Why Do We keep Beating the Same Dead Horse?

Another election is upon us, wherein we choose who is to head the country. The overall outcome is generally the same. We live in a hierarchical system where those in charge have as their primary concern to maintain this hierarchy and keep those at the top – at the top. Call it what you wish but the general agenda is to maintain this structure. Representative democracy, parliamentary democracy, dictatorship, feudal society….whatever.

In October of 1962 the United States and the Soviet Union were willing to destroy most of the planet to keep their version of this from being conquered by those of the the other version. The other version of course putting different people on top. Generally those just below the top rarely – if ever – have those on or near the bottom truly considered for any place other than where they are.

So why do we insist on having a society set up in this manner? Well lets just see the characteristics of it.

  • For one thing, it’s based on inequality. There can never be equality between any person and/or group since it is a hierarchy by definition. Not between genders, race, income, worth…etc. A worker will never be treated the same as his supervisor. A person with income A will never be treated the same as one with income 10xA. And on and on.
  • Transactions – dealings between people – are mostly based on monetary exchange rather than cooperation and mutual aid. Most of the time if you want or need help or any article, you have to pay for it in some fashion.
  • It promotes envy, greed, egotism, distrust, arrogance and various sociopathic traits and rewards them.
  • Promotes competition for everything rather than cooperation.
  • Most relationships are superficial and detached.
  • It’s easy. Hierarchical systems require little mental excursion. Just follow the rules, and all will be well.
  • Personal responsibility is not required. Just blame your problems on those below and/or above.
  • Discourages social responsibility. The problems of those below and above are not your concern.
  • With few exceptions, one’s place in this hierarchy is based on property. How much of it you own. Be it monetary or physical or both. Property is more important and living things unless those things are themselves property.

One might think that ditching this system is to be utopian. However there are are vast numbers of groups and societies that are non-hierarchical. In fact the first type of group outside our family that we become a part of is non-hierarchical and based on mutual aid cooperation. The kids we played with even when at school. Then there are the 12 Step groups – AA, OA, NA…etc. Native American tribes. In fact nearly all tribal cultures are based on this concept. A lot of clubs and other organization are set up this way.

So why do we as humans insist on organizing ourselves in this hierarchical manner? I think primarily because it is easy. It requires little mental effort and little if any commitment and little if any responsibility and little if any accountability. Which makes it comfortable and attractive.

But these kinds of social systems have another characteristic. They are inherently self destructive. Throughout history none have survived and most have laid waste to the planet in some way to maintain themselves. They are also very, very self centered.