Review of “The Tyranny of Structurelessness” (1972)


Jo Freeman (writer).

Read in 2020.

I read the composite version on

A “laissez faire” group is about as realistic as a “laissez faire” society; the idea becomes a smokescreen for the strong or the lucky to establish unquestioned hegemony over others. This hegemony can be so easily established because the idea of “structurelessness” does not prevent the formation of informal structures, only formal ones. Similarly “laissez faire” philosophy did not prevent the economically powerful from establishing control over wages, prices, and distribution of goods; it only prevented the government from doing so.

An argument for formal structure for anarchist purposes, against one elite, without using the terms of anarchism. “Some middle ground between domination and ineffectiveness can and must be found.” As such, it’s very will written, to the point that feminism becomes almost incidental to Freeman’s profound organizational insight.

References here: “Animation Directing Class, Higashi Koganei Sonjuku II School Opening: Urging at Least One Seedling to Sprout” (1998).

text non-fiction