Within the Q&A interval on the finish of the Jordan Peterson speak I lately attended, Peterson addressed the difficulty of privilege. He agreed that there’s such a factor. I do too, however he didn’t take Hayek’s and my strategy, which is that privilege happens when authorities, together with the authorized system, provides somebody particular therapy.
However sufficient about my view. I wish to discuss Peterson’s. He agrees with the left-wing, and more and more mainstream, view that privilege has to do with wealth, upbringing, and so on. Peterson said that if somebody accuses you of being privileged, you’ll be able to agree with the purpose however then level out what you’re doing with the privilege: serving to individuals, being productive (which additionally helps individuals), and so on. However then it’s on you to go the additional mile—assist individuals, and so on.
Let’s say that I agree with Peterson’s view of what privilege is. I don’t, however I wish to see the place it leads.
More often than not I’ve seen individuals being accused of privilege, it’s in response to a coverage place that they take. Right here the reply shouldn’t be the one Peterson provides—have a look at the great I’m doing with it. The reply, usually, must be that the cost is irrelevant.
So, think about that I’m arguing towards the minimal wage. I level out that the minimal wage costs a whole lot of unskilled staff out of the labor power, and I notice that this disproportionately harms younger black individuals.
In response, the particular person I’m speaking to says that she or he (any longer, I’ll use “he”) shouldn’t take note of what I’m saying as a result of I’m privileged. He may additionally say that I wouldn’t know what it’s prefer to work at a minimal wage job as a result of I’ve by no means achieved so. (Really, I did, throughout the summer season of 1972.) However let’s say he doesn’t make that fake pas and easily dismisses my argument based mostly on privilege.
What must be my response? It must be that my privilege or lack of privilege is irrelevant to the difficulty. Let’s say I’m a billionaire. Does that in any manner have an effect on the elasticity of demand for unskilled labor or another side of potential jobs for unskilled laborers? No. Subsequently it doesn’t have an effect on the outcomes of the minimal wage. Or take the acute: I can’t have privilege if I don’t exist. So, think about I didn’t exist. Would the elasticity of demand for labor he larger or decrease? Neither.
The accuser has merely made a class error. Privilege doesn’t matter for the argument I’m making in regards to the minimal wage.
Within the subsequent few days, I’ll say extra about what I feel privilege is and I’ll discuss the principle manner that I, and most readers of this weblog, are privileged.
Due to Charley Hooper for useful dialogue.