I imagine a "hierarchy" in a simplified sense as a pyramid where each individual exists as a block in the structure: the closer your block’s position to the top, the less pressure you feel upon yourself and the more pressure you put on others. The pressure symbolizes authority. So this highly unequal distribution of force predictably breeds institutionalized privilege, envy, and competition for dominance, at bare minimum because of a want to escape the pressure. It seems like the privilege and envy, pain and fear, keep hierarchical institutions reproducing (as well as of course indoctrination, propaganda, denial, eradication of alternatives, addiction, etc, but those complicate the metaphor). At the same time, the pyramidal structure contains everyone in it, top to bottom, and this containment exerts pressure as well on everyone.
Now, beyond just intentions, and the way that power corrupts, we can emphasize the consequences of structures of hierarchical control, how they create incentives toward exploitation and obstacles toward accountability, and how such systems by definition entail finite positions of superior privilege and inferior classes held in subordination. Power hierarchies mean that those most allowed to change the status quo have the most investment in preserving it--their power, prestige, profit, etc. rely upon the disempowered not taking back their usurped initiative. Oftentimes even the mildest managerialism snowballs away from accountability and toward authoritarianism through "emergency" justifications that never roll back.
Systems that allow for and emphasize the role of hierarchical power have totalitarian tendencies. They have pyramidal structures, stacked ranks, centralized power, vertical organization. Their officials give commands supported by threats. This creates a delicate stability through a shared fear of repression. In this spirit, their decision-making tends to utilize massive restriction and coercion, representation, assimilation, and manipulation by force or by fraud. They develop impersonal bureaucracy, standardization, and conformity. But other and contrary types of relations and organizing exist, such as collaborative self-determination between peers, the kind that anarchists propose.
Power hierarchies undermine communication. Hagbard's Law shows that in a truly pyramidal structure, where authority figures create order through threats, subordinates tend to tell their superiors merely what the superiors want to hear. This filtering multiplies to the degree of verticality, by each level of mediation in that structure. Those at the top therefore lose connection from the reality below them. The (mis)information the authorities receive appeals to their confirmation bias (the things they want to hear), resulting in misguided intentions cloaked in truth, shielded by mistaken confidence, and armed with monopoly, allowing for no opposition. And so, because of the one-way decision-making and the filtered awareness, if those at the top of the pyramid actually made a deliberate attempt to represent the subordinates, they would tend toward a misrepresentation made invisible to themselves.
If people possess the critical thinking and character assessment skills to recognize in an authority the ways to lead competent, benevolent lives, why must we have to delegate this capacity outside of ourselves? Why do we need them to run our lives if we can tell how our lives should be run? And however will the disempowered find freedom, if in each instance where authoritarians act on behalf of the disempowered, to shape or shield or crush them, the will of the disempowered continually atrophies from lack of exercise? How else will the disempowered find freedom, if not in seizing the direction of their own lives, the very act that the authoritarians deny them? Stratification of power only exacerbates the predicament. We alone experience the peculiar circumstances of our situation. We alone bear the history of our aspirations and sorrows, our passions and eccentricities, our capacities and limitations. Our lived experience grants us more qualification at determining our path than any speculating manager could ever dream of. Further empowered by collaboration with one's peers, people can experience authentic freedom, and not the sad farce of begging those in power for mercy.
People may voluntarily seek for themselves a leader to guide them, but when they deny others the ability to live autonomously, it results in nothing but tyranny, no matter how many smily faces the tyranny hides behind. Those of us who by conscience refuse systems of hierarchical power will not voluntarily choose to opt-in and cannot opt-out without severe punishment. Those in power promise us the world but by design they must keep our lives out of our own hands, and regardless of whether or not they make decisions I would endorse--which they don't--I find the method irreconcilable with my conscience and my aspirations. And that is the inequality and the abusiveness of the "power" I refer to, that is the mechanics intrinsic to hierarchal order.