Someone has to be at the bottom

Primo Levi describes hierarchies perfectly

“In chicken coops there is a pecking order among the hens; after a certain number of preliminary pecks, a precise order is established according to which there is a hen that pecks all the others, a second hen that pecks all except one, and so on down to the last hen in the coop, which is pecked by all and pecks no other.”

This illustrates the primary problem I have with hierarchies; someone has to be at the bottom. It matters not whether their position there is justified. All hierarchies require someone to be down below, with their face in the mud, and often, it’s held in place by those above them. 

Sure, I get it. Hierarchies are inescapable. We’re social animals who use status to organise, align, optimise, et cetera. But can’t we modify the hierarchies we live by so that those at the bottom don’t get treated so badly?