You ever notice how some of the fiercest class warriors were born into privilege they later rejected? As if they must annihilate a system which overvalues them in order to appease their guilt of having taken advantage of it. As if choosing to be a wage slave, even though you have a bachelor’s degree, makes you more in tune with the people’s struggle. As if living in forced austerity compensates for centuries of colonialist opulence.
Guilt that can motivate real transformation is wasted as a vehicle for zealotry. Ideological zeal is the comfort of the feeble, for it wraps clarity and certainty around a problem rooted in chaos. To behold oppression is to behold absurdity; the false constructions of race, sex and class are as arbitrary as they are harmful. There is no absolute response to their existence, no perfect remedy for their sabotage, no clear cut guidelines for navigating their meddling.
And so the absolute, perfectly clear solutions served by ideology are only reassurance to those who are surprised to discover the chaos. And that is why those with a lot of privilege and a little consciousness are so drawn to fierce belief. Because their knowledge of oppression is an intellectual exercise. They stumbled accidentally onto something previously inconceivable, and yet they are still at great distance from those who dwell within chaos. And so their outrage is not meant to transform society, it is only meant to resolve their cognitive dissonance.