Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
by Nasrudin O'Shah
The masters make the rules, for the wise men and the fools. ~Bob Dylan
Our modern societies are organized around two basic principles: hierarchy and win-lose competition .
Private and public institutions are organized as hierarchies and the major institutional decisions are the realm of central headquarters. It is difficult to imagine anything very different. A corporation or government needs to solve its problems with the big picture in mind, and all the big pictures can be dealt with if they are collected together at headquarters. There seems almost to be a law of nature about centralized hierarchy since everything seems to work that way.
Competition in our societies is all-pervasive. Society is set up as an adversarial machine. We seek knowledge by competing with other students. We advance in our careers by outdoing our coworkers. Success in business is defined in terms of competitiveness. We seek truth and justice by setting up a competition between two professional adversaries (lawyers) whose job is to out-perform the other in swaying a jury. We choose those leaders who compete best at telling us what we want to hear. Our nation's laws are decided in a competitive forum where one wins by being good at the game of trading favors and fooling the public.
One of the problems that we the people would need to deal with eventually is the current hierarchical regime itself. As long as that elite-controlled regime holds on to power, our society as community cannot do much to solve our other problems.