Free BSD - Governance

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George Dafermos:

"in *freebsd* decisions are made collectively by consensus. freebsd has an element of 'representation', or more precisely, it has a formal means of representing its few hundreds of developers (known as committers because of their ability to 'commit' changes to the code repository) in project leadership. the so-called core team - the administrative organ of the project - consists of 9 committers elected biennially by and amongst committers, and is responsible for (a) granting/revoking commit privileges and (b) mediating in serious conflicts between committers. it is obvious that this type of representation and modern parliamentary representation are markedly different. in freebsd core members are revocable and accountable: they have to defer to the wishes of the base of committers, making decisions that receive their consensual backing. core team membership is not accompanied by any special privileges, nor by the mandate to tell others what to do. many sociologists, following max weber, view such 'instructed representation as inherent in direct-democratic/antiauthoritarian types of government and hence as the opposite of the enlightened dictator model." (p2pfoundation list, July 2011)