Hierarchy and Intersectionality

 
weird buffalo
 
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weird buffalo
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10 September 2021 07:04
 

It occured to me that there’s a fundamental disconnect in regards to understanding intersectionality by those who lean conservative in their thoughts.  From a conservative perspective, hierarchies are not just something we can observe in the world, but are often fundamental to understanding the world and part of how we should see the world.  Now, I will not say that all conservatives like all hierarchies, but the hierarchical lens is typically fundamental to the conservative position.

Capitalism is a hierarchy of wealth.
Racism is a hierarchy of race.
Patriarchy is a hierarchy of sex/gender.
Patriotism is a hierarchy of nations.
Christian Nationalism is a hierarchy of religions.

Now, not everything is viewed through this lens, but many things are. How does this intersect with intersectionality?  The examination of the status of people necessitates understanding how the differences in our society are treated.  Women earn less than men.  Black people earn less than white people.  Married men are more likely to get promoted than single men, married women, or single women.  Examining discrimination within our society we are studying the hierarchy that exists, but usually it is with the goal of flattening the hierarchy as much as possible.

From the conservative perspective though, the hierarchy must continue to exist though, and so any attempt to alter it does not “feel” like flattening it, but rather inverting it.  When multiple hierarchies are compared at how they can affect an individual, if one believes that hierarchies must exist, then it would appear to be the creation of a new hierarchy based on discrimination and oppression that someone has suffered.  This is why conservatives routinely fall into the tired framework of addressing intersectionality as the “Oppression Olympics”.  If one assumes that all efforts are pointed towards the creation of hierarchies, then this would be the obvious conclusion.  it completely ignores the idea that flattening said hierarchies might be a good thing, and this is why fruitful discussions are extremely difficult to have on the subject.

Me: I think we should promote income equality.
Jordan B. Peterson: You’re just envious of the rich and want to replace them, you Postmodern Neomarxist.

 
EN
 
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EN
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10 September 2021 08:23
 

While I accept your premise about intersectionality and the importance of leveling some hierarchies, I differ on the hierarchy of capitalism. I would propose that the goal, rather than income equality, should be a fair tax structure. To jettison the innovation and creativity of capitalism would not be a positive development for society, nor would denying people the rewards of hard labor and skill be productive. But, given the gross inequalities that can result from pure capitalism, a significant change in the tax structure would provide more income for creating opportunities for those who are less advantaged. Specifically, funding education and job skills training from revenue derived from increased taxes on the wealthy seems to be a worthy goal.

The hierarchy of patriotism also confers some benefits on society. We cannot save the world. Focusing on our own citizens much more than the world at large is what government of the people, by the people, and for the people does. Of course, we should provide foreign aid as needed, specifically when it corresponds to our national interests. But the government of any country should focus first on its own people - the ones who elected that government to power.

Otherwise, yes, hierarchies can lead to the intersectionality to which you refer, to multiplied levels of discrimination and oppression. I suspect that most conservatives don’t really understand this, or want to.

 
weird buffalo
 
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weird buffalo
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10 September 2021 09:20
 

Capitalism is wealth inequality.  Capitalism is about property rights and organizing our economic principles around ownership.

I want you to take a quick mental inventory.  Imagine all of the movies that have been made in the last few years.  Would you describe the giant, blockbuster, high budget movies as the most creative?  Are they innovative?  Do they seem like original and new stories?  For example, let’s compare the first Star Wars movie with the recent trilogy of movies.  Which do you find to be more innovative and creative?

Or how about the Marvel movies?  Sure, they can be light-hearted fun, but I would hardly describe them as “creative”.  In fact, the stories involved are largely formulaic. A video on how unoriginal the music in Marvel movies is.

If capitalism rewards some of the least creative endeavors in an industry that is often defined by its creativity… the argument that capitalism is necessary to induce creativity seems deeply flawed.

 
Jefe
 
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10 September 2021 10:52
 
EN - 10 September 2021 08:23 AM

To jettison the innovation and creativity of capitalism would not be a positive development for society, nor would denying people the rewards of hard labor and skill be productive.

I think there might be a measurable amount of lost creativity and innovation due to capitalism.
Corporations shutting down/stifling the ‘little business’ to maintain market-penetration or monopolistic contractual coverage.
Creators and Artists who struggle to conduct their making due to financial strain in a top-heavy, corporate-centric economy.
Investors and potential “Medici’s” becoming more concerned about ROI than simply supporting creatives.
And murky algorithms that promote popularity via arguably false-positivies and false-negatives in many cases. (Such as the hollywood example WB presents.)

Capitalism, by itself, is not aimed at supporting creativity, and really only encourages profitable innovation.  Particularly if the levers of economic input are largely controlled under corporate fiduciary responsibilities.

It may be necessary, and components of capitalism may be good (or better) than other systems, but it’s not perfect by any stretch.

 
 
Cheshire Cat
 
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10 September 2021 18:10
 

I think Peterson would say that some people are more competent and skilled at doing certain things than others. As a result they rise to the top of hierarchies.

When these hierarchies become oppressive and stagnant, then they must change.

 
 
weird buffalo
 
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10 September 2021 18:34
 
Cheshire Cat - 10 September 2021 06:10 PM

I think Peterson would say that some people are more competent and skilled at doing certain things than others. As a result they rise to the top of hierarchies.

When these hierarchies become oppressive and stagnant, then they must change.

Which is a theory that predicts that Trump is one of the most skill and competent people in the world, since he rose to the top of the most powerful hierarchy in the world.  I’m hoping I don’t have to point out how this is obviously not true.

It also fails to show how analysis through conservative hierarchies can avoid looking at intersectionality as “oppression olympics”.

 
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10 September 2021 19:47
 
weird buffalo - 10 September 2021 06:34 PM
Cheshire Cat - 10 September 2021 06:10 PM

I think Peterson would say that some people are more competent and skilled at doing certain things than others. As a result they rise to the top of hierarchies.

When these hierarchies become oppressive and stagnant, then they must change.

Which is a theory that predicts that Trump is one of the most skill and competent people in the world, since he rose to the top of the most powerful hierarchy in the world.  I’m hoping I don’t have to point out how this is obviously not true.

It also fails to show how analysis through conservative hierarchies can avoid looking at intersectionality as “oppression olympics”.

Actually it predicts the opposite. Trump was totally unqualified to be president of the United States. He was the exception that proves the rule.

You’ll have to explain in more detail: “conservative hierarchies can avoid looking at intersectionality as “oppression olympics.”

And lately, Trumpist conservatives are trying to tear down the system, tear down the government hierarchy. I think this contradicts your premise also.

 
 
LadyJane
 
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11 September 2021 05:33
 

Folks like Peterson believe those at the top of the pyramid arrived there through achievements due to skill and hard work.  Despite the fact they had advantages that delivered them there.  The conservative coopting of terms like ‘Oppression Olympics’ expose their efforts to delegitimize the reality of the very discrimination they were fortunate enough to avoid.  They prefer to assume minorities failed to ‘pull up their own bootstraps’ and rise like they did.  It’s as much of an American Myth as the notion Capitalism encourages innovation and creativity.  Easy to say when yer born on third base.

 
 
weird buffalo
 
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11 September 2021 07:40
 
Cheshire Cat - 10 September 2021 07:47 PM
weird buffalo - 10 September 2021 06:34 PM
Cheshire Cat - 10 September 2021 06:10 PM

I think Peterson would say that some people are more competent and skilled at doing certain things than others. As a result they rise to the top of hierarchies.

When these hierarchies become oppressive and stagnant, then they must change.

Which is a theory that predicts that Trump is one of the most skill and competent people in the world, since he rose to the top of the most powerful hierarchy in the world.  I’m hoping I don’t have to point out how this is obviously not true.

It also fails to show how analysis through conservative hierarchies can avoid looking at intersectionality as “oppression olympics”.

Actually it predicts the opposite. Trump was totally unqualified to be president of the United States. He was the exception that proves the rule.

You’ll have to explain in more detail: “conservative hierarchies can avoid looking at intersectionality as “oppression olympics.”

And lately, Trumpist conservatives are trying to tear down the system, tear down the government hierarchy. I think this contradicts your premise also.

They aren’t trying to tear down the whole thing, they are only trying to secure power for themselves.

The whole point of the OP is to look at why some people hear the word “intersectionality” and they translate it as “oppression olympics”.  The point of the post was not to examine the entire nature of hierarchies, or how some people approach them, but rather that a framework centered on hierarchies results in people who oppose change seeing the examination of those oppressed by hierarchies as just a way of creating a new hierarchy.  (wonder how long it will take for hierarchy to feel like a nonsense word, I’m repeating it so often)

The post is about how the concept of the “oppression olympics” is an idea imposed on intersectionality by people opposed to examining the idea of intersectionality.

Trump is not the exception that proves the rule.  The claim of the validity of hierarchies as a useful tool is that skilled and competent people will rise to the top.  For this claim to be true, that means Trump is skilled and competent.  If he is neither of those things, then the claim that hierarchies result in skilled and competent people to the top is false. 

A video on luck vs skill when it comes to success.  He runs a simulation on astronaut selection that is quite informative.  If we were to change the influence of luck to a greater degree, then we would find that luck becomes even more important to success.  I think with regards to politics, this is very true.  I have no way of measuring how much of a factor luck is, but I think that Trump’s success is evidence that luck plays much more of a role than most people would like to admit.  The most important hierarchy in our country is far too heavily influenced by luck and not success, and I don’t think there is a way to remove luck from the system.  This is also part of what pushed me towards preferring the lottocracy system.

[ Edited: 11 September 2021 07:48 by weird buffalo]
 
EN
 
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11 September 2021 08:30
 

The best measure of the benefits of capitalism is simply to compare free market countries to those whose economic decisions are made by a central government.  The best way to retain the benefits of capitalism (free market economies) and also prevent oppression by hierarchies is simply to tax the wealthy more and use the revenue to help those at the bottom through education and job training.  Is anyone here seriously arguing that we shouls scrap the free market?  Taxation and appropriate regulation keep capitalism in check, while preserving it’s benefits.

 
Jefe
 
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11 September 2021 09:04
 
EN - 11 September 2021 08:30 AM

The best measure of the benefits of capitalism is simply to compare free market countries to those whose economic decisions are made by a central government.

That’s a bit of a false dichotomy.  There may be options that don’t include just Free Market -or- Central Control.

EN - 11 September 2021 08:30 AM

The best way to retain the benefits of capitalism (free market economies) and also prevent oppression by hierarchies is simply to tax the wealthy more and use the revenue to help those at the bottom through education and job training.  Is anyone here seriously arguing that we shouls scrap the free market?  Taxation and appropriate regulation keep capitalism in check, while preserving it’s benefits.

The idea, to borrow from another thread, is not to blindly venerate capitalism and overlook the bad while lauding the purported good. Capitalism is a system. It requires maintenance to work properly. In the US that maintenance has been delayed, deferred, or overtaken by wealthy self-interests.

 
 
weird buffalo
 
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11 September 2021 09:11
 
EN - 11 September 2021 08:30 AM

The best measure of the benefits of capitalism is simply to compare free market countries to those whose economic decisions are made by a central government.  The best way to retain the benefits of capitalism (free market economies) and also prevent oppression by hierarchies is simply to tax the wealthy more and use the revenue to help those at the bottom through education and job training.  Is anyone here seriously arguing that we shouls scrap the free market?  Taxation and appropriate regulation keep capitalism in check, while preserving it’s benefits.

I started another thread to keep the specific issue of capitalism separate.

Capitalism and the free market are not synonymous.  Free markets existed in places for centuries prior to the invention of capitalism.  In addition, capitalism is not a “free market”, as ownership of property dictates rights and privileges.

 
LadyJane
 
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11 September 2021 10:03
 

The stage has been set for the time those at the top officially become the minority.  And fears that the “others” are coming to take away what “they” built are finally realized.  Even though it’s not true.  They’ve been laying claim to things that never belonged to anyone by hoarding wealth, evading taxes, manipulating the law and monopolizing the market.  Listen closely to those calling themselves liberals as they echo conservative talking points.  Clinging to power compels them to maintain the established hierarchy while keeping the perception of success at a safe distance rather than admit the privileges they’ve enjoyed.  Little do they realize what an obstacle that delusion has created for their own progress.  As well as everyone else’s.  It’s easier to criticise those who point it out than take an honest look at that distorted version of history.  Dismissing them as radical.  They must assume the intersectional coalition will be as unfair and greedy as they were.

 
 
Cheshire Cat
 
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11 September 2021 17:01
 
weird buffalo - 11 September 2021 07:40 AM

The point of the post was not to examine the entire nature of hierarchies, or how some people approach them, but rather that a framework centered on hierarchies results in people who oppose change seeing the examination of those oppressed by hierarchies as just a way of creating a new hierarchy.

How can you be certain this isn’t what will happen? Since we stopped being egalitarian hunter gatherers, humans have consistently set up hierarchies. Political revolutions are simply exchanging one hierarchical system for another. Look what happened after the French Revolution. The forces fighting for Egalitarianism morphed into blood thirsty monsters, eventually turning on themselves. I see an extremism on the left that worries me, but not as much as the extremism on the Trumpist right. Still, extremism in any form is not good.

weird buffalo - 11 September 2021 07:40 AM

Trump is not the exception that proves the rule.  The claim of the validity of hierarchies as a useful tool is that skilled and competent people will rise to the top.  For this claim to be true, that means Trump is skilled and competent.  If he is neither of those things, then the claim that hierarchies result in skilled and competent people to the top is false.

The only thing Trump is skilled at is being a good bullshit artist. He is a television host who conned his way into the presidency. Biden worked within the system for decades and is a master politician. He is an example of skill and competency rising within a hierarchy. Trump is an aberration.

EN - 11 September 2021 08:30 AM

The best way to retain the benefits of capitalism (free market economies) and also prevent oppression by hierarchies is simply to tax the wealthy more and use the revenue to help those at the bottom through education and job training.  Is anyone here seriously arguing that we shouls scrap the free market?  Taxation and appropriate regulation keep capitalism in check, while preserving it’s benefits.

EN is right on the money. A wealth tax is exactly what me need to close the extreme gap between the super wealthy and the rest of us and to weaken the strength of the oligarchy.

Look at this article from the Pro Public website: https://www.propublica.org/article/the-secret-irs-files-trove-of-never-before-seen-records-reveal-how-the-wealthiest-avoid-income-tax

It made me sick.

In 2011, a year in which his wealth held roughly steady at $18 billion, Bezos filed a tax return reporting he lost money — his income that year was more than offset by investment losses. What’s more, because, according to the tax law, he made so little, he even claimed and received a $4,000 tax credit for his children.

His tax avoidance is even more striking if you examine 2006 to 2018, a period for which ProPublica has complete data. Bezos’ wealth increased by $127 billion, according to Forbes, but he reported a total of $6.5 billion in income. The $1.4 billion he paid in personal federal taxes is a massive number — yet it amounts to a 1.1% true tax rate on the rise in his fortune.