Anarchy as Optimal Versatility

In the very teachings that Christians claim to base their religion on we find clear revelations of the non-institutional structure of the flow of life and innovation:

“Ye are the salt of the earth”

with the accompanying admonition to distribute and mix throughout the world.

Shallow readings of this can be viewed as admonitions to send out missionaries and to evangelize boldly. But a deeper reading will connect with the anti-institutional, anti-organizational and even anarchist nature of the most innovative streams of inspiration and life. Freedom is ever at odds with the propagation of organizations and the rise of institutions.

Mass movements very quickly gain an organizational, institutional structure that begins immediately to destroy the pure creative fiber that is at the foundation of whatever is good in the initial inspiration. There rarely is anyone bold enough, wise enough, to remind the inspired, who are in the process of being carried away with the euphoria of revelation, that “Ye are the salt of the earth”. Freedom is quickly challenged and slowly (sometimes quickly) falls prey. Group dynamics begin to dictate individual behavior and constrain what is and what is not acceptable. At this point the inspiration has been hijacked and the demonic nature of the institution begins to hold sway.

This is not to say that all forms of individual behavior are harmonious with life and innovation. Indeed there are sociopaths and psychopaths that would, if permitted, exploit any situation or collective or group. But it is often the tyranny of the majority, expressed in the form of an organization, that exerts its destructive will on the individual, limiting the free action of the individual and the unfettered creation of living diversity.

It is one of the apparent mysteries that inspiration and degradation share such close quarters, that the euphoria of inspiration can so quickly turn into evil. Part of the unraveling of this mystery surely lies in the fact that inspiration gives power and power very easily corrupts — and in groups, humans do things that they would hesitate to do individually. For in quietness we see most clearly.

But there are organizations that emerge spontaneously and are purely cooperative, transitory phenomena, not violating or leading to the loss of freedom. This kind of grass roots behavior is highly fluid. In its purest form it leads to the accomplishment of some immediate goal at which time the collective dissipates into its creative, living pieces, gathering new energy and diversity, becoming better prepared for the next emergent goal.

This, though seen faintly, through a glass darkly, keeps our hope alive.