To what extent does a group (read: community, non-profit organization, country's population) need leadership/governance to function?

This question partially arises out of the recent upheavals in the Middle East, though it's a concept I myself have been struggling with for some time. I can't quite buy into anarchy yet, but I also see the destructive nature of an authoritarian entity and people's responses to it, and I have to wonder if this is an inevitable, healthy cycle. I suppose I'm asking for opinions on how people see the effectiveness of one controlling another, and if it's necessary, why? And how much? Don't think just in terms of the government of a nation-state, either -- consider the micro and macro both.

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It's essential

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