This is so important to understand and remember. The implications of this can and do effect every system we are part of. How does this express it's self in our new digital world? What is our responsibility?
This is a quote from an essay by feminist Jo Freeman called the Tyranny of Structurelessness. You should read it. Freeman wrote those words about the feminist movement, where she saw the unfortunate side-effects of a well-intentioned wholesale rejection of structure. She argues that when people reject structure, organization, and regulation, they can actually end up with another type of oppression: one that’s more insidious because it’s invisible and unacknowledged.
In other words, the system you can’t see can be even more dangerous than the one you can.
In the absence of explicit rules, communities will build their own norms and structures. This emergent behavior can have lots of positive results, but it can also lead to invisible, self-reinforcing rules and norms that newcomers have to figure out and assimilate to in silence, or face rejection on the grounds of “culture fit”. The crowds, too, can be a gate. And even though the tastes and social norms of the community can be friendly and well-intentioned, the end result of a growing community unmindful of its culture can be just as Mean Girls as anything.