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Systems and Freedom

Systems and Freedom

Systems force themselves into freedom. What do we mean by this paradoxical statement?

Freedom is created when a system has to find its own (!) rules in order to choose between unavoidable alternatives. This immediately raises the question of what, then, such unavoidable alternatives are, which apply to all types of system, i.e. not only for the psyche, team and organisation, which is of particular interest to us here! Every system has three references: to a world, in which it is situated, to other systems for which it provides services and to itself, in order to maintain its identity.

For example, a person must firstly take part in the world through communication, nourishment, living space etc. (nobody can isolate themselves completely). Secondly, he must, for example, accomplish certain things as a family member (care), and as a citizen (pay taxes), as an employee (achieve goals), as a club member (organise the sporting event). Thirdly, he must reflect upon what is important to him, how does he want to distinguish himself and how can he recognise himself and feel well when he makes his decisions.

For example, a team must firstly adhere to the premises of its organisation, secondly, it must provide services for other teams, and thirdly, it must focus on how it organises itself and achieves its goals. An organisation must firstly deal with the realities of the economic system, secondly, utilise other organisations and provide to them its own utility and thirdly, it must intensively engage with its own dynamics.

None of the three references can be completely disregarded, and no system can attend to everything at the same time and to equal measure. Thus, it is free and pays for this autonomy by having to carry the consequences of that which it disregards.