BraceLand: The GitHub Debacle and Why Holacracy is Bullshit
I had not heard the term “holacracy” before this post, but then I looked it up and found this: Holacracy Constitution. It’s full of crap like this:
Once a Process Breakdown occurs within a Circle, the following shall occur until due process is restored, as reasonably assessed by such Circle’s Process Auditor: (i) the Process Auditor for such Circle shall gain the authority but not the requirement to take over and themselves fill the Role of Facilitator or Secretary of such Circle; and (ii) the Process Auditor for such Circle shall hold and energize a Project to seek restoration of due-process within such Circle; and (iii) extending the terms of Section 3.3, the Facilitator of such Circle shall gain the authority to judge the accuracy and validity of any arguments presented to validate Tensions or Objections.
Are you fucking kidding me? I can’t even look at it for more than five minutes without wanting to gouge my own eyes out.
I’m also suspect of any system that claims to have no managers or decentralized authority. Power is always there. Systems that coerce people into pretending that it’s not, or that a real hierarchy, with real differences in power isn’t really a big deal, is just another crummy trick by people who have more power on people who have less so that the people who have power don’t have to feel uncomfortable about their actions or take the responsibilities that go along with that power.
Nod. I’m actually amazed by the fact that it seems worth the bother to call this bullshit. How can you look at me with a straight face and talk about power with absolutely no analysis of power? When I was a kid we had a parakeet who would play hide-n-seek by sticking his head under a collar. Like we couldn’t see it if it couldn’t see us. That’s cool. You can pretend heriarchy doesn’t exist. You can pretend that by drinking a gallon of Process Auditor Circle kool-aid you’ve drowned it all. Go for it. Don’t let me stop you. But don’t ask me to pretend I can’t see you there, with your beak in the collar of my dad’s wool shirt.
I’m used to trying to break down crypto-hierarchies. Hierarchy that exists behind the curtain. But there’s no curtain when there’s no shared ownership. That’s just hierarchy. You own the company. I work for you. If we’re not a collective, that is the score.
I refer you also to Jo Freeman’s seminal (or not that seminal, if no one has ever read it) essay, The Tyranny of Structurelessness.
It is exhausting when people run around all “when I was a young radical” or “this isn’t new, you guys” but it is equally exhausting to start from scratch every time.
PS. Why are “Tensions” and “Objections” proper nouns, but “accuracy” and “validity” are not?