Formal vs Informal Organisation

"Celebrating or demanding or theorizing the importance of spontaneity has nothing to do with living it... i.e. engaging spontaneously will have come out of results and circumstances that were unrelated to any demand to do so. Celebration, theory or demands only come before or after the fact."

Is there an escape route off this page?
Is it "both/and" or "neither/nor", when so many are trapped in "either/or"?

Perhaps the middle road is not a balance or a compromise,
but neither here nor there?
Must this mean inconsequential?

Why am I thinking of Tim Leary? Demonic influence?
'Nourishing raisins in a cellular mass of inedible dough'?


Is this a forced decision between planning and spontaneity?

Organisers and arrangers of people seem inconsistent with the spirit, definition and etymology of anarchy. Revolutionary recruitment propaganda is the attempt to sidestep this conundrum by making it seem a voluntary system. Propaganda attempts to illustrate common ends and persuade common means to those ends. It is not necessarily authoritarian to be formal. Insurrectionists mimic this process with projectuality. The difference is only a matter of group size and permanence, extent of damage (down to the foundation or down to the rubble) and time in the short-term and long-term. Taken literally, both concern themselves with destroying and building, war and reconstruction. If metaphorical and without action, they are social critics and taken with a grain of salt.

Insurrectionists and revolutionaries fall into the circular logic, and in fact, progressive academic trap, that destruction must precede any thoughts of production and this all hinges on a clear vision of a future alternative: 1) a practical theory (the program, the plan), 2) destruction, 3) creation, 4) theoretical reformation, 5) adjustment in that order. It is thought our ability to plan and follow through is what sets us apart from all the rest. Weeds are not tolerated in any enclosed garden. They expose one to a possible contradiction between empirical processes and revolutionary ontology. In academic publication and zen gardening, if the form is not deemed appropriate, the content is rejected.

Spontaneity, on the other hand, posits no ends but a state of possibility. Rather than imposed organisation, which is composed of organizers and the organized (no matter how subtle the attempt to appear voluntarist), the spontaneists' idea of informal organisation is that it is autopoietic, organic. Social organisation is not the result of organizing attempts, but arrives as a surprise, an unanticipated synergistic consequence, the way love at first sight hits you on the back of the head like a brick through a bank window.

Desire and pleasure become key terms in their lexicon. There is a shaky marriage to individualism. But for many it is still a war rather than a marriage. Many still rally 'round the flag of insurrection where affinity is only a means to answer an invitation to a festival riot rather than a wedding celebration, forgetting that there is nothing festive about a riot except from the position of a detached spectator.

Formalists don't deny desire and pleasure: one must desire to engage, and for them, this requires intent, planning and commitment. Immediate gratification brings more uncertainty and pain than relief from it. Only the end will bring sustained pleasure. So too with a zen garden, seen as a product of labour. It must be a process of raising consciousness.

Any attempt to synthesize formal and informal organization brings in a degree of logical paradox. Democratic decision-making is thought to relieve the tension. Both sides agree. Agreement is just another middle-road compromise the "radical" accommodation. Persuasive force and sacrifice are maintained in a balance. Anarchy becomes just as impossible as purist individuality. Goethe is embraced when he says the only possibility of freedom is seen in solitude. Freedom is a wet dream or masturbatory event.

It is concluded that alienation, isolation, separation are necessary consequences to social living. Freud was correct after all: neurosis is as natural as apple pie and ice cream. It's the old good-of-the-many idea all over again. Aristotle and Hegel both endorsed the good of the state. But it is a circle. Whether labeled "state" or "collective", this form always produces contingencies of reluctant content and an opposing vigilance toward unwanted weeds. The battle between the wild and domestic is not only maintained but embraced.

Two opposing graphic images come to mind. One is of gears in a machine. The other smells of dried cum on crumpled sheets. In between is a person fervently digging a hole in a garden and a rosebush sprouting up behind him, in his blind spot, so to speak. He turns and seeing only a weed, digs it out with his shovel, pondering a more suitable place to transplant it. Nearby is a lone primitive hippie sitting lotus-wise smoking a hookah, ignorant of the spadefuls of dirt slowly burying him. All of this is pressed between two buns on its way into a hungry gaping mouth at the drive-thru window.

The graphic of zen anarchy is a rose/lotus blossom constrained within a circle. The Jain symbol representing uncertainty or indeterminacy the epistemology of "maybe" is a swastika. There is a reminder to the circle 'A' and a revolutionary fist as objects of fear or inconsequence.

I suppose there is the position that if we see people as flowers, there could be a game of mutual arrangement fun for all. But what do we do with weeds? The difference between flowers and weeds has always perplexed me. A zen garden is a masterful arrangement, but then, so is the wild view out my window, which illuminates neither planning nor production. It is even more zen! Row-crop farming was an arrangement made to accommodate machinery. In the Middle ages, planting was performed by scattering seeds to the wind. Spontaneous order here, ordered chaos there, free movement allows us to camp in either spot as our current mood sees 'fit'. Revolution here and there, now and then, fits neither with the destruction nor unification of totalities. Purism is all or nothing. Absolutism is with us or against. Being stuck in time is being trapped in a permanent situation lacking movement altogether.


 

HOME