I think we need to distinguish between centralisation, decentralisation, democracy, transparency and accountability.
I am not necessarily advocating for a democratic structure. I am not necessarily advocating for a decentralised structure (not the same thing). I am simply saying that whatever structure there is, be it democratic or autocratic, centralised or decentralised, we need it to be a) transparent, and b) accountable.
Even the status quo could work, structurally, and people have made the case. Let Dfinity, and even, let Dom Williams have sole control until the system is mature enough to hand over. As a founder myself, I can entirely relate to this, and have adopted such an approach myself.
But make it transparent: tell us where the money is going, on what basis, what decisions have been made, what is the solvency of the organisation. If you’re going to be the sole person on both ICA and Dfinity boards, so be it, but don’t hide it from everyone, and don’t pretend the ICA is an independent memberhip association with a General Assembly as the ultimate authority. If you’re going to own the voting power of Dfinity and the ICA, own it: but don’t pretend you don’t. If you’re going to use that power, use it, but tell us why, and show us what it does. If you’re going to move 5 million ICP from one to another, do, but tell us you are, for what purpose, and how that money will be used. Or at the very least, tell us you will hide it, and we just have to get used to it. Don’t pretend that there’s nothing to see and this is just boring bureaucracy and normal Swiss non-profit practice.
And in addition to transparent, make your processes accountable. You ask people to trust you. Set out what happens if you break that trust, and make it enforceable. You are still a monopoly, or a cartel, you still control everything, there is no one with you in the lonely heights of absolute power except your token Swiss lawyer: but if you spend the 5 million ICP in ways that do not benefit ICP, what are the consequences? If you decide to shut down Dfinity, what are the provisions? If, contrary to your tweet, it turns out you’ve not declared your investments, and you’re not entirely in ICP, what are the consequences? If you break the trust you ask the community and investors to deposit in you as Supreme Leader, what is plan B, and how does it get triggered?
So you see, even in a non-democratic, even in an anti-democratic structure, it is possible to have transparency and accountability. It is not what I’d recommend, but it means that people are able to make informed choices, that the project doesn’t have a single point of failure, and that the entire enterprise, and Dom Williams himself, are protected from unfair accusations and inferences: they can just point at the transparency data and at the accountability mechanisms, and end the argument.
For me, a democratic process would be a plus. A transparent and accountable one, a necessity.