2015-01-21Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/22719
The Wonderful World of Privileges
- The Par Condicio Creditorum vs. Closeout-Netting
Speaking about privileges arouses sentiments which are not necessarily without ambivalence. Even though the primary connotation might be positive, a closer look reveals that there are also downsides. That, here too, the coin consists of two sides is most prominently evidenced by the well known term ‘privilegium odiosum’ which indicates that the one’s elevation is (or might be) the other’s anger. The primary example is the gracious royal permission to the medieval Jewish bankers to demand interests from Christians. Those bankers (and their fellow Jews in general) had thoroughly to suffer from this privilege. Yet, irrespective of this closely intertwined ambivalence, privileges are throughout history and roughly all over the globe objects of desire – after all, they grant a special status be it socially, be it economically or however else. The combination of these two sides is likely to be the real reason why, generally speaking, privileges are rarely addressed openly, at least not by those who are benefitting from them; they normally try to justify their elevated status as something necessitated by some superior order or to disguise it as something actually normal or to hide it throughout.
This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.