a system or organization in which people or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or authority.
The definition above of the word “hierarchy” is a bit lacking compared to how the word has actually been applied. Every organic and non-organic has been slotted into a prescribed category positioned above or below each other. These are generally described as “social classes”, majority or minority, employer-employee, master-slave, rich-poor, winners-losers, rulers-ruled. The sponsored definitions suggests that this can only be applied to people or animals. This is largely absurd. “Garbage” is evidence enough of that!
Through our wealth-based social classifications we have placed a price that every object must live up to or their respective owners will be cast out (see “scam artists” and other “thieves”). This simultaneously places a value of one thing over another and one human above another in social standing and authority. The common capitalist phrase, “one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure” aims to diminish the existence of this division. In a more precise reality, the phrase actually emphasizes two points: 1) we live in a patriarchy and 2) garbage bad; treasure good.
If you are having a hard time seeing this capitalistic division, simply compare the prices of clothing. Businessmen wear thousand-dollar suits, while the staff wear uniforms. The “Upper Class” live with luxurious handbags while the impoverished are kept in the position of needing to live without the means to survive. The fabric of our relations have been frayed to the point of transformation. It is the fabric we manufacture that determines the standings within this order, be it money or handbags.
To take our social divisions further, as the U.S. continues to prefer, a divine social order has been defined for us through religion and capitalism. There is an abundance of claims that religion divides us. While many of these claims are founded on actual events, in a more precise reality, it is hierarchy that defines the systematic divisions that make up much of the manufactured Life on Earth. Whether its the divisions that make up the rungs of a hierarchy or sub-divides a rung, they have been manufactured to perpetuate the elite, the masters, the employers, the winners, the rulers.
Self-help and business books focusing on human relations (i.e. all Tony Robbins and Dale Carnegie material) are simple examples of this manufactured division. These books, or more precisely men, sell you a version of “being human” while exploiting your feeling of inferiority that defines this version of division by order. “Polite company” (read the Bourgeois) provides a more glaring example. Through their “good manners” fueled by the concept of morality and indoctrination from their leaders, they have enslaved themselves as well as those they lead.
Hierarchy is a tool for the creation and maintenance of control (power of authority). Control is leveraged through conflict, conflict is created through division, and division is created through the application of hierarchies. It is very simple: the more detailed the hierarchy, the greater the division creating more conflict which grants the upper echelon more power of authority. View the scientific commendation in “Hierarchy” [PDF].