This article was published in the Spring 1999 issue of Formulations
by the Free Nation Foundation

A Division of Organizations into Eight Classes

Organization Characteristics

Member-     Self-
 Aware      Aware    Encoded    EXAMPLE(S)

  Yes     No     No      a circle of regular patrons of a bar

  Yes     No    Yes      spontaneous charity in face of disastera

  Yes    Yes     No      a stateb

  Yes    Yes    Yes      a McDonald's restaurant,
                         a church seeded by a denomination,
                         an intentionally constituted free nation

   No     No     No      a spontaneous order among lower

   No     No    Yes      a bacterium, all lower organisms

   No    Yes     No      the organization which makes a pencil,
                         the constituency which elects a politiciand

   No    Yes    Yes      an organism with self-awareness,
                         a human being

Notes concerning examples in table:
a. I assume that many humans know, whether from instinct or training, how to organize themselves into effective teams in the face of unexpected disaster. Since the knowledge evidently exists somewhere, I classify this organization as encoded.

b. Here I assume the scenario for origination of a state which was described by Franz Oppenheimer in The State, 1908. In this scenario the state grew as a result of human action—but not as a result of human planning.

c. I propose an example of such a spontaneous order in "An Engineer’s View of Morality" (Footnote 3). As some readers may recall, this example shows one-celled creatures spontaneously establishing a line of trade between a drop of water and a crumb of sugar.

d. Here I include organizations in which the affiliation of the members is informal or noncommittal, such that the members do not consciously classify themselves as members of the organization.