This was written in 2013.
I've been hearing the word privilege a lot. Privilege exists and some people have more privilege than other people. Some people are oppressed more often than other people.
Being an anarchist, feminist, vegan, leftist, communist, socialist, activist, protester, organizer, citizen journalist, blogger, liberal, democrat, libertarian or radical is not a sign of privilege.
Being part of radical movements like the anarchist movement is not a sign of privilege.
Being part of a subculture like the punk, vegan, tattoo, queer, gay, lesbian, trans or hipster subcultures is not a sign of privilege.
Having tattoos, piercings, dyed hair or patches is not a sign of privilege.
Reading, learning and studying radical ideologies like anarchism is not a sign of privilege.
Talking about oppression is not a sign of privilege.
Trying to stop oppression is not a sign of privilege.
Being able to read, write, see, hear, walk, talk and protest is not a sign of privilege because most people can do those things.
Being a writer, author, intellectual, speaker, musician or artist is not a sign of privilege.
Writing books, zines, papers or articles is not a sign of privilege because most people have the ability to write a book.
Knowing the definition of words that most people do not know the definition of is not a sign of privilege.
Talking and writing in an academic style not a sign of privilege.
Having a college degree is not a sign of privilege.
Being in college is not a sign of privilege.
Having a lot of knowledge about politics, philosophy, history, art, music, literature, science, math, technology, computers or the internet is not a sign of privilege because most people have the ability to learn about that stuff.
Having a website or blog is not a sign of privilege because most people have the ability and the money to create and maintain a simple, inexpensive website or blog.
Protesting is not a sign of privilege.
Planning, organizing or attending protests is not a sign of privilege.
Doing illegal direct action is not a sign of privilege.
Marching in the black bloc is not a sign of privilege.
Going to an out of town protest is not a sign of privilege.
Traveling is not a sign of privilege.
If someone goes to a protest and does something violent it is a sign that they are oppressed, it is a sign that they are angry about being oppressed.
Living in the United States is not a sign of privilege.
Being born in the United States is not a sign of privilege.
To have a long life expectancy is a privilege.`Life expectancy in 50 countries is higher than life expectancy in the United States. People in Europe, Australia, Canada, Japan and many other countries have a longer life expectancy than Americans have.
Some people have divided the world into oppressed nations and nations that are not oppressed. Some people have divided the world into oppressed people and people that are not oppressed. The United States is an oppressed nation compared to the 50 countries with a higher life expectancy. Americans are an oppressed people compared to the people living in the 50 countries with a higher life expectancy. The global economy serves those 50 countries more than it serves the United States. Powerful organizations like the UN, IMF, WTO, World Bank, NATO, EU, G8, G20, international banks and multinational corporations serve those 50 countries more than they serve the United States. The US military which secures global access to oil by invading oil-rich countries like Iraq serves those 50 countries more than it serves the United States by providing those 50 countries with oil. The US military has been securing global access to oil and other natural resources for those 50 countries since 1945.
Since the 1960s life expectancy in the United States has fallen behind life expectancy in other countries. This idea that Americans have more privilege than everyone else in the world is false and outdated. Americans had more privilege than most of the world between 1945 and 1970 but times have changed. Americans have fallen behind Europe, Australia, Canada, Japan and many other countries in terms of privilege.
The United States has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world. North Korea and Cuba might be the only countries that have a higher incarceration rate than the United States.
In the United States when people protest they often get attacked, beaten, tear gassed and arrested by the police. Some protesters get permanent injuries, life threatening injuries or long prison sentences.
Many radicals who were middle class, white, college educated, male, female or heterosexual have permanently lost their privilege after entering radical movements because the US government cracks down hard on radicals. The US government has a long history of cracking down on anarchists, communists, libertarians and other radicals. The government puts many radicals in jail. The government spies on radicals for the rest of their lives. A person who enters radical movements like the anarchist movement permanently loses their privilege after entering the movement because of government repression. Radicals cannot get a lot of jobs because many employers won't hire radicals. Corporations like Walmart, Boeing, Monsanto and Bank of America won't hire radicals because radicals often protest those corporations. Governments won't hire radicals even for low paying office jobs.