Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Privilege

This is hard to explain without sounding more than a bit crazy, but then most of you probably reached that conclusion some time ago.

Ever struggled to articulate or even fully understand something that seriously pisses you off? When put on the spot and asked (or forced) to explain, have you ever found the words just not coming out, or that the brain isn't able to process the bee in your bonnet into a stream of thought that follows in a logical but totally uncomplicated line that even the moron questioning you can understand? It's very easy for one to come out of these situations both immensely confused and perceived by others as some bitter and twisted malcontent - I say this of course with the dubious benefit of personal experience.

Those who read my recent piece on limerence will appreciate that it's a subject I had thought much about in the period leading up to publication, and indeed I've pondered questions around its related themes in the time that has passed since. Though it is something that the limerent does not consciously choose, it is still the creation of a brain that is seeking to do something. Perhaps the intended purpose of each limerent imagination is different, but after reading much on the subject I think a moment of epiphany might finally have been reached - my episodes were basically a form of self-analysis and education, an exploration and examination of those things in life that fuelled what has been a burning sense of sincere and honestly felt anger.

Privilege exists in many forms - it could be acquired through wealth, status, physical attractiveness, supportive parents, nurturing and development that permits access to some 'inner circle', whatever. Something I can say with total honesty is that I've not benefited from any of these advantages and therefore what little I have has been earned on merit. What also needs to be acknowledged is that seeing thick kids get into further education when they shouldn't, the old tie network fast-tracking some 'chosen one' towards a status they have not earned, or a 'pretty' person not having to work as hard as the rest of us quite justifiably makes my blood boil.

In short, privilege sucks, and I certainly don't want to be on the right end of life's 'hometown scoring' even if the alternative is painful sometimes. By definition, the extension of privilege to an individual requires and necessitates the short-changing of somebody else.

My limerent episodes were simply a reminder of this, that some people get preferential treatment from life, while the rest of us (that includes you and me) pay for it - this is a pretty painful and expensive price to pay for self-awareness but then it may turn out to be emotional currency well spent.

Much of this sounds like the ranting of a would-be Marxist, but then that sort of thinking creates winners and losers all of its own once you strip away the rhetoric. Rules, taxes, manipulation and some contrived 'greater good' all enable the entrenchment of one form of privilege or another. Meritocracy can only be reached by being free to question authority and 'the way things are'.

I'll end with an open question - TC, when you talk about social class, is it privilege you're actually on about? A person who has never been on the right side of it can of course do great things with their life, and they are perhaps those who are to be most admired. I certainly have no time for  the notion of the state confiscating their possessions to feed the privilege of (for example) those who choose not to work. Ultimately, this is the point - what privilege does, whether the recipient is relatively rich or poor, is protect one from the consequences of failure.

What I think we'd all like to see is a world with less privilege, since it invariably leads to less injustice.

Isn't it nice to be comfortable in your anger? Take care and I'll catch you soon.

3 comments:

  1. I think that you are getting your knickers in a twist here and confusing privilege with advantage. Privilege is a special "legal" right which applies to only a small group or class of of people. This is what the French revolution sought to end. Even in this country there is very little actual privilege outside of the Royal Family or parliament. What you are talking about is social advantage and that is something that cannot be eliminated unless through Marxist means. Finally when you talk about people being privileged in life through being better looking, bigger todger etc., that is just the luck of the draw. I wouldn't advocating eliminating luck, it is one of the few things that makes life interesting. Now stop feeling sorry for yourself and get a hobby you sad ugly fucker

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  2. Nicely done - that you know I'm a sad ugly fucker tends to suggest you're not really anonymous.

    I'd suggest that privilege is anything that has not been earned on merit, but enables one to have an easier or more comfortable life than their peers. Your definition may vary from mine.

    Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Bring autonomy back to the individual and there will be less scope for privilege, although a degree of good and bad luck will always exist in life - that's 100% correct.

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    1. Once again you have allowed your rudimentary grasp of the English language to destroy your argument.

      You can't possibly be more privileged than your peers. Your peers are your equals. I'm sure that you do have a point somewhere but you are not really getting it accross.

      By the way I had no idea that you were a sad ugly fucker, you could be Bradd Pitt for all I know. You do however appear to have a chip on your shoulder. There is nothing wrong with having things that you haven't earned. Getting what you deserve is all very well but blagging it is much more fun.

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