A simple-enough argument about a dangerous, toxic worldview.
[…] To highlight that contradiction let’s try to explain these facts with individualist logic. Women and non-white people, by sheer coincidence, all individually chose to be paid less for more demanding jobs. Also by coincidence, they chose to work those jobs and be paid less than women and non-white people in other similarly developed countries. Simultaneously, people born in the same zip codes all just happened to make choices that led them to similar incomes, similar lifespans, and similar rates of disease. Those born to poor families chose, with little or no outside influence, to work lower paying jobs. The rich also chose, of their own accord and without significant systemic advantages, to work higher paying jobs. The huge differences in the inequalities between America and other wealthy nations is also a coincidence caused by Americans choosing to be lazier.
Rather than consider that centuries of enslavement and systemic racism has sabotaged the quality of life for black americans, individualists insist that black individuals choose to live in poverty more frequently than non-black people. Rather than consider that society exists, individualists have created a web of absurdities and chosen to live there. They also insist that none of these absurdities are racist, sexist, or classist. We shouldn’t temper our language here: anyone who claims that individual choices rather than systems entirely determine how most people live should be dismissed outright. It’s an embarrassing and absurd worldview and even the tiniest bit of research should make that clear.
[…] Individualism is a worldview created not to explain the world but to control it. It’s designed to fragment strong communities, turn workers against each other, and diminish the power of solidarity among the people. When you see yourself as the morally upright hero and everyone else has competition, you’re turning your back on what it means to be human. There’s plenty to go around, or at least there would be if it weren’t all funneled straight to the top, to the people who manufactured the idea of individualism.
See also: “We Ought to Live in a Society, not an Economy”