Freeman

February 1983

Volume 33, 1983

FEATURES

George Washington on Liberty and Order

FEBRUARY 01, 1983 by CLARENCE B. CARSON

There are truths to which the passage of time and the gaining of new experience add luster and vitality. So it has been, for me at least, with those contained in Washington's Farewell Address. With each new reading of it, I have been impressed anew with the relevance of so much that he had to say to our own time. Often, too, I discover some new theme or emphasis that I had not been aware of earlier.


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For centuries, hierarchical models dominated human organizations. Kings, warlords, and emperors could rally groups--but also oppress them. Non-hierarchical forms of organization, though, are increasingly defining our lives. It's no secret how this shift has benefited out social lives, including dating, and it's becoming more commonplace even in the corporate world. But it has also now come even to organizations bent on domination rather than human flourishing, as the Islamic State shows. If even destructive groups rely on this form of entrepreneurial organization, then hierarchy's time could truly be coming to an end.
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