"Status hierarchies are, of course, designed to create inequalities. Status is about rankings and the claiming of authority over others. Every society establishes various boundaries of exclusion. A highly stratified society generally is low on empathetic consciousness because such societies are segmented between so many status categories that the ability to empathize beyond one's own group, both up and down the hierarchy, is limited.
"The ability to recognize oneself in the other and the other in oneself is a deeply democratizing experience. Empathy is the soul of democracy. It is an acknowledgment that each life is unique, unalienable, and deserving of equal consideration in the public square. The evolution of empathy and the evolution of democracy have gone hand in hand throughout history. The more empathic the culture, the more democratic its values and governing institutions. The less empathic the culture, the more totalitarian its values and governing institutions."