In most relationships today, there is some degree of (a dynamic) of hierarchy. It can range from the extremes of absolute authoritarianism to a simplicity of understood responsibility.
Hierarchy has some practical uses. Probably the simplest purpose is to communicate an understanding of designated or implied responsibility and/or function. In other words, knowing "who" is to do "what" is profoundly helpful, if not essential, in every relationship.
Interestingly, it follows then, that hierarchy is almost always a pile of dry paper waiting for a match. Misunderstanding the dynamics of hierarchy can create opportunities for abuse leading to the demise of any relationship. And using hierarchy as a tool for placing blame is definitely not its best use.
So communicating clearly and agreement about the existing or proposed hierarchical structure is a critical factor to every member of a group.
= = = A PRACTICAL BROAD BASED CASE STUDY = = =
Probably the most obvious expression of hierarchy is in the relationship of a citizenry with it's government.
The degree to which a society agrees to be governed by it's officials is the pulse of a civilization.
A nation of people always has enemies, and the risks of war with external enemies is always the prominent concern. When the risks of war within a society arise, it is always between the people and the government.
Any attempt at making the distinction between the governed and the governors less discernable is very likely an insidious move to disrupt the relationship of these two and soften or fracture the foundations of a society.
And interestingly, any actions intended to identify unique groups within the homogenous group of the governed could reasonably be considered an attempt to increase the power of the government - an unfortunately ominous sign of the deterioration of the society.