The Privileged

How should society be organised, if at all?

Moderators: AMod, iMod

Post Reply
User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 2131
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

The Privileged

Post by RCSaunders »

Privilege may be defined as a special advantage or prerogative enjoyed by some individuals. The word is used these days as a pejorative. To call someone, "privileged," is tantamount to calling them evil, dangerous, or dishonest.

Privilege is a kind of power, the power to do or enjoy something only those with that power can do or enjoy. There are two kinds of power: political power and economic power. The distinction is usually glossed over as a means of asserting political power over economic power.

Economic Power

Economic power is the power to produce value, to create goods or provide services that others desire and are willing to trade what they have produced for them. The farmer's food, the mechanic's work, the programmer's software, or the secretary's services are the products of those individual's effort and their value is to those who buy the farmer's food, have their automobiles repaired, pay to have the software developed, and employ the services of the secretary.

Political Power

Political power is the power of threat and destruction. Political power creates nothing of value that anyone would willing trade for. Political power can only confiscate the products and services of those who produce them by the threat of force.

Power And Privilege

Both kinds of power provide those who have that power some level of privilege. Economic power provides those who have it with the privilege of buying whatever they can exchange their products for. Political power provides those who have it with the privilege of having whatever they can take by force from those who have produced what is of value, either directly (as tax collectors for example) or indirectly (as government employees or government subsidized individuals or agencies).

The Privilege Of Economic Power


The word, "privileged," today is used to denigrate anyone who has actually made something of themselves, especially if they are what is called, "rich." There are some who have become rich by means of political power, but most of the rich, especially the very rich, have earned their wealth by means of economic power. In other words, they are wealthy in direct proportion to the value they have produced and made available to the world that without them would not exist.

Unlike those wielding political power, no one is obliged to deal with, or buy the products of, those who earn their wealth by providing products or services they have created. One has no choice about who will teach their children or what they will be required to read in a government school, for example, but one is free to buy and read or not anything available in a public book store.

Freedom And The Economically Privileged

True freedom is being able to live your life without getting anyone else's permission or approval and without anyone else getting in your way or preventing you from living as you choose. It is not the only way to establish one's own freedom, but wealth is perhaps the most common and successful way to achieve one's personal freedom.

Not everyone who is rich is free. One must still choose to be free, but for those who choose to be free, wealth is one of the most powerful means to freedom. When I mention that there are millions of individuals living in this world in total individual freedom, the claim is rejected as impossible. Nevertheless, there are millions of individuals in almost every part of the world who are living their lives just as they choose. They are mostly rich; the economically privileged.

Who Are The Economically Privileged?


There are 46.8 million millionaires in the world. Of those millionaires, 18.6 million live in the United States. I have no idea how many of those millionaires are living their lives as free individuals, (the few I've known personally do), but most of them could if they chose to. What most people do not understand is that the rich are not only free, but the most important and virtuous individuals in the world.

Most millionaires are self-made. "The overwhelming majority (79%) of millionaires in the U.S. did not receive any inheritance at all from their parents or other family members. While one in five millionaires (21%) received some inheritance, only 3% received an inheritance of $1 million or more."

"The majority of millionaires didn't even grow up around a lot of money. Eight out of 10 millionaires come from families at or below middle-income level."

What Kind Of People Are The Free And Privileged?

They are conscientious, hard working, productive, and innovative.

On average, it takes a millionaire 32 years to hit the $1,000,000 mark, dispelling the notion that most get rich quick from a windfall. Eighty percent of current millionaires did not reach $1,000,000 until at least 50 years old. To get there, 86 percent of wealthy people who work full time put in 50 hours or more each week at their career. Since only 20 percent of millionaires actually retire, 80 percent are still working.

[NOTE: See the article, "Are There Really People Who Only Work 40 Hours A Week Or Less And Complain Why They Can't Get Ahead."]

Sixty six percent of millionaires own their own business which they created.

Millionaires Are Your Decent Married Neighbors

You probably wouldn't know most millionaires, which is just the way they want it. They don't flaunt their wealth, they just enjoy it and the freedom it gives them.

Most are well educated. Eighty four percent of them have college degrees but most of their education came after any formal education. Most are life-long learners and autodidacts. Most watch less than one hour of television a day and read at least 30 minutes every day, focused on self education.

Millionaires are frugal with regular savings programs and no mortgages or debt. One in three funded their own college education without debt.

Most millionaires are married with families. Eighty six percent are married, including 65 percent in their first marriage. Only fifty percent of most Americans are married. Less than half of those are first marriages and less that half of all American children are born into a two-parent family.

Are The Rich Privileged?

Yes, the rich are privileged, but it is not a privilege they were born to, or inherited, or because of any ethnic or other collective association, or granted to them by any political or other social authority. The privilege of the rich is the privilege to live life as they choose to live it, because they have earned it, usually at a huge price of time, effort, and overcoming difficulty others were not willing to expend. For from any social or political advantage, those who make the effort to excel and create almost always have to do it in the face of both political and social resistance.

Every so-called privilege enjoyed by the rich is earned and deserved, every exercise of their privilege can only benefit any others it brings them into association with, because the rich become rich by being the most successful benefactors to others—which is what economic power is.

[sources:
27 Millionaire Statistics
The National Study of Millionaires
42 Best Millionaire Statistics, Facts & Resources for 2020]
Last edited by RCSaunders on Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
surreptitious57
Posts: 4217
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:09 am

Re: The Privileged

Post by surreptitious57 »

That is as usual a very informative and interesting post you have written there
I am surprised that the overwhelming majority of millionaires in America did not just inherit their wealth
Given the percentage of them relative to the US population I would have thought that was more common
surreptitious57
Posts: 4217
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:09 am

Re: The Privileged

Post by surreptitious57 »

Privilege today exists on so many different levels not just the most obvious one [ rich ]
As there is also privilege pertaining to gender / class / orientation / race / physicality
So someone can be privileged on some axes while not being privileged at all on others
surreptitious57
Posts: 4217
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:09 am

Re: The Privileged

Post by surreptitious57 »

For example a white woman will be privileged because she is white but not because she is a woman
Or a black man will be privileged because he is a man but not because he is black and there are many other examples like these
To simply identify privilege in terms of wealth or class is to disregard the more subtle examples that exist in society just as much
Very often they who are privileged do not even recognise the fact they are since it does not have any negative impact upon them
surreptitious57
Posts: 4217
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:09 am

Re: The Privileged

Post by surreptitious57 »


Just for the record I am not a social justice warrior or post modernist or neo liberal I simply say all this because it is true
User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 2131
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: The Privileged

Post by RCSaunders »

surreptitious57 wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:16 am
Just for the record I am not a social justice warrior or post modernist or neo liberal I simply say all this because it is true
What's true. Everybody is different and everybody has both advantages and disadvantages. I do not see how anyone's, "gender / class / orientation / race / physicality," is either a privilege or lack of one. You have also mixed up two different kinds issues. Racism is identifying and judging others in terms non-chosen facts, such as sex, race, ethnicity, heredity, and physical characteristics. You have confused that, as almost everyone does, with things people choose and do, like sexual practices, ideologies, religions, and political parities. Judging those things is not racism.

Exactly what is the privilege a woman has because she is white. Privilege to do what that any other woman cannot do? No one has any privilege because of what they were born as or with. Except for those whose, "privilege," comes from the use of government force, (like those with the privilege of living at the expense of others, like all those living on government subsidies), everyone else must earn their privilege, no matter what race, ethnicity, sex, physical attributes, or hereditary traits are.
commonsense
Posts: 2612
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:38 pm

Re: The Privileged

Post by commonsense »

One person may have an advantage over another in certain situations. This is not all there is to privilege, but we can see that a privileged person has an advantage over a person without privilege whenever there is direct competition between them (say, for a job or promotion, for a contest of physical skills or on a college application). In this regard a privileged person may have an advantage over another based on privileged gender, race or ethnicity, to name a few.
Scott Mayers
Posts: 1713
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:53 am
Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Re: The Privileged

Post by Scott Mayers »

Politics is logically indeterminate because no ideal exists that can cover all people's concerns at all times. The competing interests are about distinct power one has regardless of whether they 'earn' it or not. I've yet to agree to anyone famous enough to express how they have 'earned' their fortunes where they exist in a vaccuum as though they had nothing from others that contributed to their success.

One is 'relatively' privileged if they inherit ANYTHING beneficial in contrast to another who has not inherited ANYTHING. This means not only money but to how one is treated by their environment. However, in a society based upon capitalism, it IS wealth that defines most people's differences. Since you can interpret everything in some form of 'energy', then one is 'privileged' if they can get out MORE energy then they put in. "Profit", when understood appropriately as anything above and beyond expenses, is a 'privilege' because it has power to 'tax' someone by some trade deficit.

Power is anything one can ENFORCE and is not necessarily a privilege if the particular power is not UNIVERSALLY applicable. But money represents a 'force' in our system that IS 'universal'. It is 'derogatory' where one thinks it alright to exploit another, whether legal or not, because it 'proits' some person(s) in an UNFAIR trade.

For instance, if you have only one store in some town in which such products sold through it is essential, the higher demand doesn't justify why many in such positions exploit this by charging beyond what one would pay for if the supply existed by other competing interests. Today, many industries conspire (even without literal hand-shakes) by monopolizing the industry in deceptive but officially 'legal' ways.

If one is merely born, 'pretty', in contrast to others, this is a 'privilege' and CAN be derogatory if that person exploits it for their benefit without appropriate recognition of those whom they are profitting from in an imbalanced non-negotiated way.

The 'conservative' is most likely to be one who HAS greater value than others that they have not 'earned' but are merely accidentally privileged, such as it being one's genetic appearance they are born with. This is a "Natural" thing to a greater degree than not. If you are advocating some FAITH in those who are rich, you are arrogantly dismissive of the probability that among them exist at least as many there who abuse others as to the very opposing class of people you are presuming are 'abusive' where democratically more numerous. You cannot argue this in some universal denial of 'derogatory' behaviors if you insist that the majority of those who do are presumed to uniquely hold those who ARE 'derogatory' by your same standards. The majority wins by default if you were to ask.

You are also likely thinking of some kind of 'anarchy'. But there is no such POSSIBLE system of anarchy that works without being reduced to EMPOWERING the wealthy class to rule in absense of the general population. That is, without a 'people's government, you replace it with governors who COMMAND their will without concern of those without it.
Scott Mayers
Posts: 1713
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:53 am
Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Re: The Privileged

Post by Scott Mayers »

Online Eymology wrote:privilege (n.)

mid-12c. "grant, commission" (recorded earlier in Old English, but as a Latin word), from Old French privilege "right, priority, privilege" (12c.) and directly from Latin privilegium "law applying to one person, bill of law in favor of or against an individual," in the post-Augustine period "an ordinance in favor of an individual, privilege, prerogative," from privus "individual" (see private (adj.)) + lex (genitive legis) "law" (see legal (adj.)). Meaning "advantage granted" is from mid-14c. in English. [https://www.etymonline.com/word/privilege]
The origin here helps point out that a 'privilege' is a kind of "private law", as opposed to something publicly accepted. As such, one's privilege is just an assertion of what one thinks is not shared universally, some 'right' declared or believed. So it tends to be 'derogatory' for how one believes they are uniquely qualified to such a rule while others are not.
User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 2131
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: The Privileged

Post by RCSaunders »

commonsense wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:12 am One person may have an advantage over another in certain situations. This is not all there is to privilege, but we can see that a privileged person has an advantage over a person without privilege whenever there is direct competition between them (say, for a job or promotion, for a contest of physical skills or on a college application). In this regard a privileged person may have an advantage over another based on privileged gender, race or ethnicity, to name a few.
If you are taller than I am and we are picking apples, you'll be able to pick apples I won't because you can reach higher than I can. You would call that an advantage over me, as though that in some way harmed me. But your so-called privilege did me no harm. I would not have been able to reach the higher apples even if you were shorter than me. The view of the world that sees anything that is good for one person as automatically bad for another assumes value just exists. Nothing of value exists in this world until someone produces it. If you produce or achieve more than I do for any reason, that takes nothing away from me or limits what I can produce and achieve.

No one is born being owed anything. You are not owed a job, an education, or anything else of value. Whatever you have or enjoy in this world you must achieve and do by your own effort. If you are born with certain abilities or other assets the enable you to produce more you may have more than those who are able to produce less, but everyone will gain from your increased production because you'll have to spend your wealth somewhere.

The more privileges and advantages others have the better it is for me, because it means they will be producing more wealth for me to attempt to sell the product of my efforts for.

Of course some people have advantages others don't. It is an advantage to good looking, have certain skills and abilities, to be born in good circumstances, etc. Thank goodness for them because they benefit everyone.
commonsense
Posts: 2612
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:38 pm

Re: The Privileged

Post by commonsense »

Because I am taller, I would have an advantage for picking apples. That’s all there is to it: a better chance at picking apples. It doesn’t matter whether my privilege harms you or not, but it does matter that privilege is a property made in comparison to other(s).
User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 2131
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: The Privileged

Post by RCSaunders »

commonsense wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:03 pm Because I am taller, I would have an advantage for picking apples.
Of course. So what's the point?
commonsense
Posts: 2612
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:38 pm

Re: The Privileged

Post by commonsense »

RCSaunders wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:07 am
commonsense wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:03 pm Because I am taller, I would have an advantage for picking apples.
Of course. So what's the point?
So the point is what the rest of the post says, I.e. what an advantage or a privilege is.
User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 2131
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: The Privileged

Post by RCSaunders »

commonsense wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:14 am
RCSaunders wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:07 am
commonsense wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:03 pm Because I am taller, I would have an advantage for picking apples.
Of course. So what's the point?
So the point is what the rest of the post says, I.e. what an advantage or a privilege is.
I was under the impression you implied something was wrong in some way with someone having what you are calling a privilege or advantage, not just pointing out that individuals have advantages. I'm sorry if I was mistaken about that.
commonsense
Posts: 2612
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:38 pm

Re: The Privileged

Post by commonsense »

RCSaunders wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:41 pm
commonsense wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:14 am
RCSaunders wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:07 am
Of course. So what's the point?
So the point is what the rest of the post says, I.e. what an advantage or a privilege is.
I was under the impression you implied something was wrong in some way with someone having what you are calling a privilege or advantage, not just pointing out that individuals have advantages. I'm sorry if I was mistaken about that.
No prob. I certainly didn’t mean that privilege is wrong.
Post Reply