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Is it part of human nature to have a hierarchy?

This question was mainly inspired by my history class. We were going over some Russian Marxists, and I thought it was interesting that even a communist regime will have a leader. This brought up the question, "Is it natural for humans to have a leader?" I thought about any organization and realized they all have a decently-defined hierarchy. I also thought about our cavemen ancestors and the sort of familial hierarchy with the father as the provider of food and safety (I haven't really studied anthropology, so tell me if I'm incorrect).

Feel free to ask clarifying questions, and I am looking forward to your responses!


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  • Nov 1 2013: yes, we are pattern seeking animals and the simplest of patterns is a hierarchy. plus we tend to be sheep. that is why there are fanatics about everything. we like to follow, even leaders follow. it is also part of us because we have families, mom and dad at the top are leaders in various areas. my mom took care of the money, my dad the house/planning vacations. my dad worked, my mom took care of the kids. my dad bought the cars, my mom bought the food. we are ingrained in hierarchy from the moment of birth and even though we rebel in our teens we come back to it.

    we are democratizing and the power is being spread thinner but there will always be hierarchy in human society because it is the nature of human existence.
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      Nov 2 2013: Is the simplest a hierarchy? I seriously doubt it. Consider the amount of effort wasted to establish the dominant party, versus the ease with which a non-hierarchal organization might achieve immediate positive results.

      Why is it so easy to accept a pattern of behavior like hierarchical structure as “our human nature?” Go back only a few decades and you will find that it has been our “human nature” to engage in activities that today we would find abhorrent. Only three or four generations ago, an entire town, including young children, would gather to witness a hanging—a picnic often accompanied this spectacle. How many of us today have ever witnessed an execution, much less would enjoy a picnic lunch in the process?

      Like it or not, our “human nature” is evolving, and if we are to be compared with sheep, more and more of us are "black." Never should we accept as “part of our nature” any particular behavior or practice, including the need to follow a leader of an established hierarchy.
      • Nov 2 2013: To "form" a hierarchy may not be simple but often times hierarchies form themselves. We all have different skill sets, both physically and mentally, which allow certain people to acquire certain roles more easily. Some of these people are best suited to lead or rally people, their gift is the ability to unify. Others are thinkers, these people may have great ideas but are those ideas worth much if they are not communicated through someone with the right skill set to gain peoples' interest?

        I don't mean to generalize people and put people in boxes (because I know that there are many people who are multi-talented) but it is the easiest way to show my view. I think many people have a bad taste for words like hierarchy, laws, etc… but when broken down, these words can mean something a lot more simple. The things that we should fight are oppression, control, etc… not leaders and the likes.
      • Nov 6 2013: I have been in a few "non-hierarchical organizations". They were jokes.
      • Nov 13 2013: There is a difference between a biological imperative to have hierarchy and some sort of "need to follow a leader of an established hierarchy". Who would be so stupid as to not already know this? There is a difference between "hierarchy is innate to human nature" and "the current ways we express this innate trait are the ONLY ways that it can be expressed". Is it THAT hard to understand the difference? One might as well say that "our spectrum of color vision is innate to human biology" means that "We must always use the exact same color schemes in our decorating, century after century, millenia after millenia". The limits of our color vision is innate. That does not mean we are constrained to EXPRESS and USE those limits the EXACT SAME WAY for all of eternity.

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      Nov 9 2013: Hierarchy is the corruption of the masses and the privilege of the few, in which all shares were, basically are and always will be, equal, in a philosophy called - Whatever makes you Happy!

      I agree with the idea that parents act as preliminary hierarchy and that education is perhaps the secondary state of hierarchical significance in the appreciation of respect for positions of power as functional meaning, but, the purpose of power in the developmental stages is to empower the individual in the legitimacy of their own power of authority in the future democratic rule of law.

      If all power is democratically equal to the meaning of political choice available, between individual power of authority for law as a rule, why is the gap between the poorest and the richest so vast and how are you meant to measure quality of life as a standard in such extreme inequality derived from the tertiary hierarchical model of work?

      If education is fit for purpose and every child leaves primary/secondary hierarchy empowered should there be a tertiary world of hierarchy in work and if so how should it function to maintain reliable standards in life as a quality for the community it relates too?

      If the only purpose of hierarchy is a respect for power in the organizational significance of a particular functional union in relation to the universal functional union of life as a meaning, is financial discrimination justifiable in the modern age?

      Hierarchies may be natural, but, I’m just saying, financial differentiation is something we should democratically question and challenge as being cogent with expectation of quality in life, since the liquidity in financial income is directly correlated to this notion of a standard of living, a quality of assurance in fairness, responsibility and transparency for the meaning and function of work!

      70% of the world’s resources are being utilized and controlled by 1% of the Earths human population! Is there something wrong with this picture?

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