1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

"On A Plate" by Toby Morris. A comic that illustrates the harm from privilege

Discussion in 'The Political World' started by LuisDantas, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Messages:
    46,687
    Ratings:
    +15,090
    Religion:
    Advocate of letting go of theism. Buddhist with an emphasis on personal understanding.
    The Pencilsword: On a plate

    I wonder... does anyone who reads this comic somehow conclude from it that everyone has equal opportunities?

    Myself, I think that it is an excellent presentation of why inequality of opportunities is both very real and very destructive.
     
    • Like Like x 8
    • Winner Winner x 5
  2. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    40,677
    Ratings:
    +15,833
    Religion:
    Love
    That is very true.
     
  3. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    13,619
    Ratings:
    +5,372
    Religion:
    Atheist Libertarian
    Yes, my life went mostly down the second column. I remember when I was homeless walking down the street of an affluent neighborhood, looking through the windows at families sitting down together to eat. I don't think I was envious, but I did wonder what it would have been like to have been raised in such a family. Gets me down thinking I never had a father and my mother never hugged me or told me she loved me. So just don't think about it. Would have like to have gone to college but didn't have the money and no one to show me how to get grants. Pretty much self-taught.

    Fortunately, social services picked me up after being arrested for stealing food. They help to find work and a place to stay. It was Black and Hispanic administrators who coached me and drove me to job interviews. Married a nice immigrant lady who makes more money than me. Raised kids provided a household. Got grandkids who's parents tell them they loved them on a daily basis.

    I guess for me it's not about the opportunities you don't have, it's what you do with the ones you do have.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  4. Labourwave

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    4,547
    Ratings:
    +3,500
    The view that free market economies without social programs provide "Equal opportunity" in any meaningful way is pure ideology.
    Good comic
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  5. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    12,730
    Ratings:
    +4,800
    Religion:
    Philosophical Taoist/Christian
    Unless you never get them. Or you become convinced you don't deserve them, or that they won't help.

    Poverty is no just a lack of opportunity, it's a lack of hope.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    Messages:
    10,133
    Ratings:
    +5,037
    Religion:
    Agnostic
    Yes, indeed it is. Good comic. I think most people should be able to understand the very basic concepts being shown in the comic.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    Messages:
    10,133
    Ratings:
    +5,037
    Religion:
    Agnostic
    One thing that seems apparent in the comic is that the ones portrayed in the second column actually do have opportunities, but they're just not very good ones. Sure, there are plenty of rags-to-riches stories about people born into poor families or wretched situations and somehow managed to become billionaires. This leads to the conclusion that "if they can do it, anyone can do it."
     
  8. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Messages:
    46,687
    Ratings:
    +15,090
    Religion:
    Advocate of letting go of theism. Buddhist with an emphasis on personal understanding.
    Which is quite misleading. There are if anything even more stories of people born into privilege and showing consistently that they are not worth of so much opportunity.

    The person shown in the first column of the comic is not even hinted to be undeserving. But he takes for granted a level of privilege, protection and cooperation that is simply not available to many, many people.

    Perhaps most grim of all is that the privileged receive lots of warm good will and tend to assume that it is what everyone else has. Reality is quite different. It can be very disheartening to be consistently seen as undeserving and untrustworthy, and many, many people are for no fault of their own.

    Environment can be decisive, and often is.

    I think that also goes a long way to explain the recent scandal involving Prince Andrew's statements.
     
    #8 LuisDantas, Dec 5, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    13,619
    Ratings:
    +5,372
    Religion:
    Atheist Libertarian
    Do what? Succeed at the opportunity they do have? Sure why not. Everyone's life is unique. There's folks who started off with different opportunities than myself. So what. That's their life. Doesn't make it better, doesn't make it worse, just makes it different. There's only a problem IMO when we try to measure our life against someone else's.

    I don't need a lot to be happy. I don't necessarily know that those who have a lot are. Perhaps it is a western idea that success/happiness is a matter of privilege.
     
  10. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    13,619
    Ratings:
    +5,372
    Religion:
    Atheist Libertarian
    Best then not to listen to those folks who because of your circumstances in life assume you have little hope for success/happiness.
     
  11. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    12,730
    Ratings:
    +4,800
    Religion:
    Philosophical Taoist/Christian
    True, but if you're born, say, black and poor in America, that message is ever-present, and it's backed up by circumstances, time and time and time, again. Being hopeful becomes downright delusional after a while.
     
  12. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    13,619
    Ratings:
    +5,372
    Religion:
    Atheist Libertarian
    Geesh, you're a downer.
     
  13. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    12,730
    Ratings:
    +4,800
    Religion:
    Philosophical Taoist/Christian
    I don't dictate the culture, I just report on it.
     
  14. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    13,619
    Ratings:
    +5,372
    Religion:
    Atheist Libertarian
    So, what your post is basically saying, is that if you are a non-White with hope you're delusional? .
     
  15. Watchmen

    Watchmen Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Messages:
    5,738
    Ratings:
    +657
    What the comic doesn’t necessarily portray is the happiness each side of the column may experience. There something to be said for that.
     
  16. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    12,730
    Ratings:
    +4,800
    Religion:
    Philosophical Taoist/Christian
    Race is not the issue. The issue is that poverty is enforced hopelessness, not just a lack of money. And it's enforced with great effectiveness in our culture. We tell ourselves and each other that anyone can become wealthy, but the degree of difficulty in obtaining that end is wildly uneven, based mainly of how much wealth one is born into. But also on race, gender, ethnicity, and one's moral pliability.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  17. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    Messages:
    10,133
    Ratings:
    +5,037
    Religion:
    Agnostic
    Yes, measuring one's life against someone else's can be a problem, although I don't think it's an issue which can be explained by reducing it to individual anecdotes. I think what's really being addressed is a great deal of propaganda people have been fed about the "American Dream" and the wonderful free enterprise system where anyone with a bit of pluck and luck can become a tycoon. This kind of BS went into overload during the Reagan era and has continued unabated to this very day.

    We hear it all the time, and it's this kind of pseudo-patriotic propaganda which has damaged the American psyche. It does encourage people to measure their lives against others, and as you correctly pointed out, this is a problem.

    There's a very strong undercurrent in the popular culture that an individual's worth is based on the value of their possessions and wealth. It doesn't even matter how an individual earned his/her wealth. You could be a drug kingpin, a mobster, a Wall Street raider, or some sleazy lawyer or con man (aka "people who have never produced anything of value for America yet still somehow managed to get paid anyway"), and this is viewed as "success" in the eyes of a consumer-driven, materialistic, hedonistic, morally-bankrupt culture.

    The irony here is that a lot of the same people who have propagated this malarkey are many of the same ones lamenting the decline of civility, the decline of morals, the rise of certain fringe ideologies - and yet, they still can't seem to make the connection.

    But yeah, if your point here is that life is life, some people have it good, some not so much, rain is wet - then okay. I guess there's not much to argue with there, but you may be missing the larger picture.

    And to be fair, the poor in America aren't quite so bad off as the poor in many other countries in this world. We have some social programs and services to help people, although we could probably do better in this area. We still need to improve accessibility and affordability of quality healthcare, education, housing, and food, but it's nothing like it was in the 19th century or in some of the more poverty-stricken areas of the world.

    Heck, even some homeless people and panhandlers have boasted getting hundreds of dollars a day, so some might say "Well, at least they're surviving somehow." But even that's not entirely true for everyone.

    The real tragedy of it all is that it doesn't really have to be like this, at least not in a country which has so much excess wealth and luxury. It's not like we're some third world country, but when you see so many people out on the streets, along with boarded-up storefronts, abandoned buildings, decrepit roads, failing bridges, outdated transportation systems, sub-standard education, sub-standard healthcare, rising prices coupled with declining quality, major bankruptcies, and a general shift away from an industrial economy to an economy that can only export food and mineral resources - that's what third world countries have to do, because they have no other choice. Is that what America is becoming?

    It's not about class envy or pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps. It's about national pride. If we're truly as "great" and "exceptional" as some people would have us believe, then it would show. But we're seeing just the opposite.

    I don't think that people need to have a lot either. I also don't believe in hand-outs or giving away anything for free, but I think that working people should be given more consideration than they're currently receiving.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  18. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    13,619
    Ratings:
    +5,372
    Religion:
    Atheist Libertarian
    As @Stevicus put it, it's the wrong dream to have. Happiness is not really bought with money. Although I realize it is more complicated then showing poor folks how to be happy.
     
  19. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    12,730
    Ratings:
    +4,800
    Religion:
    Philosophical Taoist/Christian
    Happiness is not even an issue without some degree of survivability, and some degree of personal security. And our culture has taken away our ability to attain either of these on our own without participating in an economy that is very thoroughly rigged in favor of the wealthy. We are told that we are "free", and therefor can do or become whatever we want. But we are actually living in a new medieval period: of wage enslavement by corporate fiefdoms run by corporate CEOs instead of geographical/agricultural enslavement to local lords.
     
  20. ImmortalFlame

    ImmortalFlame Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2010
    Messages:
    9,420
    Ratings:
    +5,062
    It is extremely easy to claim that you can be happy without money when you actually have money. The reality is that financial pressure and living just on the verge of it, despite having to struggle for what little you have, can put serious psychological pressure on every aspect of your life.

    Financial security is a huge part of living a happy and comfortable life, and something that can very easily to be taken for granted for those who have had it their whole lives. But the moment you don't have it, you see the knock-on effects everywhere.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
Loading...