|Don't ask to ask, just ask|
Re: Organizational Culture (Part I): Introduction -- autogestionby Discipulus (Abbot)
|on Jun 12, 2021 at 16:30 UTC||Need Help??|
as always thanks for you sane encyclopedism.
>The recent turmoil in Perl's organizational culture ... made me realise that organizational cultural problems are dauntingly difficult ... For therapy ...
I was and I'm exactly of the same mood, even if probably by a very different starting point. In my contributing in the above turmoil I suggested to face the problem analyzing the autogestion theory. I also suggested to hire a professionist (a sociologist or a psychologist) to help the perl community to get out of this impasse
I said I come probably from a different starting point: I grown in the world of movements, internationalism, autogestion and so on. For me the Organizational Colture (thanks for this and links: it was an unkown word binomial expression until now) means autogestion and even if it is a clear concept in my mind I find it difficult to find some useful link: Workers' self-management is something very near even if in a specific and very different context.
Infact I have started a little research (probably on the same time of you) to find some theoretical approach to autogestion but unfortunately it seems I was not able to find something.
All movememnts I have partecipated over years claimed to be autogestioned even if many times it was just, sadly, an empty word, a slogan.
- A step back to pre history -
I enjoyed the read you proposed to us but I'd like to stress to another point of view. Before the Neolithic Revolution there was not the warrior class, nor wars in the sense we intend todays. The hunting and gathering society was not pervaded by idea of prevarication ( update see below for the wrong choice of word). The hunter is not a warrior: they hhave a profond respect for the animal they kill and for other beings and among them for humans.
By the other hand with the advent of agricolture was possible to accomulate resources and recently (I cannot find the article I read about it..) historicians moved the Age of Warriors in the very near past, around 7000 BC, as consoquence of the possibility to steal and defend the resource accomulated with a newer and more productive agricolture.
It is now (well not now but 7000 BC ;) that the original sin of the violence-power binomial appeared in its whole terrible form. We are still sitting there.
- The mother of all sins: the power -
So I'd date these ancient genetic impulses away from the hunter-gatheres era to a more recent period where the violence made it possible to put hands on a big source of food produced by a new agricolture. The accomulation of resources was specularly followed by the accumulation of power: city-state arose here and there ruled by a king, owner of the military power.
Power comes into two flavors and while the first one is obvious (someone has some power) the latter is the other side of the coin: the frustration of not have power. Once the power concept (with its corollaries: prevarication and violence) it seems impossible to escape from it: or you have it in some degree or you have not. You cannot de-draw yourself from this background because everything is permeated by power. Lack of power bring frustration.
Frustration by other hand makes some, many people to over excercise the power they hold, maybe in some micro environments: family, work toward their subjected, online communities..
- How to break this chain? -
We are so assuefacted to be the target or to excercise power that we end considering it something natural, inherent to the human being. This is not true and if we look around in our lives the best we can remember and live are situations where the power is absent and more prominently something different come in play: affect, esteem or love.
Back to my little reasearch, only few things come to my mind: the Yugoslavian organizations of work was prominently aimed to revolt upside down the factory environment and was directly against capitalism but also against sovietic dirigism. I was not able to find some theoretical paper about this and anyway I think it is too much bound to the economic and political environment to be of some use.
The other situation where autogestion was really applied was during the brief summer of anarchism, in Spain but I suspect they had no the time for too much theoretical investigations and they were wiped out so quickly to left very few. I have a book by Pierre Besnard, "The New World" and it contains a lot theoretical work (I must confess I have only glanced it..) but strictly bound to the French industry workers and federations of workers.
More recently Noam Chomsky probably touched these arguments but I'm not able to point to something precisely due his huge production.
In the middle '90s of the laste century Neozapatismo seriously affronted the crucial point of power, breaking it and reverting it using a mix of autogestion, comunitary control and personal responsability.
How this is related to free software projects? A lot in my opinion. What I saw recently demonstrates we ( no|one|many perl communities ) are at a primary school level in this respect.
I think we need a big theoretic effort aimed to squeeze a definition of how an open source community or multi community has to work togheter sanely in the era of ipercomunication and lockdown. I have a strong suspect that a Code of Conduct is not enough at all. A new ethic of collaboration must be defined. The little power we have must be dissected, redistribuited and organized sanely and it cannot only be the origin of judgemnts and bans. Why cant we ask for the support of sociologists or psychologists in this? As I said we can live with some bug in the source code, but I suspect we cannot in community melting down itself.
The other option is to capitulate.
There are no rules, there are no thumbs..
Reinvent the wheel, then learn The Wheel; may be one day you reinvent one of THE WHEELS.