Jeff Vail

An author with something to say, but still only 60 pages. Refreshing. Vails main message is that hierarchy has come to be our form of organization as our societies grew in size and economic productivity. As growth is approaching is limits (e.g. oil), only breaking with hierarchy and restructuring into small, decentrally organized units will reassure us peace and a high standard of living.

Vail spans an arc over human evolution to explain how he thinks our hierarchical power structures came into place. His most important themes are genes and memes. Examples of the latter are the inventions of agriculture, economics and states.

One must not agree with everything Vail utilizes on his way of explanation, for instance the Selfish Gene metaphor or the image of memes controlling us. The important stance that draws me in here is looking at human society from a structural viewpoint and explaining structure by what we have learned about ourselves by science. That way, you can present anarchism to me.

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