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in defense of ‘entitlements’

December 18, 2013

I think this article makes a good point re: the left embracing the term ‘entitlement’ in the sense that, “The discourse of entitlement is a discourse of rights, of human agents claiming what’s theirs instead of asking permission from the powerful”:

In Defense of ‘Entitlements’

Certainly, from a socialist perspective, entitlement programs shouldn’t be some sort of end goal, but like labour laws, rent control, single-payer healthcare, UBIs, etc., they’re a useful tool in helping support the working class in the here and now (under the current mode of production) while at the same time chipping away at the idea that only people doing x for y amount of time and/or for z amount of money are worthy of eating, having shelter, having access to healthcare, enjoying free time, etc. Our society is indeed a twisted one if we truly hold that only those rare few with sufficient material means thereby earn access to “the rudiments of life” (i.e., food, healthcare, shelter, etc.) while the rest of humanity is SOL. The narrative is that you should distrust poor people, but we should not only question that narrative, but the very basis for it.

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