Start asking “cui bono” – “to whose benefit?” about everything.
I have, and here are some of my outcomes:
- Better understanding how many ways the working class is under attack in the class war, who is worst impacted, and how the system is designed to pit the white “middle class” against marginalized people, particularly those with the weakest economic power, and especially Black and Indigenous people.
- Recognizing that, given my middle class upbringing, marriage, and how I benefit from people working for poverty wages. (Despite now being disabled; my previous work was in corporate America in Administrative and Technology roles).
- These inequalities and injustices are due to the Capitalist system structure, not because that’s what I want. All of us should be free from want and living comfortable lives, planetwide. This is part of how the Capitalist Ruling Class conducts class war, by weaponizing poverty, doing so in the wealthiest nation on the planet, whose most vocal patriots insist is “Under God!”
- I try to recognize any ways I can make a meaningful material difference for those with less political and economic (same thing) power by changes I can make. Mutual Aid work has helped me reach outside my bubble and practice my theories. Solidarity, not charity!
- Renewed resolve to expose the systemic corruption I’ve recognized to others and build robust networks of solidarity. Those who benefit most from Capitalism are driving our ecosystem closer to deadly, unlivable places all over the planet. Climate refugees are being held in ICE concentration camps on the southern border of the US. Wall Street and the Western military industrial complex are direct contributors to the conditions where they seek relief from the outcomes of US foreign policy. They come to the US seeking escape from the white nationalist foreign policy of the US, only to be subjected to the same policy inside the US.
- I have also experienced previously unfelt joy when I process a memory more clearly, and realize someone really cares about me or said something funny that I’m just now getting. (This may be due to my AuDHD.) Then I experience gratitude that I benefit from that. So that’s nice.
Those are just a few examples of how me asking “cui bono” has turned out for me, off the top of my head. There’s certainly more – but I’ll talk about that in future posts.
Here’s an exercise to try for yourself with cui bono: be mindful of who benefits from the media you consume. Who owns the outlet? Who is being served by the messages you hear/see/read?
Give it a try yourself, and write down what you discover. Sit with it, and start implementing it into your daily routine.