Power, privilege, paper, rock
Well said. This idea that fear, self preservation, our own INSTINCTS should be adjusted depending on who we're afraid of, subject to this week's memo on the progressive stack or whatever, is truly online galaxy brain stuff.
I love the 'rock, paper, scissors' metaphor for understanding different forms of power, and what happens when paper comes up against the brute force of a rock. Paper (in the form of writing, numbers, fiat currency, etc.) is the heart of bureaucratic authority and is central to wielding power at scale. But, as you note, it's pretty useless one on one. (Unless you're a ninja, of course. I once read a book where a ninja killed someone with a piece of paper. From memory, he was pretty skilled at murder-by-credit-card too.)
I really enjoyed your insight in the original piece(s) and what your piece here drive at, from which I’m extracting great importance - that we can’t we just keep pretending that everyone is playing by the same rules, even though It’s certainly easier (on some terrible level) to keep doing that.
There are far reaching implications to your points that go much further down than the focal points of your pieces, and I just want to say thank you for bringing forth this helpful clarity.