White privilege as a Nazi concept
Hostility to people purely on the basis of their race
Hitler called himself and acted like a socialist. And those people today who preach white privilege would, I think, usually embrace gladly the claim that they are socialists. So the transmission of an idea from a socialist of the past to modern-day socialists is not surprising. But first, some background:
A large part of Hitler's success in getting Germans to follow him is that he was a sentimentalist. He was in fact sentimental about something that was a idea in the heads of many Germans of the 19th century: The idea of Ein grosses Deutschland (a greater Germany). As far back as one could go, there had been many German states, some of which were even at war with one-another at times. Religion was one reason for that but that had been ended by the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. And like the leftist idealists of today who revere the European Union or the United Nations, a lot of Germans were dissatisfied with German disunity and dreamed of a new German union that would replace conflict with peace.
In the early 1870s the dream was partly realized by the creation of a Deutsches Reich: (German Empire) under the aegis of Bismarck. But that was a kleindeutsches solution that left outside the important German lands of Austria. And Hitler was an Austrian. So the dream of Germans united in one big happy family lived on in Hitler and in many Germans generally. And absolutely anathema to that dream was anything which disunited Germans.
But in the immediate period after WWI, Germany was very disunited indeed. Leftist ideas of all sorts dominated the place. And prominent in the ferment were Marxist revolutionaries. And in some parts of Germany, Communist regimes were set up. and Hitler was in the middle of it all.
While he was growing up in Linz, Hitler saw few Jews and regarded them as just another religion. In Mein Kampf he described himself as being a "cosmopolitan" in Linz. He had no racial consciousness. It was only when he moved to Vienna that he began to notice Jews. And he particularly noticed that they were very prominent among Marxist agitators. They were the extremists of a generally Leftist scene. And Hitler hated that. The Marxists were preaching class war among Germans whereas Hitler wanted Germans to be one big happy family. The old German dream of unity still lived on in an Austrian who had been left outside Bismarck's "Deutsches Reich".
So it is then that Hitler became an antisemite. He retained his romantic ideal of a happily united Grosses Deutschland so saw in the Marxist preachers of Vienna enemies of that ideal. And it was something of a godsend that the preachers concerned were mainly members of a group who had been outsiders since the Pharaohs: The Jews. So it seemed obvious to Hitler that German unity was being undermined by a group who were not really German: The enemies of the German dream were Jews. Hitler tells us all that in Mein Kampf, where he even lists the names of the Marxist Jewish agitators of Vienna in immediate postwar Vienna. He documents what he saw as Jewish perfidy. Mein Kampf is not terribly reliable as objective history but it is Hitler's best effort at describing his own emotional history. And his emotions were what drove him.
As time went on, however, Hitler noted something else. Jews were having it both ways. They were destroying Germany but also exploiting it. They were not only revolutionaries but also sat at the top of every pyramid in Germany. They were not only prominent in politics but were also the bankers, businessmen, professionals and artists. That seemed very suspicious to Hitler. How did an anti-German group of outsiders get to run everything in Germany? It had to be some sort of conspiracy. And Hitler thought he knew exactly how that conspiracy worked: Jewish clannishness: Jews stuck together and gave one another a leg-up into positions of power.
So was Hitler right? Was the prominence of Jews in Germany earned or unearned? These day, just about every commentator on the period would say that Hitler was wrong. Jews had gained their positions of prominence fair and square. They were an elite within Germany by dint of intelligence, energy and hard work. And much the same accounts for very similar Jewish prominence in the Western world to this day. The Jewish bankers of Wall St are legendary -- Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, for instance -- and even the head of Australia's largest bank is Jewish -- Ian Narev. You just can't keep Jews down for long. Ian Narev's parents were refugees but in one bound he overcame that.
So I don't think envy of Jews is reasonable any more. They have earned their prominence. Their personal characteristics are what reliably brings them to the top of every heap every time.
So I have a radical proposal: It is the same with whites generally. Whites generally have earned whatever positions of prominence and privilege that they hold. There is nothing nefarious about white privilege, any more than there is anything nefarious about Jewish eminence. Whites do better than most minorities for good reasons, for personal reasons. They have, for instance, greater self discipline, greater intelligence and a greater tendency towards deferment oif gratification. Not all whites have such attributes any more than all Jews have Jewish tendencies but, on average, whites do better.
But why does that matter? Should we not judge each person on their own individual merits, as the United Nations charter proclaims? I think we should. But the Left do not. They commit exactly the same error that Hitler did. They see people not as individuals but as a race. They are just as racist as Hitler. And, as with Hitler, there is some reality underlying their hatred. Whites really do seem privileged compared to blacks. Whites run the show while blacks are confined to just a few areas of success in sport and entertainment.
So, yes. There is white privilege but it is earned. And it is not only the product of white success but also the product of black failure. Why is it that a cop who pulls up a black motorist will be on hair-trigger alert while he will be much more relaxed if he pulls up a white? Because blacks are in general far more hostile to the police and more likely to attack the cop. And with the cop on hair-trigger alertt, the black sometimes gets shot for no good reason. One false move and the black is dead. Let me tell of my own white "privilege" in that connection:
My contact with American law enforcement is very minor but I do think my contact with the California Highway Patrol -- not exactly a much praised body of men -- is instructive. My contact occurred in the 1970s, when Jimmy Carter's reviled 55 mph speed limit still applied on American highways. I was bowling along a Los Angeles freeway in my hired Ford Pinto at about the speed I would have used in Australia -- 65 mph.
A CHP patrol detected me and pulled me over. The trooper approached me very cautiously, sticking close to the side of the Pinto and standing behind me instead of beside me. He was obviously very tense. But when he found that I was unaggressive and perfectly civil to him, he untensed rapidly. The fact that I speak with an accent that Americans usually perceive as British may also have helped. It helped explain my unawareness of California rules. We had a perfectly genial conversation at the end of which he waved me on my way without even giving me a ticket.
White privilege? Not exactly. Because something similar happened recently to me where I live in Brisbane, Australia -- a place where blacks are too few to influence policy.
I was approached by a Queensland cop when I had unwittingly made an illegal turn. And Queensland cops are not exactly fragrant. There are many bad apples among them. Even the police Commissioner was sent to jail for corruption not long ago.
So the cop was initially brusque and supercilious with me. When I showed that I was listening to him carefully by asking him to repeat something I had not understood, however, he became much more relaxed and we had a fairly genial conversation. He saw it as his duty to give me a ticket but we ended up with him wishing me a Merry Christmas and pausing other traffic to facilitate my driving off. Once again a civil and co-operative approach from me got exactly the same back.
So the important thing is how the individual and others like him will behave. There are all sorts of "privileges" in the world but individual behaviour is the key to it and talk of race entirely misses the point. Ranting about white privilege is no different than Hitler ranting about Jews. The privilege exists but it is earned. And the Leftist obsession with race is obnoxious. So my advice to the Left: Talk about privilege and try to understand it all you like -- but skip the race-hate.