diary at Telent Netowrks

The informal groups' vested interests will be sustained by the#

Thu, 11 Sep 2003 21:55:10 +0000

The informal groups' vested interests will be sustained by the informal structures that exist, and the movement will have no way of determining who shall exercise power within it. If the movement continues deliberately not to select who shall exercise power, it does not thereby abolish power. All it does is abdicate the right to demand that those who do exercise power and influence be responsible for it. If the movement continues to keep power as diffuse as possible because it knows it cannot demand responsibility from those who have it, it does prevent any group or person from totally dominating. But it simultaneously ensures that the movement is as ineffective as possible. Some middle ground between domination and ineffectiveness can and must be found.
'The Tyranny of Structurelessness', by Jo Freeman

It's actually nothing to do with the Free Software movement or the Open Source tribe(sic); it was first printed by the women's liberation movement in 1970. But, next time I see Eric Raymond's articles on ZDNet or Cnet or wherever and find myself muttering things like "I didn't vote for him", well, hmm.