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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 12 2013: No. It's part of life and nature. It's also how we build and grow. (as seen in nature)

    You start with a stable foundation and you build on that which will lead to a hierarchy. What humans do(and wrongfully, imho) is judging based on the hierarchy who is "higher" or "lower", while we are equal valued. The hierarchy, again imho, just presents responsibility's and some might have a bigger responsibility than other, but is equal worthy because even if his responsibility is small, when it's not done: the whole hierarchy can collapse(which should be covered a bit by a stable foundation). But nonetheless, every part is important in a hierarchy because you will continue building on it.
    • Nov 13 2013: I think we are basically in agreement but our definition of hierarchy is not identical. However, When I look up hierarchy, the definition I find in The Random House Dictionary reads: (There is a bunch of stuff about the priesthood) and then these specific definitions that apply to our conversation 1. any person or thing ranked one above another 7. Government by an elite group. So ... imho ... social structure and cooperation is natural but placing one person above another or leadership by the "elite," is a social invention.
      • Nov 14 2013: Yes, then we agree but your answer on the original question would still be no.

        "Is it part of human nature to have a hierarchy?"- No. It's part of (social)nature.

        And even the social structure and cooperation is not human nature because you will find it through the animal kingdom. Chimps, wolves and so on. You'll also notice that these animals also are social so idd, the social invention thing comes in with leadership etc.

        I also found that the leader used to be the strongest(in primitive times, he was the fittest) for protection. But now the responsibility of the leader goes more towards the person who can utilize the group the best(strategist, in company terms CEO). So when disecting hierarchy you will always find that it revolves around responsibilities, and ranks will be determined by that and the needs.

        Social structure and cooperation can be found with social species, which human is just part of but not exclude to.

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