Is the attribution of status a direct consequence of human nature?
For the purposes of this question ‘status’ refers to a favourable and superior position within a society or culture. Be it as a result of social, economic or other related factors.
I was recently discussing the whole issue of socio-economic inequality with an anarchist friend of mine (as we’re all prone to doing on a Tuesday evening), and he purported that the attribution of status is primarily a result of the state and the overarching culture that comes with it. Basically he opened a serious can of Karl Marx on me (though it may have been Karl Marx lite as he’s trying to watch his calorie intake).
Now we proceeded to discuss this matter over some pizza, and one of the early points made was whether it is in-fact the case that modern human society creates a notion of status, or whether it’s our nature to attribute status and this has consequently resulted in this being a prominent factor in modern society.
My argument in favour of the latter was that if society acknowledges someone as being worthy of praise then they will be seen as better, and the major environmental variable involved is simply what characteristics are deemed worthy of praise. In a capitalist system money is the obvious choice, while perhaps in, for example, a communist society talent and ability would be more heavily revered.
The key point here being that the desire to praise and attribute status itself seems to derive directly from human nature rather than an outside influence. Though obviously my mind is not made up on this, hence my being here.
Has anyone got any thoughts to share on this matter?