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When the researchers let the model run over several generations, they found that, in general, groups made up of leaders and followers were able to produce or gather more resources than those made up of egalitarian-minded individuals. That, in turn, enabled the hierarchical group to grow more quickly and to better eke out a living. According to the model, groups made up of leaders and followers eventually grew to about twice the size of societies solely composed of egalitarians.

To see how this might have worked in the real world, consider nascent agricultural societies, Powers says.

Egalitarianism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

In such groups, widespread cooperation is necessary for large endeavors such as planting and harvesting crops and for building irrigation systems. Having leaders to organize such projects and followers to carry them out may have been a more efficient form of social organization than true egalitarianism. Followers may have been willing to exchange a bit of control over their lives for access to a society-wide increase in resources, Powers says. For example, the benefits of being a leader almost ensure that there would be strong competition and possibly even conflict among group members for power.

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The benefits of inequality

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Economic literature: papers , articles , software , chapters , books. For Indigenous Australians, both poverty and ill-health are so entrenched and have existed for so long that Sir Michael said one could be forgiven for wondering if things can change. I am not given to counsels of despair," he said.


He agues that the alternative to poverty is not, as some may suspect, wealth, but rather "justice". On a visit to the West Arnhem Land community of Gunbalanya in the Northern Territory, Sir Michael discovered one of the many examples of progress being made to reduce social inequity.

Becoming plumbers, teachers and nurses; or living with the land in traditional fashion? What everyone agreed on, Sir Michael said, was that living on the fringes of country towns with "destitution, drugs and alcohol" and "no hope for the future" was not what success looked like. Sir Michael said he had lost count of the number of times he had been told no government would take him seriously unless he make the economic case for action on social determinants of health.

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And learn as we go. Topics: health , epidemiology , poverty , community-and-society , indigenous-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander , australia. First posted September 24, If you have inside knowledge of a topic in the news, contact the ABC. ABC teams share the story behind the story and insights into the making of digital, TV and radio content. Read about our editorial guiding principles and the standards ABC journalists and content makers follow.

Learn more. By music and pop culture reporter Paul Donoughue. Here's all the most important, entertaining and scandalous things that happened at that big television awards ceremony. Labradoodles are often thought of "designer dogs" but the reason they were originally bred was never about their looks. By Greg Hassall. Decades ago, facing intense public backlash over his personal life, Paul Hogan fled to Los Angeles.