Socialism and psychological oppression

Today the read box from was quoting a paragraph from the Iranian Gay & Lesbian Healthcare Providers Association; this prompted me to discover more about this group, and I read some of their articles.

In one of them the following sentence rung a bell:

My family, like most Iranian families, centered on worrying about people’s judgment. I learned from my family that my purpose of life was to earn people’s respect by becoming educated and successful. Provoking envy in people meant I was on the right track. — Dr. Payam Ghassemlou

This idea disturbs me, for it describes accurately some of the feelings I have now about the way I was educated — although I have no (known) Iranian origins.

This accurate match does not seem to fit with the idea that the driving line of thought behind my education was socialism, not Islam. So I was told.

Or does it?

There are several ways to describe socialism; the following is relevant:

Socialism as a political system of communal ownership: a political theory or system in which the means of production and distribution are controlled by the people and operated according to equity and fairness rather than market principles — Microsoft Encarta

This raises the question of who decides what is equity and fairness. If I understand correctly, that would be the very same people who decide how to redistribute the wealth. Threfore, assuming that attribution of wealth to a person is decided not based on their innate capabilities but rather by their perception by society as a group, the way to attract (more) wealth to a specific person is to ensure that they are judged positively by society.

There we are. Islamism and socialism as backgrounds for family life have different goals, but some of their effects on the education of the young are the same — namely, preventing the blooming of children when it doesn’t lead to “success” as defined by society.

I once thought that all families were doing that. How naive.