Thursday, March 20, 2008

Scattering of Authority

My old discussion about the Empire Superstructure has come back to me during a presentation about heterarchy. Yes, it is what it sounds like. I am now quite enamored of the idea. What was not discussed during the lecture is how the nature of power shifts. Some actors have a monopoly on power or advice during only a few given points. These times of power can change by the day. I wonder if we can therefore conceive of the international system as being a half-ordered, constantly-shifting system of governance. We'd better hope so, because there are things that we need each other for.

At the end of the lecture on hetarchy, I wrote in my notebook that hetarchy was, quite simply, a quantum theory of non-power-endpoint (shifting) international organization with a focus on the absolute necessity of superordination. Let's be honest: There is probably someone or something that can do Job X better than I or my organization can. Perhaps we would be well off to apply the model to the micro scale, too, like in cities and stuff. Or families.

Or friends.