Non-Hierarchy and Power

Horizontalist organizing also does not mean a disavowal of power dynamics. On the contrary, ensuring that we are not replicating the exact power dynamics we wish to undo actually requires deep consciousness of power, a whole lot of structure, internal work, self-reflection and openness to critique. On an individual level, upon honest reflection, many of us will likely see our own tendencies toward not sharing power, and in this reflection, we can be reminded how much our own internalized patriarchy has conditioned us.

On a group level, it requires intentional structure and coordination to directly address the different experiences and knowledge that people bring with them. We do this by sharing knowledge & experience between people, and encouraging people to take on new roles & responsibilities. We do this by creating collective structures where we can practice systematic, constant, and uncomfortable accountability with each other. An alternative practice of leadership can be one that is shared, that emphasizes deep listening and caregiving, promoting a culture of participation in which everyone feels that their voice is valuable, and a consciousness of how power dynamics impact participation and emotional well-being.

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