Thoughts on individualism and privilege.

Many people live under the capitalist idea that doing good for themselves will, as a side-effect, do good for others.
The more I live the more I am amazed how wrapped up people are in their own lives. That is, how all they really think about is their own world. This of course is from my perspective where I live, in the belly of the beast – the USA.
I don’t mean this as an attack on these people personally. It is the society and system they have been brought up in. You grow up – get a job – take care of you and yours, and that’s it.
But the prospective I have come into is that my whole life is given over to making the world a better place. By whole life I don’t (just) mean from now till I die. Rather, I mean my days are centered on trying to understand the problem – Hegemony, capitalism, the state, etc. – and doing what I can do to fight against it.
Moving on to the point…one of the problems is privilege, and one of the problems wrapped up in privilege is that most people don’t see it in themselves or don’t understand it.

But recently I had a bit of a break-through in understanding this. If we live in a society were we are taught to think only of ourselves, that is, we take what we can get, when we can get it. A better job, more expensive material items, etc; and we are not brought up as part of anything larger, possibly a church but this, in most cases, does not seem to have the same effect. Then privilege is seen more as luck. Or as an opportunity. People would not think to turn down a better job because their father works there and can get it for them. This is not even mentioning the possibly less obvious type of race and gender privilege.
But this is privilege! This is, maybe, what parents mean when they tell their children “the worlds not fair.” They are not only preparing them for the adverse effects of others privilege but also that they need to use what they have to get a leg up.
In a world where people are struggling to get by it is hard to tell them not to use what little privilege they might have. But when we look at the bigger picture we see that it is the combined use of all this privilege that is keeping us all down. Because we are working against each other instead of working together.


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