Power structures are not a human-only prerogative

Beautiful quote from Frans de Waal’s Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? book:

“When I began observing the world’s largest chimpanzee colony, at Burgers’ Zoo in 1975, I had no idea that I’d be working with this species for the rest of my life. Just so, as I sat on a wooden stool watching primates on a forested island for an estimated ten thousand hours, I had no idea that I’d never again enjoy that luxury. Nor did I realize that I would develop an interest in power relations. In those days, university students were firmly antiestablishment, and I had the shoulder-long hair to prove it. We considered ambition ridiculous and power evil. My observations of the chimps, however, made me question the idea that hierarchies were merely cultural institutions, a product of socialization, something we could wipe out at any moment. They seemed more ingrained. I had no trouble detecting the same tendencies in even the most hippielike organizations. They were generally run by young men who mocked authority and preached egalitarianism yet had no qualms about ordering everyone else around and stealing their comrades’ girlfriends. It wasn’t the chimps who were odd, but the humans who seemed dishonest. Political leaders have a habit of concealing their power motives behind[…]”