There’s this tendency in modern conversations of justice to look at everything as zero-sum, winner-or-loser, exploiting-or-exploited.
It’s been exacerbated by celebrity figures who push this line of thinking, as well as by advertising-driven social media algorithms picking “winners” in virality wars.
But we have to do better than that. We have to want a better world for everyone. We have to look at how improvements can make things better overall.
We don’t get there simply by being anti-. We don’t get there by treating others as enemies to be defeated. Rather, we can look to others as potential co-conspirators ready to tackle challenges together.
One way to step out of the enemy-making view is to look at a level level above the individual. What is the mood of the group? What is the spirit of the organization? What is the faith of the locality? What is the tone of the structure?
You can mix and match these words, too. The Christian Bible talks about the “principalities and the powers”. German philosophers talk about “the zeitgeist”. You may have another metaphor.
However we think about it, before we go after people, let’s take a moment to think about the overarching system affecting the problem. What powers are at work, and with that in mind, how can we work with others to make things better?