• ButyDude
    45
    Do you not know what “necessary” means? Rephrase your question.
  • ButyDude
    45
    So your example is a society in the future that does not exist yet. Wow. Deep. Insightful.

    Read this article: https://ecorner.stanford.edu/articles/hierarchy-is-good-hierarchy-is-essential-and-less-isnt-always-better/

    Hierarchy is the natural way we organize society, and is the only way to organize modern society. What alternatives do you suppose? No leaders? No elites? No social structure?
  • wonderer1
    1.5k
    Do you not know what “necessary” means?ButyDude

    I don't know what you mean by the word. Perhaps reading the following might help:

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/modality-varieties/
  • ButyDude
    45
    I mean that if a society did not have a military, in that time of raping, pillaging, looting, indiscriminate killing, and fighting for resources to survive, then that society would be destroyed.

    Military was necessary for society —> society would have been destroyed without a military, other militaries would destroy them
  • Apustimelogist
    309


    I am kind of skeptical of the difference that a nuclear family makes here. Kids can thrive I think with any person as caregiver and it is possible yo be be supported with 4 caregivers or even only 1 if that caregiver can handle it. They can equally be supported with caregivers whp are not together and co-parent. The personal and economic hardships of people will endure whether people stay in a nuclear family or they are not; these issues are much deeper.
  • wonderer1
    1.5k
    I mean that if a society did not have a military, in that time of raping, pillaging, looting, indiscriminate killing, and fighting for resources to survive, then that society would be destroyed.

    Military was necessary for society —> society would have been destroyed without a military, other militaries would destroy them
    ButyDude

    So are you saying it was a matter of pragmatic necessity? What primates felt they needed to do at the time?
  • ButyDude
    45
    Humans. Not felt what they needed to do, literally what they needed to do.

    Like, protect your society through fighting or let yourself, your wife, your children, and your community be raped slaughtered and killed. I don’t know if this is “pragmatic necessity” or what else. Just seems like necessity to me, I don’t know if you can justify knot fighting a war and instead allowing such things to happen to people.
  • ButyDude
    45
    Again, I didn’t say nuclear family. There could be another solution, a new family unit.

    One issue that causes lots of this hardship is the pressure on women to have a full career, that is, dedicate most of their life to professional work. That is pretty much impossible if you have children, as during pregnancy and early care of the children, you will be set back years compared to male counterparts. So, I believe that a good change could be more support for mothers to have children, maybe paid maternal leave or something like that. Also, very importantly, your family will absolutely be the most important thing to you in your life. Nothing at work is going to fulfill you like your family will. Society has its values in the wrong places.
  • Banno
    22.9k
    that’ll be the article written by an academic specialising in management and engineering.
  • Apustimelogist
    309
    Nothing at work is going to fulfill you like your family willButyDude

    I don't think this is true for everyone.

    So, I believe that a good change could be more support for mothers to have children, maybe paid maternal leave or something like that.ButyDude

    I mean, it should be regardless of sex I think.
  • ButyDude
    45
    Yes, management.
  • Tom Storm
    8.1k
    Nothing at work is going to fulfill you like your family will
    — ButyDude

    I don't think this is true for everyone.
    Apustimelogist

    Absolutely. I've known many people for whom: 'Nothing at home will fulfill you like your work will.' I think the problem with these sorts of homilies is they are based on presuppositions which rely upon contingencies.
  • NOS4A2
    8.2k
    Society and government are two different concepts, representing two different sets of actors, and formed in two different ways: the former social, the latter anti-social.

    Society emerges as the basic social activity within any given space where human beings reside. Government persists as it began, as an institution of war and plunder, the monopoly on violence and crime, and a system meant to exploit one class of people in order to advance the interests of another.

    So though it may be true that human males may be better suited to government (which is doubtful, since the history of it shows women can be just as exploitative as men), it cannot be said that they are better suited for society, which I think is proven by anthropology and experience. At any rate, men and women are found to be equally necessary components of one but not the other.
  • LuckyR
    374

    As a non-expert in the history of leadership, but a close observer of leaders in the present day one aspect of why things are the way they are now is opaque to me, but another is crystal clear. I do not feel confident what exactly accounted for the ancient historical dominance of men in leadership. I don't personally find the tired, old, wornout tropes about testosterone or aggressiveness or physical strength very compelling. But it is clear to that once men were ensconced in power how that tradition was passed down so we currently live in a society that talks the talk on equal opportunity, yet doesn't walk that walk.
  • unenlightened
    8.7k
    Ladies, if you find the natural hierarchy oppressive and resent your physical inferiority, try the new 9 mm Equaliser. No more need to rouse your man from his drunken stupor to defend you from the invading hordes. Technology has come to the rescue. Let your finger do the slaughter with the Smith and Wesson Equaliser. Suitable for wimps and cripples of all genders.
  • Joshs
    5.1k


    Hierarchy is the natural way we organize society, and is the only way to organize modern society. What alternatives do you suppose? No leaders? No elites? No social structure?ButyDude

    I highly recommend The Dawn of Everything by anthropologist David Graeber and archeologist David Wingrow. Their exhaustive look at the anthropological and archeological evidence led them to this conclusion:

    Time and again we found ourselves confronted with writing which simply assumes that the larger and more densely populated the social group, the more ‘complex’ the system needed to keep it organized. Complexity, in turn, is still often used as a synonym for hierarchy. Hierarchy, in turn, is used as a euphemism for chains of command (the ‘origins of the state’), which mean that as soon as large numbers of people decided to live in one place or join a common project, they must necessarily abandon the second freedom – to refuse orders – and replace it with legal mechanisms for, say, beating or locking up those who don’t do as they’re told.

    As we’ve seen, none of these assumptions are theoretically essential, and history tends not to bear them out. Carole Crumley, an anthropologist and expert on Iron Age Europe, has been pointing this out for years: complex systems don’t have to be organized top-down, either in the natural or in the social world. That we tend to assume otherwise probably tells us more about ourselves than the people or phenomena that we’re studying.Neither is she alone in making this point. But more often than not, such
    observations have fallen on deaf ears.

    It’s probably time to start listening, because ‘exceptions’ are fast beginning to outnumber the rules. Take cities. It was once assumed that the rise of urban life marked some kind of historical turnstile, whereby everyone who passed through had to permanently surrender their basic
    freedoms and submit to the rule of faceless administrators, stern priests, paternalistic kings or warrior-politicians – simply to avert chaos (or cognitive overload). To view human history through such a lens today is really not all that different from taking on the mantle of a modern-day King James, since the overall effect is to portray the violence and inequalities of modern society as somehow arising naturally from structures of rational management and paternalistic care: structures designed for human populations who, we are asked to believe, became suddenly incapable of organizing themselves once their numbers expanded above a certain threshold.

    Not only do such views lack a sound basis in human psychology. They are also difficult to reconcile with archaeological evidence of how cities actually began in many parts of the world: as civic experiments on a grand
    scale, which frequently lacked the expected features of administrative hierarchy and authoritarian rule. If there is a particular story we should be telling, a big question we should be asking of human history (instead of the ‘origins of social inequality’), is it precisely this: how did we find ourselves stuck in just one form of social reality, and how did relations based ultimately on violence and domination come to be normalized within it?
  • Moliere
    3.9k
    Second, hierarchies are absolutely necessary to a functional society. This is simply too fundamental to argue. “Importantly, the organization of social groups into a hierarchy serves an adaptive function that benefits the group as a whole. When essential resources are limited, individual skills vary, and reproductive fitness determines survival, hierarchies are an efficient way to divide goods and labor among group members. Thus, an important function of the hierarchy may be to define social roles (Halevy et al., 2011) and allocate limited resources (Sapolsky, 2005).” - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5494206/#:~:text=Importantly%2C%20the%20organization%20of%20social,and%20labor%20among%20group%20members.

    Societies must be organized in order to be functional. The hierarchy is the social organization of humans. Hierarchy is especially important in large societies, as there are more members of society to manage, more resources to distribute, and more social roles to be defined.
    ButyDude

    What is hierarchy, such that it's a necessity for all functional societies? (And notice how "functional" can beg the question -- it's a necessity for all societies you deem worthy of being functional, which could just mean "hierarchically organized").

    What is a non-hierarchical society? In order to make the claim between hierarchy and function you have to define these things independently of one another. And it seems that you begin, from the outset, to define any society which exists to be hierarchical, which would indicate that there will be no examples of a non-hierarchical society -- but then how is it we're supposed to infer that non-hierarchy is not functional, if all societies are hierarchical?

    Your https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5494206/#:~:text=Importantly%2C%20the%20organization%20of%20social,and%20labor%20among%20group%20members is of no help here. Let's begin with the abstract, rather than looking for sentences which might support our view one way or the other:

    Social groups across species rapidly self-organize into hierarchies, where members vary in their level of power, influence, skill, or dominance. In this review we explore the nature of social hierarchies and the traits associated with status in both humans and nonhuman primates, and how status varies across development in humans. Our review finds that we can rapidly identify social status based on a wide range of cues. Like monkeys, we tend to use certain cues, like physical strength, to make status judgments, although layered on top of these more primitive perceptual cues are socio-cultural status cues like job titles and educational attainment. One's relative status has profound effects on attention, memory, and social interactions, as well as health and wellness. These effects can be particularly pernicious in children and adolescents. Developmental research on peer groups and social exclusion suggests teenagers may be particularly sensitive to social status information, but research focused specifically on status processing and associated brain areas is very limited. Recent evidence from neuroscience suggests there may be an underlying neural network, including regions involved in executive, emotional, and reward processing, that is sensitive to status information. We conclude with questions for future research as well as stressing the need to expand social neuroscience research on status processing to adolescents.

    Hierarchies here aren't even cross-social, but cross-species -- it's a biological trait where members of a group have different "levels" (whatever that means) of power, influence, skill, or dominance. One of the things I'm suspicious of here is "levels" -- if we're speaking scientifically then what unit is common not just across all societies, but even across species? Is the unit of "power" identical between chimpanzees and homo sapiens? I don't think it's common between capitalism and feudalism, so I have reason to believe that homo sapien society doesn't even use the same units for "power" -- but rather it varies with what social organization is of interest -- giving me much less reason to believe that this review somehow managed to determine a unit to measure the "levels" of power across species.

    At most your review states: we see some people rapidly doing what we believe they'd do anyways and our conclusion is this calls for further research. Yes, we can identify social status. We do it by how much property someone has access to. Sometimes we really admire a person for some deed or stance, but the rewards are financial or they are simply not seen as being a real reward -- the hierarchy we find ourselves organized around is the hierarchy of property, which in turn, through the law, is just the ability to enact ones will over more things which are tracked within the social organism.

    But this doesn't say anything that you're saying about men and women, the necessity of hierarchy, or the relationship between hierarchy and function.

    Moving onto your: https://ecorner.stanford.edu/articles/hierarchy-is-good-hierarchy-is-essential-and-less-isnt-always-better/

    This is more or less a confessional, but it falls to the same problem I opened with. As it states in your article:

    Gruenfeld and Tiedens conclude: “When scholars attempt to find an organization that is not characterized by hierarchy, they cannot.”

    But "hierarchy" here is so vague that it can be substituted with "pecking order", as it is throughout the essay, in which case it's not very surprising that the scholars couldn't find an organization that is not characterized by hierarchy -- they didn't bother to crisply define what they meant, and any sort of perceived difference between individuals would count as a hierarchy (a "pecking order"). That's just silly.

    Funnily enough there's a naive view of hierarchy/non-hierarchy which I'd even agree with that I believe underlies that article. I've been in enough well-meaning management lead meetings which seem to attempt to pursue non-hierarchical relationships. The problem there is that a corporation just is a hierarchy -- it's like trying to construct an army on the basis of the social rules of a dinner party. It's a ruthless organization built on exploitation and maximizing exploitation.

    But even here -- something to note -- neither of these deal with patriarchy or its necessity. You're several steps away from demonstrating what you seem to want to argue which has something to do with men and women, and how looking at history through the prism of power differentials is bad.
  • baker
    5.5k
    I have no idea if I am waffling or if I make sense at all.ButyDude
    Strike one.

    The women’s studies and historical women’s studies are mostly concerned with the idea of “power.” From the gender perspective, or basically the women’s feminist perspective, society is interpreted as a hierarchy of “power structures,” ranging from government to gender roles. I will offer a rebuttal to this interpretation of society.
    /.../
    The interpretation of “power” both reduces the complex gender interactions to the “oppressor and oppressed,” and overlooks completely the fundamental reason why this gender structure has risen in every single society ever. First, it attacks this idea simply by saying men are the oppressors, and women are the oppressed. This is absolutely ridiculous. Men are the ones who have to organize society. Their biology calls them to provide, just as they did hundreds of thousands of years ago in hunting parties.
    /.../
    Women are much better at taking care of children, and at being the one to teach, be patient with, and see to the development of the child into a grown adult. Most women are simply not capable, by biology, to be the providers, builders, and organizers of society at large, because they do not fit cleanly into hierarchical structures.
    You're making the same kind of simplifications as the feminists you argue against.

    It's not just women who are traditionally usually barred from obtaining positions of explicit power in society, it's quite a number of categories:
    those that are too young,
    those that are too old,
    those that are of too poor health, mentally, physically, or both,
    those that are too poor,
    those that have a reputation as criminals,
    those who don't have any particular reputation at all and few social connections,
    those that are in prison,
    foreigners,
    and other outsiders.

    In other words, a considerable percentage of the population, not just women. I would guess somewhere around 90% of humans aren't fit for positions of power.
  • baker
    5.5k
    I don't personally find the tired, old, wornout tropes about testosterone or aggressiveness or physical strength very compelling.LuckyR
    Neither do I.
    Besides, many, if not most men, don't fit the trope anyway, or if they do, only for a part of their lives.

    But it is clear to that once men were ensconced in power how that tradition was passed down
    Yes. It seems that being male is part of the job requirement.

    But on the other hand, there's the saying "Behind every successful man there is a woman". It seems women are more suitable to rule from the shadows, from behind and below. And they do rule.
  • baker
    5.5k
    I highly recommend The Dawn of Everything by anthropologist David Graeber and archeologist David Wingrow. Their exhaustive look at the anthropological and archeological evidence led them to this conclusion:Joshs
    /.../ Not only do such views lack a sound basis in human psychology. They are also difficult to reconcile with archaeological evidence of how cities actually began in many parts of the world: as civic experiments on a grand
    scale, which frequently lacked the expected features of administrative hierarchy and authoritarian rule. If there is a particular story we should be telling, a big question we should be asking of human history (instead of the ‘origins of social inequality’), is it precisely this: how did we find ourselves stuck in just one form of social reality, and how did relations based ultimately on violence and domination come to be normalized within it?

    It's conceivable that relations based ultimately on violence and domination are the default for humans anyway, at all levels. But when everyone is that way (everyone carries a weapon), there emerges a certain mutual respect and relative social peace and harmony.
    It's when the government monopolizes the right to weapons or otherwise regulates and restricts it that a characteristic sense of oppression and inequality emerges.
  • Apustimelogist
    309
    It's when the government monopolizes the right to weapons or otherwise regulates and restricts it that a characteristic sense of oppression and inequality emerges.baker

    I will never understand this obsession which only seems to exist in America.
  • baker
    5.5k
    The US is still the Wild West in its mentality. Of course any restrictions of rights, esp. the rights to self-defense will seem oppressive in such a Wild West setting.
  • AmadeusD
    1.3k
    Went to a random thread. Was not disappointed. First time i've felt like responding the way Banno does.

    Is the general consensus around here that social hierarchy is not either default, or efficient?
  • unenlightened
    8.7k


    Most people, most of the time will do what they are told. This is right and proper and the necessary foundation of civil society. We stop at red lights, obey the highway code, shut the gate in the countryside, pay for stuff we want from the supermarket, pass the salt at the dinner table and so on. Tyrants and other criminals take advantage of our amenability and it is unfortunately necessary to be vigilant against such exploitation, both on one's own behalf and that of one's neighbour.

    It should, however, be obvious that tyranny and oppression can only come into being as parasitic on such a pro-social basic tendency; prey does not cooperate with predator. What the tyrant does not understand is that the chief belongs to the tribe equally as much as his servant does. The hierarchy is efficient only when it is superficial, and interests are not divided by it.
  • 180 Proof
    13.8k
    How is young Jordan, I wonder?
    — Banno

    I expect he is still making profitable use of the vacuum in many people's lives, like L Ron Hubbard, Ayn Rand and many others before him.
    Tom Storm
    :up:

    Like tRump, charlatanry never sleeps because gullibility and stupidity never sleep.

    ... the biology of males [ ... ] Simply put, the necessity for governors, administrators, military, and more for a society to function calls upon the male biology of a hierarchical structure. The female biology of gathering and caring for children [ ... ] gender roles arise naturally ... and women are meant to be the homemakers and child caretakers, while men are meant to be the organizers [ ... ] Most women are simply not capable, by biology ...ButyDude
    For fuck's sake – Biological determinism? Teleological reductionism? Pre-(ahistorical)-historicism? etc :zip:

    Yes of course I have religious views, does not everybody have a view on religion and God?ButyDude
    Not "Eeerybody has a view on religion and God" that is evidence-free – faith-based – and thereby supports an ideology (e.g. patriarchy-misogyny-caste) rationalized with logical fallacies and sophistry.

    ... get over my religious beliefs
    In this dialectical context, "religious beliefs" are problematic only when they're relied upon in lieu of reasonable assumptions or valid arguments. No one here cares what you "believe", BDude; instead what matters is how good (or poorly) you reason despite (or because of) your unstated, so-caalled "religious beliefs". :mask:

    I highly recommend The Dawn of Everything by anthropologist David Graeber and archeologist David Wingrow.Joshs
    :clap: Excellent!

    :100: :up:
  • Vaskane
    643
    You're not unopposed to tyranny yourself. Just so long as it's in a manner that serves you.
  • bert1
    1.8k
    I'm actually interested in the OP, but this thread seems to be going the way of all flesh. I don't know what the answers are, and I'm interested in hearing the arguments.
  • bert1
    1.8k
    You make ethical claims on a philosophy forum and then don't want to discuss ethics.

    Go away.
    Banno

    Banno, isn't it customary to regard the OP as defining the scope of discussion in a thread?
  • unenlightened
    8.7k
    You're not lacking an excess of negatives there.
  • bert1
    1.8k
    @ButyDude Your OP introduces a lot of 'culture war' topics, which naturally excite some of the less moderate responses. To mitigate this, it can be helpful to pick one aspect and focus narrowly on it and ask a specific question ending in a question mark. Your OP does not clearly tell the readers what kind of response you are looking for, and a more hierarchical top-down approach might help you here, as @unenlightened says, we like to be told what to do. You present a very cursory characterisation of feminism and offer your rebuttal of your own characterisation (inviting accusations of 'straw man'). We are invited to insult you by confirming your own (correct) suspicion that you are waffling. Consider:

    The women’s studies and historical women’s studies are mostly concerned with the idea of “power.” From the gender perspective, or basically the women’s feminist perspective, society is interpreted as a hierarchy of “power structures,” ranging from government to gender roles. I will offer a rebuttal to this interpretation of society.ButyDude

    Quoting a seminal feminist work here would be useful, to get a horse's mouth concept you can then attack. The second sentence here is very unclear. What is a 'gender perspective'? The 'feminist perspective' is not the same thing as the 'women's perspective', there can be male feminists (or can there? - a topic for a thread perhaps). Is there a perspective that all women share? If so, what is it? How do you know what it is? You set yourself up as disagreeing with (your characterisation of) the feminist perspective as interpreting society in terms of 'power structures', yet you seem to be endorsing that very view, that society very much is comprised of power structures. Are you therefore a feminist?

    There is a lack of agreed definitions in your OP which would help focus the responses, I feel. @Banno says you are full of rage, which I gather from his own angry responses to you he approves. Similarly, @Banno thinks definitions are not helpful in philosophy discussions, so again, despite appearances, he seems to be your friend in this thread, and I your enemy.

    EDIT: Here's a question I'd be interested in someone answering for me (I can't be bothered) "Are all feminist views anti-hierarchical?" Even that's probably way too broad and blobby a question to tackle.
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