Authentic vs. counterfeit orders

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” The post is part of my exploration of deeper generative orders for organizing. Other posts are here.

I introduced a distinction between authentic versus counterfeit operating limits in my post on the phenomenology of sociocracy. This distinction is inspired by Henri Bortoft.1 My argument is that authentic operating limits naturally belong together with the situation, while counterfeit operating limits are artificially forced to belong together with the situation. Similarly, I think it’s necessary to distinguish between authentic versus counterfeit orders.2 Authentic orders naturally belong together with the situation, while counterfeit orders are artificially forced to belong together with the situation. Or, in the language of Bohm & Peat, authentic orders are informed, while counterfeit orders are misinformed.3 And misinformation enfolded into an order have wide-ranging and negative consequences.4 Misinformation is not only rigid but destructive.5 A clearing up of misinformation is needed if energy is to be freed from its destructive pattern.6

Why is this relevant in our search for a deeper generative order7 of organizing? I think that a major problem arises when it is assumed, often tacitly, that principles and assumptions that are valid in one situation automatically are valid in another situation. For example, a conclusion from this post is that defined processes aren’t appropriate for intellectually intensive work. In other words, defined processes impose a counterfeit order on intellectually intensive work. Another conclusion from the same post is that personal practices are largely independent of organizational processes. In other words, organizational processes are a counterfeit order by not naturally belonging together with personal practices. And it’s destructive to artificially force organizational processes to belong together with personal practices. And, finally, the conclusion in this post is that people are not machines. Machines and organisms are different. In other words, applying specific assumptions applicable to mechanical or electrical systems to human systems impose a counterfeit order. This can produce more harm than good.

Counterfeit orders are misinformed. And misinformation is destructive. The deeper organizing order must be an authentic order!

Here is more on belonging together vs. belonging together.

1 The idea behind authentic versus counterfeit operating limits is inspired by Henri Bortoft who distinguished between authentic versus counterfeit wholes. The notion of authentic and counterfeit is also connected to the phenomenological idea of belonging together. See Simon Robinson & Maria Moraes Robinson, Holonomics: Business Where People and Planet Matter (Floris Books, 2014), pp. 51f & 150—153. See also Emma Kidd, First Steps to Seeing: A Path Towards Living Attentively (Floris Books, 2015), pp. 70, 90—95, 132.
2 The notion of ”order” extends beyond the confines of a particular theory. Order permeates the whole infrastructure of concepts, ideas, and values. Order enters the very framework in which human thought is understood and action is carried out. See David Bohm & F. David Peat, Science, Order, and Creativity, p. 98.
3 By ”misinformation” is meant a form of generative information that is inappropriate, rather than simply incorrect. Ibid., p. 238.
4 Ibid., p. 271.
5 Ibid..
6 Ibid..
7 A ”generative order” may be regarded as a concrete activity of the general. This takes the form of principles, aims, values, attitudes, and beliefs of all kinds. When a principle is regarded as valid, it means that it is taken as necessary. Ibid., p. 238.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts


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