Yesterday I discussed privilege in regard to Foucault’s (Boulainvilliers’) take on the rise of the French absolute state. Today I continue with that general theme.
Boulainvilliers argued that the reason the church placed such emphasis on the afterlife was so that the learned of the European nobility would willingly give up their own worldly interests and dominion and over time would lose influence to those whose livelihood and power lay in the control and trading of otherworldly goods. By accepting that this would was only a short passing through, the nobility neglected their own lands, were swept away in religious crusades and were eventually dispossessed of their lands. And who benefited? Who was there to assume control of the land and resources? The very group that convinced the aristocracy that their land was of no real value.
The parallel to the contemporary use of privilege is strikingly clear. It is the recurring refrain of power transfer from the bold to the priestly. To gain power, the priestly class uses the education system to poison the ruling class with self-doubt and with a belief system that has them willingly turn over their power to priests in the name of being good. The priests then rule, largely unseen, behind the weak minded and/or ambitious puppets that they have trained, who occupy the masses with martial and spiritual contests against evil. Evil is, of course, whatever stands in the way or threatens priestly power.