Allan Milne Lees, here’s another article that touches on all the aspects of this topic from Boehm and others. It’s not too long and speaks not about Utopian societies where everyone goodheartedly wants to be equal, but rather about the practical elements of a reverse domination hierarchy, where the larger group keeps those who get power-mad or greedy in check for the good of the group but also their own self-interest. This is seen not only in hunter-gatherer societies but in some other “big man” societies where very often the chief is still considered a type of first among equals.

It’s an interesting piece because it has extensive citations from other anthropologists and references nearly 50 cultures. I’m debating whether or not to try to distill it and other related info down into a stand-alone story, but that may be more effort than I want to expend. In the meantime, I’ll let you read for yourself should you care to do so.

Written by

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store