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Hierarchy

  • What we have been raised to think of as inevitable — division and hierarchy, monotheism and nation states — actually accounts for less than 10 percent of human history.

  • Labeling makes the invisible visible, but it's limiting. Categories are the enemy of connecting. Link, don't rank.

  • ... the patterns that are normalized in the family — the whole idea that some people cook and some people eat, that some listen and others talk, and even that some people control others in very economic or even violent ways — that kind of hierarchy is what makes us vulnerable to believing in class hierarchy, to believing in racial hierarchy, and so on.

  • ... there is bias and sexism everywhere, just like there are problems of racism and homophobia stemming from the whole notion that we're arranged in a hierarchy, that we're ranked rather than linked.

  • Modern man does not see himself as part of a circle of life. He has an edifice complex. He is hierarchical. He climbs the ladder of life. He sits at the top of a pyramid.

  • ... American society is very like a fish society, based as it is on length of residence in a community rather than upon original antecedents or special personality characteristics. ... among certain species of fish, the only thing which determines order of dominance is length of time in the fish-bowl. The oldest resident picks on the newest resident, and if the newest resident is removed to a new bowl, he as oldest resident will pick on the newcomers.

  • Get rid of the tendency / to judge yourself / above, below, or / equal to others.

    • Abhirupa-Nanda,
    • 6th cent. BCE, in Susan Murcott, The First Buddhist Women ()