The racist says that white is superior to black. The fascist says that his compatriot is superior to the foreigner. The misogynist says that man is superior to woman. The cult member says that the guru is superior to the devotee. The proud one says that the rich is superior to the poor. Economy says that the boss is superior to the employee. Politics say that the elected is superior to the citizen.
Wether in modern or traditional societies, many mechanism enable to set human pyramids. The superior humans are few in number at the top of the pyramid, while the inferior humans are many at the bottom. Each must maintain the assigned position for life in society to unfold smoothly. The top of the pyramid gives orders, the bottom obeys without any argue.
When a concept bothers me, I move one step below, I lean to the matter to look for an analogy, in order to understand. So what about comparing the social pyramids with the Egyptian pyramids for instance?
The first problem is related to stability.
In a pyramidal structure, each brick is well sealed at its own position.
In our pyramidal societies, anyone can climb up or tumble down from his or her position. The one who was the boss yesterday can fall from grace, someone else will take his place. Moreover, humans are mortals so anyone can disappear at anytime, causing a hole in the pyramid.
Our social pyramids are thus unstable structures, likely to give rise to an insecurity feeling.
The second problem is related to relevance.
In a pyramidal structure, the bricks have a specific shape, according to the place where they are. Because of their shape, they are where they are supposed to be and they cannot be positionned anywhere else.
In our pyramidal societies, anyone can potentially be at any place. We just need to change our behavior, to fit into the one that is required by the role that we wish to play. We just need to pretend, to make believe that we are what we are not, in order to occupy the position that we wish to have in the pyramid.
This can give rise to the feeling that the structure is artificial, that it totally lacks harmony.
The third problem is related to sustainability.
The pyramid is one of the most solid building. Once completed, it can stand any weather condition for centuries.
In pyramidal societies, everything is ephemeral. Indeed, the boss is at the top of the pyramid 8 hours a day. But when the working hours are over, he goes down to the same level as those who were below him during the day. He will climb back to the top the next day, after breakfast. The lifetime of each pyramid is bounded, it often spreads only on a limited time span. Off these time slots, they don't exist at all.
It can give rise to an emptiness feeling.
Our social pyramids are twisted, ephemeral, artificial. They exists thanks to our blind faith. They exist because we accept to believe in the rules of society and to comply. If we refuse to obey then the various pyramids autoamtically disappear. The marginalised and original make people afraid. Those who are different are given suspicious looks. If they don't fit well into the society, they could make the pyramid collapse.
It seems to me that we don't reason soundly. There is a pyramid but not at the human scale. The various species of living beings are shaped like a pyramid, where each species depends on the others. The shape of this pyramid cannot change every 5 minutes because the needs and abilities of each species are fixed. The position occupied by each species in the pyramid is defined by its characteristics. This pyramid exists all the time, for we cannot trade our species for another, just like we apply to another job. Only the appearance or disappearance of species can change the shape of the pyramid.
Inside each species, the members can get organised, not as a pyramid but as a network. In a network, all beings lie at the same level. They can freely change their position and roles according to the circumstances. They can connect to one another to shape a multitude of more or less temporary sub-networks.