Hierarchy is an arrangement in which some objects are represented as being above or below others.
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- You moralistic dog—admitting a hierarchy in which you are subordinate, purely that you may have subordinates; licking the boots of a superior, that you may have yours in turn licked by an underling.
- Kenneth Burke, Towards a Better Life (Berkeley: 1966), p. 9
- I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom.
- Noam Chomsky, Language and Politics (1988) p. 775
- Since equality is in fact impossible, and since, despite all attempts at reducing everything to one level, the differences between one man and another cannot in practice be entirely suppressed, men have been brought, illogically enough, to invent false hierarchies, whose higher ranks claim to take the place of the only true elect; and these false hierarchies are built up exclusively on the basis of relative and contingent considerations, always of a purely material order. This is very obvious from the fact that the kind of social distinction which counts the most in the present state of things is that based on wealth, that is to say on a merely external superiority of an exclusively quantitative order, the only superiority, as a matter of fact, that is consistent with democracy, based as it is on the same point of view.
- René Guénon, The Crisis of the Modern World (1927), p. 98