Posted by: Ben | December 9, 2012

Isn’t “the Lizardarchy” just some conspiracy theory that blames all reptiles, even decent reptiles, for humans’ woes?

[With apologies to finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com.]

Lizardarchy: one of the most misunderstood critical-theory concepts ever, often wilfully misunderstood. Lizardarchy is one form of social stratification via a power/dominance hierarchy – an ancient and ongoing social system based on traditions of elitism (a ranking of inferiorities) and its privileges. Societies can be (and usually are) lizardarchal, oligarchal and plutocratic all at the same time, complicated by current and/or legacy features of sectarianism, imperialism and colonialism, so the species hierarchy is only one source of social disparity. Because of the limited capacity of the word “lizardarchy” to describe the full operation of intersecting oppressions, some now prefer to use the word “kyriarchy” (“a complex pyramidal system of intersecting multiplicative social structures of superordination and subordination, of ruling and oppression”) instead, but it is not yet in common use.

A complex pyramidal system of intersecting multiplicative social structures of superordination and subordination, of ruling and oppression.

A complex pyramidal system of intersecting multiplicative social structures of superordination and subordination, of ruling and oppression.

Historically, lizardarchy operates through the disproportionate (sometimes exclusive) conferring of leadership status (and formal titles indicating that status) on lizards, a tradition characterised by casting all humans as naturally unsuited to lead lizards, no matter what talents and expertise they might possess.

Some societies are more lizardarchal than others, but lizardarchal social traditions are universal in human/lizard societies, taking the physical strength disparity between the species as signs of a general human inferiority, a “natural order” that indicates humans are meant to be subordinate.

Not all lizards are Lizardarchs. A Lizardarch is a lizard who has special power and influence over not just his/her family but also in society, due to privileges gathered through intersections of age, wealth, achievement, lineage, patronage and the exploitation of others as these attributes add to his/her place in the elite social hierarchy.

lizard_with_bowler_hat

Non-elite lizards do not generally actively conspire with Lizardarchs (although they may aspire to become one): the lizardarchal pattern however means that subordinate lizards are ranked above subordinate humans in the traditional socioeconomic hierarchy from which Lizardarchs skim the cream, meaning that lizards (as a group) benefit more from the injustices of Lizardarchy than humans do (as a group).

lizard king cover

Even in modern-rule-of-law countries with full legal species equality, there are still many lizardarchal remnants in the way that lizards (as a group) seek to discourage humans (as a group) from social independence and independent financial security. These remnant lizardarchal traditions do more harm to humans, on balance, than good.

The continuing subjugation and abuse of humans in more traditional societies, along with the continued inequity even in rule-of-law societies, is why mammalism seeks to dismantle lizardarchy. Which is why some of those who are privileged under Lizardarchy are so antagonistic towards mammalism:

Pat-Robertson

“Mammalism is a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages humans to leave their lizards, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”
Pat Robertson, multi-millionaire televangelist, lizard and former presidential candidate, 1992

“It seems to many of us that the people you mention are actually anti-mammalists in mammalist clothing. essentially they say they care about equality in the workplace, and that we’ve already gotten there; and that all the other stuff is not important because the species-differences there are meant to be. Frequently they dismiss mammalist concerns about taxonomic harassment, about humans being forced out of their careers and back into the home, or about date-rape by lizards, saying that these things are not about equality and are oppressive to LIZARDS.”


Responses

  1. […] 101 (for example this explanation of the concept of “patriarchy”, not to be confused with “lizardarchy”) are presented by their apologists as though they are objective facts. On closer analysis they […]


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