The Rebel Side of Alcoholics Anonymous
What to expect in this episode:
- People suffering from addiction often feel very rebellious inside
- The most radical thing about AA is that it’s completely detached from the market
- Alcoholics Anonymous is rebellious, it rejects traditional hierarchy & is free
Alcoholics Anonymous is for Rebels
The other thing about Alcoholics Anonymous; addicts and alcoholics often feel rebellious inside.
There’s a rebel piece that grows inside of us during the teenage years and sometimes we have a hard time growing out of.
(…Maybe we shouldn’t grow out of it.)
I would say Alcoholics Anonymous is very rebellious.
Alcoholics Anonymous is completely disconnected from the market place
When I say its free, that’s a big deal, it also is completely disconnected from the market place. Its not only that it doesn’t cost any money to go there. There are non profits that you can go to that don’t cost money; but it actually has little to no relationship to the market place at all other than people putting a dollar in a basket to pay some cheap rent at a particular building.
SO it is totally disconnected from our economic system, and I would invite anybody to name any other institution that’s completely disconnected from our market economy. I think that’s important.
There are no commercials or advertising for it, somehow it’s just its own temple, or sacred space. It hasn’t been invaded by a lot of economic forces that we are all at the whim of. So I think there is something special about that.
Alcoholics Anonymous Hierarchy
The other thing about AA is that it’s not hierarchical, not that there is no hierarchy, it just a very flat hierarchy.
There’s nobody in charge; when you go to a meeting, there is someone leading the meeting, that rotates every 6 months based on a democratic process usually, that people vote on.
You might ask, “Who is in charge of these millions of people in Alcoholics Anonymous?” nobody knows, no one is in charge. It is people coming together to help each other in a way that has now worked for 80 years. It’s incredible to have that kind of flat hierarchy and it’s worked now through 3-4 generations of people.
That’s deep, religion is not like that, corporations are not like that, and my family is not even like that… well sometimes it’s like that…
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