Thursday, January 31, 2008

Individuality and collectivity not necessarily opposed

Although people may think so. Take collective living for example, otherwise known as sharing a house with a bunch of people. You usually have your own private space, but you come together as a household on various things. You all decide how chores will be divided up, cleaning etc.., grocery shopping, maybe a rotating schedule of meal preparation, and bill paying. But in your own space you can be as individual as you want, write nihilist novels, whatever. Your freedom isn't infringed on by these rules, but things that you would have to do anyways if you lived alone are decided on by the people who depend on the rules in order to live in a clean, functional, house. You can apply the principle to businesses too, or to any enterprise where multiple people are needed in order to achieve whatever end is aimed at. The difference between this model and how most of the world works is how the collective aspects are organized. The household model could be run in a family type situation where the power to decide who does what is possessed by one or two people, who then order everyone else to carry out the tasks and penalize them when they don't follow through. Cooperation and cooperative decision making is an alternative method of organizing the same work. Businesses run the same way as the family dominated model but can equally be organized in a way that undermines it, even if due to the complexity and size of certain examples there needs to be a more complex system of decision making in order to make it work.

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