According to Herbert Salzmann, the oldest form of cooperation brings the pyramid into view: someone says where to go. The clown Nögge caricatured this authoritarian principle of leadership with a choleric expression: «I’ll tell you what to do – and if you won’t, I’ll tell you what you’ll do instead» – at the same time, showing how much it has outlived itself.
After that follows a net structure that is still reminiscent of the pyramid. Rules and laws take the place of the boss. Only with the third step, described by Herbert Salzmann as a circle, will a community become free. Who or what leads here? He calls it the ‹culture of responsibility.› What was obedience to authority and rules and cemented by control becomes self-initiative in free cooperation, and control becomes mutual responsibility.
‹Personal initiative› from insight becomes the motor in free cooperation. It opens the door to the development of each individual. The situation is different with mutual responsibility. Because that means pointing out blind spots, hobbies, and weaknesses to each other. Especially when a community shares high ideals, this is difficult because criticism is then experienced as a reproach for having fallen away from the ideals. The freedom of the community is non-binding. To assure oneself as a community of the common ideal and erect a star, a model, gives shape to the circle. It gains vitality and strength – as radiation to the outside, as warmth to the inside – when everyone gains confidence and the courage to look up to and out for each other. How do we develop trust and courage? Through love and her little sister: interest. How beautiful: freedom calls for love.
Drawing Sentient Soul, Adrien Jutard, charcoal drawing, 2022. – Translation: Monika Werner