> <Warning:  Social theory type stuff, skip over it if you aren't especially
> interested>

Stop yer scarin me!

> I would be tempted to tie this back to some of the paradigm issues I hear
> discussed concerning the campaign.  To what extent are connections
> centralized?  That smacks of a top-down approach as opposed to a bottom up
> approach, particularly in terms of trust.

Permission to speak frankly? Pre-emptive qualification; IMHO and just that.

I see this issue as emblematic of the inherent conflict born of the
consensual (in that anybody who didn't like it could/would've bailed by now)
choice to designate the project, at least partially "of  Dean" as opposed to
"just" for him.

For all the "rhetoric" issued by the campaign touting a pioneering online
"grassroots" effort, ultimately what was a small rural state governer's
campaign has officially hit the "big time". Big press, big money, big time.
Despite the fact that they largely owe this phenomena to a genuine
decentralized grassroots movement does not render them such; just the
opposite is likely the case, in fact. And, for good or ill, it may well be
that this has to be in that, like the Clinton "war room" scenario, tight
centralized, top down control of the process and the "message" is requisite
to conducting a competitive campaign against, first, the old Dem machine
candidates, then the Bush corporate juggernaught.

But centralized the campaign was. More centralized is has become. And ever
more tightly, even obsessively centralized will it seek to be if the fates
"reward" our hero with the crown of nike (no, not the shoe guys; although
Howard may get an endorsement contract). This (again, IMHO) despite any
assurances to the contrary from our rather colorfully named campaign
contact. I'm genuinely pleased that such a talented and astute "player" is
on our side, but I harbor no illusions that, as/if things heat up, she'll
play ball or she'll be out; the campaign can't afford to play it otherwise
and prevail. (I'll inject a little constructive criticism here Z: in the NPR
piece you refered to "we are building tools to...." - paraphrased - , w/o
giving credit to the project; if you did give credit and it just didn't make
the edit, apologies up front).

As in every social, political or institutional system at least since
somebody realized you could grow your own food, money and power will
profoundly effect the nature and direction of the organization; period. If
you suppose it will not in this instance, then I'd like to discuss with you
off list the purchase of a little bridge I know of in brooklyn NY. It is in
fact the nature of the "beast" and one can choose, as a "player" to work for
change within it (and risk being consumed by it), or work outside for it
(and risk being "used", then ultimately sidelined by it) or choose to sit it
out and navel gaze to the end of days. All three have selling and damning
potentials. Ours is but to choose individually.

Now, (to para-phrase tricky Dick) let me be perfectly clear here. I find The
Dean movement to be the most exciting and insiring political movement in my
liftime (and I'm an old fart!), bar none. I will labor for the man (<
lowercase) in, out or otherwise as long as he is in the race (then, he'll
either be prez or I'll work for the "anbody but that cracker dubya in 2004!"
campaign) But I'm not fooling myself here. I'm toiling for an upper
middleclass white guy (though he's not as rich as Nader) who is in the
process of creating a centralized, top-down political machine in order to
survive that street fight known as the american political process. It ain't
pretty, it ain't self-organized but it beats the living crap outta 4 more
years of the greatest enemy of freedom, world peace and this good green
earth in memory. So I'm in.

But whatever level of "control" the campaign ultimately asserts over the
membership, tasking, information and "souls" of whatever aspect of the
project, I'll personally push for and support keeping as much of it as is
feasible independent, decentralized, laterally administered and, yes,
self-organized. I'll do so because I truly believe that's the best path for
the future of the project, myself, for Howard Dean's campaign, and
grassroots movements world-wide.

> So, in light of this, I would encourage those interested to think about
> Deanster as well as DeanSpace end up reflecting and affecting the nature
> the organization.

Agreed and Peace be with us all (ok, you can let loose on me....now)


<--enter gratuitous quotation that implies my profundity here-->

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