Stratification in Society – Analogy of the Antelope


Social stratification is a term often used
by social scientists and anthropologists to describe the phenomenon where people are placed
into discrete categories based on factors such as wealth, income, social status, occupation,
kinship, and power. Sometimes theses categories are completely
arbitrary such as the caste system used in India. In this system, if you are born into the labouring
class, you will die a labourer. Analogy of the Antelope Let’s imagine a herd of antelope (pick your
favourite species) grazing in an African savannah. They keep together for protection, but otherwise
feed freely on the grasses and plant-life surrounding them. Occasionally there is a scuffle between males
to show the females who is more deserving of their affection. However, this is usually not fatal and is
more for show than anything else. Now imagine if one of the antelope of the
herd decided to claim the grassland as his own. He lets the other antelope know that his area
is off-limits, and anybody wishing to feed there would have to gain his permission. Now of course in real life, the other antelope
would simply ignore him, or move a few metres away and continue grazing. What can he do? He can’t attack us all, right? But this self-proclaimed “Owner of the Grassland”
is more cunning than the other antelope. He starts spreading rumours that the grass
will soon die off and that the herd need a leader to ration the remaining grass effectively. Not everyone agrees, but he notices that a
few of the larger bucks are on his side. He decides to make an agreement with them
– If they help him defend the grassland from layabouts, then they can eat as much
grass as they like. The large bucks quickly agree and are each
granted the title of “Enforcer of the Grassland”. From that day on, the new leader declares
to the herd that he is in charge. No longer can the other antelope graze freely
on the grass, but instead they must perform duties for the leader before they can eat. If anybody tries to “steal” any grass,
they will be attacked by one of the newly promoted enforcers. The antelope who are not employed as enforcers
are either forced to be “breeders” (the fertile females), or “workers”. Workers are granted very little rights and
are only allowed to feed if the leader or enforcers say so. Stratification in Human Society The Analogy of the Antelope sounds ridiculous,
right? Why would antelope give up their feeding rights
just to appease a single leader? Of course, in reality, they wouldn’t. No animal would allow other members of the
same species to starve, or at least, they wouldn’t have the power to enforce such
a rule. But in human society, that’s exactly what
happens, even to this day. For the majority of human history, we have
been living in small hunter-gatherer tribes that look after one another. But as we formed larger groups, certain individuals
started to put themselves into positions of power. They created arbitrary rules to dictate which
people belonged to which class. Stratification became rampant as agriculture
took hold. Due to agriculture, there was now an oversupply
of food. No longer did everybody have to work in food
production or collection. One would imagine that an oversupply of food
would be a good thing, but the new leaders saw it differently. They saw an opportunity to become wealthy
and to take advantage of the working class. The further one was away from actual agricultural
work, the more one was respected in society. Labourers were seen as “lower class”,
while scientists and musicians were seen as belonging to “high culture”. As the years went on, social stratification
took hold. During industrialisation, inequality became
the norm. Rich landowners and businessmen were freely
abusing their workers and barely giving them enough to support their families. No longer could a person just go and eat when
they were hungry. They were forced to work long hours just to
be able to afford the bare essentials in life. All the while their rich masters were living
it up in relative luxury at the expense of the workers. Modern day capitalism relies on exploitation
and stratification. The “upper class” often do very little
to gain and maintain their wealth, often having inherited vast sums of money or tracts of
land. They just have to choose a couple of wise
investments, often decisions already made by their parents, and the money continues
rolling in. Simply by pretending they’re interested
in the common man, the media praise them for being so “charitable” and “philanthropic”. The rich are promoted to a level of benevolence
and fame, when all the time they’ve used the broken capitalist system to horde wealth
from the lower class. Poor individuals are forced to pay rent, or
else get themselves into massive debt just to have a roof over their head. Land is not freely given to every member of
society – one must either pay for it with a lifetime of work, or be lucky enough to
be born into a rich landowning family. Rich capitalists like to falsely claim that
we can all become rich, just like them – it just takes a bit of determination and hard
work. But of course, it is all rubbish. They just want to keep us onside so that we
don’t come to our senses and realise that we completely outnumber them. If we banded together, we could easily overthrow
them, distributing their wealth in a much fairer manner. The whole purpose of social stratification
is control. Just as the antelope can freely graze without
another antelope forcing them to work for their food, humans could do the same. We have an over-abundance of food (Australia
exports about 58% of its food product), so why do we insist that only people with money
can have any? For those of you who are interested, here
is a recent article about edible weeds that are available across Australia. I’ll post the link below. Our elite are constantly trying to take stuff
away from us, but yet they happily indulge. See the policies of the current Australian
leadership. The budget clearly favours the rich. Money is taken away from those who need it
the most, such as children with bad teeth. If the government had their way, they would
abolish Medicare and let the lower class live in squalor, or die. Let’s stop this stupidity and realise that
we are all the same species just trying to exist in harmony. Let’s stop voting in people who only want
to support the big end of town. Let’s stop being a society of greed and
instead be a society of caring and mutual respect. Let’s help those who need it, not just those
with money in their pockets. Let’s allow everybody to have the necessities
of life – food, clothing, shelter – and stop allowing the rich to horde wealth that
doesn’t help anybody. Who needs 47 Porsche cars? Let’s stop this madness!

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