Category: Global inequalities

Time’s up: Here’s to breaking silence and saying ‘me too’

Time’s up: Here’s to breaking silence and saying ‘me too’

Three years ago, in light of the case of Brock Turner, women began a long overdue conversation. One that was about shame, privilege and accountability: The culture of rape. Having this discussion, openly and on a public platform was liberating and silencing at the same time. We dealt with backlash from the media and their all-too-common recycled narrative. They framed the aggressor as the victim, by privilege of his gender and to an extent race, a Stanford kid with a bright future and aspirations who could be “severely impacted by jail” as the judge stated. And the actual victim as a naïve girl who should have known better. Despite all the commotion and rage around the case, he only got six months of jail for a crime that under US Federal Law, was punishable, given the specific circumstances, for 15 years behind the bars. But justice can bend when the situation’s right. When the aggressor does not fit the profile of a criminal and the victim is deemed untrustworthy. So, instead of a fair sentence, they gave him six months. Six months, which later on turned into three. And nothing more. The narrative always follows the plot and, in most scenarios, we are never victorious.

Is it time to protest the platform?

Is it time to protest the platform?

You probably brush your teeth with a multinational conglomerate; hear from friends through a tech giant and drive using a horizontally integrated car firm. That is because corporations, those powerful social and economic institutions, have become embedded in our modern lives. We occasionally like to ask whether this is right, whether society should allow corporations to have more power and influence than our governments. We take to Twitter, rant on Facebook and document on Snapchat. As will be noted here, this sometimes leads to mobilising at a physical protest, too. After all, only our governments are (democratically) elected, and only they are designed to maximise social welfare, so upholding them against the motives of corporations doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Rightly or wrongly, corporations will always pursue profit. That is their nature, their design and it is wonderfully predictable. It is why economists are always quoted as saying that profit maximisation is the ‘aim’ of a corporation, because it is what evidence predominately suggests – not what economists prescribe corporations to do.

Is a socialist revolution possible through grassroots movements in the West? 

Is a socialist revolution possible through grassroots movements in the West? 

As the sociologist and political theorist Karl Marx stated, “[…]the emancipation of the working class must be the act of the working class[…]”1. Revolution is characterized as resistance from below against a pervasive power system. Thus, technically the only way a ‘true’ proletarian (working-class) revolution will be achieved is through grassroots movements, therefore my question is somewhat a paradox. What I mean is, has a profit-obsessed neoliberal system subjugated and divided the poorest in society to a point where unity that could lead to revolution is not currently possible? It is my contention that revolution is entirely possible and necessary for upholding equality; however, this must come hand in hand with a movement from above — the capitalist system will have to be weakened. This perhaps also means the reliance upon individual forms of rebellion, such as non-consuming, and the system ‘eating itself’ through overproduction, greed, and reliance on crises.