Saturday, October 25, 2014

Leaderless leadership

Bryant has a couple of interesting recent posts. In this one he again talks about Brown's rules of form, on how we must draw a distinction to discuss ( or think) anything, yet with each distinction we lose sight both of the unmarked space outside the distinction and the fact that the distinction so drawn becomes invisible to us. And yet we can take this process into account with second order observation, at least opening our distinctions to this excess beyond them, if not the impossible task of grasping the entirety of the unmarked space.

In this one he uses a different distinction to talk about something similar. Some hold the anarchist/communist distinction to be the ideal, that egalitarian fairness and equality should rule the day. And yet adherents can and do get caught up in this 'party' line which becomes just as totalitarian and the other distinctions against which it fights. Another problem is that with no leader it's hard to make decisions, sliding into the sort of pluralist lack of focus that equalizes all views and ends up equivocating. To prevent such a slide Bryant recommends Lacan's notion of the plus-one, that 'leadership' role in any group that sort of represents the unmarked or empty space. That reminds us of that vast background against which we draw our distinctions, and what lies on the margins or outside them. And that focuses the group enough to make definitive decisions.

He doesn't give an example of how this would work in a practical group situation. But in the comments someone recommends Starhawk's book on horizontal decision making, which apparently was instrumental in the Occupy movement: The Empowerment Manual. I look forward to reading it, particularly Chapter 6: Leadership roles for leaderless groups.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.