more on The Tyranny of Structurelessness
From: C2pattee (
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 10:32:05 -0600 (MDT)
There was no thread, since I threw in the reference to The Tyranny of
Structurelessness at the end of a stream of consciousness observation that
started with old folks and ended with a comparison between cohousing and the
women's movement.

However, in a nutshell you have described the problem that tore apart many of
those very early Women's Liberation groups.  In a group without defined
structure, power flows to she who knows the unwritten rules - and exercises
them to her own advantage.

Christine Pattee
Greater Hartford CT Cohousing
c2pattee [at]

Message: 1
From: "Ken Collerman" <kcollerm [at]>
To: <cohousing-l [at]>
Subject: Re: [C-L]_more on The Tyranny of Structurelessness
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 11:53:42 -0700
Reply-To: cohousing-l [at]

I couldn't find the thread on this subject, so don't know what has been
written so far about this subject. (I prefer a threaded discussion forum
over a list server for this.)  However, I'd like to add my two cents anyway.
At Windsong we have a small number of members who do not like written
policies or agreements of any kind.  The two reasons I've heard for not
having policies (or agreements) are:

1) Policies are created by people who just want to have control over others.

2) We don't need policies because we can just use common sense.

We have only 7 policies, 5 years after moving in.

The result, as I see it, has been a lot of confusion and a minority taking
control by making decisions, using their "common sense".  Windsong is a
great place to live, however, I think we've lost some of our democracy.

Ken Collerman
Windsong Cohousing
Langley, BC

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