Time for an epic response; thanks for giving me an incentive to write it out.
1. Guide: a leader who persuades by example and suggestion, based on experience or informed speculation (expressed as such). Practices voluntary relationships. Legitimate.
2. Master: a leader who manipulates through duress or deceit, based on experience or misinformed speculation (often concealed). Practices coercive relationships. Illegitimate.
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In my opinion, legitimate leadership requires at least 13 conditions:
*Active Choice – followers actively and voluntarily decide their roles with informed consent, constantly re-evaluate
*Anarchistic Skepticism – the burden of justification rests on guides rather than followers
*Contextual Merit – guides' proficient in a specific context
*Egalitarian Integrity – absence of force and fraud in interactions
*Egalitarian Purpose – no compensation requested beyond effort expended or direct need; guides and followers live in the same material conditions
*Empowering Trajectory – concrete processes for empowering followers, sharing information or materials, rotating roles, decentralizing agency, and rendering further guidance unnecessary
*Finite Duration – guidance duration directly linked to mutually-agreed upon goal(s)
*Immediate Recall – the followers' ability to immediately revoke status of guide(s)
*Radical Accountability – guides redress force, fraud, and failure
*Radical Transparency – honest and empowering explanations of guides' logic and aims
*Responsible Teaching – guides want responsibility to followers rather than power over them
*Social Leveling – the followers thwart guides' senses of entitlement, arrogance, & contempt
*Stakeholder Accessibility – the inclusion of all parties deserving agency, based on expressed or implied need
* * *
Gently, she grasps her tender lover's unpracticed cheek. They brush faces, touch lips. She guides with her affection, encouraging learning in the most compassionate of ways. As their intimacy grows, they reach a balance together, her inexperienced partner becomes a competent lover. And even with all of her practice, she could not help but have her own learning stimulated. Now they walk their path hand-in-hand; neither guides, neither follows.
He remembers his early youth, when his elders taught him to walk in the forest and gather his nourishment. He remembers their confidence, his apprehension, as he first stepped into the bush, nervous, with them. But now he often walks under the pale light of the moon, fetching the acorns, with only his memories keeping him company. Soon he will teach his little ones to become sons of the oaks, the cycle starting afresh.
* * *
“Leadership would emerge naturally among the members of a society, very much as it does among children, and confine itself to taking initiatives only when individual ones are impractical. The followers should be the ones to decide whom they will follow and should be free to change leaders as suits their convenience. In a continuum culture like that of the Yequana, the functioning of leaders is minimal and it is possible for any individual to decide not to act on the leader's decision if he prefers...”
–Jean Liedloff, the Continuum Concept
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Immunization to Authoritarianism
If we want to live without rulers, we need empowerment to immunize us from the threat of authoritarian relationships and defeat the potential pitfalls of leadership.. In order for that to happen, we need to understand the psychology of perception and prejudice, creativity, intelligence, learning, logic and fallacies, intuition, critical thinking, argumentation, problem-solving, planning, systems analysis, and risk management. Those of us who know these things (such as myself) would do well to act as guides and share our knowledge. So here goes:
-psychology (self-actualization processes; cognitive biases; psychological heuristics)
-prejudice (cognitive prejudice; affective prejudice; behavioral prejudice)
-creativity (imagination; inspiration; intuition)
-increasing intelligence (“seek novelty; challenge yourself; think creatively; do things the
hard way; network”)
-increasing learning (working memory; attention)
-logic (formal v. informal; inductive v. deductive)
-reason (logic) v. intuition (instincts, associations)
-logical fallacies (search: “Critical Thinking as an Anarchist Weapon”)
-awareness of disinformation techniques
-critical thinking as "the process of purposeful, self-regulatory judgment, which uses reasoned consideration to evidence, context, conceptualizations, methods, and criteria."
-critical thinking components (skepticism; logic; clarity; credibility; accuracy; precision;
relevance; depth; breadth; significance; fairness)
-critical thinking requires: "falsifiability, logic, comprehensiveness, honesty, replicability, sufficiency"
-critical thinking requires: “humility, integrity, courage, autonomy”
-critical thinking requires: “follow through, open-mindedness, foresight attention, inquisitiveness, thoroughness, fair-mindedness”
-critical thinking requires: willingness to criticize oneself
-"Critical thinking clarifies goals, examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, accomplishes actions, and assesses conclusions."
-argument mapping (contentions, premises, co-premises, objections, rebuttals, lemmas)
problem-solving (techniques & methodologies; brainstorming; collaboration; networking)
-lateral thinking (idea-generating tools; altering focus; selection; application)
-planning principles (PsyBlog goal hacks: stop fantasizing; start committing; start starting; visualize process not outcome; avoid the what-the-hell-effect; sidestep procrastination; shifting task-or-goal focus; reject robotic behavior; focus on the aim not the goal; know when to stop; if-then plans; verbalization & visualization of processes; contrast positive fantasy /indulging with negative reality / dwelling)
-planning methodologies (STOP, OODA loops; SWOT analysis; PDCA cycles; flow charts)
-working backwards (goal; strategy; tactics; timeframes; deadlines; review)
-systems analysis (complexity; emergence; fragility/resilience; systempunkts;
+risk management (risks; threats; vulnerability; mitigation)
TL;DR – Skeptical of Guides, Hostile to Masters, Deliberate as Fuck, Destroy Power Through Collective Self-Empowerment, Tell Everyone.