Purely Political Theory
I don’t like to talk about “privilege”. For many reasons.
But one of them is that it is tied too close to the sense of “meritocracy”.
Saying that someone is “privileged” means more or less “you are further along this race than me, and that’s unfair”.
Not only are we then caught up in thinking of life as a “race” (which is bad for our mental health), but we’re also assuming that the “meritocracy” kinda works. That indeed, were it not for “privilege”, the talented would rise to the top.
I don’t have time to go into all the reasons why the meritocracy sucks, but I will tell you this: the economic system is designed to put some at the top and many at the bottom. And for as long as the economic system remains unchanged, there will never be a meritocracy. Ever.
Instead of “privilege” I like to think of… “power”.
Yes, I am a political theory junkie. But come on! Privilege, at its best, is just a wishy washy, polite way to say that some people have “power” while others don’t.
Except that, when we’re talking about “power”, we are suddenly in political territory. And that is good. More so, we can hold people accountable for how they use their power. And that is even better.
Instead of saying that “white people have privilege”, we can say “white people have power over other people, and that should change”.
And instead of bickering with each other over who’s got the largest privilege, we can say: “this journalist has power, on account of her platform: she should use that power responsibly, because her words have effects in our society and that affects us all”.
See? Power is easier to measure than “privilege”, and once we are in the “political” territory, we can make strong arguments in favour of concrete action.
Big Disclaimer to End all Disclaimers!!!
I am publishing this stuff because I believe it will help people.
If it doesn’t help you, makes you angry, has you throwing furniture at the wall and tripping over your cat, then please drop it. Drop all these ideas. Seriously, if tthey don’t help you, they are not doing their job. And your wellbeing is more important than any political theory.
This writing is very much a first “draft”.
It would take me a long, long time to write down all my ideas on these topics, then rewrite them, then edit them… and I have a life to live and a business to run. Also, it’s sunny outside.
These material would need a book to be explained fully and I don’t have time right now to write a book.
(But if you want happen to have one of them fancy “6 figure book deals” everyone talks about and you want to offer it to me, that would be lovely)
Point is: these ideas are not “polished” and not finished.
So if you don’t understand them, that’s ok. They took me a long time to absorb, I wouldn’t expect anyone to understand what the heck I’m on about in such short time.
If you disagree with me completely, then that’s ok too.
Again, you have full permission to disagree with me. I give you full permission to say “Mary is wrong!”. It’s no big deal. And again, if they don’t help you, just drop them.
I am practicing non-attachment to my ideas. So if people don’t find this stuff useful, I may just remove it.