Privilege, Social Conflict, and Innovation

Privilege is just having some sort of benefit that others may not. If I wear a suit jacket I may have the privilege of eating at certain restaurants that I may not if I didn’t, if I have a certain skill sets I may have the privilege of having certain employment opportunities that others may not. Most people don’t begrudge others for the privileges they have but aspire to garner those privileges. The privileges we may not have serve as a utility in giving us something to aspire too, a vision of what we can be if we figure out how, a source of motivation and drive to do great things.

On the other hand all social divisions come from privilege as well. Every great social conflict comes from groups of like people feeling some other group of like people have privilege at their expense. (The feeling you can’t aspire too but are burdened by the privileges of another)

Workers feel Entrepreneurs/Capital Owners get rich and powerful on their work.

Taxpayers feel those who receive tax funded welfare do so at their expense.

Natives feel immigrants coming to seek new opportunities do so at the expense of those opportunities for themselves

Factory workers feel that cheap foreign labor benefits at their expense

essentially all of these conflicts and more follow two molds…

Traditionally less powerful groups feel the powerful earned their power at the expense of less powerful groups

The powerful groups feel that less powerful groups attain more power at their expense

Point is every political/social conflict can be summed as one group feeling another is attaining privileges at their expense.

This reality is not bad or good, it’s just a reality of how society works. Conflicts arise and from those conflicts arise new ideas, ways of cooperating, etc. Government should not play a role in these conflicts as it prevents the tension that spurs social innovation (these innovations will reduce the tension till the next one boils). People look to government to a be a force for reducing and resolving social and economic conflicts, the reality is by doing so you slow down social and economic innovation. Learning how to be better as a society is a good, but doing so sometimes isn’t pretty so people turn to governments to hide the ugly at the expense of generations to come.

alexmerced@alexmerced.com

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