps even organization - and wouldn’t that be something to contribute too?
So, okay, please don’t leave me hanging out there with a few others - as if going on record with some of our views is a stupid thing to do - and join us, so we can together this idea a real fighting chance at accomplishing something valuable.