Friday, April 02, 2010

A Quick and Dirty Primer on the Economics of Kyriarchy

First- are you all enjoying the quick and dirty primers? I'm not getting a ton of comments on them but I do like writing them.

Feedback peeps, Mama needs feedback.

(I spent an extraordinary amount of time drawing this in Word because I can't install photoshop on this compy. Be a love and if you use this image link back to this post)

When we talk about the kyriarchy, we are talking about a system of oppressions that places people in a heirarchy shaped like a pyramid. But that is only half the story. Oppression has a practical function. It changes the way we allocate resources. If you look at the whole picture, it's a diagonally cut square, with resources on one side and people on the other.

Now you can divide that further into classes. I'm using the US as an example, and have divided the classes into 5, or 20% of the population. It is not an accident that the shading on the class side gets darker the lower you get.

How your class is determined is where the system of oppression steps in. The very first condition that establishes your class is:

What is your parent's class/ income?

That is how poverty and wealth become generational situations. If you have wealthy parents you will have better access to food, education, healthcare, and the connections necessary to create your own wealth. You will also have an inheritance, left over money from your parents.

If you have poor parents, you will have less or no access to food, education, healthcare and connections. You will also not be receiving an inheritance but you may end up going into debt upon your parents death in order to pay for funeral costs.

This is why African American women have a grand total of $5 in assets.

After the wealth of your parents, there are conditions that move you up or down the pyramid. The more positives you have, the higher you go. The more negatives, the lower. But none of these traits are earned, so to speak. Hard work doesn't factor into it. Intelligence doesn't factor into it. Not even ambition factors into it.

Things that move you up are: being male, white, hetero, cis, able bodied, citizen, with wealthy parents who could afford to give you a decent education and a wife who performs traditional household and child rearing tasks while you earn money.

Things that move you down: being female, non-white, non-het, trans, having a disability, non-citizen, with poor parents and little access to education, and being a single mother.

So on the kyriarchy scale I have +white, +citizen, + het, +cis, - female, - disability, -poor parents, - single mother.

That should make me break even, if all these things were weighted the same. But they aren't. The kyriarchy weights negatives more than positives. Its purpose is to push more people to the bottom.

Why might it need more people at the bottom?

Go back and look at the graph. Resources and classes go together for a reason, and resources are on top because they are gained on the backs of others. The more people at the bottom, the more resources at the top. It is a feature of the system, not a bug.

This is how a socialist system MIGHT look. Notice that there are still elites, but they are at the top now based on political and not economic power
That little turquoise triangle is the entire reason for groups such as the teabaggers and why middle class white men fight so hard to keep their privilege. That's all just a small triangle of resources that is going to disappear anyways. We are very quickly heading towards a society that looks like this

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