The Problem with Theories of Organization

Submitted by PerfectSociety in PostLeftAnarchy

One of the first ideas that led me to becoming a Post-Left Anarchist was the realization that theories of organization are at best a waste of time (after all, people often form effective organizations despite not having read up on these theories) and at worst dangerous to the cause of liberation (when the organization becomes an end in itself rather than a mere means). Theories of organization necessarily encourage the formation of organized political entities that focus on maintaining the integrity of said organizational structure more so than on liberation itself. Stirner's Union of Egoists, in contrast, is truly an innovative and remarkable concept - it highlights the fact that people can organize without placing the value of the organization as an end in itself.


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Brick wrote

I agree and am a little freaked out by the tomes of text some anarchists expect you to read in general just to oppose hierarchy and oppression. We don't need to be over-read scholars to be anarchists and it does more damage than good when anarchists build intellectual walls around their movements. It's just another form of vanguardism.


rot wrote

People who read a ton of theory are not necessarily good at praxis or understanding theory and how it applies.

I never read any Marx but I feel like I get the idea


PerfectSociety OP wrote

This is an excellent point. It's analogous to the role that written language has played in early civilization - a means of restricting the dissemination of knowledge so that it can rest in the hands of an elite.


theblackcat wrote

I think organizing is something instinctual to us. Left to our own devices, humans will always form groups, societies, organizations just to survive. I don't see why we would need theories to tell us how to group together.


PerfectSociety OP wrote

I don't see why we would need theories to tell us how to group together.

Agreed. That's precisely my point. We don't need theories telling us how to organize. What we do need is a philosophy like Egoism that helps protect us from being subjugated by that which we create.