Isn't economic class the only real way to judge "privilage"?

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(Sorry if I'm being a bit of a Socialist)
A thing I never understood about the whole modern liberal movement is the backing away from the idea of economic class struggle and into race/sex/gender/... struggle mainly because you can be a purple skinned Quadruple Amputee dragon kin identifying as attack helicopter and if you have a rich enough family nobody can do shit to you regardless of how much "different" you are.

I mean, if you are homeless, regardless of your characteristics you are fucked in your stance with society.
If you are poor you are slightly better but still have very little options of what you can do.
If you are middle income, if you live in a place that disrespects you because whatever thing you identify as you can just move to a different area with people who are either like you or more liberal. And no more discrimination from your community.
And if you are rich and above you can literally bully people below you without having nothing done to you.

Of course that is only correct for countries that don't limit people's access to levels of education and the like because of those characteristics or outright remove their human rights but that's just about any western country we talk/care about here anyways.

And I know someone is already writing that "X group is more likely to be poor" but this just means that helping the poor in general will help everyone underprivilaged rather than that specific group.

Also don't start with "but I've had a bad thing written about me online or in highschool so I'm totes a victim" or "here is a single case of a rich person of X group being screwed, so they are less privilaged regardless of how much money they have".

No.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/06/04/the-blackwhite-marijuana-arrest-gap-in-nine-charts/?utm_term=.ce6beb2f427e

Not in a world where systematic racism and sexism are still a thing, and people are actively trying to pass laws to make it legal to discriminate against the LGBT community. And let's not forget that America still has a hard time accepting the idea of non-Christians, as evidenced by the idiot in the White House. As an agnostic, his "in America we worship God," rhetoric can go to fucking hell. I'm training to become a teacher, but because of that lack of being a Christian, a good chunk of the schools in this country will NEVER hire me.

I'm sure that's all easier to deal with if you're part of the 1%, but for the rest of us in the 99%, that shit is real and painful.

Even then, your concept is still kind of flawed. JonTron tried to use this source to prove that Black people are more violent, when in reality it was being used to point out inequality.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/03/23/poor-white-kids-are-less-likely-to-go-to-prison-than-rich-black-kids/?utm_term=.298409f1bee7

It's definitively not the real only way to judge privilege, so the initial premise of your thread is wrong, but it should definitely be the main one, yes.

Wealth being the largest provider of privilege doesn't mean that other inequalities, whether on the base of race, gender, religion, or sexual identity shouldn't be tackled though. Modern right-wing liberalism actually cares about fixing these inequalities though, considering it's both politically expedient and economically sound. Economic inequality on the other hand require more wealth distribution, which goes against the interests of most people that actually hold weight in the political world, and so you'll rarely see mainstream politicians arguing in favour of it.

Most social democratic groups in the West have been sadly moving towards tepid centrism since the late 80s/early 90s due to wealth being more and more concentrated within the richest strata of society, it's a real shame.

EDIT: By the way, man, it's "Privilege", not "Privilage".

Is it really hard to conceptualize that after centuries, if not millennia, of groups being placed legally, socially, culturally, and financially above other groups that these kinds of systems become entrenched in how things work? While a rich black person probably has it better than a poor white person, I don't think anyone would doubt saying that a poor black person would have it worse on a number of levels.

erttheking:
Not in a world where systematic racism and sexism are still a thing, and people are actively trying to pass laws to make it legal to discriminate against the LGBT community. And let's not forget that America still has a hard time accepting the idea of non-Christians, as evidenced by the idiot in the White House. As an agnostic, his "in America we worship God," rhetoric can go to fucking hell. I'm training to become a teacher, but because of that lack of being a Christian, a good chunk of the schools in this country will NEVER hire me.

In all fairness, right-wing Christianism in the States is mostly politicians playing to their base through identity politics rather than a "principled" ideological stance. Some of them are true believers, sure (I really doubt Pence is dishonest about his Christian beliefs for one), but I highly doubt that's a considerable amount of them.

Just count the amount of them that end up being hypocritically caught defrauding their constituents, having affairs left and right, or blowing some dude in an airport. Money is still what's really in power here, traditionalist identity politics are simply a way to get elected.

NemotheElvenPanda:
Is it really hard to conceptualize that after centuries, if not millennia, of groups being placed legally, socially, culturally, and financially above other groups that these kinds of systems become entrenched in how things work? While a rich black person probably has it better than a poor white person, I don't think anyone would doubt saying that a poor black person would have it worse on a number of levels.

I honestly think it may connect to the fascination with underdogs. Everyone in our society loves an underdog, because we see them as a good guy. I just think that a lot of people look at a situation where the guy with the odds against him goes against those odds and wins and don't think "man, people who are disadvantaged are so inspirational and can become so much," but rather "the underdog is a good guy and I'm a good guy, therefore I'm an underdog too."

erttheking:

NemotheElvenPanda:
Is it really hard to conceptualize that after centuries, if not millennia, of groups being placed legally, socially, culturally, and financially above other groups that these kinds of systems become entrenched in how things work? While a rich black person probably has it better than a poor white person, I don't think anyone would doubt saying that a poor black person would have it worse on a number of levels.

I honestly think it may connect to the fascination with underdogs. Everyone in our society loves an underdog, because we see them as a good guy. I just think that a lot of people look at a situation where the guy with the odds against him goes against those odds and wins and don't think "man, people who are disadvantaged are so inspirational and can become so much," but rather "the underdog is a good guy and I'm a good guy, therefore I'm an underdog too."

That's kind of the reason why, at least here in the USA, many white Americans have this obsession with Irish-American history and culture despite most Americans not even being Irish to begin with. It's a classic underdog story on a population's level where you had this genuinely marginalized group of people manage to become part of the majority through legislation, running for office, and activism. It's also why it's brought up whenever the topic of African American slavery is brought up.

erttheking:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/03/23/poor-white-kids-are-less-likely-to-go-to-prison-than-rich-black-kids/?utm_term=.298409f1bee7

Kinda not too helpful considering it talks about 3 decades ago, doesn't specify what prison time was made and in an age range where most people haven't accumalted much wealth.

If we look at further data:
http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/incarceration-rates-by-race-ethnicity-and-gender-in-the-u-s.html

It's not a really good standard considering if we look at the statistics the system is discriminating against males and is favouring asians more than white people.

As for discrimination against LGBT, legality is not the same as mandatory.

inu-kun:
snip

No, but it might be the only way to judge privilege.

Broadly, I agree that economic advantage (in today's Western world at least) is the principal form of privilege, but I think there are plenty of others. Also that the left's current woes have more than a little to do with failing to adequately assure many of their commitment to improve the economic situation for the poor.

On the other hand, with the collapse of political socialism in the 80s-90s, perhaps had the left not turned to a sort of watered down economic liberalism then, it might have been in left in the wilderness all throughout the 90s/2000s.

inu-kun:

erttheking:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/03/23/poor-white-kids-are-less-likely-to-go-to-prison-than-rich-black-kids/?utm_term=.298409f1bee7

Kinda not too helpful considering it talks about 3 decades ago, doesn't specify what prison time was made and in an age range where most people haven't accumalted much wealth.

If we look at further data:
http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/incarceration-rates-by-race-ethnicity-and-gender-in-the-u-s.html

It's not a really good standard considering if we look at the statistics the system is discriminating against males and is favouring asians more than white people.

As for discrimination against LGBT, legality is not the same as mandatory.

Inu-Kun? When you're talking about how only economics matters in terms of privilege, you can't instantly backtrack to talk about how prison discriminates against men without utterly undermining your point. Even then it falls flat considering that the majority of the people in prison are either Black or Hispanic, according to your post, AND when your source talks about how Black people have harsher sentences, even if they're women. Talking about how there are more white people than Asians in prison is like a person with a gash on his leg complaining that one man only got a scrape while a third man has his leg amputated in the same room. As for men, are you talking about black men or white men? Because I can tell you who gets the lousier deal. And even then, you act like men getting arrested more than women means that sexism against women doesn't exist or something. It's not like white vs black arrests where they commit crimes at a similar rate but one gets arrested more. See the link I posted in post 2.

I'm sure that's of great comfort to the LGBT community. Kind of like how slavery wasn't mandatory. Seriously dude? You're more or less saying "just because people CAN legally discriminate against them, doesn't mean that HAVE to." Seriously, what point are you trying to make here? Because I don't see it.

inu-kun:

erttheking:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/03/23/poor-white-kids-are-less-likely-to-go-to-prison-than-rich-black-kids/?utm_term=.298409f1bee7

Kinda not too helpful considering it talks about 3 decades ago, doesn't specify what prison time was made and in an age range where most people haven't accumalted much wealth.

If we look at further data:
http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/incarceration-rates-by-race-ethnicity-and-gender-in-the-u-s.html

It's not a really good standard considering if we look at the statistics the system is discriminating against males and is favouring asians more than white people.

As for discrimination against LGBT, legality is not the same as mandatory.

Discrimination is still discrimination. Being turned away from a job or a home for being gay is still equally shitty.

inu-kun:

A thing I never understood about the whole modern liberal movement is the backing away from the idea of economic class struggle and into race/sex/gender/... struggle mainly because you can be a purple skinned Quadruple Amputee dragon kin identifying as attack helicopter and if you have a rich enough family nobody can do shit to you regardless of how much "different" you are.

There is a legitimate ideological divide in the modern left-wing between people who want to focus on economic inequality and people who want to focus on racial/sexual inequality.

The two aren't necessarily incompatible, and overall, there's a great deal of overlap. But there are indeed cases of poor white people who are disadvantaged because they are poor, just as there are cases of rich black people who are disadvantaged because they are black.

Where this causes problems and divisions is when people essentially start playing misery poker. For example, you've got poor people in overwhelmingly white Appalachian communities devastated by job losses and a drug epidemic. They see a black NFL player who makes twenty times as much money as them kneeling during the national anthem, and they get angry, because to them the fact that this NFL player is rich outweighs the fact that he's black. But to the black player, the fact that he's black outweighs the fact that he's rich; no matter how much money he has, statistically speaking, he still has a higher chance of being wrongfully shot by police during a traffic stop. So both groups think they have it worse than the other even though in actual fact, what we're seeing is different groups of people being disadvantaged in different ways for different reasons.

Like, it's wrong that huge sections of the US are being overlooked at the federal level while their inhabitants slip into poverty and drug addiction. But it's also wrong that black men are being jailed and accidentally shot at rates vastly disproportionate to other ethnic groups. Both of those things are problems that need to be addressed. The mistake is in assuming that addressing privilege is a zero-sum game; there's no reason why the government can't make life better for people in coal country and reform the justice system.

But there are people out there with agendas who don't want to reform the justice system and don't want to help poor people, people who are mostly focused on reducing their tax burden; to them, the biggest political problem right now is that the government takes too much of their money each year. And those people usually have a lot of money, and they spend it financing political campaigns for politicians who promise to lower their taxes. And that's how you get a Republican congress trying to push through insanely unpopular legislative proposals - proposals that don't help poor white people or rich black people. Like, if poor white people and rich black people are playing misery poker against each other, these guys are the casino. And so long as both players are kept busy, they never get around to noticing that the house always wins.

inu-kun:
(Sorry if I'm being a bit of a Socialist)

Oh, by all means, be more of a socialist!

inu-kun:
A thing I never understood about the whole modern liberal movement is the backing away from the idea of economic class struggle and into race/sex/gender/... struggle mainly because you can be a purple skinned Quadruple Amputee dragon kin identifying as attack helicopter and if you have a rich enough family nobody can do shit to you regardless of how much "different" you are.

Rich people own the media and have outsize influence over political parties. Making the 1% a demographically representative rainbow (though in practice even this has not been and is not going to be achieved with policies they might favor) is far less threatening to them than abolishing it altogether. Affirmative action, agree with it or not, does not come at the expense of the owners of capital. Seizing the means of production does.

Racial hostility is useful to those in power, as it diverts criticism of the structures that keep them in power to fights over their scraps. So, you'll find rich people among (or funding) the white nationalists as well as the radical centrists. What happened in interwar Germany is instructive: capitalism was failing, communism was ascendant. So, the center and center-right allied with the Nazis. And it was the blood and industry principally of the Soviet Union that finally defeated them.

The rich use race as a wedge to fend off the possibility of a coalition united by class challenging them. Socialists typically address racial inequality as well as class inequality because there are definitely inequalities that cannot be reduced to class and fighting against those is both morally correct as well as necessary to building the coalition. They can do the former far more effectively, also, since they are not inhibited by having to appease capital.

inu-kun:
And I know someone is already writing that "X group is more likely to be poor" but this just means that helping the poor in general will help everyone underprivilaged rather than that specific group.

This is why there are a great many women and people of color who want to put a heavy focus on economic inequality-- you just won't see them on CNN or MSNBC. Economics were a clear priority for the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., though you mightn't know it by his posthumous reputation.

Being wealthy might seem like a huge privilege (and it is) in the West, I've seen coups and conflict zones where governments will literally just seize family property, or shut down avenues for honest and illicit work and industry, where you can be arrested for nebulous reasons, or simply having a lot of money doesn't allow you to exploit the economic state at play. For instance, in Indonesia, you can't go anywhere without bribing people... you can't own private property, so you have to pay an official or someone related to an official to buy the property in your name if you wish to establish an industrial interest ... and this is amazingly deleterious to foreign interests.

The U.S. puppet Marcos literally stole off with over half of my family wealth in the Philippines, and only because of social esteem and having what you could call 'old allies' of people that remembered their efforts against the Japanese and simultaneously may have been wronged by the government were able to stay afloat.

Something that you don't really need to worry about in the West where money is power. As opposed in all the colonial wrecks of former Western interests, money and money alone is nothing without political power as a nebulous construct of multiple aspects ... usually ccomes in a variety of calibre, and access to brass military ranks.

inu-kun:

As for discrimination against LGBT, legality is not the same as mandatory.

Yes, because lawful discrimination has no basis in systematic social oppression. Why I'm sure there's no connection whatsoever to the U.S's lawful discrimination against trans people might be representative of their economic hardships.

Your genuine tone deafness (amongst other things) aside... after all, if I could fire you, deny you housing, or reduce your market participation, regardless of whatever lawful contracts you hold, simply for being a Jew you might have a problem about that. Given various infamous events in history... how well did that 'non-mandatory' lawful discrimination work out again for Jews?

Lawful discrimnination happens because of public acceptability of those in power and the interpersonal desires to discriminate.

The sad fact is the slow acceptance of trans people in the U.S., or indeed the reason why places like Australia quickly adopted non-discrimination accords, is because corporations have been long saying they were not happy with people like landlords tossing trans people out onto the street simply for coming out as trans... Tends to lower productivity when workers don't have consistent housing for no reason whatsoever beyond institutionalized transphobia. It wasn't born as sometear-jerk social justice initiative. It was purely a matter of capitalist ideals of equal market participation, self-construction and actualisation, and a matter of total efficiency of the perpetually underpaid.

No.

Next question.

Yes, which is why Marx warned against letting the rich use anything else to distract and divide the workers like they did with Occupy and they injected race and sex politics into what had explicitly been a movement fighting corruption of the rich.

It's amazing how 5 years later people still think that political shift was natural and not artificial. Really shows how few Marxists actually read Marx's own work.

Err.. No.

I'm confused as to why you would ever possibly think that. I mean, people do. It's pretty common in "old left" circles and tankies, but it's also absurd.

For one, LGBT people are disproportionately likely to be homeless. They are disproportionately likely to be involved in survival crime such as prostitution, because they are still frequently disowned by their own families. In the UK, for example, 24 percent of homeless young people are LGBT. For many LGBT young people, their identities are a source of poverty, not the other way around. This is why "tackling poverty" isn't going to help unless we also tackle the reasons why people become poor in the first place, or there will always be a steady stream of new poor people to replace the old.

Secondly, if you are.. say.. visibly transgender. It's very likely that at some point in your life (probably more than once) you will be bullied or harassed. The people who bully or harass you could come from any social class (indeed, since anti-LGBT attitudes tend to be more prevalant in working class communities they're likely to be working class). Even if you are richer, on paper, what is your wealth going to do in this context? Will you pull banknotes from your wallet and slice your tormentors to ribbons with devastating money papercuts?

Yes, wealth opens up options for people, and in this sense it can make it easier to avoid or ignore the consequences of, say, being racially discriminated against or being LGBT. Indeed, partly this comes from being able to avoid working class social spaces and environments where discrimination is more prevalent. But this also works in other ways. Whiteness can open up opportunities and can make it easier to avoid the consequences (certainly in terms of negative perception or attitudes) of being poor. Heterosexuality is the same.

If you want to visualize privilege more accurately, start by drawing a line. At one end of this line is wealth, at the other end is poverty.

Now we draw an intersecting line corresponding to a person's position. This line denotes whether a person appears is male, female or somewhere in between.

Now we draw another intersecting line..

We can, in theory, repeat this process as many times as we want (or as many times as need to to give a decent picture of a person). There are a practically infinite number of criteria on which someone can be privileged or underprivileged, and most simple categories can be broken down into many subcategories.

However, this is a simple visualization. It doesn't count for the way in which being positioned on one axis may modify the specific way in which someone is positioned on another axis. For example, let's say someone is a "black woman". We can visualize blackness and femaleness as properties which this person possesses, but to visualize them in isolation is to miss the way in which the position of that person is constituted through both categories simultaneously. Their "blackness" is different from other people's blackness because it is female, just as it may be different from the blackness of other people in countless other ways which are not mentioned in this example. Privilege, in its ultimate complexity, is impossible to visualize because what it ultimately is is a complex, exhaustive description of a human life in terms of its relationship to power. That doesn't mean, however, that we can't imagine or understand it. We do, after all, live human lives.

To use an example from your own country, a few people from my class went on a trip to Israel. One of them, who was of norwegian-pakistani descent, was interrogated for 45 minutes at the airport, and the police would always insisted on seing his papers wherever he went, because they thought he looked like a palestinian. Meanwhile, one of my other classmates who was blonde with a light complexion, forgot her papers one day when they were going out into the city, yet was let off the hook entirely by the police even when she told them she had no papers with her. The ethnic group you are a part of, or the one people believe you are a part of, will determine how others treat you and how the police profile you. One group constantly being able to get out of trouble based solely on their skin colour while another can be arrested and interned without a warrant, is privilige

evilthecat:

For one, LGBT people are disproportionately likely to be homeless. They are disproportionately likely to be involved in survival crime such as prostitution, because they are still frequently disowned by their own families. In the UK, for example, 24 percent of homeless young people are LGBT. For many LGBT young people, their identities are a source of poverty, not the other way around. This is why "tackling poverty" isn't going to help unless we also tackle the reasons why people become poor in the first place, or there will always be a steady stream of new poor people to replace the old.

This is an argument i don't understand.

Why would "tackling poverty" not going to help even without doing something about transphobia ? Because the LGBT percentage is that high, they would automatically benefit most from any action deemed to help the poor. As would any "new poor" people.

If you really do something about poverty, the poorest and weakest members of society, whoever they might be, will be able to enjoy some proper living standard.

And yes, there are already a couple of nations where theoretically no one should be homeless because the nations sees a home as basic human right and is obliged to provide it. Practice is unfortunately more difficult as there are far more potential reasons to homelessness than "can't afford a home".

Overall i kind of agree with the Marxists here. They were wrong in many other areas, but in all actual capitalism, capital is by far the most important thing depermining power.

Satinavian:

evilthecat:

For one, LGBT people are disproportionately likely to be homeless. They are disproportionately likely to be involved in survival crime such as prostitution, because they are still frequently disowned by their own families. In the UK, for example, 24 percent of homeless young people are LGBT. For many LGBT young people, their identities are a source of poverty, not the other way around. This is why "tackling poverty" isn't going to help unless we also tackle the reasons why people become poor in the first place, or there will always be a steady stream of new poor people to replace the old.

This is an argument i don't understand.

Why would "tackling poverty" not going to help even without doing something about transphobia ? Because the LGBT percentage is that high, they would automatically benefit most from any action deemed to help the poor. As would any "new poor" people.

If you really do something about poverty, the poorest and weakest members of society, whoever they might be, will be able to enjoy some proper living standard.

And yes, there are already a couple of nations where theoretically no one should be homeless because the nations sees a home as basic human right and is obliged to provide it. Practice is unfortunately more difficult as there are far more potential reasons to homelessness than "can't afford a home".

It depends on how you address the poverty. Something like targeted worker retraining programs are a far cry from a universal income guarantee.

Overall i kind of agree with the Marxists here. They were wrong in many other areas, but in all actual capitalism, capital is by far the most important thing depermining power.

Yeah, but don't use that as an excuse to ignore everything else. Solidarity requires a broad, inclusive program. It's not good enough to just say "well, you'll be better off in a colonial white supremacist patriarchy with universal healthcare than without universal healthcare".

Satinavian:
This is an argument i don't understand.

Why would "tackling poverty" not going to help even without doing something about transphobia ? Because the LGBT percentage is that high, they would automatically benefit most from any action deemed to help the poor. As would any "new poor" people.

If you really do something about poverty, the poorest and weakest members of society, whoever they might be, will be able to enjoy some proper living standard.

He's not arguing that we should only focus on other areas of disadvantage; just that we shouldn't solely focus on poverty. Tackling poverty is still extremely necessary. But, unless you approach homophobia and transphobia, people are still going to be disowned, leading to homelessness and additional sources of poverty. That cannot be ameliorated by nonspecific poverty initiatives-- they require tackling homophobia itself.

===

Economic privilege is, I would agree, perhaps the most widespread and severe source of inequality in the world today, and it exacerbates almost all other forms.

But it is not the only form, and this is not an "either-or".

Satinavian:
Why would "tackling poverty" not going to help even without doing something about transphobia ? Because the LGBT percentage is that high, they would automatically benefit most from any action deemed to help the poor. As would any "new poor" people.

I want you to think back, for a moment, to yourself at 14. You probably felt like a bit of a mess. Maybe you were struggling with academic pressure, maybe you didn't fit in at school, maybe you desperately wanted a girlfriend but noone seemed interested in you. Regardless, your hormones were probably out of control and you didn't have the context to make total sense of the massive changes going on in your life. Sound familiar?

Okay, now you're gay. You still have to deal with all of the above (except the girlfriend bit, it probably hasn't crossed your mind that you could have a loving relationship with another person yet) but you also have the nagging realisation that you are different from everyone around you, and you are terrified of what happens when they find out. You look forward at your life and what do you see? Everyone else has it all planned out, they'll date girls, they'll find one they like, get married, start a family. You're starting to realise that you can't do any of those things, you'll never have a normal life and you can't yet see anything which is going to fill the void. How do you find meaning in your life? How do you imagine going forward and finding some happiness in the future?

So what do you do? Do you tell your parents. After all, chances are family is the one stable thing you have. They may not be perfect, but at the end of the day they've always cared for you and provided for you. Except.. you told them and now they want nothing to do with you. They won't even speak with you, and they've thrown you out of their house. You are standing on the street outside what used to be your family home, you have nothing save the clothes you're wearing and, again, you are 14 years old. What do you do, where do you go? How are you going to survive?

What I'm trying to get across is that you are not just a generic "poor person" in this scenario. You are an individual who is vulnerable in a lot of very complex ways, which go far beyond simply not having money. So, in your reality, what happens. Well, you are fed into a single system for tackling generic "poverty" which treats you the same as a single parent double your age who doesn't earn enough to feed their children. How do you navigate that system as a traumatised 14 year old with no parental guidance and who is still deeply unhappy with themselves? Hey, why not spend your anti-poverty money on drugs? Drugs will numb out all the pain you feel, and it's not like you have parents around to disaprove. Honestly, it seems like a great idea.. when you're 14, self-loathing and feel like you have nothing to lose.

So yeah, that is why it doesn't work. It's the same reason we haven't fixed homelessness already by just giving every homeless person a haircut and the number of a job agency. People are not choosing to be homeless because they are lazy or don't understand that being homeless sucks, there are things which pull them back there. The same is true, to a lesser degree, of poverty more generally. Noone chooses to be poor, they are poor because they have been sucked into situations which keep them trapped in poverty, or more accurately because all the choices they've been presented with have been bad choices. You can prop those people up with money, and I agree that sounds like a good short term measure. Emphasis on the "short term". Long term, "tackling poverty" in a sustainable sense means tackling the reasons why people are poor, and yes, by far the most efficient way to do that is to create a world in which your 14 year old gay hypothetical self is validated and nurtured and given the same opportunity to succeed as his straight peers. It won't ensure he stays out of poverty, but it will make it vastly, vastly easier to solve if he does.

Satinavian:
They were wrong in many other areas, but in all actual capitalism, capital is by far the most important thing depermining power.

Well, that's debatable..

See, in Marxist theory the proletariat are vastly, vastly more numerous than the bourgeoisie. So numerous, in fact, that if they wished to they could very easily seize control of society. If they chose to do that, then no amount of capital could stop them. Marx is what we now call a "conflict theorist" in sociology (in fact, he was the first conflict theorist) in that he saw society as a tenuous balance of competing forces whose interests are not complementary but opposed. Capitalists want to exploit their workers, and workers want to resist exploitation. From this balance of power comes a prevailing order, but it's one which is prone to instability and, potentially, collapse.

So if the workers could, at any time, simply overthrow the capitalists, why don't they?

Well, the answer has retrospectively become (in my opinion) the most interesting part of Marxist theory, and that answer is ideology. For an obvious example, Marx believed that religion served an important societal role as "the opiate of the masses". Christianity taught people that even though they might suffer and endure horrible conditions in this life, they would be rewarded in the next, which naturally had the convenient side effect of making them easier to exploit. In short, ideology is a set of insidious and often hidden assumptions which serves to persuade people to be complicit in their own subjugation, or to believe that it is a free choice they have made of their own volition. Ultimately, capital only works as a form of power so long as the vast majority of people continue to believe that it is supposed to work as a form of power. The fact that the alternative is unthinkable, that people never realise that they could simply take the capital, (and therefore the power) for themselves if they chose (either by rebellion, or by voting for policies which will directly enrich or empower them) demonstrates the supreme effectiveness of ideology.

Seanchaidh:
Yeah, but don't use that as an excuse to ignore everything else. Solidarity requires a broad, inclusive program. It's not good enough to just say "well, you'll be better off in a colonial white supremacist patriarchy with universal healthcare than without universal healthcare".

I agree with that. Just because i am thinking something is the biggest problem doesn't mean i should ignore everything else. Also in an actually white supremacis patriachy the other problems would likely be the bigger problems anyway. It is the fact that we don't actually live in one but we do live in a capitalist society that wealth inequality is the biggest one.

evilthecat:
I want you to think back, for a moment, to yourself at 14. You probably felt like a bit of a mess. Maybe you were struggling with academic pressure, maybe you didn't fit in at school, maybe you desperately wanted a girlfriend but noone seemed interested in you. Regardless, your hormones were probably out of control and you didn't have the context to make total sense of the massive changes going on in your life. Sound familiar?

To be honest, actually no. I didn't have noticible hormonal moods swings or anything like that. I expected them, but they never materialized. And if i had had them i would have been able to make sense of them as we actually got some proper education. But let's ignore that for a moment and move on.

You are standing on the street outside what used to be your family home, you have nothing save the clothes you're wearing and, again, you are 14 years old. What do you do, where do you go? How are you going to survive?

I always trusted institutions and would have turned to the police. Which would have been the end of my hypothetical homelessness. I probably would still have been traumatized from having been thrown out. But the system would not treat me like a single mother and just hand me money. It would provide some oversight and would also enforce that i finish at least my school education. Which is mandatory by law here. I would have to actually run and hide from the police to avoid still visiting a school and get a home.

What I'm trying to get across is that you are not just a generic "poor person" in this scenario. You are an individual who is vulnerable in a lot of very complex ways, which go far beyond simply not having money.

I know. I already acknowledged that homelessness is often not about the money.

I tried to find a comparable statistic to yours for Germany, but there doesn't seem to be one. I only found that indeed 4% kicked out of the house after coming out but those don't tend to end up homeless. The vast majority of adolescent homeless people here seems to have ran away. Only a small portion (~300 per year) is not found and does not come back after a short time and become permantly homeless. Nearly all of them are actually Germans, not people without citizenship, they tend to come from rural areas and also tend to switch cities a lot to not be found. Reasons for running away are either abuse or serious arguments at home, but nearly never school environment. There also seems to be a rising number of people who ran away and hide with aquaintances they learned to know over the internet.

The same is true, to a lesser degree, of poverty more generally. Noone chooses to be poor, they are poor because they have been sucked into situations which keep them trapped in poverty, or more accurately because all the choices they've been presented with have been bad choices. You can prop those people up with money, and I agree that sounds like a good short term measure. Emphasis on the "short term".

Why should it be better to tackle reasons some people become poor than to tackle reasons what "poor" actually means as far as living standard goes ?

There is that strange idea that "helping the poor" must consist of "providing avenues out of powerty" meaning that some people switch social class to something better. Instead actually having a social class living in bad condiations is the problem, not who is part of it.

On a related note, i often considered, if i would be treated differently if i was gay. The problem with this is that the number of people who actually know that i am not gay is extremely limited and does not include any of my current or former coworkers or bosses due to me not being married. Likewise i simply don't know from the majority of my friends, collegues and aquaintancees if they are LBGT or not. So i am a bit at a loss how these "missing opportunities" for gays actually manifest in practice. How does this discrimination work ?

And yes, i know Marxist theory.

Satinavian:
Why should it be better to tackle reasons some people become poor than to tackle reasons what "poor" actually means as far as living standard goes ?

Why is this still being framed as an "either/or" situation? Ameliorating the effects of poverty does not somehow negate the need to address disownment; they both have to be the subject of different approaches.

Threads such as this, in which people attempt to undermine the necessity of one thing simply by appealing to the need for another, are misguided. They present us with a false dilemma, and encourage antipathy between groups and priorities that have no good reason to be antipathetic.

Satinavian:

On a related note, i often considered, if i would be treated differently if i was gay. The problem with this is that the number of people who actually know that i am not gay is extremely limited and does not include any of my current or former coworkers or bosses due to me not being married. Likewise i simply don't know from the majority of my friends, collegues and aquaintancees if they are LBGT or not. So i am a bit at a loss how these "missing opportunities" for gays actually manifest in practice. How does this discrimination work ?

People simply not knowing for sure if you're straight or not (and I assure you, the majority are simply assuming you are) does not really demonstrate anything at all. Most people will not have the option for their sexuality to be entirely unknown throughout their lives, and evidence strongly indicates that when it becomes known-- and it is not heterosexual-- there can be adverse, often severe, consequences.

If you would like me to go into greater detail, I can.

Silvanus:

Satinavian:
Why should it be better to tackle reasons some people become poor than to tackle reasons what "poor" actually means as far as living standard goes ?

Why is this still being framed as an "either/or" situation? Ameliorating the effects of poverty does not somehow negate the need to address disownment; they both have to be the subject of different approaches.

Threads such as this, in which people attempt to undermine the necessity of one thing simply by appealing to the need for another, are misguided. They present us with a false dilemma, and encourage antipathy between groups and priorities that have no good reason to be antipathetic.

Which traditionally is even the position of Marxist feminism (even if the ideas come more from Engels, not Marx). That by tackling capitalism as primary source of inequality and suppression the eventual society transformation will also allow to rid of all the other inequalities.

Having grown up under communism, i must admit the communists actually did try and made big improvements in direction of gender equality which are to some extend lost nowadays unfortunately. I don't know of a queer equivalent to Marxist feminism that is linking homophobia to class oppression.

Satinavian:
If you would like me to go into greater detail, I can.

Sure. I have problems seeing how employers or other people who theoretically could discriminate against me would know about my sexual orientation. But maybe that is just the German obsession with privacy.

Satinavian:
Which traditionally is even the position of Marxist feminism (even if the ideas come more from Engels, not Marx). That by tackling capitalism as primary source of inequality and suppression the eventual society transformation will also allow to rid of all the other inequalities.

That's something I'd disagree wholeheartedly with them on. You cannot expect broad economic initiatives to adequately address social issues, even if the former may have a dramatically egalitarian effect in other ways.

Satinavian:

Having grown up under communism, i must admit the communists actually did try and made big improvements in direction of gender equality which are to some extend lost nowadays unfortunately. I don't know of a queer equivalent to Marxist feminism that is linking homophobia to class oppression.

Well, I don't know about major initiatives, but it's noteworthy that Lenin was one of the very first European leaders to decriminalise homosexuality and homosexual acts, when he was rolling back the Tsarist laws.

Satinavian:
Sure. I have problems seeing how employers or other people who theoretically could discriminate against me would know about my sexual orientation. But maybe that is just the German obsession with privacy.

Most people in workplaces for more than a short while find out quite a lot about their colleagues here in the UK. I think I know that level of personal information about pretty much all of my coworkers-- not because we all declared it or anything, but just through spending so much time together.

Silvanus:
Most people in workplaces for more than a short while find out quite a lot about their colleagues here in the UK. I think I know that level of personal information about pretty much all of my coworkers-- not because we all declared it or anything, but just through spending so much time together.

That is probably a cultural thing. In Gemany work and private sphere tend to be far more separated if culture guides are to believed.
As i said i don't know it from most of my coworkers.

Satinavian:
That is probably a cultural thing. In Gemany work and private sphere tend to be far more separated if culture guides are to believed.
As i said i don't know it from most of my coworkers.

Well, alright. That still leaves the impact it can have on family, friends, even strangers, should they see you holding someone's hand or even hear about it from somebody else.

Satinavian:
To be honest, actually no. I didn't have noticible hormonal moods swings or anything like that. I expected them, but they never materialized. And if i had had them i would have been able to make sense of them as we actually got some proper education. But let's ignore that for a moment and move on.

I had proper education too. I'm middle class and have overactive middle class parents. I was fed a solid diet of "how to puberty" books for years before it even started. It doesn't change the fact that it's an alienating and distressing time of a lot of people's lives (including mine) simply because things are changing so quickly and a person who is still basically a child is suddenly put in situations where they have to navigate an increasingly adult world.

As for hormones. Most people don't have obvious and experienced hormonal mood swings, but they do turn into sweaty, gangly, awkward teenagers who pop random boners or randomly start bleeding at inappropriate times. It's weird and embarassing and, for a lot of people, engenders a lot of shame and negative feelings about themselves (particularly when we factor in bullying and a competitive social environment). What I'm asking you to do is to take that already unpleasant experience and then add on the realisation that you're gay.

Maybe puberty was the best time of your life and being 14 was just an endless parade of fun. If so, I'm going to hazard a guess that you're in the minority.

Satinavian:
I always trusted institutions and would have turned to the police. Which would have been the end of my hypothetical homelessness.

Because you're a child in this case, the police will try to contact any of your extended family and ask them to take you into care temporarily. Failing that, you are placed in care. Before moving on, it's worth noting that police misconduct is much, much, much higher in cases where they are dealing with an LGBT person, so we might not rule out the fact that you might be abused or mistreated by the police themselves before being passed on.

If your parents have abandoned you for being gay, it is likely that the rest of your family will share their views and, if they will take you in, will treat you badly and harbour resentment for you over your sexuality. You may find that you don't actually wany to live with your family any more and don't feel safe with them. Worse case scenario, they may physically abuse you or attempt to "cure" you by subjecting you to abusive "therapeutic" treatment. Either way, your life is miserable.

If you're taken into care, then your first stop is a children's home, which is far away from where you originally lived, so you lose contact with your friends and family. Most of the other children in your home have severe behavioural problems, and staff cannot spare the time to give you the kind of affection or validation that you need. You are bullied relentlessly, and if your sexuality becomes known it becomes a lot worse. You may eventually be placed in foster care, which probably means moving again. Your foster parents are given very little guidance on how to deal with you, and may also reject you when they discover you are gay. By this time, you are also likely developing emotional and behavioural problems yourself. If your relationship with your foster parents breaks down, then you're back to square one.

By age 16-18, you are sick of being passed around between homes and decide to move out. Best case scenario, you find a charity willing to provide you with independent housing during the rest of your education. Worst case scenario, you get a boyfriend who promises to take care of you. After you move in the relationship quickly becomes abusive but at this point you just see it as business as usual and the price you have to pay. Your life quickly goes in a very nasty direction..

Either way, you still probably end up poor, if not homeless.

Satinavian:
Why should it be better to tackle reasons some people become poor than to tackle reasons what "poor" actually means as far as living standard goes?

Why not both?

It's not really an either/or choice is it? It costs a lot of money to raise people's living standards, so having people languishing in systemic poverty when they don't need to is not a good idea and doesn't actually help anyone. Again, people often end up in poverty because they have problems which pull them back into poverty. If we fix these problems, if we reduce the number of people in poverty in the first place, then the cost of supporting people currently in poverty goes down and everyone benefits.

There will always be people who slip through the cracks when it comes to avoiding poverty and thus, yes, there will always be a need for a robust support system to catch those people. But even people who stumble have the ability to climb out sometimes, and if they don't then their children might. Dealing with problems like oppression, addiction, academic hopelessness and the like can help people who don't have to be in poverty to avoid it, and that benefits all of us.

Satinavian:
The problem with this is that the number of people who actually know that i am not gay is extremely limited and does not include any of my current or former coworkers or bosses due to me not being married.

I think straight people don't really see how much they actually work to signal their heterosexuality..

..to be blunt, everyone knows you're not gay. The chances are, the thought that you might be gay never even enters anyone's head, so thus they know (or rather, they believe) that you are straight. They never even have to think about it.

Gay people can live like this too, but it's called being closeted, and it takes its own toll because (much as you may think otherwise) it requires deliberate effort to pull off. For gay people, doing this means putting on an act. Often it either means lying to people or being deliberately vague about fairly basic aspects of your personal life. In short, it's difficult and quite alienating.

evilthecat:
Maybe puberty was the best time of your life and being 14 was just an endless parade of fun. If so, I'm going to hazard a guess that you're in the minority.

Not necessarily the best time of my life but pretty good. But what i wanted to say is that puberty and sexual awakening turned out to be pretty much unimportant.

By age 16-18, you are sick of being passed around between homes and decide to move out. Best case scenario, you find a charity willing to provide you with independent housing during the rest of your education.

No need for a charity, you have a right to a home in this case and simply are not allowed to move out without one.

And yes, the state will bill your parents for your home until you not only have finished a school but also finished either a university dregree or an apprenticeship or you are in the middle twenties. And they can't do anything about it, even if it drives them into bankruptcy (in which case taxpayers will start paying for your home).

Germany really does take responsibility for its young citizens and has no qualms about ignoring parents rights in favor of childrens rights. We actually do imprison parents for not sending their children to a proper school

I think straight people don't really see how much they actually work to signal their heterosexuality..

While i don't doubt that most people assume that i am straight, i am indeed at a loss about how i might "signal my heterosexuality" and how homosexuals would need actual effort hiding it (well, as long as they are not in a relationship. That would be a pretty strong hint taking effort to hide)

I mean, i personally know one person who is lesbian, no person who is gay, but three persons who are trans and one person who could as well be classifiede intersex (but having been originally classified as women and still going as women). That is very much not how the proportions should be. Indicating that i never regognized most gay/lesbians i interact with. And no, i don't think they all take a lot of effort hiding it.
Even of the one lesbian women i only know because she expressly wrote it in her facebook profile and i read it when i decided to give facebook a try. She was certainly not closeted and i still didn't pick it up over normal interaction for far more than a year.

I don't think it's the only kind of privilege that exists, because money and economic class aren't the only variables in our lives, even in uber-capitalistic societies like ours. But it is, by definition and by essence, the main and by far the biggest privilege in any liberal (in the true economic meaning, not the bastardized US one :p ) / capitalist society; actually, I'd say it's basically equal to all other privileges put together, just to give an idea of the scope of the issue.

What obviously follows from this situation is that you'll never be able to fully settle sexism / homophobia / racism and these other kinds of issues if you don't settle first the economic issue - as in getting fully rid of capitalism -, because the key underlying inequality between people will still be there. Even if you tried to fully get rid of racism, you'll still have the majority of Black people being abused and exploited by the economic system and the big firms, just like the majority of White people. Having Black, gay or female billionaires doesn't solve the fact that the bulk of every group will still have mediocre earnings and most of the wealth and revenue will still go to a very few at the top.

Silvanus:
[quote="Satinavian" post="528.1026537.24156821"]He's not arguing that we should only focus on other areas of disadvantage; just that we shouldn't solely focus on poverty. Tackling poverty is still extremely necessary. But, unless you approach homophobia and transphobia, people are still going to be disowned, leading to homelessness and additional sources of poverty. That cannot be ameliorated by nonspecific poverty initiatives-- they require tackling homophobia itself.

Practically speaking, I suppose you're right.
Yet, if we look at an ideal model where poverty simply just doesn't and cannot exist, then that wouldn't be required, because if people wanted to cast you off because you're gay or Black or whatever, you could just tell them to go pound sand and still enjoy the same standards of living, the same earning, and the like.

But, to go back to what I said right above, I tend to think you have to tackle the economic issue at least at the same time as the other ones, because they're bigger, and you have to solve the wealth redistribution issues first if you want to truly improve the lot of all the various minorities. If you get rid of sexism in a capitalistic society, you give the women nice sunbathing chairs on the Titanic deck, but they're still going to sink - though they will have a nicer spot to overwatch their demise.
These issues are important, of course, but you'll never be able to fully solve them if you don't solve the economic issue as well, and probably first. Doesn't mean we shouldn't address them at all, but that it's foolish to let minorities think everything will be fine if racism / -phobias / sexism are getting rid of; most of them will still get shitty working conditions, jobs and wages. What's needed is to move ahead on all these points, and anyone caring about any kind of inequality has to care about economic inequalities, otherwise that hard work will have very limited benefit.

Satinavian:
Not necessarily the best time of my life but pretty good. But what i wanted to say is that puberty and sexual awakening turned out to be pretty much unimportant.

Again, I'm going to point out that what people see as unimportant (because it was relatively smooth for them) and what actually is unimportant are not the same thing.

At my high school, a pretty typical suburban comprehensive with a nice mix of students, there was a time when one student was outed as gay (which is to say there were rumours he was and he didn't deny them). One day as he crossed the sports field a group of kids attacked him and beat him so badly he ended up in hospital. Granted, this was a couple of decades ago, but I'd be genuinely surprised if very much has changed. Do you think that guy's "sexual awakening" was unimportant to him? Because apparently, it was so "unimportant" to some other (heterosexual) kids that the only way they could deal with it was through physical violence.

Now, I'm going to be very generous and say that had those kids been adults they would probably have been comfortable enough with themselves to let it go and at least be subtle in their homophobia. The fact that they weren't adults isn't incidental. Teenagers are the worst partly because they are still finding out about themselves, and are terrified of finding something they don't like.

Satinavian:
No need for a charity, you have a right to a home in this case and simply are not allowed to move out without one.

Okay, so you're stuck in a horrible environment surrounded by people with all the problems which stem from long term care, or cared for by people with a minimum of state supervision and who may or may not be wholly inadequate, at least until you turn 21. Your prognosis still isn't good, and you're still likely to end up in poverty. By the time you leave, you may also have developed emotional problems or substance abuse issues, which will make it harder for you to work, study or balance your own money.

Satinavian:
While i don't doubt that most people assume that i am straight, i am indeed at a loss about how i might "signal my heterosexuality" and how homosexuals would need actual effort hiding it (well, as long as they are not in a relationship. That would be a pretty strong hint taking effort to hide)

In a relationship or no, there are large areas of their personal life which they can't talk about without outing themselves.

Furthermore, gay people have to out themselves sometimes in order to attract partners. That's why we have whole conventions built around signalling that a person is gay. Granted, the goalposts have to constantly move as straight people catch up to these conventions, the internet has somewhat done away with the overt need for this kind of signalling, and in urban environments much of what used to be coded as gay is ultimately appropriated into metrosexual culture anyway. But most gay people do not want to be closeted (a few take perverse pride in it, but most want to be able to dress or behave in ways which make their sexuality visible at least to discerning viewer because it makes it much easier to live).

Then there are some straight people who absolutely love outing gay people. You know, the kind of people who brag about having "gaydar" and will attempt (quite often incorrectly) to read whether a person is not straight from their limited understanding of queer semiotic. These people are more common than you'd think. I suspect it's a power thing, and they just like feeling like they've figured out a secret someone else is trying to hide. Either way, yuck.

Seanchaidh:

It depends on how you address the poverty. Something like targeted worker retraining programs are a far cry from a universal income guarantee.

I don't get this argument. Surely UBI is a capitulation to class divides? Shouldn't the focus be on giving people easier access to industry as well as a share of its prosperity as opposed to 'capitalism, only everybody gets a paycheque'. Sure, it's a nice idea but it merely predicates itself on centralized hierarchies which inevitably is a problem for the people on the lowest social rungs to begin with.

Instead of a UBI, why not government 0% interest loans to start up co-operative industry and create better means to be rewarded one's productivity?

It requires no less the same degree of co-ordination, and it's a far better means for people to strive to be better. Moreover, 'capitalism but everyone gets a paycheque' is no less than replicating capitalism's exploitation and reduction of total productivity or not fulfilling a suitable means for people to receive their true degree of productivity they will for themselves.

I think the greatest problem is people assume work is labour, when it could be that work is an exercise of self improvement. Work need not be simply labour. If you're not given the chance to evolve through your labour, it's merely exploitation with a smile ... regardless of how big the paycheque.

Rather than shitloads of people getting welfare, my dream is the grand bulk of us become entrepreneurs.

The problem isn't so much industry, th problem is the corporations are too large. Too many people. Too much money. Too many backhanders. The solution to that is encouraging and promoting regional industrial growth with smaller entrepreneurial units where they can not only learn skills, but also feel empowered and be able to exert power through industry.

Work should be lifelong vocational education and self-improvement. Not simply a job. Soldiers should be artists of death, not a uniform. Engineers enigmatic masters of machines and the local environment. Teachers shouldn't be employees of a centralized schoolyard and collection of buildings, but should be roving adventurers of knowledge, and the school should be wherever the lesson can be known through exemplification. History should be taught in archives and museums, for example.

Strikes me as fucking odd we treat school as a school ... it abstracts and depersonalizes academia.

That's infinitely better than merely a social guarantee of some vaguely definable (and thus inevitably unenforcable) degree of market participation.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
I don't get this argument. Surely UBI is a capitulation to class divides?

Doesn't have to be the only thing. It could also be paired with 95% tax rates over a certain amount, say, a million dollars. (Ah, but do I mean yearly income or total assets? Why not both?)

As for entrepreneurship, don't you think there would be a lot more creative entrepreneurship if people didn't have to worry about maintaining the ability to live a comfortable life if their venture fails?

Seanchaidh:

As for entrepreneurship, don't you think there would be a lot more creative entrepreneurship if people didn't have to worry about maintaining the ability to live a comfortable life if their venture fails?

Right, but how much are people losing if, say, the governments gives a person the money to start a dairy farm on a 20 year loan? They drop out after 3-4 years, the machinery is still there ... hopefully most of the herd ... the fencing ... the feed sheds... the pens ... and so on. Like most businesses, when one goes under it's often the cyclical interest on debts that causes the most damage to the indebted.

And I could see it as a really effective way of getting people to work the land, rebuild local buildings through their own efforts, and so on.

To put it more poignantly ... it's no less disastrous than merely taxing people more who make money off exploitative labour practices, to only give people a bigger paycheque. If you tax people to merely give everyone a paycheque from what you tax, what exactly are you getting beyond exploited workers feeling more exploited to simply get a slightly bigger paycheque?

Ultimately you could recreate the positives of a UBI with a better welfare system for the poor. And ultimately, would you rather people have the power to try to achieve the potential they see in themselves ... to be their own boss ... or be merely an exploited worker with a larger paycheque?

Plus it also in part solves rental stress and housing affordability. Someone rebuilds a storefront, builds a store room adjunct to 'totally not live in' but really live in. It's amazing how much you save when you write off a place you totally don't sleep in as a 'storeroom' for tax purposes.

I was a part business owner with others and technically homeless for two years. Easily saved me 20k+, doesn't do much for your social life though.

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