Words of Wisdom and Dignity vs. Rankism

9 Jun

Robert W. Fuller, founder of the dignity movement, shared these words of wisdom in an email the other day. I thought I’d pass them on to you.

Nowadays, in developed societies, predation does not so much take the form of attacking others’ physical bodies; rather, it takes the form of doing damage to others’ psychological selves. Wounded and weakened, people are rendered less competitive, and this works to the predator’s advantage.

Going from preying on bodies to preying on selves is analogous to going from ball-and-chain slavery to wage slavery: a less egregious form of setting others up for exploitation, for advantaging oneself at their expense.

Isn’t it amazing that little kids begin doing this to each other, with sneers and put-downs, long before they have any idea what they’re doing? We have only to make such behavior visible and call it by name to set in motion a process that will eventually render it insupportable.

Slavery is no longer something to be proud of. Someday, put downs of any sort will be widely regarded as equally indefensible.

Join us in putting a name to rankist behaviors. Robert and I are compiling a list of dignified/rankist antonyms, such as somebody/nobody or include/exclude. Which antonym pairs come to mind for you when you’re thinking about dignity and rankism?

Photo credit: Jannie-Jan

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