Honestly Kid

by Daniel Damkoehler


2nd thoughts

Privilege: The Other Cancer – 2

Ten questions about the nature of privilege:

  1. Is it a privilege to question privilege?
  2. Is privilege an inevitable part of civilization?
  3. Is privilege inherently corrupt or corrupting (like power)?
  4. Can someone truly eschew privilege since having it in the first place is, in fact, a privilege?
  5. Does living in a wealthy ‘developed’ nation make one inherently privileged?
  6. Is freedom a privilege?
  7. Are human rights a privilege?
  8. Are political rights (citizenship, the right to vote, etc) a privilege?
  9. Who is more privileged a King or a Jester? A Pope or a prisoner? A Movie Star or a Politician? An Artist or a Scientist?
  10. Are you privileged? If so, how? If not, why not? You’re using a computer and the Internet, presumably know how to read and write, etc – are these not privileges?

One Response to “Privilege: The Other Cancer – 2”

  1. Steve » November 2nd, 2009

    (11) Does anybody care? If so, why?

    This is my rather flip way of saying that I don’t find the notion of “privelege” to be a useful way of viewing the problems of inequality in human life. There will always be people who have various advantages relative to other people. To jump from this observation to creating the notion of “privelege” which can be endlessly analyzed (not to mention being the subject of narcissistic guilt trips) seems just silly. However, I suppose it does provide a convenient excuse to put off doing anything constructive about the real problems which unequal advantage may create.

    I would suggest that having an advantage, even an arguanly unfair advantage, is neither a good thing nor a bad thing in itself. The relevant question is what do you do next. This is the fundamental question of personal morality and ethics as it involves our relationships to those immediately around us, as well as our impact on the larger society of which we are a part.

    These are issues which have ben dealt with at length ovet thousands of years by the great religious and philosophical thinkers. The broad outline of these thinkers’ work, and the elements of consensud among them is well known, if not always well-understood in practice. I see little to add.

    Be a good person. Help others. Do the right thing. It’s not rocket science.

    If you find yourself advantaged, use your powers for good.

    That’s all.