In a recent conversation about privilege-clinging, power-overing, and busting down – or working within – the colonist patri-hierarchical system of oppression and exploitation we’re all embedded in, a friend and I agreed that it is the ABUSE of privilege that is the problem. But on further thought, I’m now wondering if privilege in itself is abuse, exactly because OF the nature of the colonist hierarchy: to “profit” is to exploit; there is just no getting around this. So to move up the colonist patri-hierarchy one must abuse/exploit/oppress those ‘beneath’ them.
Enter integrity and not “selling out”. There are people in positions of privilege who genuinely want and try to do some good. Like lawyers who devote their professional work to trying to legally right some deep wrongs, even though this work is limited due to the oppressive, repressive and rigid colonist nature of the idea and practice of what it calls “the law.”
I am genuinely curious if profit can be made from doing GOOD in this world, i.e. if any good CAN come out of working within the very rigid confines of the colonist patri-hierarchy that has us all by the throats. I wonder this because money is the “economic” enslaving noose around our necks that is required to survive in today’s world, not because I’m interested in maintaining this dis-eased way of life.
And when I ponder if any good can be done within our dis-eased hierarchical social structure, I am NOT talking about “incremental” changes where people think “something is better than nothing”, because usually that means “something” goes to the privileged, while the dis-privileged are left with “nothing”, as usual. We have to think creatively, radically, and outside the linear lines and boxes imposed on us by this culture and its values. And we must give and demand MORE than scraps!
An example: I had an idea of approaching university classes of economics/commerce students and challenging them to come up with a way to wrestle profit away from the
sex paid rape & torture industry by trying to do something GOOD with this industry (only good thing being to destroy it ASAP), like creating sustainable exiting routes OUT of it for prostituted people so they can get their basic needs met (food/shelter/clothing/medical needs/counseling), and skill-building in order to build their lives and walk the unique path they are meant to walk before they got ensnared by prostitution or “sex work” (which, for the vast majority, is neither sex, nor work).
But there isn’t any “profit” in helping people, is there? This is why fund-raising (scrap-begging) is a full-time (and then some) job for charities and NGO’s. CAN profit be made from helping people and doing some genuine good in this world (that doesn’t come at the expense of hurting one group while helping another)? I really want to know this. I don’t have a capitalist brain, so I challenge those who do to think about this and share your thoughts, if you too want a better world for ALL of us.
Those who hold positions of privilege among the colonist-hierarchy cling on to it quite hard when asked to give some of it up so that their lesser-privileged sisters and brothers can get a leg up. This is understandable, especially when people’s identities are wholly tied to their class/economic status. But it doesn’t have to be this way. It doesn’t kill us to give up some power/privilege. In fact, it is one of the most rewarding things we can do, because it’s a mutually beneficial act. Giving up power/privilege means stepping down a rung of the hierarchy (through giving of not only “charity” but also opportunities) in order for those whose throats we must step on in order TO be on ‘top’, can move up a little bit. If everyone near the ‘top’ did this (at all rung levels), the hierarchy would dissolve, and we’d be walking the talk of egalitarianism.
I want to know IF this is possible, and if so, HOW? I emotionally and spiritually tire of dissecting all the wrongs of this sick culture; while recognizing and naming what is wrong is very important, it is only half the equation, and we must look to SOLUTIONS and what DOES work, then DO IT. The solutions are likely outside of the dis-easesd culture we’re trapped in, which is why I privilege Indigenous worldviews, which are radically different from colonist ones in pretty much every way possible. But getting back to tribal, primitive living (versus euro-colonist, so-called “civilized” but truly savage living) is very difficult given that violence is used to maintain the current colonist status quo. I want to be wrong. Maybe I’m thinking too linearly or black and white about this. Maybe it’s not as rigid as the hierarchies we’re stuck in make us believe.
So how about my challenge about if/how we can profit from the dismantling of the sex trade, and other overall ways we can concretely and practically help eachother out of our individual and collective cultural hell? Thoughts?