Updated: Oct 25, 2020
Chapter 5: What is a Dominance Hierarchy?
This may be hard for you to believe, but your dad used to be an ordained Baptist minister. Yes, me – the one with the infamous Irish mouth and temper. I’ll save more of the details of my religious past for later in the book.
At any rate, when I was going through my ordination to become a Baptist minister, and as I was sharing my personal philosophy of ministry, one of the officiating guest pastors made this gentle criticism of me. He said, “You are an idealist, my friend.”
Guilty. I definitely romanticize about the “ideal” world. The way the world should be. The way I want it to be. Honestly, I resonate with many of the lyrics contained in John Lennon’s iconic “Imagine” song. I do imagine such a world.
And when I look at the world, the idealist in me wonders what is really so hard about fixing the world.
· Why can’t we love instead of hate?
· Why can’t we unite instead of divide?
· Why can’t we build each other instead of destroy each other?
· Why can’t the world be marked by voluntary cooperation instead of involuntary submission?
· A world of choice instead of coercion.
· A world of freedom instead of fear and force.
· A world of helping instead of hurting.
· A world where we are our brother’s keeper instead of our brother’s king.
· A world of love-based transformation instead of fear-based conformity.
· A world where the highest goal for society is wholeness instead of order.
The ideal world, the way the world should be.
But that’s not reality. That’s not the world you were born into. You were born into a world where “They” – thousands of groups and individuals – want to steal your diamonds.
Dominators who want the power to define your identity and to determine your inner peace. Dominators who want you on their “team.” Dominators who want you as part of their “tribe.”
And dominators who will hurt you – maybe even kill you – if you resist.
This is the real world. The way the world is. It’s all one, big dominance hierarchy.
So what is a dominance hierarchy?
Let's start with the word hierarchy. Hierarchy simply means a ranking. A hierarchy is a ranking from best to worst, from the most superior to the most inferior, from the strongest to the weakest.
Hierarchies are human power rankings.
And humans have a ranking, a hierarchy, for everything. And I mean everything.
Humans rank physical dominance, who’s the strongest and best, reflected through athletic skill. If you want to know the best Division I Men’s Collegiate basketball teams, there is a ranking from 1st to 350 something, from the best team to the worst team. Within these rankings are sub-rankings. You can find team and individual rankings for scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, blocks, free throw percentage, field goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage, etc. from 1st through infinity.
And that’s just Division I. Never mind Division II, Division III, NAIA, etc. And don’t forget the women’s teams of all the same divisions.
You can look up similar team and individual player rankings for soccer, baseball, football, tennis, swimming, track and field, lacrosse, UFC fighting, boxing, wrestling, etc. In all of these, you will find a hierarchy, ranking teams and individuals from best to worst.
In each of these sports there will be tournaments to determine champions, who is the best, the undisputed top (temporarily) of that sports’ hierarchy. And when one has reached the “Mt. Everest” of their respective sport, they usually flash the universal symbol of their dominance by holding up their index finger declaring, “I’m #1, the top, the best, the winner.”
I am not saying this is good or bad. I’m just saying it’s so. I would even lean towards saying it’s a somewhat good thing. It shows progress. In some areas of life, humans have stopped killing each other, and they are at least now engaging in friendly competition. A handshake at the end is certainly better than death to the loser.
Humans also love to rank wealth, from the richest to the poorest. If you want to know which nations are the richest, you will find a hierarchy, a ranking from 1st to 195th, from the richest nation to the poorest nation. If you want to know the 500 richest people in every country, you can find a money hierarchy, a literal ranking of the wealthiest to the lesser wealthy.
Money is power and dominance. And the more you have, the more influence – and control – over others you usually have.
And this world makes every attempt to rank intelligence. It wants to document hierarchies reflecting smartest to dumbest. Schools have grade systems and test scores to reflect intelligence in given subjects. Every public school in America is forced to take standardized tests to measure the ability of students to grasp their predestined curriculum. If you want to know the “smartest” schools in this country down to the “dumbest” schools in this country, this information could be obtained.
Being the “smartest person in the room” usually means you have the most influence, control, and dominance over the others in the room. When choices are made in the room, usually your opinion will carry the most weight.
And certainly, physical beauty is not beyond the human affinity for hierarchy. While you may not find official rankings on beauty, all 50 states in our country have beauty pageants that also factor in intelligence, skill, and grace. Winners from all 50 states then compete against each other to determine who is the “best.” Make no mistake, those who look good and sound good usually have a great power to influence, control, and dominate others. Others who sees themselves as inferior on the physical beauty hierarchy.
So again, a hierarchy is simply a ranking from best to worst. Humans have a ranking or hierarchy for everything. Everything.
Which brings us to the word dominance. Dominance simply means to dominate, to bring another under your control. This control means you can tell another what to do and they will obey you. If they don't obey you, you have the power to attack and hurt them until they submit to your will. The superior, dominant one controls the choices of the inferior, subordinate one. The stronger controls the weaker.
If you are the one being dominated, all of this is the opposite. The dominator, the one who has brought you under their control, tells you what to do and you must obey them. If you don’t obey them, the dominator will attack and hurt you until you submit to their will. These attacks will start with varying levels of threatening vocalizations to get you to obey. If the vocalizations do not prompt your obedience, dominators will use physical violence.
Dominators will let you know that you are not in control of your own choices, they are. You are the weaker. They are the stronger. You are not free. You are their slave.
So, put it all together. A dominance hierarchy is a ranking of the most dominant to the least dominant, from the strongest person or group to the weakest person or group.
And this is at every level of existence on planet Earth. The stronger control the weaker. The weaker must obey the stronger or the stronger will attack and hurt the weaker so that they will obey.
Planet Earth is world of slavery. Our planet is nothing more than one big, dominance hierarchy.
Still a little fuzzy on the whole dominance hierarchy thing? Let me give you two basic examples to shed some more light on this concept.
Next time: Chapter Six: The Wolf Pack: How Dominance is Gained and Maintained Diamonds and Dominators: How to Feel Free in a World of Slavery contains an introduction and 20 Chapters. I am releasing this introduction and the first 13 chapters of this book in my blog. Also, chapter 20 - "How to Feel Free in a World of Slavery" can be read on this website by clicking on the Read tab.
If you would like to also read chapters 14 to 19, I would encourage you to buy the book in either ebook or paperback formats. Chapter 14: You Were Not Born to be Dominated by the Religious Class Chapter 15: You Were Not Born to be Dominated by the Ruling Class (Part 1) Chapter 16: You Were Not Born to be Dominated by the Ruling Class (Part 2) Chapter 17: You Were Not Born to be Dominated by the Rich Class Chapter 18: You Were Not Born to be Dominated by Your Parents Chapter 19: You Were Not Born to be Dominated by Your Siblings Thank you for taking the time to visit my website and blog. If you have found these thoughts to be helpful, please share (and subscribe if you have not already). Thanks, Joe.