A society without hierarchy is possible

Can society exist without a hierarchy?

People always try to gain as much control over the world and its resources as possible. We are always obsessed with science and technology to gain knowledge of our world so that we can control it even further. We even have social sciences to try to control our own species.

Humans will use every opportunity to gain more control over their natural environment, and other people who are part of the environment are no exception. If a person can control another person with limited effects, he will try to do so either subtly or through some formal institution.

Of course, because not all people are the same (I don't mean this as an ethical proposition about human rights, but about the human genome), they will compete for control and there will be a winner. The winner will of course dominate the others simply because he can - and people will never miss the opportunity to further control their available resources.

Jonno Bourne

I think this is a good partial answer to the question, possibly because I asked the question poorly! You seem to be saying that you think people will naturally try to dominate everyone else when the opportunity arises, which I pretty much agree with. The question, however, is more general and relates to the society of humans or animals and whether a hierarchy is necessary for it to function. Is a society without intra-group dominance something that can ever exist?


"People will use every opportunity to gain more control over their natural environment," but why are there people who believe in a non-hierarchical society? For example, I would not use the opportunity to use force to gain control of the natural environment. So am I an exception?