Lets Ask Bill

Q - Why shouldn't the General Service Conference be a government for Alcoholics Anonymous?

A -
Each A.A. Group is autonomous; our only "authority" is a Higher Power.  Practically speaking, no A.A. Group will stand for a personal government anyhow; we're built that way. Though the Conference will guide A.A. Headquarters, it must never assume to govern A.A. as a whole. While it can publicly deplore misuse of the A.A. name or departures from Tradition, it ought never attempt punishment or legal restraint of non-conformists - in A.A. or out. That is the road to public controversy and internal disruption. The Conference will give us an example and a guide, but not government. A personal government is something, God willing, that Alcoholics Anonymous will never have. We shall authorize servants to act for us, but not rulers.
(Third Legacy Pamphlet, October 1950).

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