Opinion: Having privilege is not a problem – abusing it, is

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Not being able to choose which family you’re born into natural, none of us get to. But when people complain about the privileged few, it is not a criticism of their privilege, but their attitude (which perhaps reflects their upbringing).

It should be noted that there are many who do have certain negative perceptions towards those that are born with a silver spoon in their mouth, it’s not totally bizarre that some may feel some resentment, especially in Thailand.

Can we really blame those that feel that way, when the system here was pretty much built to support those with privilege and take advantage of those without? Just look at the income gap and the concessions granted every year to the same families for just a few examples of how the system is rotten.

In a western country, like the US, for example, in June last year, the Federal Trade Commission ordered 7-Eleven in the US to sell almost 300 of its branches to competitors. The order was to help prevent one company dominating the majority of the market, protecting the American consumers.

Isn’t that just nice? In contrast, this financial news article dated back to May last year, reported that CPALL (owner of 7-Eleven) planned to open 700 more new branches per year.

Thais have grown to not trust the anti-trust laws because they know the system is meant to support the rich and not the poor.

There are good and bad people in every society class, for sure. But in a country that caters to the rich people like Thailand, having money lets you get away with anything.

And when you start to be able to get away with anything because you’re rich and because of your last name, then where is the line? What’s the limit here? How can there be morality applied to a class that lives without consequences.

See the case of the RedBull heir, or the case involving the property developer’s heir. Both killed two poor people in a late-night road accident in their expensive cars. Both did not serve a single day in jail.

In comparison, a couple in Kalasin, a province in isaan, were sentenced to prison time for picking mushrooms in the national forest.

You’re probably thinking that this has nothing to do with your everyday life. But an accident like this can happen to anyone (that’s why it’s called an accident) and the person who kills you, or someone you love, might not even get in any trouble at all because of their last name.

Of course there are good people with privilege out there, too. To name a few, look at Thanathorn (Juangrungruangkit) of the Move Forward party, who has been trying to use his privilege for the betterment of society.

Another example that I could think of is ​​Akkarason “Angang” Opilan who has been using her platform and voice to fight for this country, so much that she herself was charged with breaking section 112 of the criminal code (also known as the Lese Majeste laws).

There are many, many more who use their status for good, just like there are many, many who abuse their power and privilege.

It just seems, in this country, that the bad outweigh the good and that is why there is so much resentment towards high-society. It doesn’t have to be this way. If people would use their privilege to drive this country forward, perceptions can change (and quickly).


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