You are too much! I think you’re probably going to be dissatisfied with this story. Butler is definitely making the case that humans are fatally flawed because they are both heirarchical and intelligent. You say without heirarchical structures, we would have never made it out of the caves. I say, it wasn’t heirarchy that got us out the caves, but intelligence. And the heirarchy probably shouldn’t move beyond the caves, which is to say, those structures are primitive, and fundamentally at odds with intelligence. I think the Oankali are right!
You know what I find really cool though? What the Oankali do with cancer. Because there has to be some genetic reason for cancer besides killing us…maybe this century scientists will crack the code like the Oankali. We ARE intelligent enough to make it happen, and it’s the hierarchical bullshit that holds us back constantly.