Part of my study of history was what was required to survive. Not in the fighting sense, but everyday requirements, limitations and getting what you need to survive. (For example, there’s a great scene in “Deadwood,” where someone rides up to the Doctor’s home and Doc’s outside spitting firewood. It doesn’t matter that he’s educated, a doctor and a town leader. If he wants to eat and be warm, here’s an ax, split wood.) That ‘was life’ back then. I speak from experience when I say having NEITHER your existence ‘guaranteed’ or having your needs immediately and easily available (light at the flick of a switch, heat at the turn of a dial, etc…) gives one a completely different attitude.
There’s a lot of outrage about ‘privilege’ these days. First, I find it ironic the shape that it comes in. (More about that in a moment.) Second, I’m rather… unnerved about the foundation it seems to be built upon.Third, I find it unique to an environment that our ancestors would have dreamt of as paradise — specifically not having to work your ass off just to stay alive or having the constant risk of death over small mistakes and routine tasks. (Horses shy, axes twist, candles get knocked over, etc..)
Here are some of the patterns I notice with modern attitudes. Nobody is supposed to die. Actions are not supposed to have negative consequences. You shouldn’t be hungry, cold, hot or uncomfortable. Work isn’t supposed to be hard, dirty, unpleasant or disgusting. Work is supposed to be something that fulfills you or is noble in purpose. Rules don’t apply to you. You have the ‘right’ to fun and entertainment (and nobody has the right to stop you). You are ‘owed’ what it takes to support you –regardless of your participation. You’re not supposed to be challenged.Nobody can tell you ‘no.’ Your desires, feelings and beliefs come first. That while society/others have an obligation to you, you do NOT have a reciprocal obligation (or if you do, you get to dictate the level of involvement).
Here’s the irony: It is in this context that the accusation of ‘privilege’ is being thrown at others.
Put this into perspective. The complaints about ‘how unfair society is’ are coming from people who have never had to split wood to keep from freezing to death or had to kill something in order to eat. All those tasks are done by faceless others in support of their lifestyle.