Inverted Power Structures

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G. William Domhoff, based on Michael Mann:

"Before civilizations emerged, there may have been "inverted power structures" in which the rank-and-file could discipline would-be dominators through gossip, scorn, shunning, and if need be, assassination (Boehm, 1999). Only where river flooding allowed the possibility of alluvial agriculture, in conjunction with close proximity to geographical areas that encouraged different but complementary networks, did the "caging" of populations make possible the development of the fixed power structures of domination and exploitation that have characterized all civilizations. The strong egalitarian tendencies that characterized pre-historic social groups were submerged when power seekers could build on a religious, economic, military, or political base to gain control of others." (

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