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Act by Means not Ends

By Dandan Prager

Economic functionalists identify the fiscal discrepancy between people as a cruel reality. In this reality, economic stratification abstractly emerges as a pyramid. To remain stable, this monument must maintain massive lower strata to support the top level of the pyramid. Globalization has expanded economic boundaries, and the politics of one nation now affect the living standards of another. An undeniable correlation exists between wealth and systemic inclusion: the wealthy have benefited most from the current societal structure. Consequently, the poor are inversely affected and thus excluded. People who protect a priori and apodictic natural rights are the ones who ultimately aim to include the excluded; these are the people who will create the future political solutions.

Politicians tend to split between these two general philosophies: conservatism and progressivism. The former fights to maintain the status quo, as the latter pushes for its reformation. The nature of this dichotomy illudes analysts into perceiving progressive ideology in solidarity with the excluded; this is not necessarily the case. Eduardo Mendieta wrote that “Political justice… is the obverse of political liberation. Both are unified in a politics of transformation… For every system produces its victims.” (Mendieta 1999). Reshaping society with the ultimate goal of elevating the downtrodden to the status of the prosperous can only be accomplished by two means: By restructuring society, so it now favors the excluded over the included (inverting the status quo), or by legally recognizing the equality of the excluded (including them). Reversing the status quo will only lead to new victims; however, if the aim is to create inclusion (equality of natural rights), only those who actively seek to include, will provide proper political solutions.

The excluded have a first-hand account as to how the current system has discriminated against them and how that capacity of destruction has impacted their daily lives. Therefore only the excluded, as victims of the system, can adequately create these political solutions.[1] It is true that the marginalized all share unifying experiences, but just like any population, their ideologies roam between binary categories of conservatism and progressivism. Some would uphold the status quo, and some would want to reshape it, either by inversion or inclusion. It is not necessary by any means that the political solutions will exclusively emerge from the subjugated class. The case certainly exists that a marginalized community lacks ideological flexibility. This community then continues to fight unsuccessfully, trying to improve their lot within the status quo ad nauseam, eventually to be liberated by an empathic internal member of society, whose telos is that of equal natural rights for all.

The shapers of society can emerge from every economic class, whether noble or impoverished. The lineage one inherits or the struggles one faces does not predetermine whether an individual will score a mark on society. Identity does not identify political position and impact, rather the actions and merits of the individual do. The adherence to natural rights, their preservation, and application to all creeds, at all times, is what makes lasting impressions on society.

Works Cited

Ingram, David. 2002. The Political . Malden : Blackwell Publishers.

Mendieta, Eduardo. 1999. Ethics for an Age of Globalization and Exclusion. Philosophy and Social Criticism.

[1] The Political: On page 293 Eduardo Mendieta explains this concepot in further detail

*Natural rights can mean education, housing, freedom of speech etc.

By Dandan Prager

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