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Rules for Radicals,” the iconic liberal organizing manifesto by Saul Alinsky, was an unlikely bible
for tea party activists as they tried to mobilize their movement last year. Now, as they struggle to demonstrate their impact and staying power, they have another unlikely book to live by — a kind of management guide written by a couple of Stanford MBAs that extols the virtues of decentralization.
“The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations,” has a thesis with understandable attraction for tea partiers — that poorly funded groups and companies loosely organized around basic shared ideas can change society, often by outmaneuvering governments or mega-corporations.
"One thing that business, institutions, governments and key individuals will have to realize is spiders and starfish may look alike, but starfish have a miraculous quality to them. Cut off the leg of a spider, and you have a seven-legged creature on your hands; cut off its head and you have a dead spider. But cut off the arm of a starfish and it will grow a new one. Not only that, but the severed arm can grow an entirely new body. Starfish can achieve this feat because, unlike spiders, they are decentralized; every major organ is replicated across each arm.
But starfish don't just exist in the animal kingdom. Starfish organizations are taking society and the business world by storm, and are changing the rules of strategy and competition. Like starfish in the sea, starfish organizations are organized on very different principles than we are used to seeing in traditional organizations. Spider organizations are centralized and have clear organs and structure. You know who is in charge. You see them coming.
Starfish organizations, on the other hand, are based on completely different principles. They tend to organize around a shared ideology or a simple platform for communication- around ideologies like al Qaeda or Alcoholics Anonymous. They arise rapidly around the simplest ideas or platforms. Ideas or platforms that can be easily duplicated. Once they arrive they can be massively disruptive and are here to stay, for good or bad. And the Internet can help them flourish.
So in today's world starfish are starting to gain the upper hand."
David Cameron will announce this morning that he hopes to liberate four areas from the strictures of red tape and central government as he attempts to deliver his idea of the "Big Society".
Liverpool, the Eden Valley in Cumbria, Windsor and Maidenhead in Berkshire and Sutton in south-west London will become "vanguard communities". All four authorities approached the government to experiment with running the parts of their public services they think they can administer better.
They may have central government budgets handed over to them to administer at street level, attempt to improve local transport links themselves, take over command of local assets such as pubs and community services, have a greater say over planning permission or local transport and, in the case of Liverpool, allow volunteers to keep a popular local museum open for longer hours.
Originally posted by ~Lucidity
Bible? What?! The Tea Party has no atheists? No Jews? No Muslims? I smell a new viral hate campaign a-brewing
[edit on 7/31/2010 by ~Lucidity]
Originally posted by ~Lucidity
As for the old centralization/decentralization debate? This always goes in cycles. The U.S. is probably due for a decentralization cycle, which I am interpreting as the return of more government control to the states and less control for the federal.