Friday, 13 January 2012

Spontaneity and organisation (three)

The formalisation of spontaneous relations into permanent membership organisations tends only to occur at the point where the lived element of those relations is falling into disrepair. Formalisation happens wherever those involved have encountered relational contradictions which they cannot resolve. Wherever it is recognised that spontaneous relations are approaching their own natural collapse, it is a common (innate even) response to salvage whatever is retrievable and preserve it as a content. 

Unfortunately, formalisation has the opposite impact to preservation and only accelerates the decompositional process by realising itself in the form of programmes, principles, membership criteria ect  in the place of that which once defined itself immediately. In the end, all that is saved is the memory of a set of lived relations which have just now become obsolete. The resultant ‘massification’ staged to compensate for the loss of a lived moment brings the organisation’s membership to a mysterious border which they cannot cross. The organisation does not interrogate this border but accepts it as a natural limit and in response seeks only to further increase its numbers. The success of any mass organisation is quantified in terms of membership numbers but the participation of individual members within the structure is qualitatively marginal – generally they add nothing but the weight of their adherence to a set of relations that have been reduced to rules, procedures and principles. 

It is important for organisationalists to understand that what they call ‘spontaneity’ and ‘anti-organisationalism’ is in fact the natural process of immediately structured relations undertaken by people engaging with the problems that are presented to them (including the problem of their own relations). The object of critique for ‘anti-organisationalists’ is not organising or organisations but rather organisationalism, that is the conflation of this organisation with the principle of organisation as a goal in itself. 

That which is called Anti-organisationalism does not, in fact, refute the necessity of being organised, the act of organising, or the existence of organisations – how could it when the entirety of existence is a question of organisation which moves from the most general to the finest detail? Everything in the world is always and already organised and is also in the process of actively organising against that prior organisation.  Anti-organisationalism explicitly argues: that which organises itself against the organisation of the world may only draw upon the organisation of the world; and that the world may only develop its organisational forms through the activity of that which organises against it. 

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