The Nature of Man: Hierarchy

Yes, hierarchy is spelled wrong in the video…..

The idea of “Natural Equality” is one of the most pernicious delusions that has ever afflicted mankind. It is a figment of the human imagination. Nature knows no equality. The most cursory examination of natural phenomena reveals the presence of a Law of Inequality as universal and inflexible as the Law of Gravitation.

The evolution of life is the most striking instance of this fundamental truth. Evolution is a process of differentiation –of increasing differentiation — from the simple one-celled bit of protoplasm to the infinitely differentiated, complex life forms of the present day.

And the evolutionary process is not merely quantitative; it is qualitative as well. These successive differentiations imply increasingly inequalities. Nobody but a madman could seriously contend that the microscopic speck of protoplasmic jelly floating in the tepid waters of the Palaqeozoic Sea was “equal” to a human being. But this is only the beginning of the story. Not only are the various life types profoundly unequal in qualities and capacities; the individual members of each type are similarly differentiated among themselves. No two individuals are ever precisely alike. We have already seen how greatly this dual process of differentiation both of type and individual has been affected the human species,

and how basic a factor it has been in human progress. Furthermore, individual inequalities steadily increase as we ascend the biological scale. The amoeba differs very little from his fellows; the dog much more so; man most of all. And inequalities between men likewise become ever more pronounced. The innate differences between members of a low-grade savage tribe are as nothing compared with the abyss sundering the idiot and the

genius who coexist in a high-grade civilization.

Thus, we see that evolution means a process of ever-growing inequality. There is, in fact, no such word as “equality” in nature’s lexicon. With an increasingly uneven hand she distributes health, beauty, vigor, intelligence, genius — all the qualities which confer on their possessors superiority over their fellows.

Now, in the face of all this, how has the delusion of “natural equality” obtained — and retained — so stubborn a hold on mankind? As to both its antiquity and persistency there can be no shadow of doubt. The slogan of “equality” was raised far back in the remote past, and, instead of lessening, was never more loudly trumpeted than to-day. It is a curious fact that just when the advance of knowledge and the increasing complexity of civilization have enhanced individual differences and rendered superior capacities supremely important, the cry for equality should have become fiercer than ever, should have been embodied in all sorts of levelling doctrines, and should have been actually attempted in Bolshevik Russia with the most fanactical fury and the most appalling results.

Here is obviously something requiring careful analysis. As a matter of fact, the passion for “natural” equality seems to spring primarily from certain impulses of the ego, the self, particularly from the impulses of self-preservation and self-esteem. Every individual is inevitably the centre of his world, and instinctively tends to regard his own existence and well-being as matters of supreme importance. This instinctive egoism is, of course, modified by experience, observation, and reflection, and may be so overlaid that it becomes scarcely recognizable even by the individual himself. Nevertheless,

it remains, and subtly colors every thought and attitude. In his heart of hearts, each individual feels that he is really a person of importance. No matter how low may be his capacities, no matter how egregious his failures, no matter how unfavorable the judgement of his fellows; still his inborn instincts of self-preservation and self-love whisper that he should survive and prosper, that “things are not right,” and that if the world were properly ordered he would be much better placed.

Fear and wounded vanity thus inspire the individual to resent unfavorable status, and this resentment tends to take the form of protest against “injustice.” Injustice of what? Of “fate,” “nature,” “circumstances,” perhaps; yet, more often, injustice of persons — individually or collectively (i.e., “society”). But (argues the discontented ego), since all this is unjust, those better placed persons have no “right” to succeed where he fails.

Though more fortunate, they are not really his superiors. He is “as good as they are.” Hence, either he should be up with them — or they should be down with him.

“We are all men. We are all

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