[bestbits] [governance] Re: NMI and the Brazilian CGI.br

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Tue Dec 2 01:38:36 EST 2014

On Tuesday 02 December 2014 03:43 AM, Avri Doria wrote:
> snip
> Yes, I object to the idea of the UN or ITU gaining supremacy over the 
> Internet but I and many others have long supported them as equal 
> footing participants in IG functions.
> And yes, I would equally object to NMI or WEF gaining supremacy in IG 
> as well.  I do not have the impression that they are trying to do 
> this.  And if they try, we better be there to nip it in the bud. But I 
> support them being equal footing participants in IG in the same way I 
> support the  UN and UN system organizations.

'Equal support' and 'equal objection'  to governments and, what is 
essentially, an industry body in taking up public policy roles is an 
interesting stand!

You just see governments as public policy actors at the same level as 
industry bodies. That precisely is the problem.

This is the neoliberal conception of governance, where (even political) 
governance is a kind of a bazaar, where anyone can come in and make 
deals, and those who have the greatest resources to back their deals 
carry the day, opting-in being of course voluntary and basically 
dependent upon how much can one resist a certain configuration of power 
which has entered into a particular deal. Any set of actors is 
'formally' as good as any other, and legitimate political power, based 
on people's representation, and an implied social contract, counts for 
nothing. (In fact this neolib model is constructed precisely to 
overthrow such currently dominant democratic models, and is therefore 
post-democratic, equal-footing multistakeholderism being just a 
convenient name for it.)

Neoliberalism is defined as the application of market principles to 
everything, including those areas in which such principles are not 
normally applied. The above is a perfect case of the application of 
market principles to governance, as I said , the pristine neoliberal 
governance model.

One often wonders, and I have thrown this challenge oftentimes in this 
space, why do the same actors not try to propose this model at the 
national levels . Propose that the government(s) and industry 
associations are at the same level in terms of public policy 
development, and they should work together as such. You would get some 
very clear and resounding responses that will tell you whether this 
model is democratic or not. In fact, go even further down to local 
governance level as well and propose the same thing. That is a simple 
test of democracy, isnt it.


> avri
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