ClassicPress Governance Discussion May 2019

I see that at ClassicePress there is now a new system of governance based on voting, which I would charicterise as “mob rule”, simliar to democracy — i.e. those who shout the loudest get to say what happens.

Churchill was wrong. Democracy is a bankrupt idea, so it makes a lousy model for a software project governance solution, I would suggest. The only form of Governance which has ever worked is ‘benign dictatorship’, and the only thing wrong with that model, in relationship to WordPress, is that the benevolent dictator got greedy and took money from capital investors.

From then on it was just a slippery slope to where we are today.

Much better if CP actually sat down and discussed among its members, what would actually make us relevant to our strapline (something about “being for business”?), and what kind of tools do we need to achieve that, rather than trying to make CP what a bunch of developers say WordPress is not.

That’s an interesting question, I would suggest. What does the mainstream user want in order to build his/her site?

You can’t find that out by polling your tiny base of CP’s technical users. You need to get that information over at the WordPress repository by creating a ClassicPress alternative page-builder plugin, and then when/if it ever reaches critical mass, you’ll know you got it right.

Until then, its just the bonfire of the vanities of a few “knowledgable” users slugging out to see who can shout loudest.

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We definitely appreciate your feedback and perspective. Our organizational structure was formalized in January and is outlined here: ClassicPress Organizational Structure

There actually has been quite a bit of discussion around this already over the last several months, and the conversation has not been exclusively among developers, but the entire community. Our Democracy and Petitions Process is designed specifically to address your concerns.

Anyone is free to submit a petition; it’s not restricted to “technical users”.

With regard to this:

I realize that this thread was originally part of your original page builder discussion but I’m confused about this point, because ClassicPress is not a page builder, so why would we go off and build one?

As a side note, I highly doubt that any such thing would ever be accepted into the WordPress repository, but that’s my own opinion.

I respect your opinion that Democracy is a bankrupt idea, but respectfully disagree. A benign/benevolent dictatorship is how WordPress chooses to govern itself, and is exactly what we are trying to avoid.


I’m going to take a firmer line than @BlueSkyPhoenix did on this one. This statement is rubbish. “Benevolent dictator” ultimately does not work as human nature doesn’t allow it; at some point human greed or megalomania will kick in and that person makes decisions for their own benefit.

This is why the human race has seen the greatest reduction in poverty in democratic capitalist countries and abject monetary, social and environmental failure in all countries which tried to get rid of democracy and capitalism. It is a fundamental misunderstanding of human nature.


Personally, it was the promise of a democratic governance structure that drew me to Classicpress in the first place.

I respectfully disagree that Democracy is a ‘bankrupt idea’. I also don’t see a problem with polling a ‘tiny base of CP’s technical users’. This is a model that has worked very well over the years for Debian GNU/Linux, a project that forms the technical base for many other successful Linux distributions, including Ubuntu and Google’s own in house desktop operating system.

In the end, it is the technical users and developers who actually contribute to the project code base so their views are important.

If enough people disagree with a democratic decision, they are always free to fork the project themselves, as has happened in the case of WordPress / Classicpress and Debian / Devuan.


It is not WordPress chooses to govern itself, it is The Dictator choosed to simulate democracy. Big difference.