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Localization of Importance: “Head” Quarters


How do we distinguish the important people in society? Often we distinguish our leaders with language, gracing them with special titles like Governor or Presidents; Chief Executive Officers or Managers. Though mere titles, these titles and associated roles are symbols of heightened responsibility and skill. Figures who hold these titles bear more pressure and earn higher levels of compensation in response. Beyond these personal benefits; though, these figures of power are given additional distinction in the form of their literal placement within society. Big titles are not enough: people of importance need special locations and physical shelter that distinguishes them from less important people in society.

A company’s “headquarters” is where we quarter the heads or house the great minds of a company in a collective location. In such a building the “great minds” determined to be essential to the success of the group are collected in function. Beyond the corporate level we also distinguish these figures with finer homes and offices.

Important figures in society exist in dwellings that act as symbols of power and importance. Ironically, these structures often function to separate them from the figures determined to be under the tutelage of the important figures. Is it strange that once we designate certain figures as worthy of increased trust that we gift them with more responsibility but then gift them with dwellings far distanced from the general populace. A strange feature of great leadership is a distancing from the general populace. The White House is a special building, the Governor’s Mansion stands in separation from the residences of the people. These are special buildings designed for special people but how do such distinctions function to sabotage the more important role of community connection and establish a system of rewards that work against our base desires.

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