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Steppenpig

Priveleges

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I always feel bad about being one of those mean guys who always sees the disadvantages of things like international aid or welfare benefits instead of getting the warm glow that others seem to feel, but it occurred to me that what all the social justice blabberers call "rights" are actually usually "priveleges" and the good thing about the word is that it generalises to lots of negative aspects at all levels of society, and at the elite level is probably what causes the decline of empires.

So geting something for which you do not have any special skill or qualification or have not had to work for is a privelege.

It applies to aristocracy, nepotism, professional associations and self serving elites, unions, closed shops, as well as subsidies, benefits and aid.

It does not negate socialism or support capitalism. Things can still be free or subsidised, as long as they are equally and fairly available to the public.

The only trouble is, ti's a silly old fashioned sounding word. I need something catchier.

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My politics would be considered fairly right-wing as regards benefits or hand-outs. Perhaps because I'm self-employed.

I hear the outcry over the Syrian refugees (limiting the context to genuine refugees) and how we "have a duty" to help, and I think "No, we do not".

I am not saying that we should not assist, but the word "duty" is a push too far.

I do not believe that I have a "duty" to help other people with less money than I have. Nobody with more money than I have is helping me. Maybe we should, er, support ourselves?

Apparently, under EU law, everyone has a "right to housing". Which I hear as "Everyone has a right to some of your money should they need it". Why so?

So I probably respond similarly to you.

I suspect what you're looking for might be more nuanced and context-sensitive. For instance, the "opposite" of a meritocracy might be a "kakistocracy" in certain contexts one of which you allude to - found from a quick Google search, not a word I'd heard before.

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There is absolutely not a shred of evidence that universal human 'rights' exist in a state of nature. They are neither self evident or inalienable and have not existed for most of human history.

In fact all the evidence is that rights and liberties have their origins in special man made legal exemptions (the original meaning of liberty in medieval England was a place where the king revoked his own right to income from an area of land in favour of another ). As such it would be entirely accurate to describe them as privileges since invariably they are not universally enjoyed and their very existence can only be determined by the fact that some humans don't possess them (e.g how could we know that some humans are free unless other humans were held in bondage). Unless there is a universal accepted perception of Law and Justice then rights are simply privileges doled out and rescinded through the legal system by those in positions of power be they kings, Parliaments, judges, juries or groups of citizens voting in elections and referenda. As such universal human rights have even less meaning than the divine right of kings since the latter at least tried to tie the right to the process of governing society

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The problem is that most on the left find it easier to deal in emotions than reason. The great fallacy is to assume that people have an inalienable right to the product of other people's labour.

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The problem is that most on the left find it easier to deal in emotions than reason. The great fallacy is to assume that people have an inalienable right to the product of other people's labour.

It may be a fallacy to regard it as inalienable but it is certainly a reality that some people do have the legal right to the product of others labour and it does not just relate to those who want to practise the left wing political aim of redistributing wealth. For example it could equally be argued those who monopolize land enjoy special legal privileges in UK society that enable them to extract the product of others labour every day of the year. Those who enjoy that privilege are also prone to rely on emotion rather than reason to justify this state of affairs.

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It may be a fallacy to regard it as inalienable but it is certainly a reality that some people do have the legal right to the product of others labour and it does not just relate to those who want to practise the left wing political aim of redistributing wealth. For example it could equally be argued those who monopolize land enjoy special legal privileges in UK society that enable them to extract the product of others labour every day of the year. Those who enjoy that privilege are also prone to rely on emotion rather than reason to justify this state of affairs.

It's true. The concept of creaming off profit from other's work is ingrained in the western world. We saw very much a redistribution of wealth under New Labour, but from the middle class to the poor.

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It's true. The concept of creaming off profit from other's work is ingrained in the western world. We saw very much a redistribution of wealth under New Labour, but from the middle classhardworking to the poorrich.

Fixed for you. The major redistribution was from the hardworking (through tax) to the rich (through HPI and Entitlements).

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how about Privilege ?

Tbh privilege is a real sod, could be wrongly spelt in several different ways.

privalege

privelege

priviledge

priveledge

privaledge

.....and many other ways.

I bugger my spelling without a checker, not got one on this computer today.

It all depends how your brain works, some people can respell having sighted a word once like a foreign surname. I'm probably slightly dyslexic and can't. I am on more comfortable grounds thinking in numbers, balance sheets and percentages.

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Turned over to QT on Thursday - just to time myself on how long I could cope.

Managed about 3 minutes - mainly because there was some bod from the Sun actually talking sense on this subject and giving the other panel members a beating for only being interested in the 'emotion' of it all rather than the facts.

He made some excellent points. Surprisingly once finished he got a loud round of applause.

Sadly - and not unexpectedly - the reply from the vacuous panel member of the day around why emotions are all great - got an even louder round of applause.

Still - better than normal representation .

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Tbh privilege is a real sod, could be wrongly spelt in several different ways.

privalege

privelege

priviledge

priveledge

privaledge

.....and many other ways.

I bugger my spelling without a checker, not got one on this computer today.

It all depends how your brain works, some people can respell having sighted a word once like a foreign surname. I'm probably slightly dyslexic and can't. I am on more comfortable grounds thinking in numbers, balance sheets and percentages.

I can never seperate one from the other

<_<

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Fixed for you. The major redistribution was from the hardworking (through tax) to the rich (through HPI and Entitlements).

When people talk of redistribution of wealth, it's seen as some kind of ideological "robin hood" style robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. The very point I'm making is what you recognise yourself in that the redistribution downwards only took place from the middle class to the poor. The real impact of course was that a certain elite of people were able to become massively richer. All this under a labour government. You couldn't make it up.

What's the upshot? A disincentive for self improvement (as in financial terms you won't really be much better off).

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Traditionally (in feudal societies at least) rights always went hand in hand with obligations. That's why concepts like noblesse oblige developed - royalty and nobility had a social and religious obligation to protect and support those lower down them in the social scale. When feudalism ended this concept gradually decayed and wasn't really replaced in kind. For example, until the time of (I think) Charles II, the sovereign was duty bound on Maundy Thursday to wash the feet of the poor, as Christ did, as a gesture of humility. Then it got replaced with Maundy Money - basically a precursor of the modern idea that personal charity (selfless love) can be financially contracted out to the state.

What seems to have happened recently is that rights have become detached from obligations. So people think they have a 'right' to benefits and a council house, without paying for it; and bankers think they have a right to being bailed out without any attendant obligations, etc etc.

Although the BBC etc would never admit this, the reason lots of Britons are annoyed with the migrant crisis is I suspect not because of 'racism' but because they feel migrants are receiving rights without attendant obligations. You can't have a welfare state without borders to enforce taxation to fund it.

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Immanuel Kant earlier, John Locke and Thomas Hobbes now....

http://www.nlnrac.org/earlymodern/locke

Somehow I don't think the people who drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights had a Hobbesian world in mind even though his concept of natural rights is the only one that really stands up logically.

Even seemingly obvious things such a 'right to life' make no sense in nature because people clearly die all the time from a variety of natural causes. In fact we have no more natural right to live than we have a natural right to die. If nature takes absolutely no recognizance of such rights then they are not universal but man made legal constructs for the ordering of society. As such they are simply a function of human governance which may be negotiable depending on the political system.

The modern concept of natural human rights derived from the Enlightenment philosophers becomes even more problematic when it comes into contact with the older and in many ways more meaningful and sane concept of rights as a balance of agreed man made privileges and legal obligations across the whole of society. In particular people have been able to very effectively use the concepts of the former to distort the latter in a way which I suspect may end up doing lasting damage to whole idea of rights as a suitable way to control human interactions.

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