This blog is created in dedication to all persons, with thanks to the work of Marshall B. Rosenberg, Gary L. Francione & Anna Charlton, David Graeber, Karl Marx, David Harvey, Michael Parenti, Michael Hudson, John & Mary McDougall. To Yves Smith, due to whose blog and interests I found many of the different pieces of the puzzle I've been putting together in my head. Special thanks to my best friend and life partner for her patience, and support.
If you accept that all persons have an equal claim on existence by virtue of valuing their own lives, then you must embrace egalitarianism; support and seek to realize actual democracy through self-emancipation; and be solidarious. Trouble is, even if you feel that this should be true, for most of us -- including those of us who live in the supposedly most advanced and civilized part of the world -- this is very far from what our lives are like, as there isn't even a single institution that embodies these principles, while most actively undermine them.
Extending Marx, I have come to the conclusion, and will in this blog argue that the fundamental reason why modern institutions presuppose or promote inequality is that liberal/capitalist institutions and organizations (which dominate contemporary society) in particular, and meritocratic organizational forms generally, are completely antithetical to the above, because they all seek to create and maintain inequality and oppression for the purpose of exploitation and privatization.
The former claim is hardly new, but the latter kind of is; or at least, it's not been argued for very clearly and consistently. This because most critiques of 'meritocracy' are at best partial, in that they tend to reinscribe the principle, while rejecting specific forms. This in the same way critiques of 'neoliberalism' implicitly suggest that there is a redeemable form of capitalism hiding underneath; or how 'welfarism' in the animal rights movement implicitly defends the practice of animal use even as they reject specific forms of animal use as wrong. It is my aim to do better, thereby hopefully creating more clarity on why things are largely getting worse, especially when it comes to the environment, inequality and left organization.
What I will be arguing on this blog is first, that that there is no fundamental difference between meritocracy and hierarchy, as the major point of contention between these two is who should dominate and rule, and how best to justify domination, oppression and inequality. Second, I want to illustrate how this impacts our thinking and actions, from the personal level to the organizational and institutional levels. And third, I want to suggest alternatives or possible solutions.
In this vein, I will try to show that basically all of the social problems we're facing today (inequality and exploitation, imperialism, ongoing oppression and marginalization of specific groups, immiseration and economic insecurity of most of the world's population, workplace and patriarchal repression, bureaucratization, segregation, nonveganism, the disapperance of left politics, environmental exploitation, ecological devastation, and so on) are related, because of how all of these actions are 'justified' and decided on by people and institutions using meritocratic arguments.
I hope this blog will help you to view the issues I discuss in usefully provocative ways, and that it will convince you to join me in trying to finally rid ourselves of this system, and realize a world in which institutionalized exploitation and oppression are no longer a thing.
Thank you for your interest. :)