What I think is in this is a sense of distance. We tend to see social injustice as a case of a bad person harming a good person, or as a bad system creating harm that falls upon many, and is generally supported by a few despite its badness, because those few benefit from it.
What the article talks about is an experiment where some robots are put in an environment where they have to cooperate in order to survive. All of the robots are given the same programming, but the environment is a real physical environment, meaning that it is variable, not deterministic. Over time, something that the researchers describe in terms of a social hierarchy forms. The researchers claim that they were not expecting such a thing to happen, and indeed their programming was expected to produce a non-hierarchical situation.
So why did the hierarchy form? The nice thing about this experiment is that the actors are robots. Computer programs. While people sometimes tend to personify computers, in general I think we all know that computers are machines; a computer with a soul, whether or not we believe that it is possible, is at a best the exception, not the rule.
So we can't ascribe the outcome of this experiment to a soul. Rather, it is an emergent behavior of a supposedly cooperative environment. What I find personally interesting about this is that it matches my experience of the world better than the "evil actor" model - the model where every ill of the world can be blamed on the intentional or stupidly ignorant actions of some scapegoat.
I don't mean that there aren't criminals, nor that there is no need for law enforcement. But what I do mean is that when we find ourselves in the midst of a dysfunctional environment, there is a commonly-held idea that the way to resolve the dysfunction is to either eliminate certain bad actors, or to reform them. And this idea is probably wrong. It would be a wonderful thing if we could rest ourselves from our long labor of tilting at this particular windmill, and seek out real solutions to the world's pain.
(Yes, this is an awful lot of philosophy to suck from the marrow of a single magazine article. So sue me. :')