Tuesday, January 28, 2014

We're Fighting Oppression in Exactly the Wrong Way

I think I've identified why I feel so uncomfortable saying that I'm a feminist, why I don't feel right when I talk about how white privilege is so harmful.  It presumes that the problem with sexism is sexism, whereas the problem with sexism is oppression.

Racism is not the problem, oppression is the problem.
Sexism is not the problem, oppression is the problem.
Religious discrimination is not the problem, oppression is the problem.
Speciesism is not the problem, oppression is the problem.

For every victory that any particular cause achieves (civil rights, gender equality), another oppressed group loses that much solidarity and momentum, and their plight will become that much more difficult.  The only way for the oppressed to unilaterally find justice is for the oppressed to stand against the *concept* of oppression, by understanding why it exists at all--not why it exists on spectra of gender, race, or religion.  Until we finally address the root of all discrimination and hate, we'll simply sever the ties between the different groups of oppressed people.  Those with less influence will continue to be oppressed, and the formerly oppressed groups will continually fail to recognize that the oppression was not only their own.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Exploitation isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Sure, it has a sour aftertaste and it's appalling to think about.  But people's aversion to funding companies that exploit cheap labor is, I would argue, not morally substantiable.

I want to end poverty in the world.  That's my first priority when it comes to economic policy.  I don't want fairness, I want everybody to have their living essentials paid for, and I want everybody to have equal access to big bucks for hard work.  If the way to do that is through rigorously meritocratic socialism, then so be it.  If the way to do that is through pure democratic communism, I'd be good with that too.  I just don't like that people have to suffer with poverty.  It's a blemish on human civilization, and it's wrong for us to let people suffer at the hands of our society's normal activities.

For this reason, I have an open mind when it comes to the issue of cheap labor.  I'm not strongly espoused to the opinion I have, whereas I strongly believe in the values I based this opinion on (universal freedom from poverty).  I'm no economist; nor are most people who have strong opinions on the matter of whether it's right to patronize companies that outsource to countries where citizens are willing to work for cheap.  And I think that the dialogue is largely misinformed bullshit.

The conclusion that I've come to after thinking about the big picture is this: