What makes a community self-managing?

Has anyone found a self-managing community yet?

— Rosie Sherry (@rosiesherry) June 7, 2022

Often I feel that people put too much emphasis on getting to this magical point of being ‘self-managed’. This is where people assume that a community will just run itself.

Yet I really struggle with ‘self-managed’. I think some communities achieve it to a certain level, but I’m yet to find one that is truly self-managed. I feel that most communities still rely on core foundations that if removed, the community will collapse.

Though at the same time, I’m wondering what does self-managed actually mean?

Can there be different levels of self-managed? It’s a process, a goal, or perhaps a percentage to aspire to.