On Personal Responsibility and Careerism
This blog is created in dedication to sentient life, with thanks to the work of Marshall B. Rosenberg, Gary L. Francione & Anna Charlton, David Graeber, David Harvey, Michael Parenti, Michael Hudson, John & Mary McDougall. Shout out to Yves Smith, thanks to whose blog and interests I ran across many of the different pieces of the puzzle I've been putting together in my head, and a special thank you to my best friend and life partner for her patience.
If you accept that all sentient beings have an equal claim on existence, then nonviolence, egalitarianism that results in 'radical' democracy, complete inclusiveness (i.e., including veganism) and solidarity are the only defensible positions. Yet even those who supposedly live in the most advanced and civilized part of the world are currently very far from having even a single major institution that embodies those principles, let alone that the majority or all public and private institutions embody them. I will use this blog to try to show you that this is because white-supremacist, imperialist-capitalist patriarchal organizational forms specifically, and meritocratic organization generally, is completely antithetical to this, and because it's quite hard work to maintain egalitarian societies or institutions once they are established even when those wouldn't immediately be attacked whenever attempts have been made to establish more egalitarian institutions.
While it's taken me a few decades to realize this, I have come to the conclusion that meritocratic reasoning in fact is at the root of this. That is, I am not simply arguing that meritocracy is a (self-serving) lie, used by incompetent and corrupt elites who have failed upwards, or achieved their positions because of family money or having the right connections. I argue that there is no fundamental difference between meritocracy and hierarchy, and that the major point of contention between them is who should dominate and rule, and what justifies domination, oppression and inequality.
Because I understand that this position may puzzle or rub you the wrong way, I've started this blog to help others to see that and how basically all of the social problems we're facing today (exploding inequality, imperialism, continuing oppression of indigenous populations, immiseration and economic insecurity of most of the people who live in capitalist societies, workplace and patriarchal repression, the repression of minorities, bureaucratization, segregation, nonveganism, the neutering of politics, and ecological devastation) are justified using meritocratic arguments, and generated and maintained by people who believe in, and institutions that embody, those principles.
I also hope I can introduce folks to new ways of looking at certain structural problems that we're facing, and that I can help people to recognize the consequences of this, and where (and who) to look (to) for inspiration and alternatives.
Thank you for your interest and patience. :)