Friday, April 25, 2014

Government Subsidies Look Different from the Top

Bundy's remarks on African Americans made people instantly distance themselves from him, even the most conservative of politicians such as Rand Paul.

This situation illustrates the  power using hierarchy theory. When Bundy speaks with authority from the top of his own hierarchy - a white male rancher whose family has received government subsidies for generations - he can sound reasonable to a segment of the population. But when he switches into another hierarchy such as race and talks about a group that's not on top of that hierarchy, then he sounds so ridiculous and clueless that he loses his support.

People who want to conserve hierarchies can be set up to look ridiculous by forcing them to discuss more than one hierarchy at a time. This is done by taking an issue pertinent to the situation such as government subsidies and force the conversation onto other groups who are associated in their minds about government subsidies.