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beneficii
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21 Sep 2016, 8:55 pm

From the Penguin translation of Seneca, via Twitter:

Quote:
It can endure. Wherever Fortune's hand
Has lifted and upheld the power of man
Over his fellow-men, there it behoves him
To hold his privilege in check, to fear
Each change of the wind and the too generous gods.


https://twitter.com/JakeNabel/status/776063440066580480

Think about "check your privilege" as a remonstrance to watch out for your hubris. "The pride goeth before the fall" (Proverbs 16:18, KJV) would also be good to remember. Always remember fortunes can change and you never deserve full credit for your accomplishments.


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Mikah
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21 Sep 2016, 10:30 pm

So that's what it's supposed to mean? From the context in which it is used I always concluded its meaning was "your opinion has less value than mine".


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beneficii
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21 Sep 2016, 10:56 pm

Mikah wrote:
So that's what it's supposed to mean? From the context in which it is used I always concluded its meaning was "your opinion has less value than mine".


Yes. If you listen to the people who say that more closely, they are describing hubris.

Examples of such hubris:

1.) Thinking you know about another person's experience than they do, even though you've never had that experience yourself (such as when privileged people express doubt about the described experiences of less-privileged people).

2.) Thinking that you did everything for yourself, that it was all you that got you to where you were, and not other factors, such as bias, discrimination, and the effects of such things in the past, as well as contributions by others, and erasing those factors from the narrative (such as privileged people being proud of getting a well-paying job with a house, 2 cars, etc. when their privilege contributed). This also goes on a civilization-wide scale, such as Europeans thinking that Western civilization got where it is today wholly due to the efforts of Europeans from the Ancient Greeks on, and there was no outside contribution (and thus Europe must be kept "pure" to prevent outside corrupting influence from causing Western civilization to be lost forever), even though it was the exclusive access to the resources in the Americas that led to where the West is today, as well as major contributions by Inner Asians in the Late Antiquity and Middle Ages (The Huns, Rome, and the Birth of Europe, by Hyun Jin Kim). In both cases, others that would get the credit are erased from the narrative as if the privileged person did everything themselves, to the erased's detriment.

Both cases represent hubris, pride at others' expense. This hubris may allow one to burnish an image of greatness, but it has one major drawback: a lack of awareness of one's own limitations and the contributions of Fortune, which are those other factors mentioned in item 2. This lack of awareness could lead to one being taken by surprise and facing their downfall, represented by the "change of the wind and the too generous gods". It's also hurtful to others.

So, yes, one should check their privilege.


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Darmok
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21 Sep 2016, 11:03 pm

The Greeks did not suffer from the teleological fantasies shared by both Christians and Marxists.


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kraftiekortie
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22 Sep 2016, 7:17 am

In my case, I always check my relative lack of privilege.



Fnord
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22 Sep 2016, 9:01 am

I just checked my privilege. It's still there, and still in good shape.

:D



Spiderpig
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22 Sep 2016, 12:36 pm

Mikah wrote:
So that's what it's supposed to mean? From the context in which it is used I always concluded its meaning was "your opinion has less value than mine".


Isn't that what most replies in any discussion about anything boil down to?


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0_equals_true
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22 Sep 2016, 4:40 pm

beneficii you are misinformed about the origin and usage of this phrase. It has absolutely nothing to do with hubris and I honestly don't know why you would even insinuate that is was if you have heard the context that it is being used, and the arguments used by those using the phase.

Next time I would do more research, even educated guesses can be wrong sometimes.

The origin has specifically to to do with the privilege model within Intersectionality. I have yet to a discussion on why Intersectionality is terrible ideology, which has undermined the civil rights movement and it core values. I will go in depth into its history, the intellectuals behind it and will cover specifically this privilege model where this phase has it origin.