In defence of hierarchy

In the modern era, when most of us have come to value equality, hierarchical societies are synonymous with unjust ones. And yet, history and social research show us that hierarchical societies are the most efficient ones, and that attempts to abolish social hierarchies have spelt disaster. Hierarchy however doesn’t have to be a necessary evil, it can be morally justified when it’s flexible and in the service of the many, not those in power, argue Daniel A. Bell and Wang Pei.


Imagine a country with no social hierarchies: let’s call it Equality. People in Equality treat each other as equals regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, religion, family background, class, or position in the workplace. There is no clear distinction between the rulers and the ruled. Equality treats all other countries as equals on the global stage regardless of their size, wealth, or military power. The people of Equality regard animals as equals. Even intelligent machines are respecte

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