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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 10 2013: Hierarchy is not human nature but rather cultural. For example, numbering less than a tribe a band is an example of a human society that is not at all hierarchical but rather egalitarian. As the population gets larger the society becomes more hierarchical. It is merely a strategy of survival.
    • Nov 11 2013: Tribal bands are hierarchical. This "tribal egalitarianism" was a 19th-century romantic fluff that anthropologists have disproved.
      • Nov 12 2013: If you consider going to your elders for guidance as hierarchical then yes. Show me evidence that bands are NOT egalitarian.
    • Nov 12 2013: I do not have to prove a negative. The onus of proof has always been upon those who make a positive statement. That's how it works. Otherwise, if I claim "Invisible unicorns do not run the universe." then someone like you can just say "Show me evidence that invisible unicorns do not run the universe." and then claim that invisible unicorns MUST exist and run the universe, since I couldn't prove they didn't. This is something that is covered in a high-school level logic course.
      • Nov 12 2013: All that text and you gave nothing to your claim. Well I would say start by looking at the definition of a band society. Remember a tribe is different from a band.
        • Nov 12 2013: You have still not shown that one must prove a negative. You have demanded proof of a negative. Such a demand is invalid and only indulged in by the intellectually dishonest. Give proof for your contention that tribal bands are egalitarian.
      • Nov 12 2013: Search band society. All sources describe bands as informal authority, egalitarian, or elder guidance. I cannot copy and paste from phone but there is plenty of material defending my statement.

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