participatory culture

A participatory culture fosters participation as opposed to argument or complaint or the creation of challenges to power.

political definition

Politically, it expresses itself as alternative institution building, which Gandhi called satyagraha, ignoring rather than challenging the powers that be. A Troll Age participatory culture requires:

But "culture" remains the key word. No set of protocols, no matter how robust, work without adherents - the stability of any system of decision making depends on the tensegrity of underlying elements.


The dialectics between the three goals creates tensions:


open party

The open party has been proposed as a way to resolve the latter two tensions. The primary tension between "open" and "participatory" require more fundamental analysis and rooted solutions - see mark up and mail back for one example. That between "politics" and "democracy" is more subtle and relates to the nature and basis of claims of authority - per Paul Adler's social capital. It would seem also that politics is inherently participatory, and that democracy is inherently open, though, this too requires justification:

democratic structuring

The theory of democratic structuring has been proposed as a way to resolve the former tensions, but, it requires more involvement and thus more time from participants. It deals poorly with representativeness - which representative democracy can guarantee with explicit methods, e.g. proportional representation, at the expense of other goals.


An extreme participatory culture tends to be quite trollish if it attempts to do everything at once. A long term perspective on the usefulness of trolling, and perhaps also the usefulness of doing so less from time to time, may be required.