Hierarchy vs. Equality

The hierarchy vs. fairness framework is an attempt to classify the world into two major spectra: a hierarchical, authoritarian worldview (R1) and a cooperative, collaborative, egalitarian one (R2).

The former tends to be the value system associated with the right wing on the political spectrum (conservatives, Libertarians, the alt-Right, and so on), while the latter is associated with Progressives and liberals.

Many scholars and knowledgable folk have written about this pervasive dimension of hierarchy vs. equality, from Teri Kanefield to George Lakoff to Max Weber to fields as diverse as organizational psychology, behavioral economics, and evolutionary biology — to name a few. The conflict between these two major modes of organizing society has raged since the dawn of recorded history, and rages still.

Teri Kanefield gives a good explainer video overview of the hierarchy vs. fairness Manichaean struggle here:

see also:

  • wolves and sheep vs. community
  • Lone Wolf vs. The Collective
  • Hobbes vs. Locke: Is humankind fundamentally bad, or good?
  • oligarchy and the creep of fascism
  • Loyalty vs. truth
  • is it better to be feared, or loved?
  • strict father morality vs. nurturing parent morality
  • thinking, fast and slow (Kahneman)
  • obedience to authority vs. self-determination
  • conservative vs. progressive
  • domination vs. equality
  • competitive vs. cooperation
  • success vs. enjoyment
  • controlling vs. supportive
  • hierarchy vs. fairness
  • mechanical vs. natural, organic
  • rules-based vs. creative flexibility, malleability
  • fascism vs. social democracy
  • supremacy vs. egalitarianism
  • status quo vs. change
  • bulletproof vs. vulnerable
  • shallow vs. deep
  • status vs. value
  • thoughtless vs. thoughtful
  • coercion vs. free will
  • rigid vs. fluid
  • isolation vs. embeddedness/context
  • angry vs. curious
  • abusive vs. uplifting
  • cult-like vs. harmonious
  • rugged individualism vs. togetherness
  • anti-social vs. warm
  • normative vs. positive
  • extremism vs. moderation
  • elite vs. masses
  • Moral Vision theory: binary vs. continuum — b&w vs. rainbow

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