I keep hearing things about privilege – white, male, this, that. Let’s analyse this.
The implicit assumption of the concept of privilege as a bad thing is egalitarianism. Everybody is or should be the same, and so everything that gives some individual or a group advantage is essentially anti-egalitarian, and in a culture that is able to define “good” only in terms of how equal everything is, we get the strange result of everybody aspiring to be “different”, and lauding differences as strengths and so on, and yet when different means having a quantifiable advantage over others, this is supposed to be evil, an injustice that needs to be redressed.
So, when they try to brainwash us about diversity, what they mean is the most superficial diversity, that of race, gender or sexual orientation. They dabble with the diversity of culture when they want to promote Islam, but they don’t really mean it – they see Islam as something brown people have, and it’s dressing differently and having different customs, they don’t really get into what Islam actually teaches and means. To the diversity-promoting people, Islam is just another form of transgendered faggotry or skin color that needs to be accepted as equal. They don’t really mean that a religion, with its alternative views on politics, should be seen as equal. No. What those people actually mean is that they cannot even imagine someone seeing religion as a serious matter. Since they cannot take it seriously, they cannot understand the people who can. So, they see diversity in terms of people of various skin colors and genders getting along. They don’t see it in terms where we should accept the Nazis because they are different, and the more diversity the merrier, yes? So, obviously, all kinds of diversity are fine as long as everybody shares their opinion about everything that matters. If not, he’s the member of an enemy group that needs to be killed.
So, one problem with egalitarianism is that all kinds of diversity are fine as long as everybody is exactly the same. Because, if everybody is not the same, there’s “inequality”, which is terrible, especially if you’re not in the top 1% in terms of wealth. Also, there’s a problem with people who are too smart. If someone is in the top 1% in terms of intelligence and competence, he will completely wreck all the egalitarian ideas, and we can see how egalitarianism in schools, for instance, systematically suppresses smart children and works against them, to the extent where the most competent people tend to leave the educational system altogether, with varying degrees of success.
Let’s return to the concept of privilege. Yes, privilege exists. If you were born poor, you are at a serious disadvantage compared to someone who’s born rich. It’s not just about not being able to afford a new Lamborghini, it’s sometimes about not being able to afford books, or even food. I’ve been there. Being poor seriously sucks, but the worst thing you can do about it is become resentful and envious of the rich. You need to accept the fact that we’re not supposed to be equal, and that you need to stop comparing yourself to others, and instead work on improving your own situation. Additionally, I very much agree with Putin’s declaration of intent when he initially became the prime minister: he said he doesn’t care about wealth differences and that the Soviet system, which tried to prevent some people from being rich, failed; instead, he will try to make a system which doesn’t care how rich the richest are, as long as nobody is hungry. This is a pragmatic approach that I admire: prevent poverty, suffering, humiliation and other kinds of evil. Equality is an irrelevant goal. Prevent misery and suffering, that’s much better. Once you did that, and it turns out that some are much better off than others, oh well, fuck me if I care. I don’t care that Bill Gates is a zillion times wealthier than I am, as long as I’m fine. But if he’s super wealthy, and I’m hopelessly fucked, I might see this as a problem.
So, my objection to egalitarianism is that it essentially doesn’t mind everybody being poor and fucked up, as long as everybody is equal. This is a worldview that produced communism, and I saw enough of it never to want a repetition. Also, egalitarianism is inherently inconsistent with the concept of diversity, and people who attempt to combine them essentially reduce diversity to the most superficial properties. The third problem is that egalitarianism is a substitute for having a coherent ethical framework. For instance, Buddhism considers suffering to be a problem, and tries to eliminate it. Egalitarianism sees differences of outcome as a problem, and tries to eliminate them. So, as a result, a practice of Buddhism produces a world with less suffering, and a practice of egalitarianism produces the universal misery of Soviet Russia, or the slaughterhouse of the French Revolution. Egalitarianism doesn’t have a problem with killing people, as long as they are qualified as the enemy group. Buddhism, a system of belief with suffering-averse ethics, will have a very serious problem with killing even the people it classifies as evil – rather, it will incessantly attempt to make them good. Christianity, another ethically sound system, also has a serious problem with fighting evil people – in fact, it recommends to love your enemies, not fight them. It doesn’t see other humans as enemies – the true enemy is Satan, the seducer, not the seduced, ignorant victims of that great evil that corrupted them, turned them against God and doomed them to eternal death. Both Buddhism and Christianity have a coherent ethical system, with goals higher than life, higher than equality, higher than wealth, higher than worldly success. Also, they have a process of validating success that resides outside of man: with Christianity, all deeds are judged by God. You can’t just make shit up and be your own judge. You will do what you will, and God will have the last word. In Buddhism, you can also do whatever, but karma exists, samsara exists, the laws exist and if you make bad choices there is an endless ocean of suffering ahead of you, with no necessity of it ever ending, so yeah, knock yourself out. You can’t just make shit up. But with modernist and postmodernist systems, which actually ridicule the concept of an extrinsic validation system, essentially saying that there’s no God, there’s no absolute truth, all viewpoints are equally valid, and if you managed to pull something off, more power to you – well, is it really such a surprise that people who subscribe to such a worldview tend to be evil, and commit unspeakable atrocities? Egalitarianism also means you can’t say a certain viewpoint is better than any other. You can’t say your religion, or culture, or anything, is better than any other. So, what’s the point of having a religion or a culture if you can’t take it seriously and think it’s better than the alternatives? Yeah, the concept of egalitarianism, in that sense, is identical to nihilism, because if every opinion is equal, then all opinions are worthless.
And then you get to live a meaningless existence, where you have nothing to believe in, nothing to aspire to, nothing to admire, with no virtues outside of equality, where you hate intolerance and inequality, but you can’t really explain why, because you are not allowed to say that something is better than something else.
The price of avoiding this kind of hell is not high. All you need to do is accept the following:
- Someone will always be better than you, and he most likely deserves it. The fact that God, some angel, or a saint, is better than you, is reason for you to admire them and aspire to be better. It’s not reason to resent them or be envious of their greatness. Don’t try to make others smaller, because it won’t make you feel less like shit.
- You can be better than you already are. In fact, that’s the whole point. Don’t allow anyone to be better than you are on the path that you’ve chosen, but not by limiting them, but instead by exceeding your own limitations. Don’t just concede that someone loves knowledge or beauty or reality more than you do. Aspire to the greatest virtue.
- Whatever you do, there will be consequences, and they will be determined by forces greater than yourself. You can’t just make up your own rules as you go. Whatever you do, do it with awareness that at one point you will stand before God and He will tell you what He thinks about your actions. Avoid the actions that will have him evaporate you in anger, or those that will make you cower in shame. Aspire to those that will make God proud of you, and praise you above all others.
And there you go. Happiness. Achievement. Eternity.