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The tyranny of structuralism Public seminar

The tyranny of structuralism Public seminar

An early version of this text was given at a convention referred to as the Affiliation for the Rights of Southern Ladies, held in Beulah, Mississippi in Might 1970. It was written in a notice for the third yr (1971), however was not utilized by editors. Then it was delivered to a number of publications, but only one asked for permission to publish it. others did so without permission. The first official publication was Vol. 2, No. 1, second wave (1972). This early release in the publications is written by Jore. Numerous versions have been revealed in Berkeley Journal of Sociology, Vol. 17, 1972-73, pp. 151-165, and Ms. Journal, July 1973, pp. 76-78, 86-89, by Jo Freeman. This piece unfold all over the world. Quite a few individuals have edited, printed, reduce and translated "Tyranny" magazines into magazines, books and websites, often without permission or info from the writer. The version under is a mixture of the three talked about right here. This version was initially released on Jo Freeman's blog. The newest versions of this essay have additionally been.

Through the years when the liberation motion of ladies has taken form, great emphasis has been positioned on what known as non-conductive, unstructured groups as crucial – if not the one – organizational type of movement. The supply of this thought was the pure response to the overclocking of the society through which most of us found ourselves, and the inevitable management that gave our lives to others, and the continued elitism of the left and the like amongst those who supposedly fought

. these tendencies, making it an unbiased goddess. The concept is considered so little that the time period is used rather a lot, however it has grow to be a natural and undoubted part of the lady's liberation ideology. This was not essential within the early improvement of movement. It defined its principal objective early on, and its essential technique of elevating awareness, and the "unstructured" rap group was a superb means for this objective. Its looseness and uncertainty inspired participation within the debate, and its typically supportive environment raised a private view. If these teams by no means turned extra concrete than the private viewpoint, it was not very meaningful because their objective did not actually prolong beyond this.

The primary problems did not appear before particular person rap teams used awareness-raising goodness and decided that they needed to do one thing extra specific. At this level, they often blurred because most teams didn't need to change their construction once they modified their job. Ladies had completely accepted the thought of ​​"unstructure" without realizing the restrictions of its use. Individuals would try to use a "unstructured" group and an off-the-cuff conference for functions for which they have been inappropriate as a result of they did not consider that some other means might be anything but oppression.

If the motion will increase beyond these primary levels of improvement, it must destroy itself from the prejudices of organization and structure. None of these are inherently dangerous. They can be utilized and sometimes misused, however rejecting them because they’re being misused is a ban on the tools we’d like for improvement. We need to understand why 'structuralism' is just not working.


In contrast to our belief, there isn’t a such factor as an unstructured group. Any group of any nature that meets for any function for any function will inevitably build something in itself. The construction may be flexible; it might range over time; it may well share duties, power and assets evenly or erratically amongst group members. However it arises regardless of the skills, personalities or intentions of the individuals involved. The undeniable fact that we are people with totally different talents, tendencies and backgrounds makes this inevitable. Only if we did not refuse a relationship or interaction on any basis would we have the ability to approximate the structural – and that isn’t the character of the human group.

Because of this the pursuit of an unstructured group is as useful and deceptive that the target is an "objective" publication, "worthless" social science, or "free" financial system. The 'Laissez faire' group is about as sensible because the 'laissez faire' society; The concept becomes a strong or glad tobacco filter that creates plain hegemony with others. This hegemony could be simply established as a result of the thought of ​​"unstructured" doesn’t forestall the formation of casual buildings, however solely formal buildings. Likewise, the "laissez faire" philosophy didn’t forestall financially vigilant management over wages, costs and the distribution of goods; it simply prevented the government from doing so. Thus, the shortage of structure turns into a means of overlaying energy, and supporters of the feminine movement are often the strongest (would they remember of their energy or not). So long as the group's construction is unofficial, the principles on the way to make selections are just some and the facility info is restricted to those that know the principles. Those who are unfamiliar with the principles and who have not been chosen to start out, should hold confusion or endure from paranoid delusions that one thing occurs that they don’t seem to be absolutely aware of

To ensure that everybody to take part in and participate in a specific group, the structure have to be clear , not implicit. Choice-making guidelines have to be transparent and accessible to all, and this will only happen if they are formalized. This does not imply that formalizing the group construction would destroy the informal structure. It is often not. Nevertheless, it doesn’t forestall the informal construction from dominating the dominant position and providing some means to assault it if the individuals involved are at the least not answerable for the wants of the group. “Structurality” is organizationally unimaginable. We can’t determine whether or not we’ve a structural or unstructured group, but whether it’s a formally structured group. Subsequently, the phrase is not used, except on the subject of the thought introduced therein. Unstructured refers to teams that are not deliberately inbuilt a specific means. Structured refers to those that are. A structured group all the time has a proper structure and can even have an off-the-cuff or covert construction. This is an off-the-cuff construction, especially in unstructured teams that type the idea of the elite.


"Elitist" might be probably the most misused word within the liberation motion of ladies. It’s used so typically and for a similar causes as "Pinko" was used within the 50s. It’s not often used appropriately. Inside the movement, it usually refers to individuals, though their private qualities and actions for which it’s directed can differ enormously: the person, the person can never be elitist, because the solely proper software of the time period "elite" is to groups. Each particular person, regardless of how nicely a well known individual might be, can by no means be an elite

Actually, the elite refers to a small group of individuals who have energy over a larger group of members, often with out direct duty to a larger group and sometimes with out their information or consent. A person turns into an elitist by being an element or a rule of a small group, regardless of whether the individual is understood or unknown in any respect. Observe shouldn’t be an elite definition. The most insidious elites are often people who find themselves not recognized to most of the people. Clever elitists are typically sensible sufficient to not be recognized. Once they grow to be recognized, they are seen, and their energy protection is not secure.

Elites usually are not conspiracies. Very not often, a small group of individuals gather together and intentionally try to take on a much bigger group for their own purposes. Elites are nothing lower than groups of pals who additionally participate in the same political exercise. They’ll in all probability hold their friendship, regardless of whether they are involved in political activities; they might in all probability be involved in political motion, regardless of whether or not they maintained their friendship. The coincidence of these two phenomena generates the elite into any group and makes them so troublesome to interrupt.

These twin teams act as communication networks outdoors the standard channels that the group might have established. If there are not any channels, they’ll act as the only communication community. As a result of individuals are pals as a result of they often have the identical values ​​and developments because they speak socially and negotiate with each other when making joint selections, those who take part in these networks have more energy within the group than those who don't. And it is a rare group that doesn’t type any informal communication networks via associates.

Some teams might have multiple such casual communication network, relying on their measurement. Networks might even overlap. When only one such community exists, there’s an in any other case Unstructured group elite whether or not its individuals need to be elitists or not. If it’s the solely such community in a structural group, it can be an elite depending on its composition and the nature of the formal structure. If there are two or extra such networks of pals, they will compete for power in a gaggle, forming teams, or deliberately refusing to compete, leaving the other elite. In a structured group, two or more such friendship networks often compete with each other for formal power. That is typically the healthiest state of affairs, as other members are capable of mediate between two rivals for energy and thus to make calls for on those to whom they provide their momentary loyalty.

Inevitably elitist and exclusive nature of informal communication, networks of buddies will not be a brand new phenomenon specific to a female phenomenon, nor a brand new phenomenon for ladies. For centuries, such casual relationships have closed ladies from collaborating in the integrated teams they have been part of. In all professions or organizations, these networks have created a "locker room" mentality and "old school" ties that have successfully prevented ladies as a gaggle (as well as some men separately) from having equal entry to sources of power or social reward. A lot of the power of the previous ladies's movements is aimed toward formalizing decision-making buildings and choice processes so that the exclusion of ladies could be immediately addressed. As we nicely know, these efforts haven’t prevented informal male networks from discriminating towards ladies, however they’ve made it harder.

Because the elites are unofficial, it doesn't mean they’re invisible. In all small teams with everyone with a sharp eye and an acute ear, one can inform who is affected. Members of a gaggle of associates are extra related to one another than to different individuals. They pay attention more intently and interrupt much less; they repeat one another's points and provides them a superb situation; they’ve often ignored or seized "strange" whose approval is just not essential to decide. However it’s imperative that the "outs" stay in good phrases with "ins". In fact, the strains aren’t as sharp as I pulled them. They’re the nuances of interplay, not pre-written scripts. But they’re noticeable and have an impact. When somebody knows who it is very important examine with earlier than making a choice, and whose approval is an approval stamp, we know who works.

As a result of mobility groups have not made any concrete selections about who uses them in power Many various standards are used all through the country. Most of the standards are according to those of conventional ladies. For example, in the early days of motion, marriage was often a prerequisite for participation in an off-the-cuff elite. Since ladies have been traditionally taught, married ladies are primarily associated to each other and consider that particular person ladies are threatened to be so close pals. In lots of cities, this criterion was further refined to include solely ladies who have been married to males from the brand new left. Nevertheless, behind this commonplace was greater than a practice as a result of the new left-wingers typically received the assets wanted to maneuver, resembling mailing lists, printing machines, contacts and knowledge, and ladies have been used to getting what they wanted by way of men. than independently. When the motion has fallen over time, marriage has turn into a less common criterion for effective participation, but all unofficial elites create requirements that only ladies with sure materials or personal qualities can be a part of. They typically embrace: middle class background (regardless of all rhetoric associated to the workgroup); married; is just not married but lives with someone; be or fake to be a lesbian; is twenty-thirty; have a university degree or at the very least some school background; "hip"; isn’t too "hip"; a certain political line or identification as a "radical"; who’ve youngsters or no less than hold them; no youngsters; who’ve certain "feminine" personalities resembling "nice"; the correct to dress (whether or not it is a traditional fashion or an antitrad type); and so on. There are additionally some options that nearly all the time signify a "deviant" that shouldn’t be interconnected. They are: too previous; works full time, especially if someone is actively engaged in a career; isn’t "comfortable"; and is avlyly single (ie not actively heterosexual or homosexual).

Other criteria could possibly be included, however all of them have widespread themes. Characteristics of the requirement for the unofficial elite of the movement and thus the exercise of power relate to their own background, character or time division. They don’t embrace their own expertise, dedication to feminism, skills or potential input into circulation. The first are the standards which might be generally used to determine pals. The latter are any movements or organizations to use if will probably be politically effective.

Participation criteria might range by group, however the best way to grow to be a member of an off-the-cuff elite if somebody meets these criteria artwork is sort of the same. The solely main difference depends upon whether or not someone within the group from the beginning or joins it after it begins. If it is concerned from the outset, it is very important be a part of as many personal pals as potential. If no one is aware of the opposite properly, it is applicable to determine a friendship with the chosen number and create informal interplay patterns which might be important for creating an off-the-cuff construction. When unofficial fashions are created, they work to sustain themselves, and one of probably the most profitable methods to take care of is consistently to recruit new individuals who “fit”. Connects to such an elite in the identical means as promise to corporation. Whether it is thought-about a potential addition, the members of the informal construction "rush" one and ultimately either drop or start. If an organization shouldn’t be politically conscious of being actively involved on this process, an outsider can start it identical to any personal club. Discover a sponsor, that is, select an elite member who seems to be revered within it, and actively domesticate that individual's friendship. Ultimately he’ll in all probability deliver you inside.

All these procedures take time. So if somebody is working full-time or has an analogous nice commitment, it’s often unimaginable to hitch just because there’s not enough time to stay in meetings and improve the private relationship that is necessary to get the voice in choice making. That is why the formal buildings of decision-making are a blessing for the overworked individual. Making certain a professional decision-making course of ensures that everybody can participate to some extent.

Though this breakdown of the elite formation process in small groups has been crucial from the point of view, it has not been made that these casual buildings are inevitably dangerous – only inevitable. All groups create casual buildings in consequence of group members' interaction patterns. Such casual buildings can do very helpful issues, however only the unstructured teams control them utterly. Combining unofficial elites with myths of "unstructure", it isn’t attainable to attempt to limit the use of energy.

This has two probably destructive penalties that we ought to be conscious of. The first is that the casual construction of decision-making is very similar to an organization where individuals take heed to others because they like them, not because they say necessary issues. As long as the enterprise doesn’t do vital issues, this isn’t essential. But when its improvement is just not retained at this preliminary stage, it must change this development. The second is that casual buildings are usually not obliged to be accountable to the whole group. They weren’t given their energy; it may possibly't be taken away. Their influence isn’t based mostly on what they do on behalf of the group; subsequently the group can’t instantly have an effect on them. This will likely not render casual buildings irresponsible. Those who need to keep their affect often attempt to be responsible. The group simply can’t pressure such duty; it is dependent on the benefits of the elite


The concept of ​​"unstructured" has created a "star system". We stay in a society that expects political teams to make selections and select the individuals who make these selections to the general public. The press and the general public can’t pay attention critically to individual ladies as ladies; they need to understand how the group knows. Only three methods have been developed to type a mass group opinion: vote or referendum, opinion ballot questionnaire and group representatives at an applicable assembly. The ladies's liberation movement has not used any of these speaking with the general public. Shifting as an entire, and most of its troops, haven’t created methods to elucidate their place on totally different points.

Though it has intentionally chosen brokers, the motion has attracted many women who’ve seized the public's eyes for numerous causes. These ladies aren’t particular groups or established opinions; they know this and say basically. However as a result of there are not any official representatives or decision-making bodies that the press can ask when it needs to know the place of the motion on the topic, these ladies are thought-about as representatives. Thus, whether or not they needed the motion to love or not, ladies in public banknotes are, by default, placed within the position of representatives.

This is one of an important elements which are typically felt by ladies they’re labeled as "stars". Because ladies did not choose to characterize the movement's views, they’re disapproved of the press assuming they converse for the motion. However so long as the business doesn’t choose its own representatives, the magazines and the public place such ladies on this position, regardless of their own want.

This has several unfavourable penalties for each mobility and marked ladies. "Stars". First of all, as a result of the enterprise didn’t place them in the position of a representative, the motion can’t remove them. The press put them there and solely the press can determine to not pay attention. The press continues to be in search of "stars" as speakers, so long as it has no official choices to move to reliable statements. The movement has no energy to choose its representatives to the public, as long as it believes that it has no representatives at all. Secondly, ladies who’re positioned on this position are sometimes attacked by their sister. This doesn’t achieve anything for the motion and is painfully damaging to the individuals concerned. Such assaults solely end in a lady who leaves the motion typically typically bitterly alienated – or she ceases to be chargeable for her "sister". He can retain some loyalty to the movement that is vaguely defined, however he is not uncovered to strain from other ladies. You can’t really feel answerable for individuals who have been the source of such ache with out being a masochist, and these ladies are usually too robust to bow to such private strain. Thus, the backwardness of the "star" system simply encourages the individual irresponsibility that the business condemns. By cleaning the sister of the "star", the motion loses all of the control it has had on the one that then gets the liberty to commit to all the individual sins he has been charged with. it might be very effective to get ladies to speak about their lives; they don’t seem to be excellent things. Simply when individuals get drained of "talking" and need to do something greater than groups wrestle until they modify the character of their action. Sometimes, the informal construction developed by the group is identical as the necessity for the group to have the ability to fulfill the look that the Unstructured group works with. The group has subsequently developed the most effective structure that is the greatest

Whereas working in this sort of group, there’s additionally a very dangerous expertise, however it’s also uncommon and really troublesome to repeat. In such a gaggle, there are virtually inevitably 4 circumstances,

1) It is task-based. Its job could be very slender and really particular, like establishing a convention or sending newspapers. It is a process that principally groups the group. The process is to determine what must be accomplished and when to do it. It offers a guide for individuals to guage their actions and make plans for future action.
2) It is comparatively small and homogeneous. Homogeneity is important to ensure that members have a standard language for interaction. Individuals with very totally different backgrounds can supply wealth to an awareness-raising group where every one can study from the experience of others, but too much variety among the many members of a task-based group simply signifies that they always perceive one another. Such totally different individuals interpret the phrases and act in a different way. They have totally different expectations of each other's conduct and consider the results in response to totally different standards. If everyone is aware of everybody else properly enough to know the nuances, they are often positioned. Often they only result in embarrassment and infinite feelings that spark contradictions that nobody ever thought have been born.
three) Communication is excessive. The info have to be offered to everyone, the opinions reviewed, the work shared and the involvement within the related selections. This is only potential if the group is small and individuals are virtually dwelling in one of an important levels of the task. For sure, the number of interactions required for participation will increase geometrically with the quantity of members. It will inevitably limit the group's members to about 5 or depart some of the choices. Successful groups may be as giant as 10 or 15, but only once they consist of several smaller subgroups that perform sure elements of the duty and whose members overlap so that information of totally different subgroups might be
4) Specialization in expertise is restricted. Not everybody needs to be able to do the whole lot, however it have to be attainable to do every part with multiple individual. Subsequently, nobody is important. In some instances, individuals turn into replaceable elements.

Although these circumstances might happen serendipitly in small teams, this isn’t attainable in giant. Thus, as a result of the larger enterprise in most cities is as unstructured as the individual rap teams, it isn’t an excessive amount of simpler than separate groups in certain tasks. The casual construction is never sufficiently widespread or in touch with individuals in an effort to be efficient. Thus, the movement produces so much of movement and little results. Unfortunately, the results of this proposal aren’t as harmless as the outcomes' and their victims are the enterprise itself.

Some teams have develop into native action tasks if they don’t take part in many people and work on a small scale. This manner restricts the movement activity to the native degree. it cannot be achieved at regional or nationwide degree. In order for the teams to work nicely, they often have to organize themselves for the informal group of buddies who ran things first. This prevents many ladies from collaborating. So long as the one method ladies can take part within the movement is to hitch a small group, nongregarious are clearly disadvantaged. So long as the twinning teams are crucial means of organizational activity, elitism turns into institutionalized

For those groups that don’t discover a native venture to which to dedicate themselves, simply staying together is the rationale they stay together. When a gaggle does not have a selected activity (and awareness-raising is to be accomplished), the individuals in it flip their power to regulate other members of the group. This isn’t accomplished a lot from the undesirable want to control others (typically it is) as a result of there’s nothing higher to do with their talents. Be capable of maintain individuals in time and have to justify their revenue together to put their efforts into personal control and spend time criticizing the personalities of the opposite members of the group. The day is dominated by preventing and private energy video games. When the group is involved within the activity, individuals study to get together with one another as they do and to embrace personal discomfort for a larger objective. There are restrictions on the necessity to revive every individual from our picture of what they should be.

The finish of awareness-raising leaves individuals going to the place, and the shortage of structure leaves them in any method there. Ladies who transfer either by themselves or from their siblings or seek other choices for action. Little is obtainable. Some ladies simply "do their own thing". This will lead to quite a bit of particular person creativity, a lot of which is beneficial for mobility, but it isn’t a viable choice for most girls and will definitely not contribute to the spirit of the workforce. Other ladies transfer away from the motion because they do not need to develop a single challenge and haven’t discovered any solution to discover, be a part of or begin group tasks of interest.

Many flip to other political organizations to provide them a structured and efficient action that they haven’t present in ladies's motion. The political organizations that see the liberation of ladies, because only one of the various issues ladies ought to spend on time, discover the motion for the new members of the good recruitment website. Such organizations don’t have to "penetrate" (though this is not prevented). The vital political exercise of ladies, which is a component of the women's liberation motion, is adequate to be keen about joining different organizations when the business itself doesn’t present new ideas and power. Ladies who’re affiliated with different political organizations however who remain in the ladies's liberation movement or who are related to the liberation of ladies once they stay in other political organizations will in turn have new casual buildings. These networks of friendship are based mostly on their widespread non-feminist coverage and never on the previously discussed features, however they do the same. As a result of these ladies share widespread values, concepts, and political tendencies, additionally they turn into unofficial, unplanned, unforgiving, irresponsible elites – whether or not they’re going to be or not.

These new unofficial elites are often the previous casual elites which were beforehand developed in several movement teams. That is the fitting concept. Tällaiset poliittisesti suuntautuneet verkostot ovat harvoin halukkaita olemaan vain ”korporaatioita”, kuten monet vanhat olivat, ja haluavat rohkaista poliittisia ja feministisiä ajatuksiaan. Tämä on luonnollista, mutta sen vaikutuksia naisten vapautumiseen ei ole koskaan käsitelty riittävästi. Vanhat eliitit ovat harvoin halukkaita tuomaan tällaisia ​​erimielisyyksiä auki, koska se merkitsisi ryhmän epävirallisen rakenteen luonteen paljastamista.

Monet näistä epävirallisista eliitistä ovat olleet piilossa "anti-elitismin" alla. ”Ja” rakenteettomuus ”. Jotta toisen epävirallisen rakenteen kilpailu voitaisiin torjua tehokkaasti, heidän olisi tultava” julkisiksi ”, ja tämä mahdollisuus on täynnä monia vaarallisia vaikutuksia. Siten oman voimansa ylläpitämiseksi on helpompaa järkeistää toisen epävirallisen rakenteen jäsenten poissulkemista sellaisilla keinoilla kuin "punainen syötti", "uudistusmielinen", "lesbo-baiting" tai "suora syötti" . ”Ainoa vaihtoehto on muodostaa ryhmä muodollisesti siten, että alkuperäinen voimalaitos on institutionalisoitu. Tämä ei ole aina mahdollista. If the informal elites have been nicely structured and have exercised a good amount of power up to now, such a activity is possible. These groups have a historical past of being considerably politically efficient prior to now, because the tightness of the informal construction has confirmed an satisfactory substitute for a proper construction. Turning into Structured doesn’t alter their operation a lot, though the institutionalization of the facility construction does open it to formal problem. It is those groups which are in biggest want of construction which might be typically least succesful of creating it. Their informal buildings have not been too nicely shaped and adherence to the ideology of “structurelessness” makes them reluctant to vary techniques. The more Unstructured a gaggle is, the more lacking it’s in informal buildings, and the more it adheres to an ideology of “structurelessness,” the more weak it’s to being taken over by a gaggle of political comrades.

Because the movement at giant is simply as Unstructured as most of its constituent teams, it is equally prone to indirect influence. However the phenomenon manifests itself in another way. On an area degree most teams can function autonomously; however the only teams that may manage a national exercise are nationally organized teams. Thus, it is typically the Structured feminist organizations that provide national course for feminist activities, and this path is decided by the priorities of those organizations. Such teams as NOW, WEAL, and some leftist ladies’s caucuses are merely the one organizations capable of mounting a national campaign. The multitude of Unstructured ladies’s liberation groups can select to help or not help the nationwide campaigns, but are incapable of mounting their very own. Thus their members grow to be the troops underneath the management of the Structured organizations. The avowedly Unstructured teams haven’t any approach of drawing upon the motion’s huge assets to help its priorities. It doesn’t also have a method of deciding what they’re.

The extra unstructured a motion it, the much less control it has over the instructions through which it develops and the political actions during which it engages. This doesn’t imply that its concepts do not unfold. Given a specific amount of interest by the media and the appropriateness of social circumstances, the concepts will nonetheless be subtle extensively. However diffusion of concepts doesn’t imply they are carried out; it solely means they’re talked about. Insofar as they can be utilized individually they could be acted on; insofar as they require coordinated political power to be carried out, they will not be.

So long as the women’s liberation motion stays devoted to a type of group which stresses small, inactive dialogue groups among buddies, the worst problems of Unstructuredness won’t be felt. However this type of group has its limits; it’s politically inefficacious, exclusive, and discriminatory towards these ladies who usually are not or can’t be tied into the friendship networks. Those who don’t fit into what already exists as a result of of class, race, occupation, schooling, parental or marital status, character, and so on., will inevitably be discouraged from making an attempt to participate. Those who do slot in will develop vested pursuits in sustaining issues as they are.

The casual teams’ vested interests shall be sustained by the casual buildings which exist, and the movement could have no approach of determining who shall train power within it. If the motion continues intentionally to not choose who shall exercise energy, it doesn’t thereby abolish energy. All it does is abdicate the appropriate to demand that those that do exercise energy and affect be liable for it. If the motion continues to maintain energy as diffuse as potential because it is aware of it can’t demand duty from those who have it, it does forestall any group or individual from totally dominating. Nevertheless it simultaneously insures that the motion is as ineffective as potential. Some middle floor between domination and ineffectiveness can and have to be discovered.

These problems are coming to a head presently because the character of the motion is essentially altering. Consciousness-raising as the primary perform of the women’s liberation motion is turning into out of date. Because of the intense press publicity of the final two years and the numerous overground books and articles now being circulated, ladies’s liberation has turn into a household word. Its issues are mentioned and informal rap teams are shaped by people who haven’t any specific connection with any motion group. The movement must go on to different tasks. It now wants to determine its priorities, articulate its objectives, and pursue its aims in a coordinated trend. To do that it should get organized — regionally, regionally, and nationally.


Once the motion not clings tenaciously to the ideology of “structurelessness,” it is free to develop those varieties of group greatest suited to its healthy functioning. This does not imply that we should always go to the opposite excessive and blindly imitate the normal types of organization. However neither ought to we blindly reject them all. Some of the normal methods will show helpful, albeit not good; some will give us insights into what we should always and shouldn’t do to obtain certain ends with minimal costs to the people in the movement. Principally, we should experiment with totally different sorts of structuring and develop a spread of methods to use for various situations. The Lot System is one such concept which has emerged from the motion. It isn’t applicable to all conditions, but is beneficial in some. Other ideas for structuring are needed. However earlier than we will proceed to experiment intelligently, we must accept the concept there’s nothing inherently dangerous about construction itself — only its excess use.

While partaking in this trial-and-error process, there are some rules we will take into account that are important to democratic structuring and are also politically effective:

1) Delegation of particular authority to particular people for particular duties by democratic procedures. Letting individuals assume jobs or duties only by default means they don’t seem to be dependably achieved. If individuals are chosen to do a activity, ideally after expressing an curiosity or willingness to do it, they’ve made a dedication which can’t so simply be ignored.
2) Requiring all these to whom authority has been delegated to be responsible to those that chosen them. This is how the group has management over individuals in positions of authority. Individuals might train power, however it’s the group that has ultimate say over how the facility is exercised.
three) Distribution of authority amongst as many individuals as within reason attainable. This prevents monopoly of energy and requires these in positions of authority to seek the advice of with many others within the course of of exercising it. It also provides many people the chance to have duty for particular tasks and thereby to study totally different expertise.
4) Rotation of duties among individuals. Duties which are held too long by one individual, formally or informally, come to be seen as that individual’s “property” and are usually not easily relinquished or controlled by the group. Conversely, if tasks are rotated too often the individual does not have time to study her job properly and purchase the sense of satisfaction of doing a great job.
5) Allocation of tasks along rational standards. Choosing somebody for a place as a result of they are appreciated by the group or giving them onerous work because they’re disliked serves neither the group nor the individual in the long run. Means, curiosity, and duty have got to be the most important considerations in such selection. Individuals ought to be given a chance to study expertise they do not have, but this is greatest carried out via some type of “apprenticeship” program moderately than the “sink or swim” technique. Having a duty one can’t deal with properly is demoralizing. Conversely, being blacklisted from doing what one can do nicely does not encourage one to develop one’s expertise. Ladies have been punished for being competent all through most of human history; the motion doesn’t have to repeat this course of.
6) Diffusion of info to everyone as ceaselessly as attainable. Info is energy. Entry to info enhances one’s energy. When an off-the-cuff network spreads new concepts and knowledge amongst themselves outdoors the group, they’re already engaged in the course of of forming an opinion — without the group collaborating. The extra one knows about how things work and what’s occurring, the extra politically efficient one may be.
7) Equal entry to assets wanted by the group. This is not all the time perfectly potential, however must be striven for. A member who maintains a monopoly over a wanted useful resource (like a printing press owned by a husband, or a darkroom) can unduly influence the use of that useful resource. Expertise and knowledge are also assets. Members’ expertise could be equitably out there only when members are prepared to teach what they know to others.

When these rules are utilized, they insure that whatever buildings are developed by totally different movement groups can be managed by and accountable to the group. The group of individuals in positions of authority shall be diffuse, versatile, open, and short-term. They won’t be in such a simple position to institutionalize their energy because final selections shall be made by the group at giant. The group could have the facility to find out who shall exercise authority inside it.

Jo Freeman has revealed eleven books and a whole lot of articles. She is presently ending a historical past and memoir of working for SCLC in 1965-66.

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