Humans (and some other animals) recognize two kinds of status: good and bad. Good status is “prestige” while bad status is “dominance.” Here is Trump today saying the US wants to be high status in the world, but only via good status:
I'm sorry, Robin, but it is completely wrong to say people dislike dominance or consider it a bad thing. If my leader is a scary boss, it follows that he can defend me and the ingroup against our enemies.
Mussolini and suchlike were genuinely popular, but not for their prestigious virtues but because by polarizing everything in enemy and friend terms, people, afraid of the enemy, wanted a dominant leader, not a prestigious one.
Every time we praise a tough dude, a badass, an alpha male who does not take no shit from others, every time we praise owning or pwning others, every time we say stuff like "I came to chew gum and kick ass and I am out of gum", every time post the virgin vs. chad meme, we praise dominance.
Dude Robin these posts often bum me out. I remember sucking up to good looking people in school instead of smarties from my classes. I think u r right
This seems convincing, but I'm curious about your stating that "we can infer overall intelligence quickly and reliably from faces". On that, two questions: (1) Is that tweet you linked to the only available reference, or is there some lit on that topic? (2) Do you think facial features are really what provides info on intelligence, or do you think it's something else, like facial expressions, style (e.g. clothes), or posture?
True, but I'm not sure that copulating without procreation or intended procreation is mating.
If we're being precise, copulation refers to penis in vagina.
Today, our leaders are sociopaths.
If we view prestige as general value as an ally, already having allies should increase prestige (and more markedly, dominance). Alliances, based on power interests, are greased with friendship. But this tendency is opposed by the lower status of those individuals who are very likable due to the personality traits that make them likable. (The absence of overweening dominance drive.)
Use your brains to get and display wealth.
I find the analysis jarring -- there is almost too much truth to behold here (in terms of basic human tendencies with near-ubiquitous relevance). It's not that my worldview is shaken, but rather that most other media I consume by comparison--say, the Harvard Business Review, CNN--seems conspiratorially opposed to reality in fact. Give us more, Robin (preferably with tips + tricks for everyday life)! "Tangible steps to turn the matrix into your own personal cash register," and so on.
Is there any implication for degree of inclusion or the size of a social group for hierarchy?
Naively I would expect having more friends to confer prestige, with allowances for the position of those friends in the hierarchy.
The two kinds of status have different kinds of status moves. For example, you look directly at someone prestigious, but avoid looking directly at a dominator.
I think this is a significant observation. Humans luxuriate in the presence of the prestigious but feel browbeaten in the presence of the dominant. The key distinction between my account and yours hinges on whether the looking away expresses shame (on your illicitness account) or defeat (on my account, on which dominance and prestige differ more fundamentally).
The difference is of course is that you don't seem to postulate that this is due to capitalism or any other particular feature of contemporary society, but rather mainly to human nature.
Both are right, of course. Tendencies that are part of human nature are one-sidedly amplified by capitalism.
I don't see a focus on "subtle power relations" as unique to the left. Indeed, conservative-leaning scholars and writers would seem rather more likely to posit "dominance" as a source of genuine status, in a way that those leaning to the "left" might not want to.
Very sophisticated kinds of brainwashing. Gustavo Woltmann
They are so concerned with subtle power relations that their own writing becomes an insane shot at increasing their own power by bringing down people who aren't them, usually men and capitalists.