© 2019 Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosopher

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Celebrities and Privileges

Even with the major irrelevance of people of nobility in a world that was used to be managed by monarchies and oligarchies, it seems that today an alternative replacement for their absence has been created by humanity and by the rising popularity of social media; a "nobility" so idolized that it can literarily create "cults" of following, in both a literal and non-literal sense of the word. Most will probably not be remembered, due to the quick ability of people to forget them, and others might find themselves victims of their own misdeeds, they and their legacies forever stained by their moral sins.

Regardless, it's safe to assume that this relatively-new layer of nobility is probably one of the most privileged socio-economic status on the planet today, only second to global leaders and national leaders and their families. Our recent ancestors used to call them "idols", "rock stars", "legends" and so forth, mostly for their talent in either acting, music or any other type of mainstream entertainment professionals. However, a more-general term for this new type of pseudo-nobility and pseudo-royalty is "celebrities".

We have come to the days were a worth of a "celebrity" isn't worth by their merit or by their cultural contribution to humanity, but mostly to their amount of followers, to their reputation, and to whether or not they are truly capable of grabbing our attention so much minutes to the point we'll be able to call them by name and actually remember that name.

With the increasing, centralizing dominance of social media on our and on our youth's lives, everyone has the potential to become a celebrity at one point or other in their lives, or at least a viral sensation temporarily. Everyone with a computer and/or a phone who is "human" enough to attract a large audience to become their virtual followers, can by usually a short period of time become so "important" to the point their content, deep or shallow, has the potential to affect the lives of countless people worldwide, regardless of the target audience.

The "importance" of their influence is all well and good, at least by itself, but in my opinion, at least, when that importance gives them privileges no other person would have, this is where the problem stand and grow; a problem that only enforces the sense of pseudo-nobility to be more practical in their individual lives and on societies as a whole.

And thus, the following issue has inspired me to write this article and share it with the world, after hearing of it happen in my native country of Israel: A youth celebrity by the name of Noa Kirel has recently been recruited to the IDF, the Israeli military. However, due to her status as a "talent", she was given several privileges, given by no other recruit, simply because she is a celebrity. Several of those privileges include being able to go abroad few days after her enlistment, and the establishment of her own military band.

And indeed, those who support her privileged state as a celebrity, claim that the fact that she actually joined the IDF, can serve as inspiration to other school graduates to enlist, in a time where many people try to avoid the Israeli compulsory military service of usually 3 years for males and 2 years for females. They claim that she could've chosen to avoid her enlistment like some other celebrities did when the time for enlistment has come for them.

However, by giving someone a privileged status simply because they are extremely popular and well-known, in a democratic country that is supposed in many cases to treat everyone as not above the law, can theoretically be considered as a support of the country to the foundation and empowerment of the contemporary pseudo-nobility, in a world that is supposed to be devoid, mostly at least, of such privileged folk.

The bottom line is, that in a democratic entity, even if you are well-known person with a celebrity status, you should be in no way above the demands of the law just because of your national or global renown. You are still a citizen, or at least a resident, in a country that should not strengthen the privileges of the already-privileged, just because of the number of followers they have on social media, nor just because of their above-average renown as celebrities.

By letting celebrities to be above the law where they should not, the law can lead and indicate of the rising of a new type of nobility/royalty; a type that is no longer "pseudo", but a type that is official, written in black and white; a type that creates a sense of superiority and might where such sense should not exist in, in a society that should treat everyone, at least by law, as no worse and no better than any other citizen and/or resident.

Returning back to the arguments made by those who support Kirel's privileged status within the Israeli military – we indeed should, as a whole, to think of what image does she portray to people by being actually taking part in the military where compulsory service is enforced, at least to an extant by law. What should we think of this? Should we actually think that having more followers on social media, a T.V show, a public performance and so on – should the ambition to gain them, really give us privileges that the rest of the citizenry don't actually have? Should we try and become famous not for the sake of being famous, but as a way to skip over obligations that are considered by any other eligible citizen?

Hence why I argue, that a worth of a person should not be measured by whether or not they are a celebrity, nor whether they have an immense number of followers or below average. A worth of a person is best measured, in my opinion, by merit and by productivity; merit and productivity that exceed the popularity they receive.

Should humanity ever come to a point where a new nobility is born out of social media, let us not forget the logical fallacy that known as Ad-Populum – the fact that more people support something or someone, does not make them more right than someone else is, let alone, more superior, than someone else is.