Hierarchy is the formalisation of greed. It is how we rationalise who is better than whom.

Hierarchy amongst birds is a ‘pecking order’.

Hierarchy in a family is inherited by age.

Hierarchy in busines is called a management structure.

Hierarchy in royalty delineates the succession to the throne.

Hierarchy is the structure of perceived power.

In all walks of life people are diligently climbing the social and work ladder of success, to raise themselves up the hierarchy of society to become more powerful.

Society perceives power to originate from status, money and knowledge. Hierarchy is therefore determined by one or all of these criteria.

Status is decided by title, which is determined by our position within the hierarchy of our society.

Money and knowledge are used to buy status in the hierarchy of our society.

Status and knowledge are used to earn more money in our society.

Money and status are used to purchase education and knowledge in our society.

Perceived personal power is measured by an individuals influence in society, which in turn is measured by how much status, wealth and knowledge they have.

The most influential people have most money, most status and most knowledge and sit at the pinnacle of our society’s hierarchy. They are also the most greedy.

3 thoughts on “Hierarchy

  1. wizardx

    And hierarchy is always destined to collapse (from a complex systems perspective) since the higher echelons are dependent on extracting energy from the lower who extract energy from nature. Cancer is a hierarchical system and a good example of how any hierarchy eats its host and then collapses. Civilisation is the biggest hierarchy of all (Gaia’s cancer?). It is always worth remembering that hierarchy is a transitory phenomenon.

  2. wizardx

    Forgot to mention that in terms of personal development Daniel Quinn’s book Ishmael sets out clearly how the civilisation hierarchy disconnected us from nature (for a few millenia) and has become a process of consuming the planet – we are about to discover our reconnection with nature in a very a rude way if the hierarchy collapses. Derrick Jensen (culture of make believe) argues that ‘civ’ and hierarchy are inherently violent processes due to the problem of dependency.

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