At a young age, boys learn that to express compassion or empathy is to show weakness. They hear confusing messages that force them to repress their emotions, establish hierarchies, and constantly prove their masculinity ... whether boys and later men have chosen to resist or conform to this masculine norm, there is loneliness, anxiety, and pain,
Jennifer Siebel Newsom
We've tended in our cosmologies to make things familiar. Despite all our best efforts, we've not been very inventive. In the West, Heaven is placid and fluffy, and Hell is like the inside of a volcano. In many stories, both realms are governed by dominance hierarchies headed by gods or devils. Monotheists talked about the king of kings. In every culture we imagined something like our own political system running the Universe. Few found the similarity suspicious.
All of us have monarchs and sages for kinsmen; nay, angels and archangels for cousins; since in antediluvian days, the sons of God did verily wed with our mothers, the irresistible daughters of Eve. Thus all generations are blended: and heaven and earth of one kin: the hierarchies of seraphs in the uttermost skies; the thrones and principalities in the zodiac; the shades that roam throughout space; the nations and families, flocks and folds of the earth; one and all, brothers in essence-oh, be we then brothers indeed! All things form but one whole.
People sometimes say that we will know feminism has done its job when half the CEOs are women. That's not feminism; to quote Catharine MacKinnon, it's liberalism applied to women. Feminism will have won not when a few women get an equal piece of the oppression pie, served up in our sisters' sweat, but when all dominating hierarchies - including economic ones - are dismantled.
there are only two basic ways of structuring the relations between the female and male halves of humanity. All societies are patterned on either a dominator model - in which human hierarchies are ultimately backed up by force or the threat of force - or a partnership model, with variations in between.
the mystic must be steadily told, -All that you say is just as true without the tedious use of that symbol as with it. Let us have a little algebra, instead of this trite rhetoric, -universal signs, instead of these village symbols, -and we shall both be gainers. The history of hierarchies seems to show that all religious error consisted in making the symbol too stark and solid, and was at last nothing but an excess of the organ of language.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
If I have so far argued that Foucault is a kind of closet liberal and thus deeply modern, I need to be equally critical of evangelical (and especially American) Christianity's modernity and its appropriation of Enlightenment notions of the autonomous self. Indeed, many otherwise orthodox Christians, who recoil at the notion of theological liberalism, have unwittingly adopted notions of freedom and autonomy that are liberal to the core. Averse to hierarchies and control, contemporary evangelicalism thrives on autonomy: the autonomy of the nondenominational church, at a macrocosmic level, and the autonomy of the individual Christian, at the microcosmic level. And it does not seem to me that the emerging church has changed much on this score; indeed, some elements of emergent spirituality are intensifications of this affirmation of autonomy and a laissez-faire attitude with respect to institutions.
James K.A. Smith
'white supremacy' is a much more useful term for understanding the complicity of people of color in upholding and maintaining racial hierarchies that do not involve force (i.e slavery, apartheid) than the term 'internalized racism'- a term most often used to suggest that black people have absorbed negative feelings and attitudes about blackness. The term 'white supremacy' enables us to recognize not only that black people are socialized to embody the values and attitudes of white supremacy, but we can exercise 'white supremacist control' over other black people.
No one today is purely one thing. Labels like Indian, or woman, or Muslim, or American are not more than starting-points, which if followed into actual experience for only a moment are quickly left behind. Imperialism consolidated the mixture of cultures and identities on a global scale. But its worst and most paradoxical gift was to allow people to believe that they were only, mainly, exclusively, white, or Black, or Western, or Oriental. Yet just as human beings make their own history, they also make their cultures and ethnic identities. No one can deny the persisting continuities of long traditions, sustained habitations, national languages, and cultural geographies, but there seems no reason except fear and prejudice to keep insisting on their separation and distinctiveness, as if that was all human life was about. Survival in fact is about the connections between things; in Eliot's phrase, reality cannot be deprived of the 'other echoes [that] inhabit the garden.' It is more rewarding - and more difficult - to think concretely and sympathetically, contrapuntally, about others than only about 'us.' But this also means not trying to rule others, not trying to classify them or put them in hierarchies, above all, not constantly reiterating how 'our' culture or country is number one (or not number one, for that matter).
Edward W. Said
When Lillian (Holt) argues that leadership steals your spirit, she means that institutional pressures change you; they erode your courage, passion and humour and wear you down so that important things don't get named and get overtaken by the trivial. In the following excerpts from one interview I undertook with her, Lillian elaborates why Indigenous Australians find it hard to speak out. There is a systemic blockage. Something happens to Aboriginal people who work in hierarchies, whether bureaucracy or academic... a bit like my own story of climbing the ladder of success. You get to the top and find it bereft, bereft of passion, bereft of intuition, of emotion. 'For God's sake don't talk about emotion in a place like this!
In college, in the early 1950s, I began to learn a little about how science works, the secrets of its great success, how rigorous the standards of evidence must be if we are really to know something is true, how many false starts and dead ends have plagued human thinking, how our biases can colour our interpretation of evidence, and how often belief systems widely held and supported by the political, religious and academic hierarchies turn out to be not just slightly in error, but grotesquely wrong.
Stable husbanding of the land requires community-wide language and norms for resolving interpersonal conflict, facilitating barter and trade, determining shares of work and output and maintaining organizational hierarchies. Although such social functions are the requisites of community life everywhere, the ways of performing them evolve differently from place to place. Each society develops its practices and sets of myths, symbols and rational justifications, which usually are held to be superior to those of other societies... And just as material reasons for self-sufficiency can turn communities towards economic imperialism, so the ideational justifications for autonomy can turn them into presumptuous civilizers of other peoples.
Socialism lost its way largely when it became decoupled from the processes of democracy. My vision of a socially just society is one that is deeply democratic, that allows people's voices to be heard, where people actually govern. C.L.R James sometimes used the slogan 'every cook can govern' to speak to the concept that there should be no hierarchies of power between those who lead and their constituencies. This idea is related to Antonio Gramsci's argument that the goal of the revolutionary party is for every member to be an intellectual. That is, everyone has the capacity, has the ability to articulate a vision of reality and to fight for the realization of their values and goals in society. Gramsci is pointing toward the development of a strategy that is deeply democratic, one where we don't have elitist, vanguardist notions of what society should look like, but have humility and the patience to listen to and learn from working class and poor people, who really are at the center of what any society is.
Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels' hierarchies? and even if one of them pressed me against his heart: I would be consumed in that overwhelming existence. For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, which we still are just able to endure, and we are so awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us. Every angel is terrifying.
Rainer Maria Rilke
In the world of animals, pain serves an equivocal role. Parental nips and swipes are common tools in upbringing. And socially, pain is sometimes used to maintain hierarchies of dominance. But this animal use of pain seems somewhat restrained, at least in contrast with the human situation. Here the capacity for pain is often used to systematically exploit and oppress at intensities often far beyond those seen in the behaviour of our nearest primate relatives. At the same time, at least in western culture, pain is rarely used for pleasure. Is it little wonder that all pain is viewed as intrinsically evil? Or that the pain-pleasure of leatherspace has been labelled torture?
Many people in this room have an Etsy store where they create unique, unreplicable artifacts or useful items to be sold on a small scale, in a common marketplace where their friends meet and barter. I and many of my friends own more than one spinning wheel. We grow our food again. We make pickles and jams on private, individual scales, when many of our mothers forgot those skills if they ever knew them. We come to conventions, we create small communities of support and distributed skills-when one of us needs help, our village steps in. It's only that our village is no longer physical, but connected by DSL instead of roads. But look at how we organize our tribes-bloggers preside over large estates, kings and queens whose spouses' virtues are oft-lauded but whose faces are rarely seen. They have moderators to protect them, to be their knights, a nobility of active commenters and big name fans, a peasantry of regular readers, and vandals starting the occasional flame war just to watch the fields burn. Other villages are more commune-like, sharing out resources on forums or aggregate sites, providing wise women to be consulted, rabbis or priests to explain the world, makers and smiths to fashion magical objects. Groups of performers, acrobats and actors and singers of songs are traveling the roads once more, entertaining for a brief evening in a living room or a wheatfield, known by word of mouth and secret signal. Separate from official government, we create our own hierarchies, laws, and mores, as well as our own folklore and secret history. Even my own guilt about having failed as an academic is quite the crisis of filial piety-you see, my mother is a professor. I have not carried on the family trade. We dwell within a system so large and widespread, so disorganized and unconcerned for anyone but its most privileged and luxurious members, that our powerlessness, when we can summon up the courage to actually face it, is staggering. So we do not face it. We tell ourselves we are Achilles when we have much more in common with the cathedral-worker, laboring anonymously so that the next generation can see some incremental progress. We lack, of course, a Great Work to point to and say: my grandmother made that window; I worked upon the door. Though, I would submit that perhaps the Internet, as an object, as an aggregate entity, is the cathedral we build word by word and image by image, window by window and portal by portal, to stand taller for our children, if only by a little, than it does for us. For most of us are Lancelots, not Galahads. We may see the Grail of a good Classical life, but never touch it. That is for our sons, or their daughters, or further off. And if our villages are online, the real world becomes that dark wood on the edge of civilization, a place of danger and experience, of magic and blood, a place to make one's name or find death by bear. And here, there be monsters.
Catherynne M. Valente
An oncology ward is a battlefield, and there are definite hierarchies of command. The patients, they're the ones doing the tour of duty. The doctors breeze in and out like conquering heroes, but they need to read your child's chart to remember where they've left off from the previous visit. It is the nurses who are the seasoned sergeants - the ones who are there when your baby is shaking with such a high fever she needs to be bathed in ice, the ones who can teach you how to flush a central venous catheter, or suggest which patient floor might still have Popsicles left to be stolen, or tell you which dry cleaners know how to remove the stains of blood and chemotherapies from clothing. The nurses know the name of your daughter's stuffed walrus and show her how to make tissue paper flowers to twine around her IV stand. The doctors may be mapping out the war games, but it is the nurses who make the conflict bearable.
A preoccupation with power - black power, student power, flower power, poor power, 'the power structure' - is the striking aspect of the American political scene at the moment. Oddly enough, obsession with power goes hand in hand with a fear of power. Some of the New Left groups that talk the toughest about power are extremely reluctant to see power operate in any institutional form; within their own organizations, they shun 'hierarchies' and formally structured relations of authority. What the preoccupation with power reflects, essentially, is a deep=seated, pervasive feeling of powerlessness.
Curiosity evokes 'concern'; it evokes the care one takes for what exists and could exist; a readiness to find strange and singular what surrounds us; a certain relentlessness to break up our familiarities and to regard otherwise the same things; a fervor to grasp what is happening and what passes; a casualness in regard to the traditional hierarchies of the important and the essential. I dream of a new age of curiosity. We have the technical means for it; the desire is there; the things to be known are infinite; the people who can employ themselves at this task exist. Why do we suffer? From too little: from the channels that are too narrow, skimpy, quasi-monopolistic, insufficient. There is no point in adopting a protectionist attitude, to prevent 'bad' information from invading and suffocating the 'good.' Rather, we must multiply the paths and the possibility of comings and goings.
Our institutions are too big; they represent not the best but the worst characteristics of human beings. By submitting to huge hierarchies of power, we gain freedom from personal responsibility for what we do and are forced to do - the seduction of it - but we lose the dignity of being real men and women. Power corrupts; attracts the worst and corrupts the best... Refuse to participate in evil; insist on taking part in what is healthy, generous, and responsible. Stand up, speak out, and when necessary fight back. Get down off the fence and lend a hand, grab a-hold, be a citizen - not a subject.
Money, dished out in quantities fitting the context, is a social lubricant here. It eases passage even as it maintains hierarchies. Fifty naira for the man who helps you back out from the parking spot, two hundred naira for the police officer who stops you for no good reason in the dead of night, ten thousand for the clearing agent who helps you bring your imported crate through customs. For each transaction, there is a suitable amount that helps things on their way. No one else seems to worry, as I do, that the money demanded by someone whose finger hovers over the trigger of a AK-47 is less a tip than a ransom. I feel that my worrying about it is a luxury that few can afford. For many Nigerians, the giving and receiving of bribes, tips, extortion money, or alms-the categories are fluid-is not thought of in moral terms. It is seen either as a mild irritant or as an opportunity. It is a way of getting things done, neither more nor less than what money is there for.
Whatever the religion, we are formatted to accept hierarchy without any questions and while most management studies discuss business models, organisation and power structure, they seldom question the different types of hierarchies. One has to wonder if this hierarchy really is an absolute truth...
Miguel Reynolds Brandao
Philosophy, art, politics, religion and bohemia have never sought to do away entirely with the status hierarchy; they have attemptee, rather, to institute new kinds of hierarchies based on sets of values unrecognised by, and critical of, those of the majority.. They have provided us with persuasive and consoling reminders that there is more than one way of succeeding in life.
Alain de Botton
Why are corporations so fleeting?... Instead of imitating the freewheeling city, these businesses minimize the very interactions that lead to new ideas. They erect walls and establish hierarchies. They keep people from relaxing and having insights. They stifle conversations, discourage dissent, and suffocate social networks. Rather than maximizing employee creativity they become obsessed with minor efficiencies.
... "white supremacy" is a much more useful term for understanding the complicity of people of color in upholding and maintaining racial hierarchies that do not involve force (i.e slavery, apartheid) than the term "internalized racism"- a term most often used to suggest that black people have absorbed negative feelings and attitudes about blackness. The term "white supremacy" enables us to recognize not only that black people are socialized to embody the values and attitudes of white supremacy, but we can exercise "white supremacist control" over other black people.
What distinguishes our species is thought. The cerebral cortex is in a way a liberation. We need no longer be trapped in the genetically inherited behavior patterns of lizards and baboons: territoriality and aggression and dominance hierarchies. We are each of us largely responsible for what gets put in to our brains. For what as adults we wind up caring for and knowing about. No longer at the mercy of the reptile brain we can change ourselves. Think of the possibilities.
As I see it, all of them - Tachists, Action Painters, Informel artists, and the rest - are only part of an Informel movement that covers a lot of other things as well. I think there's an Informel element in Beuys, as well; but it all began with Duchamp and chance, or with Mondrian, or with the Impressionists. The Informel is the opposite of the constructional quality of classicism - the age of kings, or clearly formed hierarchies.
The word of God has provided nine explanatory designations of the heavenly beings... the first group is forever around God and is said to be permanently united with Him ahead of any of the others and with no intermediary. Here there are the most holy 'thrones' and the orders said to possess many eyes and many wings, called in Hebrew the 'cherubim' and 'seraphim'... The second group... is made up of 'authorities,' 'dominions,' and 'powers.' And the third, at the end of the heavenly hierarchies, is the group of 'angels,' 'archangels,' and 'principalities.'
Going back to school is like going back in time. Immediately, for better or for worse, you must give up a little piece of your autonomy in order to become part of the group. And every group, of course, has its hierarchies and rules- spoken and unspoken. It is like learning to live once again in a family- which, of course, is the setting where all learning begins.
As a general rule of biology, migratory species are less 'aggressive' than sedentary ones. There is one obvious reason why this should be so. The migration itself, like the pilgrimage, is the hard journey: a 'leveller' on which the 'fit' survive and stragglers fall by the wayside. The journey thus pre-empts the need for hierarchies and shows of dominance. The 'dictators' of the animal kingdom are those who live in an ambience of plenty. The anarchists, as always, are the 'gentlemen of the road'.
Of course, we can distinguish between males and females; we can also, if we choose, distinguish between different age categories; but any more advanced distinction comes close to pedantry, probably a result of boredom. A creature that is bored elaborates distinctions and hierarchies. According to Hutchinson and Rawlins, the development of systems of hierarchical dominance within animal societies does not correspond to any practical necessity, nor to any selective advantage; it simply constitutes a means of combating the crushing boredom of life in the heart of nature.
Charity is a cop-out so traditionally female in its apparent self-effacement that there seems resonant comfort in it. We're no longer supposed to serve the imaginations of men who have dominated us. We are to give up ourselves instead to those whose suffering is greater than our own. Looking down is just as distorting as looking up and as dangerous in perpetuating hierarchies.
Successful entrepreneurs may hate hierarchies and structures and try to destroy them. They may garner the disapproval of MBAs for their creativity and wildness. But they have antennae in their heads. When they walk down the street anywhere in the world, they have their antennae out, evaluating how what they see can relate back to what they are doing. It might be packaging, a word, a poem, or even something in a completely different business.
... the connection between imperial politics and culture is astonishingly direct. American attitudes to American "greatness", to hierarchies of race, to the perils of "other" revolutions (the American revolution being considered unique and somehow unrepeatable anywhere else in the world) have remained constant, have dictated, have obscured, the realities of empire, while apologists for overseas American interests have insisted on American innocence, doing good, fighting for freedom.
... while infants will sync with the human voice regardless of language, they later become habituated to the rhythms of their own language and culture ... ... humans are tied to each other by hierarchies of rhythms that are culture-specific and expressed through language and body movement.
Edward T. Hall
Feminism is a belief that although women and men are inherently of equal worth, most societies privilege men as a group. As a result, social movements are necessary to achieve political equality between women and men, with the understanding that gender always intersects with other social hierarchies.
Although it is easier to find information these days, it is easier than ever before to find misinformation, pseudo-facts, unsupported and fringe opinions, and the like. Children should be taught at an early age what constitutes evidence, how to detect biases or distortions in newspaper accounts, and that there exist hierarchies of information sources. In the medical field, for example, a controlled experiment published in a peer-reviewed journal is a better source than a blog by the Ginseng Growers Association, promoting the health benefits of their own product.
If you create an environment where the people truly participate, you don't need control. They know what needs to be done and they do it. And the more that people will devote themselves to your cause on a voluntary basis, a willing basis, the fewer hierarchies and control mechanisms you need.
I myself am not comfortable with the notion of secularists congregating in groups, except perhaps for defensive purposes: the last thing a secularist should wish to do is to act like a religion, with its rigid hierarchies, its suppression of divergent opinion, and, above all, its ruthless attempts (now mercifully inhibited by laws) to outlaw "heresy" by brute force. Opinions must be changed, one at a time if necessary, but if there are those who wish to persist in religious belief, they should certainly be allowed to do so.
S. T. Joshi
When the Reformation became established, one of the things that was a question between Catholicism and the Reformation traditions was whether there was a hierarchy of being. If you look at Thomas Aquinas, for example, you have hierarchies of angels and all the rest of it, and hierarchies even of saints and then subsaints - people who aren't quite there, that sort of thing. The Reformation rejected all of that and created a new metaphysics, in effect, that is not hierarchical.
I no longer believe the conservative message that children are naturally selfish and destructive creatures who need civilizing by hierarchies or painful controls. On the contrary, I believe that hierarchy and painful controls create destructive people. And I no longer believe the liberal message that children are blank slates on which society can write anything. On the contrary, I believe a unique core self is born into every human being; the result of millennia of environment and heredity combined in an unpredictable way that could never happen before or again.
From my membership in all of these groups I have learned that oppression and the intolerance of difference come in all shapes and sizes and colors and sexualities; and that among those of us who share the goals of liberation and a workable future for our children, there can be no hierarchies of oppression.
A long long time ago I took an oath to tell all secrets that came my way. Don't tell me a secret, I won't keep it. I'm against secrets, I'm against hierarchies, lineages, all assumption of special knowledge on the part of anyone in the presence of anyone else is abhorrent to me. I mean, I am a true anarchist first and foremost.
Ordered by subject, by importance, ordered according to whether the book was penned by God or by one of God's creatures, ordered alphabetically or by numbers or by the language in which the text is written, every library translates the chaos of discovery and creation into a structured system of hierarchies or a rampage of free associations.
The mystic must be steadily told,-All that you say is just as true without the tedious use of that symbol as with it. Let us have a little algebra, instead of this trite rhetoric,-universal signs, instead of these village symbols,-and we shall both be gainers. The history of hierarchies seems to show that all religious error consisted in making the symbol too stark and solid, and was at last nothing but an excess of the organ of language.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
We became Homo sapiens not that long ago, from the scientific perspective, and we've retained a lot of our beast nature. We've done all these amazing things in terms of our knowledge base and technology, and now we're flying around and using the internet. But we're still very animalistic. So, I think about hierarchies. I think about evolution. I think about how we stack up, how we sit on top of each other. How we pray that we know what we're up to.
Economic activity is no longer an adversarial contest between embattled sellers and buyers "In the distributed economy, where collaboration trumps competition, inclusivity replaces exclusivity and transparency and openness to others becomes essential to the new way of conducting business, empathic sensibility has room to breathe and thrive. It is no longer so constrained by hierarchies, boundaries of exclusion, and a concept of human nature that places acquisitiveness, self-interest, and utility at the center of the human experience."
Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels'hierarchies? and even if one of thempressed me against his heart: I would be consumedin that overwhelming existence. For beauty is nothingbut the beginning of terror, which we still are just able to endure,and we are so awed because it serenely disdainsto annihilate us. Every angel is terrifying.
Rainer Maria Rilke
There was a time for German stars in the 1950s with Curt Jurgens, Hardy Kruger, O. W. Fischer, and Maria Schell. That was a totally different generation. It all ended in 1968 during the big students' movement in my country. It was an anti-authority movement that changed everything. All my country's hierarchies, morals and values were questioned.
It is a mystic maxim that the lower in the scale of evolution a being is placed, the more certainly it responds to the planetary rays, and conversely the higher we ascend in the scale of attainment, the more the man conquers and rules his stars, freeing himself from the leading strings of the Divine Hierarchies.
It is a matter of common knowledge among mystics that the evolutionary career of mankind is indissolubly bound up with the divine hierarchies, who rule the planets and the signs of the Zodiac, and that the passage of the Sun and the planets through the twelve signs of the Zodiac, marks man's progress in time and in space.
We know that flat and non-hierarchical systems use information best. I've tried to do that with my own company because it works better that way. And society at large will work better as well if we can get rid of these old institutions and hierarchies. New innovations like the block chain can make this possible.
Patrick M. Byrne
Often, economists spend their energies squabbling with one another, but arguably the more important contrast is between our broadly liberal economic worldview and the various alternatives - common around the globe - that postulate natural hierarchies of religion, ethnicity, caste and gender, often enforced by law and strict custom.
I'm never interested in the painting being a mirror to culture. I think that's really boring. What I'm interested in is painting as an affective space. The place where the hierarchies of the world can be rearranged within the space of a painting. And they can be articulated in different ways.