# Anomie blocks flow
Anomie is a condition where a social system lacks rules. Absence of rules mean people who would normally depend on the rules will not know what’s good and what’s bad for them. In this situation, their attention will fragment, as they will spend most of their psychic energy knowing what’s accepted and not in their society. An anomic situation may unintentionally happen, especially when there are drastic changes in the environment that rules are not yet set e.g. economic collapse.
Anomie is an interesting paradox where we may think that the lack of rule means freedom, which may be correlated to enjoyment. Creativity needs enabling constraints.
Anomic is the opposite of alienation, Alienation blocks flow too.
Mihaly, Flow (p. 86).
Anomie-literally, “lack of rules” […] when it is no longer clear what is permitted and what is not, when it is uncertain what public opinion values, behaviour becomes erratic and meaningless. People who depend on the rules of society to give order to their consciousness become anxious.