Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Personal Responsibility

It occurs to me that whenever I hear the concept of 'Personal Responsibility' deployed in rhetoric, it is very often -if not always- used as either an indictment of others, or an exculpation of the speaker. Never a mea culpa.

You don't catch Wall Street bankers saying, "Y'know these lending practices are pretty predatory. I shouldn't take advantage of people like that. And while I may get rich, it could seriously tank the economy if everybody does it." And I've never heard of fast-food franchisees protesting, "Sure, corporate is pushing us to move hours from one overtime shift to the following pay period, but that's wage theft and I owe it to my workers to pay them fairly."

More often than not, when someone is talking to me of their ideals of 'Personal Responsibility' they're usually people who enjoy a great deal of unearned advantage and privilege going on about how others should be expected to be responsible for themselves, and they shouldn't be expected to do anything to help out.  In a nutshell, "I don't need help from you, so don't expect any from me." or even "It's not MY fault you let me take advantage of you."

That doesn't seem very responsible at all.

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