Although it is senseless to campaign against so-called “white privilege” (as I have recently argued), one sort of pervasive privilege is real, it is evil, and it should be not only checked but ultimately abolished. It is the privilege government grants to some people to violate the rights of others. Call it “statist privilege.”

The term privilege in its original sense means private legislation; “privus” refers to individual, while “legis” refers to law. Beyond the designation of public positions appropriate to a rights-respecting government (legislators, executives, judges, and the like), government should not grant privileges to anyone, but should instead equally protect the rights of everyone. (Other senses of the term “privilege” are not under consideration here; the word also means “advantage”—e.g., a wealthy child has a privileged upbringing in that respect—and “honor”—e.g., it is privilege to know great men.) . . .

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