The cruelty of authority

Rankism, discrimination or exploitation based on rank.

All around us, a powerful “somebody” is bullying a “nobody.”

Someone can hold a high rank in one setting (for example, at home) and simultaneously be low on the totem pole in another (at work). Likewise we can feel powerful at one time and powerless at another, as when we … experience the loss of a job, a partner, or our health. As a result, most of us have been victims and perpetrators of discrimination based on rank.

…our capacity for empathy as individual human beings — fails to address the darker side of our relationship to authority.