In the view of the technocrats, their systems are a true level playing field that erase the need for systemic critique. But in reality, the belief in perfectly balanced systems is the driving force behind how neoliberal capitalism engages in the oppression of the people it supposedly serves. When every person’s worth — in terms of cultural value, in terms of job performance, in terms of power in society — is fully defined by measurable outcomes, then it becomes easier to dismiss people who don’t meet favorable outcomes as in some way deficient. If the system is in perfect balance, the complex fields of thought that have emerged out of the long-term human struggles of civil rights, feminist, and LGBT movements must not be the true reality.
If you’ve ever worked in the shelter system, or any field that serves those deemed as oppressed or marginalized in any way, such as abuse victims, the homeless, or people who struggle with addictions and/or mental illness (just a few examples)…one of the first things you learn is that they usually do not frame their worldviews in terms of academic theories you learned in gender studies classes in University. For the most part, they tend to not analyze their experiences in terms of systemic power and privilege, concepts such as “the patriarchy”, “white privilege”, or “heteronormativity”. While many of these folks are directly impacted by class inequality and do realize it, they are likely not spending their days and nights reading Karl Marx, educating themselves on the intricacies of capitalism. They do not sit around pondering the effects of “problematic behaviours” in radical communities. They are not concerned with checking their privilege. No. They are busy trying to survive. Getting through the next day. Meeting their basic needs such as food, shelter and hygiene. They do not bother with policing their language and worrying about how their words might unintentionally perpetuate certain stereotypes. They are more concerned with their voices being heard in the first place.