“But I just don’t see how you can plausibly eliminate all concentration of power within large organisations and/or the wider society.” Go read Stewardship by Peter Block to find out how. Go investigate the website of The Center for Partnership Studies.
“The Center for Partnership Studies is a catalyst for cultural, economic, and personal transformation- from domination to partnership, from control to care, from power-over to empowerment. CPS’s programs provide new knowledge, insights, interventions, and practical tools for this urgently needed shift. We invite you to explore the many resources CPS offers to build a better future for yourself, your family, your community, your nation, and our world.”
A domination hierarchy has certain characteristics, a partnership oriented system has others. Partnership is not anarchy or free-for-all. It just doesn’t use fear, coercion, punishment, and control to get things done. Rigid rankings go away. It’s not dissimilar from monogamy and poly (not that monogamy has to be inherently coercive, although it often is). There are rules and structures in poly relationships but they are agreed upon and designed by the participants, not by others. You don’t need concepts like “cheating” and subsequent dissolution of the relationship as a result because there is no need to cheat when you can openly agree to multiple partners. This doesn’t mean that there is never any deception in poly relationships, because …. human beings, but that is not a built-in part of the paradigm. Honesty and open communication, doing your own inner work to deal with your own baggage, independence, mutual respect, etc. — these are the hallmarks.
Obviously, any type of healthy relationship would thrive with those and could encourage them, but monogamous relationships tend to be more co-dependent, more ownership-oriented, more stifling. I say this from first hand experience, because my husband and I were monogamous for the first 20+ years together. We had a pretty healthy and egalitarian relationship. We opened up because we were so happy together and so in love that we wanted to add to that and see “what else.” And, what we found was a way to be true partners in life and love rather than “husband and wife.” We are both much happier and have better relationship dynamics now that we are no longer monogamous.
There’s a lot of correlation between dominance hierarchy (patriarchy) systems across the board — from government, to private industry, to private relationships. And a lot of correlation between partnership-oriented ways of living, both in the public and private sphere. I live and work in partnership oriented paradigms and am very happy to see the world beginning to move a little bit in that direction all around.
I just realized I could quote you some of the highlights of the Block book via new Kindle feature that keeps a notebook of highlighted segments. It’s long, so I’ll put it in a separate comment.