Thursday, January 9, 2014

Anarchy at Work: Self Managed Organisations

Are you sick of your boss? Most people would answer yes to that question without much thought and yet we are so often 'stuck' in our working rut that we don't even question the options out there. Why are so many companies based on a hierarchical setup when quite often, the wrong people are in the highest jobs on the ladder?

The quick answer is control. When creating companies, the creator wants to control 'their' company and so the hierarchy is created and continues to exist long after the creator has moved on. However companies don't HAVE to be organised this way.

Morning Star and Gore-Tex are two self-managed companies with well documented histories of success:

To me, the fact that these self-managed (anarchistic) organisations work as well as they do, proves that anarchy works in small communities. I've previously described my experience at an anarchist camp site, so I know first-hand how well they can be run and how conflicts can be resolved. All it takes is willing participation by all involved. 

The real challenge begins when we try to up-scale anarchism to larger communities and to countries. How do you deal with the minority of people who aren't capable of active participation in self-management (for example due to mental illness or drug abuse)? 

I expect the active community would have to decide how to deal with these people on a case-by-case basis. At least the result would be far more compassionate than the mandatory sentencing handed down by our current judiciaries. 

There are many challenges to be faced by modern anarchists, but at least we have working, self-managed organisations that are profitable and fully-functioning, that can act as inspiration for those of us who are considering starting a business.

Want to learn more about Anarchy? Read:

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