On individual responsibility

It’s not your fault if you’re unemployed. There’s no jobs for you to have. It’s not a question of not wanting it enough, of not trying hard enough. There nobody who will take you, and they’ll always find an excuse. You’re underqualified or overqualified, too much experience or too little experience, too radical or too conservative, too aggressive or too placid, or maybe they just don’t like you. It’s all fobbing off, “it’s not you, it’s me”. In truth, there just aren’t many jobs around.

It’s not your fault if you have a job that you hate. There is nothing pathological about dissatisfaction with spending your waking hours in crushing monotony just so you can eat. This daily monotony does not make you a whole, happy person: it is a lie so pervasive we now ask “what do you do” instead of “how do you do”.

It’s not your fault if you don’t feel like you got the education you wanted. The doors are closing, one by one, till none but the rich can learn. They will point at the “underqualified” and close more doors, when what opportunity did you have in the first place? Its all a lie, a deliberate stacking of the deck so that only the privileged few may enjoy education.

It’s not your fault that the planet is fucked. That you forgot to separate the paper from the plastic, the tea bags from the veg, that last drip of milk from inside the carton will hardly melt the polar ice caps and cause the world to burn. While you are told that the entire future rests on you turning out the kitchen light, it is not true: the bulk of the damage comes from the corporations who freely set fire to finite resources and choke the sky. Washing your laundry at thirty degrees will not change their behaviour.

It’s not your fault if you get attacked, raped, abused. It never is. Any blame is due to a system covering its own back, desperately declaring that it is all fair and just. The length of your skirt makes no difference, where you walk makes no difference, what you drink or eat or say to a stranger is of no consequence. It wasn’t your fault.

It’s not your fault when you are denied opportunities for being too young, to old, the wrong colour, the wrong gender, too disabled, too queer. In their eyes, you are wrong; you are navigating the world backwards in heels. You are trying hard enough; harder than most. You want it enough. They just don’t want you to have any power. They want to hoard it.

It’s not your fault if you’re sick of this shit. It’s not your fault if you claw back power by any means necessary, just for a brief taste of what those who hold you down enjoy every day. They will attack you, they will call you a criminal, feral, violent, and pretend you are nought but an aberration. Yet you are not an aberration. You are part of many, one of us.

They see us all as one, those who cling on to their power. They make sure everyone else sees your problems as your own fault. It is a lie fed to hold on to their comfort. We tear each other apart under their narrative.

Remember, none of this is your fault.


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