.. regardless of their ostensible mission, hierarchical institutions tend to be headed by people whose primary skills are careerist climbing and bureaucratic in-fighting .. you simply cannot become a President of the United States, or a Fortune 500 CEO, unless there’s something fundamentally wrong with you. The same is true of the intellectual capacity of those who manage to advance upward within hierarchies. Being a team player, engaging in groupthink, demonstrating an ability to shut off critical thinking when evaluating the communications of a superior — these are qualities that authoritarian institutions select for.
But in addition to selecting for stupidity and meanness, such institutions impress those traits even on those who didn’t previously possess them. Hierarchies are systematically stupid. No matter how intelligent the people running them are as individuals, the internal dymanics of the hierarchy make them functionally stupid. That’s because power distorts communications, rendering them incapable of conveying accurate information ..
A similar process, based on the distorted incentive structure when one possesses unaccountable authority over others and can externalize unpleasantness on subordinates while appropriating rewards for oneself, takes place in the ethical realm as well ..
.. People in authority, in their organizational roles, tend to experience the functional equivalent of a psychotic break with reality, and to act like sociopaths toward their subordinates.
Power over others, by its very nature, degrades those who wield it, turns them into monsters, and poisons their every relationship with their fellow human beings. There’s no “reform” that can change that, short of abolishing authority itself. And that’s what we anarchists want to do.