Status, Evolution And Human Nature

Status is generally defined as a person’s condition, position, or standing relative to that of others.

Please read that definition again and consider this:

Status automatically creates division and conflict.

Status forces us to think in terms of position, hierarchy, and dominance, and can’t possibly do otherwise; it is built solely upon our standing relative to others.

In other words, status is a poison. It causes us to think of others as adversaries and to compulsively compare positions.

To be very blunt about it, status is a primate model of seeing other beings. But it’s even worse than that: Not only does status poison our inter-relationships, it poisons our self-image. After all, it requires us to think of ourselves as above or below every other person.


Status stands before us as an evolutionary hurdle. If humanity is to rise as a species, it absolutely must transcend status. Until we do, humans will continue to think primate thoughts, and human history will remain centered on conflict.

Our present world is dominated by status-based structures. Whether kingdom, democracy, theocracy, or whatever, status-based structures set one man or group of men above all others. These people of a “higher” position-relative-to-others collect the production of the “lower” people, issue edicts they are forced to obey, and punish those who do not.

In other words, the ruling systems of the present world are incarnations of status… they are “status made flesh,” to paraphrase a famous scripture. This is a primary reason why the world is perpetually at war. The very model on which our society is built sets man against man and group against group, automatically and unavoidably.

Human Nature

Status isn’t properly “us.” We may be biased toward it, and we’ve certainly been trained in for hundreds of generations, but it doesn’t have to dominate our minds and lives. In fact, humans tend to transcend status fairly well when they expend effort on it. We are quite good at dropping it among family and friends, and very often go beyond that.

Humans can and do demonstrate non-oppositional thinking and living. And in this we see that human nature has been sold short:

Humans, even while immersed in the poisonous and persistent mindscape of status, still demonstrate love and charity.

That’s significant, and it speaks well of us. We are better than we’ve presumed ourselves to be. And again, moving forward requires us to strip status from our minds and lives.

It’s time to get busy.

Paul Rosenberg