[...] When you're talking to one person, "do something before you have to" is more pragmatic advice than "foment revolution." And when talking to another person, calling that advice "victim blaming" is going to open no one's mind.
I agree in principle. The problem here is that we both don't know nearly enough about the (individual) situation. "Do something" is unspecific enough. I agree, everyone in a situation they're really unhappy with should definitely do something about it. But without knowing them better, I can not go any further as far as individual advice (get degree x, try to find job y, join local support group z) goes. The advice I can give is 1) realize that it's more than likely not (only) your fault as an individual and 2) think about ways you can contribute to solving collective problems on a collective level.
You say "it ignores the institutionalized restrictions imposed upon the actual options available to the receiver." What you mean is "it's too hard.
No, and in the spirit of a discussion between respectful adults I'd ask you not to tell me what I mean. What I mean is that the system can make opportunity costs and risks associated with meaningful individual change so high that it becomes unviable without external support. Simply add a few dependents to the equation and risks can become inacceptable from a purely rational point of view quite quickly. This has nothing to do with "too hard", which implies an unwillingness to exert appropriate effort.
Let's talk about emotional well being - is "sack up" really worse than "accept your fate?"
Depends, really. If "sack up" equals "Bang your head against a wall" then there is a real possibility that accepting the nature of the wall and looking for doors and windows might be a good idea, after all. Again, I don't really think we disagree here. I'm just pointing out again that we should be very careful about supplying directions when we don't know where someone's personal walls are located.
I gave advice based on my personal experience. Nowhere did I attempt to argue that my experience was universal, nowhere did I make any sweeping statement about national or global demographics. I gave an individual answer to an individual question. You want to have an argument about policy, I want to give advice... and despite the fact that we agree about the issues, we're debating now.
Yes, that's true. Well, mostly true, since I don't recall (had to check again) any request for personal advice. But that's okay, if I felt that I had relevant advice to offer, I'd do so, too. In general, I definitely do have a tendency to take an individual case and rush into a debate about broader issues from there. I need to work on making the distinction more clear. I'll also have to add that when I made my initial reply, I just had read a few discussions where the participants were engaging in - pardon my language - neoliberal cirklejerks. I suppose I was quite pissed, is what I'm saying. I remember thinking that I'd like to write in a neutral tone, specifically not ruining the discussion by making someone feel like I attacked them. Clearly, it didn't come out that way. In my defense, this stuff is much easier when I'm actually using my native language.
All you can do is call the testifier a liar. Which you did. Did you mean to?
No, I did not mean to call you a liar. I also don't believe that I did. Instead, i disagreed about the implications as I understood them. The implication (as I understood them, and I don't think anymore that you meant that) being: Despite injustice and all the odds stacked against you, you can still rise to the top if only you play your cards right. (And if you don't, clearly there's something wrong with you, because others did.)
It sounds like you didn't mean to. It sounds like you wanted to have a discussion about the impact of insensitive philosophy on sensitive psyches in a patriarchal economic system. Unfortunately, you accused me of victim blaming, told me to STFU and threw Wikipedia links at me. More than that, you ignored the arguments I was making to make the arguments you want to have: nowhere did I say I think the world is a "just place." To the contrary. My argument, as stated all over this thread, is that the world is deeply injust and that the article expects justice.
Yes, fair enough. Again, I wasn't really aiming at you - but I didn't do a good job at making that clear. I suppose anyone would have felt attacked, me included.