Wilhoit’s Law and Privilegism
Frank Wilhoit proposed this Law:
Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit:
There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.
There is nothing more or else to it, and there never has been, in any place or time.
As the core proposition of conservatism is indefensible if stated baldly, it has always been surrounded by an elaborate backwash of pseudophilosophy, amounting over time to millions of pages.
Wilhoit’s Law is concise, precise, and exact. It predicts that conservatism is a misnomer, as it does not conserve, except to protect the in-group and bind the out-group. It also predicts that conservatives will be baffled by accusations of hypocrisy, as their destructiveness is consistent with their core proposition. It even predicts that they will use the misnomer ‘conservative’ to describe themselves.
But if ‘conservatism’ is a misnomer, then what should be its true name? I propose ‘Privilegism’. Note that ‘privilege’ = ‘private law’ = law bought and paid for. Other names apply; elitism, tribalism, aristocracy. ‘Privilegism’ has the virtue of stating where the protection and the binding come from: purchased law.
Wilhoit calls out the mega-pages of pseudo-philosophical rationalization. These can be summarized simply; that the in-group is Superior, and hence deserves unbound protection, whereas the out-group is Inferior, hence deserves unprotecting bondage. But this leads to a logical objection, namely:
Why would the superior need protection? If they're superior, then they can protect themselves! Being outnumbered is irrelevant. And why bind the inferior? Their own inferiority binds them!
The logical answer is that the superior protect themselves by means of buying the law. Hence privilege, i.e. private law. But this leads to another problem:
Privilege destroys character.
Call that Kavanaugh’s Law. Being protected but unbound protects and unbinds the inferior traits of the superior. Conversely, unprotected bondage is inherently character-building. It forces the cultural evolution of the inferior to superiority. Therefore the circulation of aristocracies.
But for those who want more than just new masters from a revolution, Wilhoit proposes a single principle to oppose the single principle of what he calls conservatism, and I privilegism. This single anti-conservative anti-privilegist principle is:
The law cannot protect anyone unless it binds everyone; and it cannot bind anyone unless it protects everyone.
In other words, legal egalitarianism.
Egalitarianism states that the law must protect and bind all or none, equally; but privilegism states that the law must protect some but not all; and bind some but not all, for two separate unequal ‘somes’.
To egalitarianism, justice is blind; to privilegism, justice is bling.