White Privilege: The "cure" is far, far WORSE than the "disease" ...
One of the strangest concepts to enter the public narrative in recent months is the idea of "privilege" in American/Western Culture.
For the life of me, I can't tell exactly what it means to "check my privilege" when someone says it, but the implication appears to be: "you've had a better life, " -- (how would they know that?!?) -- "filled with so many more 'advantages' than someone else" -- (like what?!?) -- "so SHUT THE F. UP!!" ... And that's supposed to be an argument?
Liberalism/Progressivism/Utopianism, by its very nature, MUST seek to constantly sand out the rough edges of the status quo ... for a so-called 'better' future -- at least as long as THEY get to do the sanding!! In order to change what you have now, you must find fault with it, identify the defects on the surface, and then scratch them out. In order to find fault in what you have now, you have to undermine the process used in the past to get where we find ourselves today -- tradition! -- even if it was a circumstance created by other progressives.
In their mind, the Constitution is a "dead letter" written by "old white men who owned slaves" ... and the declaration is a major fail, because of the "separation of church and state" -- or, whatever ... The left PUBLICLY denigrates the Declaration and the Constitution as "outdated" and "out of touch" with the modern era, but they REALLY hate those things because:
They promote God-given Natural Rights, as a higher authority than the humanist god-state, driven by the "general will" of "the people" ... who are really just a mob of anarchists, who want the freedom to legislate by protest and riots vs. having a democratic-republican form of government. The Rule of the Mob vs. the Rule of Law... and
Their premise of limited government is the only thing that protects the rest of us from the capricious and arbitrary dictates of the mob and the snake-oil salesmen who whip them up into a frenzy for "hope" and "change" that will never come.
They disparage the Declaration and the Constitution and the men who fashioned it, because they cannot offer better ideas under closer scrutiny: Limited Government beats "free health care" -- because limited government is arguably good for both society and the individual, and "free" anything is a mirage. It. Does. Not. Freakin. Exist. ... stoopid. Everything has a price. Every decision involves tradeoffs for all those concerned. Government spending does not cure scarcity, and very often exacerbates it.
Progressives claim to be open-minded and "flexible" ... yet nothing is more "modern" than the premise of limitations on the levers of power, and nothing is so REGRESSIVE has having to get a "by your leave" from the government in order to act in my own rational self-interest ... Nothing so inflexible as an entrenched and calcified bureaucracy.
Using "privilege" as a means of winning an argument is like saying: You, sir, have wealth; therefore, you are UNQUALIFIED to have an opinion about its cause and its utility to the greater society ... and: I, sir, have nothing; therefore, I am MOST qualified to decide how YOUR wealth should be spent on others ... because "privilege," or something. Really?!?! (Only the Devil could make such an argument !)
# # #
The easy road: Force of Law vs. Forceful Arguments ... If an idea is so good, it should not need force to convince other people to follow it. If force is not needed, neither is the state. Persuasion means that BOTH sides of a difference of opinion agree to the final solution; force of law means that at least one side feels they are losing out (if not BOTH!!) ... otherwise they wouldn't need to be forced into doing it.
Here's an ironic twist: The very concept of "free speech" that allows someone to claim that I should curtail my own opinions and "check my privilege" is a PRIVILEGE of WESTERN-FREAKING-CIVILIZATION that doesn't exist anywhere else in the world. Like most Liberal tropes, it's a self-contradictory concept. The Left consistently enjoys the rights of freedom that they then use to restrict freedom in others, through threats and speech codes, regulation, protest, and general snark. Rules for thee but not for me, is how they act.
To me, 'checking privilege' sounds a lot like Turkey-lurkey calling out the Little Red Hen for having BREAD -- bread that SHE made, and HE failed to contribute to it's value to the barnyard.
F. YOU, TURKEY LURKEY! Go make your own freakin bread!
Like bread, privilege is not something that just happens, by luck or by magic. It is the by-product of hard work, rational thought, and freedom; Not everyone has it; some do. Some have a LOT. Contrary to what SOME people think, not every white heterosexual male enjoys greater privilege than everyone else in other demographic circles. Some do better, some worse, but the FORMULA for success (and therefore "privilege"!) is the same: Create wealth by serving others; make good choices for yourself, your family, and within your circle of influence; buy things of lasting value, don't throw your money away on the ephemeral. Think long term. Acquire assets. Reduce liabilities. Anyone and everyone has access to the same formula, but only if they seek it out. EVERY cultural sub-category has people who amass fortunes this way... the secret is how they spend their TIME as much as how much they spend of their parents' money.
Coming from the Left, the concept of "White Privilege" aligns closely with the "Black Lives Matter" movement ... the implication is that one faction of society is somehow responsible for the misfortunes of another. Even if white people WERE killing black people in disproportionate numbers (they are not!) -- I am not responsible for the crimes of other white people, only for my own.
If the abortion of minority babies was really ethnic cleansing, a modern day genocide of blacks, it is not white males who impregnate black women and then leave them to seek abortions for babies that they do not want to raise. White people do not force black kids out of school; the spending per pupil in inner-city schools is significantly higher than in the "privileged" suburbs. White men do not forcibly break up the black-American family, and the family is the primary source of "privilege" in any society. No one denies blacks from learning a specific trade (including investing and business-management!), nor does anyone dictate how blacks spend their time or their money. Knowledge (whether it's for creating wealth, or for saving money to live in frugal prosperity) is mostly free; it only costs TIME and effort to seek it out.
Of course, black lives DO matter -- to "matter" is to "have value" and values are life-promoting concepts. The phrase is merely an ethnocentric tautology, an obvious truism and therefore a superfluous and empty statement, because black lives matter to black lives, just as white lives matter to whites, asians to asians, latinos to latinos. So what? What matters is life, and life is what matters. And of course, MOST people will serve others regardless of race or some other category-of-victim-du-jour, because ALL lives matter.
What REALLY matters is civility. Virtue.
Sure, ALL lives "matter" but civil, virtuous -- AND innocent, as in the case of unborn -- lives matter; hostile, foolish, and guilty lives, not as much. I know that sounds judgmental, but how can civility, virtue, and innocence "matter" if they are not arguably (and objectively) BETTER than their absence? To say otherwise would be nihilistic, in which case NOTHING matters. Not Black Lives. Not White Lives. Not even Life itself.
How is it virtuous to presume all of x are victims and ALL of y are oppressors? Silly me, but I thought the concept of "equality" meant judging people individually instead by race, gender, or creed. If that's the case, "white privilege" is an illusion. People have a right to prosper, and they have a right to use their wealth as they see fit. If that means heaping "privilege" onto their children, with money, connections, and support that others only dream of, then so be it. It is no more heinous for a white man to bestow privileges onto his family than it would be for an affluent black person or asian. That's life. So get over it...
The alternative to "white privilege" is something that obviously follows, but which nobody has the guts to say: If systematic "privilege" exists, privilege is objectively bad, and -- if some people having advantages that others do not is to be purged from society, how exactly will that be done? Will income tax be so progressive that NOBODY makes significantly more money than a socially mandated minimum wage? Will intuitive and innovative business leaders be replaced by programmatic bureaucracies, and red tape replace rational self-interest? Will the state control EVERYTHING economically, in order to best ensure "equal" distribution of wealth, in the name of "fairness" ... that CANNOT end well for anyone but agents of the state, who control both the game board and how the game is played.
Income inequality is the necessary side-effect of economic liberty; those who create the most wealth for themselves must create wealth for others first, UNLESS they do it the old-fashioned way: by conquest, slavery, oppression, and cronyism -- which is as old as human history itself, and NOT unique to the European colonial era.
To state the obvious: Because human activity is the source of all wealth, the nature and distribution of wealth will be as varied and disparate as human talent and behavior itself. "Privilege" is a way of saying that the Human Race is an unfair one, but what is the alternative? A race where everyone finishes first? The ONLY way for that to happen is to hold EVERYONE back to the slowest possible pace, and the lowest common denominator. If everybody wins, nobody wins, so what kind of race is that? It would be one thing to throttle back Olympic runners that way, but to take a similar approach to economic liberty would be BOTH unfair AND disastrous -- not just for the fastest few, but for everyone who benefits from the productive output of economic outliers.
Replace "privilege" with "fairness" (whatever that means) and you can bet that the dull pang of economic envy will surely be replaced with hunger pangs of near starvation in the new egalitarian (and therefore MISERABLE) economy.
All I can say is: Be careful what you wish for, dear liberal, and God help us if you actually get it!
10/3/2016 - WHAT DO YOU WANT?( And who do you want me to steal if from ... ? )