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Our economic order is tightly woven around the exploitation of animals, and while it may seem easy to dismiss concern about animals as the soft-headed mental masturbation of people who really don’t understand oppression and the depths of actual human misery, I hope to get you to think differently about suffering and pain, to convince you that animals matter, and to argue that anyone serious about ending domination and hierarchy needs to think critically about bringing animals into consideration.
From my membership in all of these groups I have learned that oppression and the intolerance of difference come in all shapes and sizes and colors and sexualities; and that among those of us who share the goals of liberation and a workable future for our children, there can be no hierarchies of oppression.
Going back to school is like going back in time. Immediately, for better or for worse, you must give up a little piece of your autonomy in order to become part of the group. And every group, of course, has its hierarchies and rules- spoken and unspoken. It is like learning to live once again in a family- which, of course, is the setting where all learning begins.
As a general rule, when something gets elevated to apple-pie status in the hierarchy of American values, you have to suspect that its actual monetary value is skidding toward zero. Take motherhood: nobody ever thought of putting it on a moral pedestal until some brash feminists pointed out, about a century ago, that the pay is lousy and the career ladder nonexistent. Same thing with work: would we be so reverent about the ‘work ethic’ if it wasn’t for the fact that the average working stiff’s hourly pay is shrinking, year by year.
A lot of people don’t see me as a funny character because I don’t usually get to play them. I’m usually cast in the more dramatic roles, so it’s been a really, really fun time playing her humor and her attitude. She’s a complete tomboy, so I did a really intense study on men and how they relate to each other, in the way they walk and hold themselves and position themselves in the hierarchy, just in something as simple as a conversation.
Successful entrepreneurs may hate hierarchies and structures and try to destroy them. They may garner the disapproval of MBAs for their creativity and wildness. But they have antennae in their heads. When they walk down the street anywhere in the world, they have their antennae out, evaluating how what they see can relate back to what they are doing. It might be packaging, a word, a poem, or even something in a completely different business.
Ordered by subject, by importance, ordered according to whether the book was penned by God or by one of God’s creatures, ordered alphabetically or by numbers or by the language in which the text is written, every library translates the chaos of discovery and creation into a structured system of hierarchies or a rampage of free associations.
I run my company according to feminine principles, principles of caring, making intuitive decisions, not getting hung up on hierarchy or all those dreadfully boring business-school management ideas; having a sense of work as being part of your life, not separate from it; putting your labor where your love is; being responsible to the world in how you use your profits; recognizing the bottom line should stay at the bottom.
Science, in its ultimate ideal, consists of a set of propositions arranged in a hierarchy, the lowest level of the hierarchy being concerned with particular facts, and the highest with some general law, governing everything in the universe. The various levels in the hierarchy have a two-fold logical connection, travelling one up, one down; the upward connection proceeds by induction, the downward by deduction.
In the Kingdom of Heaven, there is no grandeur to be won, inasmuch as there all is an established hierarchy, the unknown is revealed, existence is infinite, there is no possibility of sacrifice, all is rest and joy. For this reason, bowed down by suffering and duties, beautiful in the midst of his misery, capable of loving in the face of afflictions and trials, man finds his greatness, his fullest measure, only in The Kingdom of This World.
I have repeatedly stressed that the selfish impulses of man constitute a much less historic danger than his integrative tendencies. To put it in the simplest way: the individual who indulges in an excess of aggressive self-assertiveness incurs the penalties of society-he outlaws himself, he contracts out of the hierarchy. The true believer, on the other hand, becomes more closely knit into it; he enters the womb of his church, or party, or whatever the social holon to which he surrenders his identity.
Now the dressing-room full of RSC hierarchy. Suddenly Trevor Nunn pushes his way through and ‘Trevs’ me. I’ve heard a lot about this ‘Trevving’, but never had it done to me. From what I’d heard, a ‘Trev’ is an arm round your shoulder and a sideways squeeze. But this ‘Trev’ is a full frontal hug, so complete and so intimate that the dressing-room instantly clears, as if by suction. I’m left alone in the arms of this famous man wondering whether it’s polite to let go.
What we need is a tough new kind of feminism with no illusions. Women do not change institutions simply by assimilating into them. We need a feminism that teaches a woman to say no – not just to the date rapist or overly insistent boyfriend but, when necessary, to the military or corporate hierarchy within which she finds herself. We need a kind of feminism that aims not just to assimilate into the institutions that men have created over the centuries, but to infiltrate and subvert them.
Race is a lie built on a lie. The first lie is that people are different, somehow skin color or hair texture is more significant than eye color, or the shape of one’s feet. The second lie built on top of that is that there’s a hierarchy that more significant difference, the color showing up as brown on your skin rather than brown in your hair, or whatever, is somehow more significant and there’s some sort of hierarchy. That the lighter you are, the straighter your hair, the better you are.
Modern schools and universities push students into habits of depersonalized learning, alienation from nature and sexuality, obedience to hierarchy, fear of authority, self-objectification, and chilling competitiveness. These character traits are the essence of the twisted personality-type of modern industrialism. They are precisely the character traits needed to maintain a social system that is utterly out of touch with nature, sexuality and real human needs.
I think what really separates artists from the rest of the world is that artists feel like they have permission to keep exploring and expressing their process. Most people censor that because they don’t think it’s good enough. Everything is measured against this patriarchal hierarchy of value, as if one person’s singing voice is more important than another’s.
As a general rule of biology, migratory species are less ‘aggressive’ than sedentary ones. There is one obvious reason why this should be so. The migration itself, like the pilgrimage, is the hard journey: a ‘leveller’ on which the ‘fit’ survive and stragglers fall by the wayside. The journey thus pre-empts the need for hierarchies and shows of dominance. The ‘dictators’ of the animal kingdom are those who live in an ambience of plenty. The anarchists, as always, are the ‘gentlemen of the road’.