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Posts Tagged ‘warren buffet’

Generally speaking, our social structures are predicated upon our most basic instincts.  Only very recently in human history have we invented institutions which aim to increase the general good, for example.  As primates, we are hard-wired for hierarchy.  We all have instincts which cause us to accept as natural the idea that a very few people will be chiefs, while the rest of us are supposed to be followers. 

In fact, nature deals with this by endowing us with a very strong ability to worship our social superiors (including our parents first and foremost), and also to live vicariously through them.  In the middle ages, almost everyone was doomed to hard agricultural labour, but the people tolerated one out of every hundred or so men being decorated with fine clothes, and semi-worshipped as a ‘nobleman.’  In ancient egypt, rome, greece, etc., it was always the same.  And in the middle ages, most people knew that they were base and banal, and anything but ‘holy,’ even though the church preached that everyone was supposed to be a saint.  And so, the church made it so that one out of every few thousand people got to be called a ‘bishop,’ and wore expensive robes, got a powerful-looking hat, got to carry a golden staff, and was rumoured to be so holy that he had supernatural powers.  And the mere convention that this man was a ‘bishop’ made it so that, even if he wasn’t that holy in real life, the people tended to ignore all of his flaws, because instinctually he fulfilled their ‘role model’ role… that pigeonhole that we all have in our consciousnesses where originally we put our tribe’s ‘chief.’

So we are all born with a very strong inctinct for ‘chief’ (or alpha male, and alpha female) worship. 

And today, that plays itself out in a number of ways, one of which is that we fetishize rich people. (more…)

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