The USS Quad Damage

Process = Anarchy

Any thinking about structure and process would lead to anarchy

A lot of people associate Anarchy with raping and pillaging, looting and burning. The thinking is that anarchists are raving lunatics who are looking for an excuse to pull out their weapons. Even phrases like “it's total Anarchy out there!” are completely normal, which sets deep in our consciousness making us believe that Anarchy = pandemonium. Worse, anarchy is associated with the lack of a structure and a process.

Anarchy is technically a society without a hierarchy (or more specifically, without any sort of -archy). Err.. Seeing as I’m so fundamentally inept at explaining the basic concept, I’m going to go back to the tried and true method of referencing Wikipedia. Go read it, I will wait.


OK, so that’s anarchy right there (see the pun, because Wikipedia is also anarchic). The basic assumption behind anarchy is that if you get rid of the po-lice, people aren’t going to go nutso killing your farm animals and taking your hot wife on the table whilst eating your potato chips!. In any case, while I’m not sure if I could keep my hands off your potato chips if the po-lice weren’t here to stop me, I’m willing to accept that we’d probably get along OK as a society, given the following constraints:

  • Process
  • Structure

That’s right. In order for a stateless society to work, like NFS, you need to have certain rules, a process and a structure according to which people may live. In fact, for an anarchistic society to work, this process and structure has to be built really well. For this reason, I have always equated anarchy with process and structure (also raping and pillaging, but that’s society’s fault).

Amazingly, this is a view that is not shared by most of the god-fearing, prime-minister fearing, boss-fearing, terrorist-fearing fundies. However, I’m coming to the conclusion that once it becomes glaringly obvious, the fundies will catch on (and eventually tell me whether I’ve ever heard of LOONIX). The reason that this will become obvious is the following: That just as anarchy requires process, process & structure begets anarchy.

That is, a good process and good structure cannot exist until you begin to break down hierarchies, which are artificial and really only get in the way of process. The organisation I work for is not Anarchical by a long shot, but our delineation of a direct line of reporting has caused our processes to flower, and the existence of these processes stops the hierarchy from becoming a big factor in our lives. I think a lot of companies are doing this: they’re becoming flatter organisations

As soon as people begin to take advantage of these processes along the managerial chain (which some company is bound to do one of these days) then an even further flattening will begin to take place, and eventually a single organisation which owns the world (again, inevitable) will become an anarchy.

On that day, I’m gonna eat all your potato chips.