Last night I got an excellent education in politics from a local old master at how they play the game in Lake County, Indiana. Halfway through it, I had an epiphany, that the whole internal system, top to bottom was largely based on “Cathedral” style thinking straight out of Eric S Raymond’s influential essay The Cathedral and the Bazaar and I had long ago decided that the bazaar had the winning argument, at least for this generation.
That moment cleared up a lot for me and clarified my thinking. I was having this discussion because the Indiana Republican Liberty Caucus had just organized a Lake county chapter and I was elected chairman. I was calling around and letting the town chairmen know that there was a new player in town on the GOP’s side and oh, could I stop by to introduce myself and the LC-INRLC at their next meeting.
The old master went on and I paid attention but my entire perspective shifted because I had realized that the fight I was in was a different fight than the one he was describing. Imagine building a cathedral in a bazaar. It’s a bit annoying to the rest of the bazaar but if you’ve got the scratch to reserve that much space, the bazaar will accommodate. Now imagine building a bazaar in a cathedral. The cathedral people will hate you because, inherently, your activities often won’t respect the day to day pieties of the cathedral you’re working in. Nobody has found a perfect solution to this, though the best of the cathedral builders in the software world have learned to make their peace and to change their structure to accommodate the bazaar builders that they rely on and compete with.
The ideological struggle with the left just got company as my top priority. Party building a GOP bazaar just snapped into focus as a major challenge.