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A Structural Theory of Cooperative Production

Definitions: Cooperative Consumption: is the shared use of resources amongst a group of people. For example, members of a cooperative household may buy groceries in bulk with a house budget, and then share cooking responsibilities amongst themselves. Additionally, a co-op house could be organized as a non-profit corporation, so that all members who paid rent towards the mortgage would also be co-owners of the building. Cooperative Governance: is the collective decision-making process employed by a group of people in governing their community. In a consensus-based organization, each person contributes to a direct, democratic forum and decisions are made on the basis of consensus (rough mutual agreement), rather than through elected intermediaries. Cooperative Production: is the production of goods or services by an organization, whose members employ cooperative governance in making all decision relevant to the business. All profits are shared because all members are co-owners of the business. is a structure which operates like a branching tree, wherein conduits of authority direct labor power to a centralized source, which then directs managerial decisions outward. We also use the phrase organ-body structure when describing an arborescent organization, because of the way in which specialized cells in specialized tissues perform delegated tasks in an organ of the organization. We contrast this type of organizational structure with rhizomatic, fractal, and nomadic structures. Rhizomatic Structure: a structure which operates by freely forming or breaking connections at any point. Analogy: tuber-like plants, fungi. Fractal Structure: is a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole.1

Arborescent Structure:

Mandelbrot, B.B. (1982). The Fractal Geometry of Nature. W.H. Freeman and Company. ISBN 0-7167-1186-9

Nomad Structure:

here, we use this term to denote an organization with a low barrier to entry, and which shares organizational characteristics with both rhizomes and fractals. The terms rhizome, fractal, and nomad structure may be used somewhat interchangeably, as they connote overlapping metaphors employed to draw the distinctions between the organizational structures we are attempting to portray.

Problem: Both cooperative consumption and cooperative production, as well as the consensusbased process by which both govern themselves, suffer from the what we here refer to as political diseconomies of scale. Because such organizations do not operate on a political majority, but function on the basis of consensus, where individual or minority dissent must be addressed by the group before the group may move forward, these types of organizations cease to operate as effective political bodies past a certain order of magnitude. When the group must consider a greater number of contradictory viewpoints, the decision making process begins to paralyze the productivity of the group. This means that while consensus governance operates efficiently for small groups, it faces increasing inefficiencies as the number of participants in the quorum grows. Abstract: We propose that a compartmentalized consensus-based organization would be capable of efficient self-governance, without having to resort to either majority rule or the selection of elected representatives. I. Background: Labor Alienation as a Function of Organization Growth In his 1884 Paris Manuscripts, Marx explains labor alienation thusly: The product of labor is labor embodied and made objective in a thing. It is the objectification of labor. The realization of labor is its objectification. In the viewpoint of political economy this realization of labor appears as a diminution of the worker, the objectification as the loss of and subservience to the object, and the appropriation as alienation, as externalization.1 Lawrence Simon, a commentator upon and editor of Marx's work, illuminates Marx's notion of alienation by paraphrasing what Marx considered non-objectified or pre-captialsit labor: A human being is a Homo faber in essence. We are beings who can labor in a unique way, capable of making both the object of our labor and the process of laboring intentional objects that we can control. The manner in which we labor expresses what we are. In particular, the relations with others that we have in our labor are a central factor determining the nature of our concrete being.2

Marx, Karl, Economic and Political Manuscripts, in Karl Marx: Selected Writings, edit. Lawrence H. Simon (Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett, 1994), 59-60. 2 Simon, Lawrence H., introduction to Karl Marx: Selected Writings, edit. Lawrence H. Simon (Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett, 1994), 56.

We intend to show how and why Nomadic structures are less likely to cause in their component workers the misery, detachment, and estrangement from work which Marx called alienation. Based upon the above, we may say that a consequence of alienation for the worker is to no longer appreciate the meaning of the task she accomplishes; she is divorced from the purpose, wider significance, and essence of her output. This effect is a determined result of authoritarian structures. In such organizations, new organs (or divisions, departments, etc.) are added to the structure at a decreasing exponential rate, if we assume a constant increase in the number of members in the organization. The curve showing alienation should then be the inverse of the curve showing the addition of new organs, so that each is approaching a vertical and horizontal limit respectively; the addition of no new organs and absolute alienation. While this graph is clearly a simplification, the notion that increased specialization and the consequent narrowing of the margins of creative action for the worker are both a property of a traditional organization's size should not be unfamiliar to anyone who has been employed in the workforce at one point or another. see figure a At first, the addition of a new individual implies the addition of an entire new organ within the apparatus. This can be observed in start-up companies. Every time you add a new employee, you get some one with a new skill set who fulfills an entire new purpose within the company. People like to work in start-ups because they find that they are allowed creative agency and are not alienated from their work in the start-up environment. It is perfectly apparent to the start-up employee what their work's relationship to production is, as well as what their work's relationship to everyone else's work is. In fact, the appearance of the manager as opposed to the entrepreneur, is coincident with the point at which the individual worker can no longer see far enough into the increasingly complex matrix of production to effectively co-ordinate her activities with her fellow workers as a self-directed unit or team. Therefore, middle mangers whose chief purpose is to survey and organize employees emerge. A manager differs from an entrepreneur as a despot differs from a gang leader. The former possesses mechanisms of control to enforce order and manufacture quiescence, whereas the latter lives moment

to moment by the tacit consent of the community. The gang leader or entrepreneur is respected, but their position is not fixed within a matrix of power, rather it floats on a plane of mutual respect. A worker in a start-up finds meaning in what they do because they are afforded a greater amount of agency in their work, and because that work has consequences for group production which they can directly effect and observe. Levels of personal agency tend to be larger in small organizations because there is a sufficiently low opportunity cost to considering, debating, and evaluating a new idea within a small group of individuals. In a larger organization, the political diseconomies of scale would dictate that more time would be spent considering new ideas, and so in these larger organizations, we find a lower median rate of personal agency in the workforce generally, as well as a more unequal distribution of that agency. In addition, employees at small firms find that if they stop working or their work quality declines, this will have consequences beyond just the termination of their employment- they will see what happens, for better or worse. This is what it means to not be alienated from one's work. You may notice that what we have defined as a not alienated worker is also a worker who is not highly specialized. A worker at a start-up company creates many things, wears many hats, and must learn new things on a regular basis. This does not mean that such a worker necessarily lacks a technical background, but rather that she employs that background rhizomatically, in connection with other disciplines, concepts, and problems. In a mature authoritarian organization, workers do none of these things. So, what happens when an authoritarian organization grows? New organs do develop, but occasionally. Most new individuals are absorbed by existent organs, which become increasingly complex. This increased complexity produces greater and greater specialization, which means that each individual is a smaller and smaller part of an ever larger whole. As workers are organized into ever larger homogeneous organs, the amount of time it would take to consider a new concept amongst the group increases. In fact, such a discussion would likely be untenable as the discussion process amongst so many individuals would derail production. Furthermore, as each worker contributes to a

smaller and smaller piece of the whole, and as the horizon of their responsibility and freedom to conceptualize shrinks, that individual no longer sees the effect or consequence, and hence meaning, of their work. This process is a determinate result of organizing workers into managed, homogeneous, and specialized organ-body structures. Specialization narrows the margins of creative thought for the worker. Specialization in this context should not be confused with having a specialty. Specialization here refers to the process whereby the increasing number of individuals in an organization results in the creation of ever more complex logic trees, whose structure implies the compartmentalization of labor such that each person does a smaller and smaller part of a task, repeating this part of the process instead of engaging in the whole. This type of machinic specialization in a large organization reduces the inefficiencies produced by a worker shifting from one task to another; instead of many workers accomplishing many tasks, each worker repeats the the smallest part possible of a given task throughout their day. However, as we shall see, this very specialization robs the organization of most of the worker's creative, and hence productive capacity, therefore producing unaccounted for inefficiencies. When creative agency is restricted to a few members of an organization, the creative contribution of the remaining members is naturally lost as untapped productive capacity. The wider the range of tasks or problems the worker has to accomplish and solve, the greater the range for creative expression she is then allowed. Conversely, when she no longer solves problems at work, and merely accomplishes tasks whose purpose is buried within the complexity of the organ, then that worker has become alienated; she is no longer participating in production. Workers in specialized organizations become proficient at their repetitive task, but do not gain competence in the broader creative process of production or obtain experience in the entrepreneurial planning which guides any enterprise. Because workers share no responsibility in the process of production, the entire burden of leadership is placed upon management, whose members increasingly feel put-upon by an irresponsible and helpless labor class. In turn, management becomes divorced from the labor process of production, and so loses the appreciation for labor in itself which might

otherwise be retained in a more synthetic structure. Thus, the class division between labor and management is born. Management is burdened with responsibility and leadership, but is divorced from the nobility of labor, while labor is alienated from participation in whole work through machinic specialization, and thus made dependent upon management through exclusion from the responsibility of leadership. A parental-familial model develops, to the detriment of the character of all involved.


Mobs, Fractals, and Body-Structures Instead of describing non-nomadic systems as authoritarian, which is inaccurate and

unhelpful, we borrow here from Gilles Deleuze Felix Guattari in calling these types of organizations arborescent. This is because, as with a tree, if you remove a component part from such an organization, such as a branch or several twigs, these separated parts cannot fulfill the functions of the whole tree or survive independent of the tree. Further, leaves provide sustenance downward and receive it in digestible form upwards, in the form of sap, but they cannot obtain sustenance from their environment independent of the tree-structure. This is not the case, for example, with numerous species of fungus. The position of the leaf is very similar to the position of the modern worker. She labors, but her output must first be transfigured through the tract of the organization to which she is attached before she can digest her labor. She cannot produce if she is detached from the corporate structure, an arborescent structure. That is, she cannot produce independently unless she completely alters her manner of production. But, then she will have changed her own form and will no longer be a part of the tree. A fungus can break apart, and these parts can continue to produce and sustain themselves as they did previously, albeit as smaller components. This same fungus can then re-combine itself without any difficulty or alteration to its structure, and then continue to produce as a larger fungus. Nomads are fungi. They are fractal.


Why Nomadic Structures Do Not Produce Alienation As each fractal, in even a very large organization, is a miniature of the structure of the

aggregate of fractals, the process of production is the same as at larger orders of magnitude within the system. The lieutenant arranges her soldiers, and her platoon is likewise arranged within a larger unit, which is likewise positioned, etc. However, each individual retains creative agency because no single person is dependent upon another, larger, part of the system. Individuals are dependent on one another, instead of upon the other organs of a body-structure. For example: if the I.T. department doesn't show up to work at an arborescent corporation, production grinds to a halt. But if the Air force is grounded in a battle, or if fuel supplies are cut, fractal infantry units are still capable of operating independently. If a husbandman's flock is scattered by storms in the night, the fractal boy shepards can look after their respective micro-flocks in the same manner as the husbandman would generally relate to the whole. Each fractal unit is capable of independent operation with only marginal reductions in the rate of production, as opposed to an arborescent organization, where the elimination of any one structure can halt production entirely. Thus, in fractal organizations, individuals and fractal-groups are mutually interdependent, whereas in arborescent organizations lines of dependency flow upwards along the conduits of power (sales, sales manager, planner, planner team manager, etc.); conduits which cannot be cut or re-arraigned without destroying the organization's productive capability. Imagine a fractal farm: The founding homestead is composed of four individuals. There are three cows, four goats, four pigs, 40 chickens, and approximately 50 acres of land, of which 15 are arable and 25 are pasturable (that which is arable is necessarily pasturable, but the opportunity cost of using it for pasture is prohibitive). Now, as the farm grows, and directorial decision making becomes a job in-and-ofitself, the farm faces stark structural choices in order not to be hampered by increasing inefficiency due to a lack of intentional planning. Consider the following options:

Structure A:

One of the farm's most experienced members takes on a managerial role, spending

almost all of her time in the office, accomplishing the logistical effort which has grown to a full time occupation due to the additional people, animals, and land. Individuals develop specialized tasks and areas of knowledge within the farm, and form specialized teams with localized bosses to handle the compartmentalized magnitude of the larger farm: the dairy team, the field team, the husbandry team, the baking & cheese-making team, etc. Workers then receive direction from the central managerial authority by way of their local managerial authorities. Thus, if the farm were 40 times larger, there would be 120 cows, 80 goats, 80 pigs, 800 chickens, and 300 acres of arable land; each of which would be worked by 5 groups of 15 workers, each of whom is in turn managed by 3 farm managers, who all report to the farm boss. Structure B: The farm members realize that they are growing and that organizational concepts and

decisions are an increasingly burdensome part of running the farm. However, they make a conscious effort to reject the arborescent/authoritarian model, and resolve to make all decisions by consensus. This works fine for a while, but as the farm continues to grow and organizational and planning decision making becomes a larger task, the consensus model begins to suffer from rising marginal costs and thus diseconomies of scale. More and more time is spent on making decisions and allocating resources, and each individual's proportional influence on decision making shrinks as the group gets larger. If the group decides to pursue a majority-vote model, then each additional farm member will increase the statistical value of each member's political disenfranchisement; the more farmers, the less weight each member's vote or idea carries in the polity. If the group decides to pursue a consensus model, in which decisions are hashed out completely until the group produces a unanimous synthesis, then the farm will be utterly paralyzed with the business of its own administration. Now, in example A, individuals would suffer from work alienation as their job became more specific, their responsibilities and work-agency more narrow, and their daily tasks ever more distant from the ultimate output of production. If the farm were large enough, we might imagine that one person's job might be just to sweep spilled milk and dirt from the dairy floor, all day long, for eight to

ten hours a day. Whereas in the start-up farm, that same person might work on as many as 5 to 6 different tasks, 3 of which involved problem solving or creative imagination, in the mature organization that flexibility and creative agency is increasingly marginalized. Of course, when organizations subjugate the creative energies of their workers, they lose huge aggregates of work potential; ideas, techniques, and possibilities are not only suppressed in the organization, but in the worker herself, so that the habit of not thinking and creating outside of certain strict boundaries becomes an incurable habit. Why do organizations do this, if there is so much productive capacity being wasted through worker alienation? The answer is fairly straightforward: the cost of organizational paralysis brought about by considering so many new views and paths is greater than the cost of forgoing the potential of those ideas. Corporations, governments, and other similar structures simply lack the political apparatus to integrate the full potential of all of their members. This is why we find the curious archetype of the successful person in the elite circles of our society today: she is inevitably capable of extended periods of complete obedience and execution, decades even, but is somehow cognitively capable of preserving the creative capacity to produce original structures and take daring flights, even though she does not have the opportunity to practice these skills for extraordinary lengths of time. This sort of individual can be safely refrigerated for the first fifteen to twenty years of her professional life and then be promoted into the upper levels of management, where she will not only find ample application for her strategic and creative ability, but will also be able to draw upon her deep industry experience, learned through the indenturehood of her early career. Returning to example B, farm members here suffer from potential political marginalization; each individual's opinion is proportionally less significant as the farm grows, but at the same time, the farm is increasingly stymied by decision making as more and more time is spent considering the increasing number of opinions. The farmers in example B had hoped to preserve each worker's voice in guiding the system of production, but in practice each worker's vote is worth less as the farm grows, and production is arrested by the management process. In essence, in example A, the farm is becoming

an authoritarian or arborescent structure, whereas in example B, the farm is becoming a mob (even if it is a polite one) and as a system of production it is approaching paralysis; a catatonic figure. A very clear example of the complications facing an expanding collective may be found in the early Zionist Kibbutz Degania, which in 1917 was confronted with the problem of integrating a large number new members into their consensus-based community. Up until the commencement of the hostilities in Europe in 1914, at which time the members at Degania numbered 28, all planning and allocation of tasks had taken place at nightly dinners: The affairs of the kvuta were managed in an informal and, on the whole, egalitarian manner. Every evening, at a general discussion in which all could participate, the following day's work was allocated. These discussions often continued late into the night and were known to last even until the beginning of work the following morning. Work began early.2 The recession brought on by the First World War and concurrent collapse of the market for citrus, olives, and other export-driven cash crops meant that self-sufficient collectives (kvutzas) like Degania, which grew grains and arable corps, were among the few farms able to take in the many itinerant Jewish farm laborers who had been put out of work. However, this sudden influx in membership eroded the purity of Degania's directly-democratic system: By 1917, Degania had some forty members, and at certain periods large numbers of seasonal workers were needed. This was one way of easing the plight of the unemployed and was accepted as a necessary evil. But the process of expansion led to a change in the structure of the kvutza, and wide dissatisfaction among its members. The general meeting was still the sovereign body, but day-to-day decisions about work and other matters were decided by a committee of four, instead of the spontaneous face to face discussions of earlier days. There was tension between the veteran members and the more recent arrivals, and complaints that the ordinary member no longer felt full responsibility for the affairs of the kvutza. At a general meeting in February 1917, these questions were thoroughly aired. Bussel and others suggested returning to the earlier structure of the kvutza, forgoing some of its land, and restricting its number to ten families. This suggestion, which was partly put into practice in the autumn of 1919, expressed a basic attitude to the question of the relation between the kvutza and the outside world. In the words of one of the founders [Tanhum Tanpilov]: '[I believe that we should] return to the past- not o the primitive way in which we used to live, but to the many positive aspects of our work then. We are not creators of ways of life for great multitudes; rather, we are an example for a small but idealistic group of people.'3 So, then, to quote the old standard: what is to be done? On the one hand we have the good intentions of the collectivist farm, in which the process of production is completely hamstrung in an
2 3

Henry Near, The Kibbutz Movement, A History, (Oxford University Press, Oxford: 1992), 37-38. Henry Near, The Kibbutz Movement, A History, (Oxford University Press, Oxford: 1992), 44.

attempt to fend off the alienating process. On the other hand, in example A we simply abandon all of the elements that had made the farm attractive in the first place, and gradually institute an arborescent structure. Where workers once made decisions through consensus, and experimental ideas were indulged and tested, where once everyone worked on multiple tasks each day, and work was a joyful process of the community undertaken with love, the farm has instead become a conventional, specialized apparatus with a clear chain of command. If this path is taken, then, the farm is systematized into an arborescent structure, the creative forces of the workers are in large part lost, and the farm faces the increased cost of labor as workers demand wages and benefits, as they no longer derive joy from, or feel invested in the productive process. This aspect should not be overlooked: alienated workers create real repercussions for organizations. Not only is creative potential lost as excess energy, but workers no longer extract joy and fulfillment from their work, and so demand alternatives: higher pay and more benefits. Economists should not laugh at terms like joy and fulfillment; study after study of workplace satisfaction have shown that pay is not the principally determinate variable. If unionized factory workers seem to always be on strike, it is not so much that they are greedy, or that their unions are led by self-serving socialists. Unlike some other workers, they simply extract nothing from their work except wages, and so every attempt to cut these are fought tooth and nail. Every small increase in the cost of living brings the factory worker back to the bargaining table, because instead of eating into only one portion of his pay, of which salary is only one component, these increases draw directly on the totality of her compensation for her labor power. If we look at figures d and c, one can see the two possibilities, the one in which workers are organized into specialized units on the farm, and the other in which there is no specialization (examples A and B, respectively), and any pairing of goat, worker, cow, chicken, and vegetable is possible, an unending horizon of assemblage permutations. In the first there is a rational chain of command to direct the allocation of labor, in the second the possible permutations choke out the very possibility of production. It as though we are faced with something like an event horizon. The singularity expands with exponential speed, but past a certain point, the force of the particulates' (or haecceities')

momentum is overcome by the weak force of gravity, and particulates begin to adhere to one another, which increases the weak force of these larger particulates, thus overcoming the momentum force of yet more and more particulates, so that great organizational masses are constituted out of this weak force, incarnating monstrous hulking apparati of capture, which then lumber consumptively across the once free planes of space. It is interesting to watch Google contend with this process and examine their frantic attempts to reconcile these conflicts. Google is a start-up culture, their very growth and survival depends upon being able to attract the brightest and most creative people. Google's commitment to the start up ideal, where workers are consciously and creatively engaged in the process of production, is not merely a moral principle. It is abundantly clear to the corporate management at Google that arborescence leads to inevitable ossification and death in the tech industry. The process may proceed over a decade or more, but even seemingly invincible monstrosities (like Microsoft) cannot survive when their workplaces do not have the dynamism to attract the most talented members of a highly mobile and fickle population of programmers. This same structural dynamism is needed to respond to the rapidly changing tech marketplace. Microsofts inability to adapt in the face of the declining relevance of the operating system may be compared to Googles militant and creative takeover of the mobile smart phone market as a case in point here. One of Google's most radical attempts to maintain dynamism while sustaining growth is their policy of allowing employees to work on their own projects, with whatever ad-hoc team they are able to assemble amongst themselves, for one whole workday every week. Essentially, Google has decided to risk the supposed inefficiencies produced by becoming an anarchist organization once a week on the bet that doing so will not only make their workers happier, but that a significant enough percentage of the ideas thereby produced will be profitable enough to make up the costs. Many major revenue sources such as google maps, many aspects of the android smart phone operating system, and google books began in this way. The same principle, that workers developing independent and experimental projects outside of managerial oversight is good for the collective whole, may be seen at work in the Israeli kibbutz:

As I work [at Samar], pushing the bunches into the sacks and tying them up, trying to avoid the savagely sharp spikes of the leaves, my memory goes back to Amiad, a Galilee kibbutz of which I was a member in 1961. Kohner, a kibbutznik with no academic qualification but an extremely fertile mind, invented the apple-picking platform. Noticing that only one person could stand on a ladder, that the ladders were clumsy ,and that the pickers often fell off them, he conceived the idea of an elevated wheelbarrow, a triangular wooden platform, with a wheel and two handles, that could be pushed close against the tree and carry three or four pickers. Kibbutz Amiad patented the device, which sold so well that Kohner was able to open a laboratory workshop and invent many other pieces of equipment, most of them connected with irrigation. His inventions became the basis of a factory that assured the economic future of the kibbutz.4 Thus, in advocating the merits of collective production, we concur with Gavron when he posits that, the kibbutz has definitely afforded opportunities for enterprising and imaginative people. Would Kohner have created so much on his own? Possibly he would have, as he was an extremely talented individual, but surely the support he received from the collective was a factor in his success.5 Google's dual boot arborescent/nomadic system is a radical experiment for American corporate culture, but still one we think that doesn't fulfill the full promise of cooperation and joyful work. We propose to wipe the whole hardrive and reboot into an anarcho-sydicalist environment, and believe that this is a possible and even practical objective.


Democracy, Consensus, and Cooperative Praxis [expand]


The Properties and Character of the Fractal Fractal structures have the benefit of enabling cooperation, creative agency, and a multiplicity

of endeavors whose cross-pollination is conducive to the imagination of new planes of production by the individual and through the collective itself: group production. Unlike organ-body structures which map the individual upon the surface of the body of the despot; you are an eyelet of Langerhans: produce insulin and prosper, fractals distribute microplicities such that they are arranged into macro crystals which mirror the micro arrangements. Cooperation and joyful production can occur in the
4 5

Daniel Gavron, The Kibbutz: Awakening from Utopia, (Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham: 2000), 266. Ibid.

small cell, whose structure is the same as that of the whole. Each part increases the economies of scale of the whole, but can operate independently without suffering an unacceptable marginal deficit. Thus, in the example of the farm, each fractal unit would be approximately the size of the original farm, but would operate in conjunction with a greater body of fractal farms. The total number of animals, amounts of land, and number of workers (fixed capital, variable capital, and labor) is increased by the same amount as the total farm grows, and the total aggregate output of the fractals comprising it is increased by the same amount (by more?). However, unlike in example A, this output is not achieved at the expense of worker alienation and the associated lost potential output naturally resulting from the construction of an organ-body managerial structure. Each fractal arrives at decisions by a cooperative praxis internally, but communicates as a whole body when arranging production with other fractal units composing the whole. This communication is a synthetic dialogue rather than an aggregation of command; with no supra-fractal to coordinate activities, work is to be undertaken on a pragmatic basis dictated by the requirements of the farm for that day. With the practical requirements of profitable production driving work consciousness, the immediate needs of the land itself drives the momentum of each day's work schedule, rather than member's egotistic wills or their abstract concepts. Instead of being arranged into specialized teams, each fractal unit remains a generalist unit, and each individual within that fractal is a generalist, operating on the basis of cooperative praxis along with her other team mates within the fractal. Further, fractals are formed on an ad-hoc basis, with members moving between existent fractals, and forming up new fractals as they please on a day-to-day basis. This cross-pollination not only ensures the maximum amount of freedom, but also helps to hold together the cohesion of the whole community, so that work fractals do not coagulate into entrenched political factions with vested interests or grudges. This model does not preclude the acquisition of specialized knowledge or skills by one individual or even an entire fractal, rather, each individual and team is able to retain the creative agency to develop projects independently and determine their direction through cooperative praxis while still acquiring specialized knowledge. In fact, fractal structuring encourages the acquisition of more

specialized skills and knowledge by individuals; because they are freer to develop projects and ideas in independent directions, new skills make the individual potentially more productive. Conversely, in a mature arborescent organization, creative agency and the acquisition of new skills and specialties is the preserve of the few. Any independent thought by workers making up the vast majority of the organ structures would simply introduce far too much inefficiency into the system. Arborescent structures are task-based because their political composition requires them to be. Organ units are too large to efficiently operate by a cooperative praxis, and so the organization must resort to authoritarian management in order to make decisions in a timely manner. However, as we have shown, an organization composed of smaller units is not plagued by these diseconomies of scale; each fractal component is capable of making decisions independently, through cooperative praxis. In any consensus or cooperative praxis-based organization, the time taken to arrive at any decision (t) is exponentially proportional to the number of members in that group. However, since a fractal organization produces directions within small, compartmentalized structures, it subverts this calculus. A limited number of individuals composing one fractal arrive at a decision. If it is an existentially important decision for the collective, then the views of individual fractals may be discussed among each other, with all fractals behaving as though they were unitary individuals. In such a debate, centers of gravity of opinion could form in a small group, as a dialectical debate arranges a synthetic unity among the minds of the small group. This small group can then synthesize a relative unity with larger aggregates of fractals, each of which has formed a unique synthesis. Thus, cooperative praxis and decision-making is made possible in the whole molar structure by the fluid compartmentalization of voluntary fractals. Then, we can see how an entire macro organization may operate on the basis of cooperative praxis, even though it is doing so in a compartmentalized manner, with each component coordinating with other components through cooperative dialogue as synthetic individuals: through and through the orders of magnitude. Orders of magnitude outward, not orders of operation upward. Since each of these units is a mirror of each other unit, and of the whole, they can transparently coordinate their

activities as conglomerations of aggregates. Fractal units can acquire specialized knowledge, but they then employ that knowledge in a generalist manner, instead of a task method. Therefore, a single fractal may undertake an experimental project, while continuing mainline production, and do so without unduly disadvantaging the productivity of the whole; its productive process is redundant (all fractals being generalists), but also unique to the specialty developed within the fractal. The nomads had metallurgists, and the platoons have intelligence specialists, but this technical knowledge did not result in specialization for the metallurgists or intelligence officers; they are able to retain wide margins for creative agency because of the structure of the organizations in which they operate. The capacity to imagine and create new directions and tactics is not the sole domain of the organ-despot as distributed according to a specified allocation of agency. In fractal structures, agency is localized. The virtue of this model is that the worker is not alienated, and so her creative potential is not lost in the necessary inefficiency of an arborescent organization. Further, the strategic lethargy typical of large arborescent organizations is avoided, as decision-making and the production of the tactical concepts governing interactions between fractal units and the exterior are localized to the individual fractals themselves, thus making the organization more responsive to external market stimuli. All the strengths of smaller, nimbler, more dynamic organizations can be retained at a macro scale through fractal organization. The solution to the stultifying modernity we find before us is to build new, unknown projects together, set in situations designed to allow the full creative force of the individual to be brought to bear; we must become nomads, commandos, kibbutzim, we must be highwaymen turned-farmers, we must be terrorist plumbers; intercepting the service calls and flying in via zip line, we must become unafraid of a whole participation in each other and merge our desires into a fearless determination to produce and fight for what we have made. Love, solidarity, and production through consensus.

from each according to ability, to each according to need