How can a privileged person use their background for good?

How can a privileged person use their background for good?


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Don't feel shame, that's not productive for yourself or class struggle. You can use your money to help with mutual aid or bail funds, your education to write and influence legislation and connections to influence as well.


I used to feel that it was unfair for me to be happy when other people were suffering, but I've started realizing that's entirely counterproductive. How would I draft legislation if I were not actually in parliament? I don't particularly have much influence: I was born well-off, but my parents aren't extremely wealthy. They're one of the very few workers who lucked out in terms of a good company, I think. I'm not too sure. I have virtually no money of my own as of now, but I'll bear in mind to use it in the future when I have a source of income. Thank you!


You are exactly right. You are allowed to have bread AND roses, as are we all. You can call up your MP and talk to them about your concerns or you can join a party you agree with and campaign for them. Volunteering is always a great way to help people. Don't discount even making sandwiches for a church soup kitchen, that's vital work that really helps unhoused brothers and sisters and struggling families too.


I've contacted my MP before, yet they always seem to dodge my questions, which is rather frustrating. Even when I questioned one face-to-face, I seemed to get a very hollow, ingenuine response. But I will begin volunteering, if given the chance and time. I could certainly try to help out with a soup kitchen or charity shop, I think. Thanks for the suggestions!


It’s not your fault that you were born well off, Engels was one of the founding fathers of socialism and he came from a wealthy background. If your pre occupied with studies finish that, afterwards join a party.


People think it's ironic that people born well-off are often leftists, but I think it's the opposite. If you're preoccupied with working 3 jobs so that your family doesn't starve, you'd have less time to thoroughly study theory than a college student who lives with their parents. I think the studies will also help, given that I'm study politics and economy, albeit from a bourgeois standpoint. I can easily read theory and claim that it is relevant to the course. My only issue with parties is, which one would I join? I'm from the UK, and the largest communist party here disbanded a while back. Only other one I'm aware of is the CPGB-ML, and they're... incredibly problematic. And I've always been told third parties are useless and will never win. I'm unsure what to do, in terms of parties and which one to join.


In my experience though, those people scraping by have lived it and thus are usually easier to win over. Sometimes you emotionally know something is true before you have the words to express it--and especially when you've been systematically been kept from ever being taught those words, and even just the bare minimum information needed to survive is often something you are purposefully not given the time to explore. If you're someone whose gained their trust and don't get into the weeds or generally avoid certain words that are too Red Scare-tainted, then you can get you can have a really all-around enlightening conversation.


I would suggest joining [Socialist Appeal](https://www.socialist.net/)! I’ve been a member for 3 months now and the political education and practical activity has been incredible, we’re not a political party but we are building a revolutionary organisation aimed at arming comrades with the ideas of Marxism and preparing them to intervene within the workers struggle!


I'm from the uk aswell , Red Fightback is the best to go with in my opinion. Way more better than the CPGB - ML and the CPB


If your not comfortable with CPGB-ML I think CPB is a good choice


Kropotkin was a prince (which he renounced).


Being a leftist doesn't mean you must resign yourself to not having a "good" or "comfortable" life. The whole point is to make sure everyone lives a comfortable life. To each, according to need from each according to ability. The idea that you, as a leftist, should live a destitute and miserable life is a right wing talking point designed to manufacture fear of scarcity.


"You say you are a communist... yet you own an iPhone! Gotcha!"


Pretty much. You also see the "well if nobody needs anything, why would they work?!" thrown around, as if people wouldn't do things just to make life better or comfortable. Russia went to space for fucks sake. Anyway, yeah, if you have privilege, you should use it to help others the best you can however you can.


I don't even know what the right wants from us. If live a bad lifestyle, they say we're just jealous of the rich. But when we become rich ourselves, they call us hypocrites.


They want someone to do worse than them. They want to feel like their suffering will eventually pay off. If they see someone else not suffering, it invalidates their internalized capitalism. It's the same reason they don't want healthcare to be free or student loans to be forgiven. They had to suffer and really aren't any better off, so why should anyone be able to live a life without suffering?


Supporters of capitalism believe that their suffering is, somehow, necessary. The thought of it not being terrifies them, as they’d have to face the fact that they were subjected to injustices. But, it’s not necessary in the slightest. It’s rubbish the upper classes made up. But I can get why it’s crushing to have that realization.


Exactly this. Poor communists are just jealous of the rich. But if you’re well-off, you can’t be a communist . It’s just utter anti-communist nonsense at the end of the day.


>"how can you be a communist when you're so well off?" Just because you are well of in this system, it doesn't have to mean that you think it's a good system. I would answer "I mastered capitalism, but it's a terrible system" or "I got lucky in a capitalist society, but there are better systems". Choose one you fell comfortable saying, or go for something between. I truly believe, that this is my situation. But as long we have capitalism, I don't see why I shouldn't make the best of it. If there will be socialism, I will be happy, and still do my best to be in a good situation.


I don’t think I will answer that person at all, in fact. I can understand *some* confusion by miseducated people, but this was a liberal mocking me. I was born, purely by chance, into a middle-class family who chose to enrol me in private eductaion. If I am born with privilege, surely I should use it rather than trash it away? I tried to explain this, but the person told me I would’ve gotten expelled from my school if I were a “true communist”. Absolutely no productivity of arguing with such an individual. Liberals can truly be a headache.


Well, if the person is a troll, ignore them. Don't waste energy, if all they want is to drain you and troll you. If he is a liberal actually trying to understand you, explain your views, and ideally, try to find some common ground, where both of you can agree. From there explore the fundamental beliefs each is holding. It can be really nice, if both put in some effort. I have every now and then this type of conversation with a strict/conservative muslim (I'm an atheist), and in the end no one changes their mind, but it is a nice challenge to see his ideas and try to "get him" with things that are obviously wrong. (I have to add tho, we know eachother since we are 3 years old... so that probably makes a big difference.) Sadly this type of conversation is really rare.


One of the greatest communists was like you. Be like him. "As long as the oppressed class – in our case, therefore, the proletariat – is not yet ripe for its self-liberation, so long will it, in its majority, recognize the existing order of society as the only possible one and remain politically the tail of the capitalist class, its extreme left wing. But in the measure in which it matures towards its self-emancipation, in the same measure it constitutes itself as its own party and votes for its own representatives, not those of the capitalists. Universal suffrage is thus the gauge of the maturity of the working class. It cannot and never will be anything more in the modern state; but that is enough. On the day when the thermometer of universal suffrage shows boiling-point among the workers, they as well as the capitalists will know where they stand" - Friedrich Engels


There's no shame in what class you were born into. Only in what you do with what you're given. These are principles I think everyone should follow regarding working rights: DO: \-support unions. \-vote for unions. Mainstream Democrats are full of shit and get "radical" about protecting workers rights in election season, but then "forget" about it. Vote in ideologically consistent progressives. \-if you ever gain ownership of a business, treat employees under you well, pay them good wages and benefits, respect their time and don't feel entitled to their labor without meeting their needs. Consider making a fairly balanced co-op instead of the traditional exploitative system, \-Also if you own a business, explore possible systems to help your workers advance their education. This can often help both the business and the employees, which is why even shitty self-interested companies do it. \-If you become a worker of some sort yourself, be picky and don't work for companies that treat workers like shit (even if they wouldn't treat *your* position like shit). You don't have a billion debts to pay like many working class folks, so you can take longer in finding a job or find a humbler job for a while, rather than contribute to Amazon's no-bathroom-just-work-until-you-die policy. ​ DON'T: \-evade union dues or vote for politicians who support "right to work". Union dues are a necessary evil and strong unions often increase people's wages in the long run, so making them optional just kills unions and hurts workers. \-If you work for companies, don't ever be a "scab" ( taking a job that belongs to a striking worker, or keeping the business going despite other workers striking). If you work for a company and your coworkers start striking, strike with them, no matter what. If you're looking for a job soon, the opportunities to replace striking workers will increase as more workers get fed up, so research positions carefully and don't steal someone else's job!! \-If you become a manager or business owner, don't ever *demand* overtime when needed. You may ASK for it, in exchange for increased pay (usually double hours), but if someone doesn't want it, it's not their fault that more workers are needed, it's the middle and upper management's fault for not scheduling and hiring enough!


This is one of the biggest confusions among "leftists". Class is based on your relations to the means of production. Athletes, actors, doctors etc who make significant salaries as employees are still workers. And at the core of socialism, the goal is for workers to have more power over the conditions of their labor and of their lives. Plus like others have said, historically those organizing for revolutions have been the educated upper/middle classes. Those who had the energy and free time to read, write, organize and take action.


Yes, I understand that I cannot be in the bourgeoisie because I simply do not own capital or the means of production. I’ve only ever been called “bourgeois” by liberals insulting me, who believe that you’re an enemy of “the commies” if you don’t live in extreme poverty.


So first and most importantly, join an organization. DSA, SRA, IWW, PSL are the best choices imo, check out what they stand for and if they have active members in your area. You will find ample opportunities to help, no matter what background you have, and you'll likely make good friends. Second, when we say "eat the rich", we mean those that wield the forces of capital against the working class. Do you have wealth due to personally exploiting others for your gain? Are you part of the owning class or the working class? If you make your money by owning businesses, encourage unionization in your own business or flat out make it a co-op. If you do work, try to *find* a co-op to work for. This will help not only you but the co-op in general. If you're a student, great, still join an org! There's probably a few on campus! However, you will need to focus on your studies. This will help in the long run, the more useful skills in the hands of anti-capitalists the better. Do what you can, don't burn yourself out, but recognize that this is a marathon not a sprint. Don't feel guilty, Engels was a rich boy lol, those are bullshit arguments from whoever's telling you that. I grew up broke, they use the same disingenuous arguments no matter how rich or poor you were. Try not to concern yourself with that shit. Edit: spelling


Do the SRA have a uk presence


I believe so, that may be a question for r/SocialistRA, but if not you could create a UK presence lol 😁


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If you're committed to Socialism, industrialize. Take a Union job, get some experience with workplace organizing, and then go out to organize the unorganized. If you live in a major metro, the Teamsters should be looking for Amazon Salts sometime soon. Reach out to your local DSA or TDU and see what's up. Of course, if working union jobs for the rest of your life doesn't sound appealing, then just donate as much money as you can to DSA. The truth is, your ability to impact things is severely limited if you aren't a member of the rank and file, but if you do go on to make large amounts of money, send some of that to the organized Left. This is all assuming you live in the US, but it applies anywhere. If you're in Britain, try and get involved in reform caucuses within the TUC, and donate to left wing groups within Labour, etc.


Hello :) I just joined the sub, I'm still learning how to be a socialist, but your question resonated with me, because we are on a similar position, so let me tell you my story and what I've done so far. First, I'm from a "developing" country that ranks extremely bad on GINI ranks and is going through a scary revival of fascism, although a neoliberal kind. In my country, the poor and the workers were always opressed. Some of them manage to break themselves out of the cycle, but it is extremely hard, because the system is made to keep them blind, broken and incapable of seeing their own power. I say that because my mother was one of those people. She and her family broke off the cycle of poverty through education, and because of that I now live the good life I have. Why I said that? That's a disclaimer to say my ideas about class inequality didn't come out of nowhere, my family isn't very politicized, but I saw first-hand what the system does to keep the poor as they are. Even then, I just recognized the reality after getting through University on a small rural city here. So, after all that, what did I do with my privilege? First, I just recognized that it existed. I was able to go through all my education w/o worrying about anything. I started to get to know more about the reality of the people and see the problems whithin my area of education that kept people poor (I am a veterinarian). I tried to go the academic route, joining research groups and teaching groups, to change the mentality among my peers, but it wasn't effective because the average veterinary student is apathetic OR a reactionary. When I was at the very end of my education I said screw those privileged assholes that study with me and realized that, to fight inequity, I'd have to join politics. I tried, and then realized that I wasn't privileged enough for my degree in Veterinary Medicine to be worth anything in politics on my country, because here the only health professionals that they listen to (if you're not from a well-known and wealthy family) are physicians. So that's exactly what I did. I'm using my privilege to get a medical degree and while I do that, I'm working on community health projects and learning more about health and politics. I just got in contact with a new and young politician here in my city and I'm working to get into the system, so maybe in the future I can work from within. I'm learning more about education and liberation pedagogy (a system developed by out most famous educator, Paulo Freire) and using my newfound "superior rank" (I hate that) to work. Yeah, at the beginning I'll have to work with the devil of liberals and normies to get into politics, but I do think that the idea of keeping purity is not very productive, we need to open their minds after all, or the revolution will never have enough critical mass. So what I can tell you, study. Use your education and privilege as pivots and as fuel to keep the rage flame going. Contact your representatives, but also discover new political fronts. Read about the workers movement on your country, but also in other countries, learn how the system works on our "developing" hells so you can help not letting your country fall on the same black holes. Join local groups doing legwork on social issues, but don't run from political discourse. And more important, don't approach the communities as a wannabe savior and bearer of all knowledge. Insert yourself in their reality and work from yours to help. Sorry for the long post and for being a noob, but I'm learning. Peace✌️ And eat the rich.


"If you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine."


Forgot about that quote, but I just remembered how much I love it, thank you.


Castro came has a privileged childhood, and look where got to now. If you can afford to go to the best colleges, then go get an education. Doesn't matter which course you pick, anything that can help the revolution.


Daily reminder that Engels is a communist even though he's priviledged




I didn’t mention this in the post explicitly, but I am a person of colour myself. I’m not sure that would be effective. I just happen to be middle-class, but I’m not white.


That was incredibly rude on my part, my apologies.


r/FatFIRE and then found cooperatives trying out different models until you find ones that work.


You don't have to be a paragon of ethics to want a better world for everybody. Becoming an ascetic isn't required.


you could be one of those upper-middle class labor party types. shout at meetings, try to become an MP, etc. if you're from one of those land families, you could do the opposite of real estate investment, and spend your time on stuff like Community Land Trusts to keep housing costs low while we work on decommodifying housing in the long term. go find the people who need help and cut out the middleman.


Join your local socialist organization and give generously to socialist causes.


Give it all to those less fortunate.


You can work with your communities, but not in a self-serving way. DON'T BE A (WHITE) SAVIOR. If the impulse is to express how helping, helps you (even if it does), you are doing it wrong. DON'T PATRONIZE. If your impulse is to prescribe what you think is best, you are doing it wrong. Less privilege does not necessarily mean, less intelligent, less self-aware, or lazy. Listen to them. And avoid charities/movements that do not listen. DON'T BREAK THE LAW. Many missionaries and charity workers go to other countries and break laws/traditions because they have no respect. Remember environment and circumstance effects a huge part of people's lives and mental health. Many many people's needs are not met by society. Many people are exploited for the enrichment of a few, so behaviors that are seemingly "wrong" may be a symptom of those circumstances and the humans involved should be met with dignity and openness. Question any negative gut reactions. And go out and do service for the betterment of humans around you, knowing that your place in the world was at someone else's expense, even if you did not do anything to directly harm anyone.


I would look into Resource Generation — organizes young people with wealth and class privilege to redistribute land, wealth, and power


You could invest in socially / ecologically sound companies or investment funds.


Stand up to everybody else in your perceived class creating hardships for everyone "below" you. Make arguments and statements in favour of fair wages and paying taxes. Be an example of sharity och community to your peers, because they'll always argue the rest of us aren't worth it and you might just be among the few they'll trust to change their mind.


firstly let me commend you for seeing through the propaganda, statistics tells us that most people cant do that, even if they are struggling. throwing away your comfort in life to work towards some vague romantic idea of you being a "true prole" is silly so dont do that. its not your fault the world is the way it is. What I would suggest in trying to help the cause: talk about politics, talk about your salary, encourage other people to do these things. when we talk, we realise we have a lot in common. and when we realise we have a lot in common with eachother, we realise we really dont have anything in common with the ruling classes. Striking is always good because more eyes on the cause is always a good thing, there is no such thing as bad publicity. the only things that matter when it comes to an individuals politics are their word and their actions, their background is irrelevant. Were all in this together comrade edit: removed for using a word so i changed the word to a synonym of that word