Douglass Blvd Christian Church

an open and affirming community of faith

n open and affirming community where faith is questioned and formed, as relationships are made and upheld. 

Groups and Authority Claims

Derek's Pastor's Class this past Sunday continued the topic of functional prerequisites for the existence of social groups. I found myself thinking of that class when reading William Burroughs's Naked Lunch. Scattered among the drug-addled scatological passages we find the following gem:

"Democracy is cancerous, and bureaus are its cancer. A bureau takes root anywhere in the state, turns malignant like the Narcotic Bureau, and grows and grows, always reproducing more of its own kind, until it chokes the host if not controlled or excised. Bureaus cannot live without a host, being true parasitic organisms. (A cooperative on the other hand can live without the state. That is the road to follow. The building up of independent units to meet needs of the people who participate in the functioning of the unit. A bureau operates on opposite principle of inventing needs to justify its existence.) Bureaucracy is wrong as a cancer, a turning away from the human evolutionary direction of infinite potentials and differentiation and independent spontaneous action, to the complete parasitism of a virus."
One of the functional prerequisites we discussed was the "preservation of order." We didn't really explore the topic, but it sounded like the preservation of order involved something like the kinds of claims to authority traditionally made by states. Certainly it wasn't anything like the "cooperative" Burroughs describes above.

Is a cooperative in Burroughs' sense possible or desirable? To what extent could a religious body like a Christian church function as a cooperative in this sense?