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The sense of entitlement

Originally posted on The Prime Directive:

NOTE: It appears that some people are using this entry as a support of the bizarre conservative belief that poor people have a “sense of entitlement” to the means by which to live and that this is somehow bad. Obviously we are all entitled to the right to live, and to say otherwise is asinine. Stop linking to this entry, right-wing assholes.


People sometimes get a feeling of entitlement, which makes them hard to deal with. It does often lead them to try to control others, generally through psychological manipulation. The two concepts are closely related. When two hostile people stand on unequal footing, violence can be used, but when they are roughly equal in an ordered society, the best they can do is try to manipulate each other.

People are led to have a sense of entitlement because they falsely believe they are owed something based on the social roles that they have taken for themselves. Because someone has accepted the role of being someone’s friend, boy/girlfriend, husband or wife, they feel entitled to get favours from the other person. Because someone has accepted the role of being a parent, they feel entitled to being respected by their children. Because someone has accepted the role of being a consumer, they feel entitled to be served as they desire. In short, they want to play the game without having the power to get what they want, so they will try to manipulate you to get it.

The feeling of entitlement is predicated on the acceptance of social roles, of false selves. People who reject these roles must also reject the feeling of entitlement, and all the false beliefs that come from it. No one owes you anything, except what they willfully promised you. you do not owe anyone anything, except what you willfully promised them.

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