I am writing my Food Sociology term paper on the notion of hierarchy within movements, obviously with direct focus on the current food movement. My questions being the following (or some mashup thereof): Is hierarchy (or at least the notion of) necessary to the idea of a movement? Do non-hierarchical movements face a detriment when they go up against highly hierarchical and structural institutions? And finally, does the notion of hierarchy contradict with the ideology of the food movement itself?
This summer I had the privilege of seeing the distinguished Italian professor Giorgio Agamben speak at The European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. His talk was entitled "Liturgia and the Modern State" and he spoke about the inherent nature of hierarchy within social constructs. He touched on the idea of 'movement' and I was able to ask him to elaborate after his talk. Specifically, I wanted to know whether he thought the notion of hierarchy was necessary to movements or if we should simply do away with the idea of 'the movement' altogether. I suspected, as one might from a blatant anarchist, he would throw the notion out. Here is me asking my question (you can only hear my voice) and his response. It's quite great! Go to mark 4:30.