Friday, September 30, 2005

The illusion of authority

So I was daydreaming when I was supposed to be working and I'll attempt to summarize what I came up with; our society operates very heavily on a particular illusion: authority as a means of power. This is of course the result of the tendency of humans to operate chiefly on their mammalian politics and value themselves on what they think everyone else says about them. Others decide that they don't care what people actually think about them, in fact, they are happier when they can think others have some sort of disdain for them. Either way, the position in the social pack is very clearly the chief motivation for behavior in the social pack. This is seen in the microcosm of the work place and the macrocosm of the overall nation. Mammalian politics (and this is common to nearly all mammals to some degree or another) is very hierarchal. In some mammals, only some members of the pack are even permitted to mate. Humans, being mammals, are also subject to this phenominon. Some people take their position very seriously, as of course higher status in the pack leads to a greater portion of the kill, respectively. In the modern sense this of course translates to greater pay, as well as greater privellidge. In some social packs, this is determined by popularity, in others, like most businesses, it is determined by someone higher up. This was also the case of human politics for the majority of the last 8000 years; best described as the agricultural society.

Now this has worked for a long time, however, I must stress that this is an illusion. Think about it, in the chain of command/workplace scenario the owner (alpha male/female, though still usually male) is in power because the people below them are willing to work for them. If everyone employed by Microsoft walked off the job and no one were willing to work for Bill, he wouldn't be able to mass produce winows and thus would not be a billionaire. So his authority is only by the willingness of his followers. Inefficient leaders are rarely in power for long. The majority of empires existed for a generation or less.

Communism of course was an attempt to equal everyone, but it failed horribly, due to the fact that it still followed the biological social structure, from the working prolitariate to the politburo. Economic equality was impossible to achieve because social equality had not even been looked at, all the Soviet Union and China really represented was the rise of a new dynasty over the older noble classes. Capitalism embraces the mammalian social hierarchies of old, and so far seems to work, if not poorly. So it's logical to assume most humans aren't ready for a society of equals. So now that you've read this and realize that all things are equal and that their is no such thing as superior or inferior and that everything relies on everything in a semi-functional system you are ready for such a society. Congrats. Spread the word.

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