By analogy with abuses based on race and gender, abuse based on rank is given the name "rankism." Rankism is harder to pin down than other more apparent forms of discrimination -- gender, race or disability.
1. Once you have a name for it, you see rankism at the heart of every infringement of human rights, far away or close to home. Rankism is the root cause of indignity, injustice, and unfairness. Choosing the term "rankism," places the goal of universal human dignity in the context of contemporary movements for civil rights. Reexamining racism, sexism, and ageism as examples of rankism breathes new life into the movements opposing them. Identifying rankism in all its guises and overcoming it is democracy's next step.

2. Rankism afflicts individuals, groups, and nations. It distorts our personal relationships, erodes our will to learn, taxes our economic productivity, stokes ethnic hatred, and incites nations to war. It is the cause of dysfunctionality, and sometimes even violence, in families, schools, and the workplace. Over the course of history, the most common abuses of power have acquired special names: tyranny, corporate corruption, slavery, racism, sexism, rape, child abuse, domestic violence, lynching, sexual harrassment, clergy misconduct, homophobia. Each of these practices is an abuse of the weak by the strong. Each of these familiar named offenses is an instance of bullying, of pulling rank.

(F) Fuzzy exceptional problems