Historical Emergent holarchy -
In the Old Testament - book of Judges.
No king, just a bunch of tribal shepherds. But during a crisis, a skilled person emerges with the tools to navigate the. Crisis.
WWII - German SS troops knew in the field who should be in charge. It was the guy who emerged and proved his skills within the context of battle.
Modern - in new age community, heirRchy is replaced by holarchy through round table (Tribal) councils. Wisdom university, for instance, Jim Garrison gave up the presidency and now shares it equally between 3 people. The larger council sits with them but the student body sits in a circle surrounding them all during their annual leadership course. Students also participate in most levels of curriculum development and doctoral review.
Hierarchy (encyclopedia britanica's old style of printing annual volumes is replaced by wikipedia and group consciousness emerges with accurate data va collaboration.
Not just in the old testament; in the most parts of Celtic and Germanic Europe a leader was chosen by the people. One of the most famous kings of the Celtic people here in the Auvergne being of course Vercingetourix, who managed to defeat Ceasar in the first battle and had to surrender in the following one. Vercingetourix was chosen to lead as they needed a general leader at that time. But also within the Celtic community itself a leader or rather spokesman would be chosen when the need arose.
In older society people shared a basic wisdom - what O Sensei called joshiki no kanyo or in English, common sense.
So I think you may have a good point. And I like your example of wikipedia. The internet could be a wonderful way of sharing knowledge and maybe grow towards common wisdom.
But you need a willingness to share and a willingness to learn. Perhaps this works fine with wikipedia. And I sure wish it would work in Aikido, as I think that the founder pointed to a world of reconciliation and peace where we could exchange knowledge and grow with one another. But when I read the threads on Aiki Web I do not get the impression that many people are interested in that. I have seen it on other fora on other subjects as well. It stagnates as people only want to voice their own opinion and are too often not genuinely interested in what others do or have to tell without judging it.
Perhaps in the future this will change?
Greetings from the Auvergne,