We need rules as a reference or start point when we are introduced to new activities, when we have not much from ourselves to put in a new work but practice, get inspired through copy, to fit in looking for results with a pre-determined expectation. We can get great pleasure from reproduction, from the empathic recognition of other creators and social feeling, or only for the pleasure of tools manipulation and the transformation observation. By doing so we can develop our own feeling, voice and personal way to create when we have a voice to express.
I was watching a documentary a while back, about french soldiers returning home after the second World War, the war which France was the country that had more dead and injured soldiers, maybe because it was the country that sent more men to the war. When survivor and fit-to-work soldiers returned home after the war, looking forward to their families and the labour routine that was occupied by women during the war, they found themselves lost, as they lacked identity and purpose. As soldiers those men got used to following orders, giving themselves to the battalion rhythm for its greater performance, the fellowship was their identity. Later on in society, working in their family farms, shops and industry they found themselves on their own with their individual decisions for their personal life and activities, and especially their own rhythm. What was missing was their inner voice.
I can't help seeing some similarities in the cooperation teamwork culture especially in the 80's and 90's, when they wanted workers to see the business which they worked for as part of their family, where one finds their purpose and identity through the job and culture provided by the business and their people.
Behind it all there is the fixation, the focus which people become alienated from. As Frédéric Lordon describes, alienation is not loss but fixation. The more limited is your attention and experiences range (fixed) the more alienated you find yourself. Through alienation it is easier to drive a person or a group's attention, work and goals to a determined direction, the direction aimed by their leader or ruler which the followers take as their own.
The Teutonic (Germanic) tribes have such principles as tradition. The military and hierarchical rules in society culture by the Prussians for example, expecting people to give up their own personal goals and interests in order to follow their social hierarchy determinism, looking forwards the to the greater completion of their "nation" (society) as their individual aim, instead of looking towards climb the social hierarchy. Like this workers can focus on only improving their ability on their own work and behavior expected from their social hierarchy (like in the army), instead of the distraction of dreams, looking and expecting eventually to get somewhere else. It's alienation where people get attached to rules for their guidance, and which one deep alienated they get lost, disorientated, messy, when there is no leader and their rules to follow as their own goals and identity.
The opposite is the ability to listen to our own inner voice, our timing, have a wide scope to observe and react in accord and spontaneously to each situation by following our guts, when rules are not what give us direction anymore but what make us feel limited, limiting our experiences, our observations, or experimentation, our self learning and expression. When desalination becomes necessary because rules funnel us to the alien aim that we take as our own.
Listening to our own inner voice is not the same as individualism and selfishness because when we are listening to our inner voice we are listening to others around us as well, sensing the world around us and trusting our feelings. Then our expressions take others in consideration.
Rules are for reproduction, and for creators who can not feel or trust their inner voice [yet]. A true creative work is a work that has its own voice and rhythm. A sincere self expression and feeling.