This article has a rather simplistic view of anarchy, but it relates some of the benefits of non-heirarchical organizational structure: Anarchy as management style?.
Category Archives: Anarchy
Some Group Handbook, Draft, Original Variant, Version 0.1, April 15, 2010
Some Group Handbook
Draft, Original Variant, Version 0.1, April 15, 2010
About this Handbook
This handbook is intended as an outline of principles and practices that Some Group has adopted. As time goes on, and details get ironed out, this handbook will evolve. It is expected that, once the group has reached a state of maturity, this Some Group Handbook will have become developed enough to serve as a blueprint for replication of this group’s organization, activities, and eﬀorts in other communities across the nation and around the world.
This Handbook is Fluid
This Some Group Handbook is ﬂuid. All useful information is at most temporarily useful. While every attempt has been made to ensure that information in this handbook is current and accurate, it is expected that this handbook will change and evolve as time goes on. Change, adaptation, and inclusion of new information to this handbook is emphatically encouraged.
Some Group does not yet have a ﬁnal name. Originally (and currently) referred to simply as “Unschool,” Some Group is looking for a name that accurately reﬂects the nature of the group. As has been discovered “unschooling” is a term currently in use to describe a subschool of homeschooling, which promotes ideas quite diﬀerent from those of Some Group. The name “Unschool” has also been criticized for its distinctly negative construction—being the negation of “school”—without oﬀering any hint, in positive form, as to what Some Group might be. A number of alternative names have been proposed, including the possibility of having no name at all. Most of the names proposed, including having no name for the group, have been rejected for a number of practical and/or principled reasons.
Presently, it is understood that the name of Some Group is ﬂuid and indeterminate. It is believed that a name should be chosen, but that an appropriate name will likely reveal itself as the group develops. At some point in the future, it is expected that a name for the group will be chosen. When that happens, this section of the Some Group Handbook should be updated. This description of how Some Group does not have a name should be removed, and replaced with a statement of the group’s name, along with an explanation of any meaning behind the name chosen.
Some Group grew out of a sense of discontent with existing social structures and conventional systems of education. However, Some Group has not yet adopted any guiding principles. At present, Some Group is a space or forum where people can share, discuss, create, and explore with others a number of subjects. It is expected that, as Some Group progresses, a common set of principles will naturally emerge, and be adopted by the group. When that happens, this section of the Some Group Handbook should be updated. This description of how Some Group has not adopted principles should be removed, and replaced with a description and explanation of the group’s common principles.
Some Group holds a number of diﬀerent “types” of meetings. Presently, there are two types: regular meetings and organizational meetings. Regular meetings are where Some Group performs its primary activity of exploring various topics of interest. Organizational meetings are dedicated to discussing and selecting logistical details, such as topics for upcoming regular meetings, etc.
Organizational meetings are Some Group meetings with the purpose of choosing details for future regular meetings, and other logistical and/or administrative matters. Any member of Some Group is free to attend and participate in any organizational meeting he/she wishes, and to whatever extent he/she wishes.
When choosing details for an upcoming regular meeting, the following four details will be identiﬁed:
- One or more people who will lead the meeting.
- The topic or activity for the meeting.
- The format that will be used for the meeting.
- The date, time, and location of the meeting.
The activity planned for a regular meeting can be anything, and need not be topic-oriented. Meeting activities may include presentations, group discussions, creative projects, or group activities of any sort. The format of a regular meeting is also ﬂexible. It could consist of a short presentation, followed by each participant having ﬁve minutes to express their own view, opinion, or perspective. It could be a lecture format, or a lecture followed by discussion. It could take any format the leaders of the meeting believe appropriate for the topic or activity. Whatever meeting details are proposed, all these details (leader(s), topic, format, date, time, and location) should be proposed to the entire group, at the next regular meeting, for approval.
All decisions made at organizational meetings, including selection of meeting details, will be made by a hybrid consensus/voting mechanism. A consensus process will be used whenever possible, encouraging input and participation from all present. If the consensus process ever stalls to the extent that it threatens the very purpose of Some Group, a majority vote will be used to decide the matter. If the consensus process degenerates to voting on a frequent or regular basis, this would indicate an underlying organizational problem which would need to be addressed.
For the sake of convenience, Some Group currently plans to hold organizational meetings immediately prior to, and in the same place as, Some Group’s regular meetings.
It is important that all members of Some Group be included in organization of the group. Because people have exhibited a tendency to leave during the course of regular meetings, each regular meeting will start with a brief organizational message consisting, at a minimum, of following:
- A summary of what was discussed at the previous organizational meeting, if an organizational meeting was held since the last regular meeting.
- All proposed details (leader(s), topic, format, date, time, and location) for the next regular meeting.
- Proposed details (date, time, and location) for the next organizational meeting.
- A request that the whole group accept, reject, or modify the proposed meeting details.
- An explicit invitation for anyone in the group to come to, and participate in, every organizational meeting.
The remainder of any regular meeting can take many forms, lead by one or more people, on a speciﬁc topic or activity, and in a speciﬁc format. Each regular meeting’s details (leader(s), topic, format, date, time, and location) will be as agreed upon by the group during a previous regular meeting.
Some Group will have a number of means of communicating with its members. Potential means of distributing information include having a blog, an e-mail list, a web forum, a newsletter, etc. In order to maintain Some Group’s inclusiveness and neutrality, any Some Group publications, such as newsletters, blogs, etc., should be open to publish contributions from any and all Some Group members.
Each Some Group meeting (regular, organizational, or otherwise) should be announced, in advance, to all members of the group. Each such announcement should include all meeting details: leader(s), topic, format, date, time, and location. The location of the meeting place should be described in speciﬁc enough terms that the meeting can be found by someone who has never attended a previous Some Group meeting.
A digest of each Some Group meeting (regular, organizational, or otherwise) should be published to the group. Each digest should be comprehensive enough to give people who did not attend a good overview of the subject and results of each meeting, but should not be speciﬁc enough to constitute meeting minutes. Due to the potential of minutes to violate privacy rights and breed controversy, detailed meeting minutes should not be published. The digests for each meeting, whether posted to Some Group’s blog, e-mail list, or anywhere else, should be posted as separate posts, one for each meeting. Keeping the digests for each meeting separate makes them easier to identify, organize, comment on, etc.
When posting messages to Some Group’s blog, e-mail list, forum, etc., the following guidelines are recommended, but not required:
- POSTING IN ALL CAPS IS CONSIDERED YELLING.
- The title or subject of a post or comment should reﬂect its content.
- Top-posting (“toilet paper quoting”) is considered poor netiquette.
- Posting well-organized thoughts, in grammatical sentences, makes posts easy to read, understand, and respond to.
Draft, Original Variant, Version 0.1, April 15, 2010
Meeting minutes summaries will now be posted weekly, for people that couldn’t show up. We’ve got many weeks that we’ve met, and I’m finally posting the meeting minutes for them. Whew.
First meeting (awhile ago)
The topic was reform vs. revolution. It was discussion-based.
- We went around in a circle and proposed our personal ideas of what is needed to fix deep systemic problems, whether it was reform or revolution based (not violent revolution!)
- Proposed that we be more open, more creative with art, coffeehouses, speakouts, etc
- Emphasized that change of self is very important to whatever movement is going on
- Vigorous application of your ideal self and your potential everyday is a good idea
- For true revolution, EVERYONE needs to be supporters
- Ran into questions of communes working with medicine, supplies, etc (get into that at a later meeting)
- “Things that work, Survive”.
- Talked about the name, unschool, being too abrasive to people.
- Talked about all-one concept: everything is part of the whole
- Discussed the concept of change: People both need to be educated and also empowered to take action
- Art as displaying the beauty and the scale of trying to help everything
- No definitions. No standards.
Second Meeting : Venus project and Zeitgeist movement
- Where do we go from here? Possibilities of technology
- Our current state of affairs is mostly unintentional. Noone wanted war, poverty, etc
- “Spaceship Earth” Concept covered: Earth and all creatures as one, no seperation of nations, people, material, etc
- The idea of competing ideas, not people.
- Technology replacing processes that are menial tasks, more autonomous, more freedom
- Went over social conditioning, false lessons, “Right and Wrong”
- Reforming our world starts with ourselves
- Means need to equal the ends
- Idea of memetics: spreading ideas exponentially
- Voluntary society
Third Meeting: Social Construction. Heated conversation.
- 2 groups: Oppressed and Privileged.
- Privileged group: perpetuated by oppressed, norms, media, power, etc
- Oppressed group internalized message that they should be “normal”
- “Duties” and how that buys into the system, filling “roles”
- Colonization of the mind: Oppressed group is so oppressed they think what they are doing is acceptable and not questionable
- Advocate model: actively resisting norms and standards
- Patriarchy: System run by men for men.
- To be an active resistor, you must learn of your privilege compared to others
- Did pie charts to see how privileged we were. If it was full, you were the most privileged. Mine was full!
- To be “privileged” means the ability to ignore oppression or the ability to recognize it and resist
- If we had a society with no categorization of people, social equity would be reached
- Recognize the imperfection of language
- See people for how they choose to be seen
More meeting minutes coming up next week. Cheers.
I would agree that every human being has a right to their life and liberty. Property, I disagree with. I think that the problem is not that the government doesn’t respect life, liberty or property- its that people don’t. Human beings don’t respect each other. We dehumanize and objectify. The government is only an extension of these same human beings.
I would argue that there is no such thing as private property. Ultimately, we are all stewards of the things we have. We have borrowed them from the earth. Even our lives are extensions of others, and, I would argue, that the solution is not our autonomy, but our mutual respect and dependence. Interdependence.
I would argue that the solution isn’t as simple as abolishing the government- as long as people still believe that they need the government, they will rebuild it. We must first prove to people that they can be valued as equals vital to our own lives. We have to first recognize and reject the power constructs that our society places on us (racism, sexism, heterosexism ect).
The first step in creating a society that is equitable and just is not abolishing the government, it is learning to live without it. The government, while flawed, forceful and ultimately irrelevant to anyone who refuses to give it legitimacy, acts as a power enforcing the morals that we can define for ourselves. Yes, I would agree that this is wrong, to have a government force that imposes moral beliefs.
However, in order to have a free society in which all people are respected, we must first respect all people. Capitalism is not the only problem here. The legal system is not the only monster. In order to have a society in which all people can voluntarily do anything, we must also deconstruct the oppressive systems by which we have been socialized.
It’s not enough to dismantle the government- we must first get rid of systems of oppression like racism, heterosexism, sexism, abilism, classism- in short- we must get people to see each other as equals in order for them to treat each other as equals without the force of the government.
But first we must recognize the inequity. It SHOULDN’T matter what color your skin is, your ability, age, expression or sexual history- but in our society, right now, it DOES.
We have to first change this- by recognizing what we share, how we differ, and by respecting each others stories and lives.
The first step towards an anarchist world isn’t getting rid of the government- its recognizing our interdependence without the government telling us to.
What a beautiful Experience. People making music together to promote solidarity and an end to our interventions overseas.
Sorry if I messed with the site- I’ll explain:
I saw whoever modified the site wanted more organization, and I agree. But the way that you did it put specific posts into static pages, which can’t be organized by category or tags, and can’t be archived. Also, the comments on those static pages are much harder to track.
I simply made it easier to categorize and tag things for organization. Now if anyone has something to put on the site, Post it. This way, you can tag and categorize it and it can be archived for later usage when newer posts take its place. The other pages that aren’t under “News/Posts” are static, therefore they are better for reference to specific info that doesnt get updated often.
Once again, sorry, but I feel its a better way to organize, I hope you understand that. Feel free to comment.