When discussing the government structures Zeigler noted, “I mean there’s what’s on paper and then there’s what’s reality.” He observes that, in practice, the community members all “just take care of each other.”
However, their bylaws officially require the practice of positive consensus. This idea includes an individual’s right to block something if they feel the need. However, Zeigler noted that “the mission of the organization and the well-being of the group as a whole overcomes an individual block.” He explained that if a group member feels differently than the community, the issue will be discussed and reviews, however, if the block doesn’t seem valid, it won’t be recognized. Zeigler explained that another way to describe this structure is “Quaker Consensus.” Essentially, Zeigler stated that “the focus is on the positive mission of the group and taking care of people in the context of that mission.”
Similar to this type of government structure, Reece notes the work of Robert Owen during the construction of his utopian society:
“So instead, [Owen] started a factory school for the children, and when the partners balked at that, he bought them out with the help of some Quaker businessmen and the British philosopher Jeremy Bentham, who was just beginning to formulate his theory of utilitarianism, a straightforward political philosophy that argued for the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people” (Reece, p. 86)
The idea of focusing on the happiness and mission of the majority of the group is a main idea behind behind both the Quaker Societies and that of LEF. While focusing on the desires of each member of the group, it is equally as important to focus on that within the aspect of the community as a whole and what its goals are.