On the Nature of Privilege

I submit for your consideration the following facts, dear readers:

  1. That “privilege,” in the sociological sense of unearned advantages conferred upon individuals as a result of their race, sex, class, creed, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, and so forth, exists.
  2. That there are also natural characteristics internal to an individual’s person, which also help to determine their relative position in society; things like intelligence, competence, ambition, talent, perserverance and so forth.

Obviously, if we accept that both of these things are true, then it is meaningless to say that all rich people achieved their position because society conferred unfair privileges upon them. Likewise, it is equally nonsensical to say that all rich people achieved their position because of their own pluck and determination. It is only by looking on a case by case basis that we can see which individuals fall into which categories.

The point that I’m trying to get across is that privilege is a statistical phenomenon. It is not universally applicable in all cases. So could we please put an end to the ridiculous academic practice of trying to explain all wealth in terms of privilege?

Likewise, could we please stop talking about rich people as if they’re synonymous with “innovators” or “job creators?” Somehow I don’t think that Paris Hilton is exactly interchangeable with John Galt here.

About thevenerablecorvex

I have the heart of a poet, the brain of a theoretical physicist, and the wingspan of an albatross. I am also notable for my humility.
This entry was posted in Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to On the Nature of Privilege

  1. I would like this 10 times over if that were possible. That is actually one of the major reasons I no longer associate with the LGBT community at my home campus – everything was all about privilege, but only select privileges (race, class, race, gender, race, class, race, sexuality, and did I mention race? Never once did they consider ability or anything else of the sort).

    The way I see it, people prefer to be victims (I’m not sure why…) and so they can claim their lack of traditional “success” on society at large, regardless of any other things that might be at play. And yes, while I do recognize that privilege exists, it’s certainly not the only thing that determines what you can do with your life. You dictate that. (And no, I am not “coming from a place of privilege when I say that” – I am simply saying that ones cards in life are handed to them. It’s what you do with those cards that matters. Not what you could have done if you had a completely different hand.)

  2. n8chz says:

    I have no doubt that Paris Hilton has created more jobs than has John Galt.

  3. Pingback: Saturday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion « Clarissa's Blog

  4. Pingback: Let’s All Hear It For the Idle Rich « voxcorvegis

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s