We all have elements of privilege to which we are heirs. We should strive to make the most of our privilege and be worthy of it; not view it as a crime or the raison d’etre for apology.
Singling out race-based or socioeconomic privilege is NOT speaking truth to power; it is simply bigotry & racism by another name. Does a native-born Chinese individual have privilege in China because he or she knows the culture, language and has familial ties? I would hope so. Does a black man from a well-off family in Nairobi have privilege in Kenya? Absolutely. But in neither case does that privilege necessarily equate to oppression of someone less fortunate.
Likewise, laying collective guilt at the feet of an ethnic group or race or gender is inexcusable; it certainly has no place in free democratic societies which claim the individual has intrinsic value. And laying collective guilt on members of an ethnic group or race based on sins committed by their ancestors is equally reprehensible.
The evolution and instantiation of this doctrine can be seen by examining the intellectual history of Socialists, post-modernists and Marxists. As the corpses piled up, the Neo-Marxists and their ilk could no longer defend the failed and bloody examples of communism and eugenics in 20th century. Their response was to soften and broaden their labor/proletariat vs capitalist fight by pitting races and genders against each other in a victim-oppressor narrative. In their view, every human interaction is just a micro power-struggle within the larger theater of oppressive dominance hierarchies. It may look different on its face, but it is the same ideology that fueled the murderous acts of collectivists in the communist revolutions of Russia & China. As Orwell alludes to, the socialists didn’t really love the poor as much as they hated the rich.
Proponents can no longer overtly defend the record of socialism/communism in 20th century; so now they must tone down the rhetoric. The toxic ideology continues, now masquerading in softer cloth as social justice and identity politics, based on their own hierarchy of intersectionality.
Those who would indict an individual for crimes of their ancestors, based on the color of their skin, practice a sinister and malevolent form of racism that will not end well. It is an ideology that distorts justice and shows no regard for individual sovereignty or free-will.
It’s time we learned the painful lessons of the bloody social experiments of the 20th Century. It is time to call out identity politics, charges of white privilege and the toxic ideology that underpins it.
We can do better. We need to rediscover the sovereignty of the individual in the tradition of Chydenius, Locke and Bastiat. Ayn Rand exposed the truth succinctly when she said, “The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.”
Professor Otteson discusses the fatal flaws of redistributive planned economies, not the least of which is a decline in cooperative innovation.
At the very moment we succeeded in banishing a deadly affliction from our country, in other words, people began eschewing the measures that made this medical miracle possible.
What unites the left’s flirtation with socialism and the right’s move toward nationalism is the willful discarding of long-understood, dearly learned truths about how to make the world a better place. Like the death count when parents stop vaccinating their kids, the fallout from these developments may not be instantaneous. But bad ideas can be hard to contain once they get going, and the results are not likely to be pretty.
“More importantly, if you care about improving the quality of life and living standards over time, the essential question is always about creating broad-based, sustainable economic growth. What are the conditions that are most likely to help the economy get bigger, stronger, and more resilient? At the top of the list is a government which promulgates simple, predictable, and widely enforced rules; spends within its limits and doesn’t pursue arbitrary trade wars and military interventions; and doesn’t bog down the future with an ever-increasing mountain of debt that tamps down growth and freezes out investment. Near the bottom of the list is something that is part of Sanders’ policy repertoire: Announcing bold new plans (Medicare for All! Free College for All!) without even pretending to know how to pay for them.“
Why do we tend to have a more negative visceral reaction to Nazism than to references about the consequences of Soviet Communism?
Dr. Peterson provides insight into why and also why it might be a distinction with little practical difference.
And, in all sincerity, can anything more than the absence of plunder be required of the law? Can the law — which necessarily requires the use of force — rationally be used for anything except protecting the rights of everyone? I defy anyone to extend it beyond this purpose without perverting it and, consequently, turning might against right. This is the most fatal and most illogical social perversion that can possibly be imagined. It must be admitted that the true solution — so long searched for in the area of social relationships — is contained in these simple words: Law is organized justice.
Now this must be said: When justice is organized by law — that is, by force — this excludes the idea of using law (force) to organize any human activity whatever, whether it be labor, charity, agriculture, commerce, industry, education, art, or religion. The organizing by law of any one of these would inevitably destroy the essential organization — justice. For truly, how can we imagine force being used against the liberty of citizens without it also being used against justice, and thus acting against its proper purpose?
Here I encounter the most popular fallacy of our times. It is not considered sufficient that the law should be just; it must be philanthropic. Nor is it sufficient that the law should guarantee to every citizen the free and inoffensive use of his faculties for physical, intellectual, and moral self-improvement. Instead, it is demanded that the law should directly extend welfare, education, and morality throughout the nation.
This is the seductive lure of socialism. And I repeat again: These two uses of the law are in direct contradiction to each other. We must choose between them. A citizen cannot at the same time be free and not free.