If, where, and when (iww) hierarchy is found necessary in society, the degree to which it permits exclusive domain to those in a given position at a level of the hierarchy is a parameter. Insomuch as broad judgement should be fused with responsibility, we may expect the following metric to be used to handle when those at one level should draw attention from those not their direct superiour in the hierarchy but at an equal or higher level to that superiour. When decisions are made, they should be judged on at least two levels, first their reasonability and second their full judgement. Reasonability is a broader view, permitting significantly more variance in what might be done in a situation and encompassing solutions that are based on differences in judgement and possibly some differences in unsure fact., while full judgement is what one would actually do in such a situation. The nuances of reasonability are not defined here and are perhaps not definable in the general sense. A subordinate may break the hierarchy when they feel their higher-up is making an unreasonable decision, but should not break the hierarchy when they feel their higher-up is making a decision that is reasonable but different than theirs (provided the hierarchy is rigid enough to prohibit such).

Hierarchies are potentially useful but dangerous social arrangements - their function at each task is constrained by the effectiveness, personality, and judgement of the people at each level combined with the flexibility in structure of the hierarchy permitting the incompetent, corrupt, or often-mistaken to be overridden, removed, or worked-around. Hierarchies can in theory provide for a judgement on each level on assigned tasks - capitalism is roughly hierarchial with the state very loosely at the apex guarding society's interests but with a strong set of proprietors on the next level. Under that system, the process of explicit judgement on propriety and the social good, performed through the judicial sytem and in exceptional circumstances through other mechanisms, are supplemented by implicit and automatic judgement, through the flow of currency, on efficiency. One distortion of personality suggested by hierarchy is majeste - a sense of self-worth and confidence created by one's position in the hierarchy and a subsequent deification of the position and oneself lead to a perspective both alien to the public good and unconcerned with the welfare of those beneath one in the hierarchy. Denying the special dignity associated with hierarchy and restraining the function of the hierarchy to a functional one limits these dangers - cautious hierarchies may take this further and sacrifice some direct efficiency in order to protect against inefficiencies and damage in their nature, intentionally going against the dignity of any post.

Pat Gunn (aka Improv) <pgunn@dachte.org>