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PRIVILEGE

Speaking from a position of privilege.

In an almost uncanny affirmation of Nietzsche's

Insights about

the victory of slave morality

Or was it Oscar Wilde

That this should be said as an apology made by the powerful,

Or, now just as common,

A damning statement that shuts down discourse (with a sermon or other)


Social media is intensely religious.


Especially about shaming away uncomfortable pasts and presents.

But, at the very least, discourse demands subject positions

(even if fluid/detachable from this or that corporeal entropy we call 'person'),

which, in turn, demand a register on the power continuum/field.

Any such register is a priori a 'privilege.'


Is it just because it is easier to do that -- to stifle speech in the name of an (oh so Christian) ideal of 'human' (equality) -- than trying to grant privilege to those that aren't heard, that don't register on the power matrix (minorities, endangered, less able)..?


But there's the rub.

"Granting" privilege, as a distinct/conscious act or decision (like, say, a private benevolence or a public policy) collapses the meaning of privilege itself.

If my speech reeks of privilege, it is because of socioeconomic (and/or other) factors I exude: steeped in them for so long, I no longer see or hear them because they are my eyes and ears, and I cannot talk about them since they make up my voice.


Damn that sounds Foucauldian.


You can dethrone and torture, you can take the privileged out of privilege,

but you can never take privilege out of the privileged.

Privilege functions like Weltanschauung's bedrock; you can no more "confer privilege" on the unprivileged as you can confer life on the not living.


Anyone who says different is selling a religion.


Privilege should not be confused with moral or even mere political dictates; it is an ethical problem, not an individual or institutional decision (though it is expressed through a myriad of them, all the time). In short it strays far from that kind of justice that John Rawls did us all a favor by naming "fairness".

When it comes to privilege, as Nietzsche (and Levinas) already intimated,

The 'original position' is primordially asymmetrical.


Nihilism is being bred where discourse is annihilated, and, like a negative tracing of the unseen-but-felt, discourse is necessary to at least trace its contours.

Of course, innocently, those that shut down discourse may well be doing so with the hidden motive (or benefit) of never having to come to terms with how they themselves cope with their own realities on those uncomfortable levels. No news is good news.

Nihilism does bring such sweet relief.


Prejudice becomes the end of discourse instead of its jumping off point.

Picture courtesy of DALL-E

And nihilism here is the tyranny of sancta simplicita.


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