posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 07:01 PM
To any naive progressive, romantic, or idealist, equality sounds like a mighty fine deal. It conjures imagery of
sharing, hands reaching down from gilded-perches to the dirty streets, and compassion towards those who are unable to rise to the median. I mean, what
could be left of any hierarchy when no one can possibly fall lower or rise higher than anyone else? Well, the hierarchy would still be there, except
that there would only be one rung to one could clasp on to, and the only way to move would be to shuffle horizontally rather than to climb or fall
Equality is an unreasonable and unrealizable utopian pipe dream, that if implemented in progressive reform, would only serve to reduce an individual
to a product of a sadistic state assembly line, with your typical authoritarian dictator or other playing quality control, imposing the universal
standards by which we are supposed to be equal. To determine how equal we should be, it only makes sense that a consensus of the entire society would
be in order, and each response would be equally considered. Of course that would never happen. The would-be levellers of humanity get to decide the
level of equality, that magical value chosen from the vast gradient of variety called humankind to which we should be homogenized and flattened, and
thus which nails need hammering down. Who would do the hammering I am unsure.
But let’s pretend that we have eyes unencumbered by the intersubjective agreements we religiously view our reality through, and hold off on looking
“through a glass, rosily”, for but a moment.
Anyone with eyes can see that among the myriad objects of reality, equality is a fiction. One thing does not equal another thing. Anyone with eyes can
also see that in fact we are not endowed with certain inalienable rights, we are not created equal, and life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
are but imaginative notions of collective agreement and conformity, mere comforts of our artificial constructs, the philosophical remnants of
religiosity and piety, and not even close to anything that would be considered self-evident. Equal opportunity, equal treatment, equal income, and so
on, are essentially meaningless given the sloppiness through which these terms are often fused together, and to the extent to which nothing outside of
an equation is ever equal to anything but itself.
Perhaps I am being too critical of this relatively benign principle, and I shouldn’t be worried; but there are voices louder than mine who assert
the exact opposite: that we are born equal, that we are born with rights, and everyone deserves equal treatment and outcomes, and these loud voices
often reach for legislation and reform quicker than those who stay their tongue. All of these assertions are, when compared to the conditions of
reality, fatuous falsehoods, and born from the assumptive notions of eternal souls and essences and the like, which is reason enough to be suspicious
of them. If a foundation is false, and as such, dead before it was even born, surely its corollaries are as well.
All one has to do is compare two newborns to see that we are not born equal. Locke’s Tabula Rasa has been thoroughly refuted by the sciences,
and any “born equal” platitudes refuted with it. There is no eternally equal essence trapped somewhere in eternally unequal bodies—we've
looked. And what else didn't we find? There is no blank slate. There is no inherent universal value beyond each and every individual’s inherent
originality, and to sand down our fundamental differences so as to arrive to some ethereal platonic form is not only unimaginable (try imagining a
universal human), but impossible to attain.
It is also obvious that not everyone deserves equal treatment. The thief should not be treated like a murderer, and a murderer should not be treated
like a mayor. I would dare you to treat your accountant as you would your doctor, but I’m afraid you might actually take me up on it.
Let’s not forget the principle of so-called “equality of opportunity” tossed around in political discourse. We can safely wager that the
homeless man with the underwear on the outside of his pants does not have the same opportunities as the wealthy well-educated debutante with her
underwear properly worn. Opportunity only favours the opportune and advantageous, with preference spent on those willing to take advantage, while the
rest have nothing but missed opportunities.
Of course, you might offer the notion that we are, or at least should be, equal in the eyes of the law. I mean sure, I get the point, but then I
quickly lose it upon further inspection. For such an apparently progressive notion as equality, the method and fashion through which equality is
assumed, dogmatized and enforced by something like divine law is regressive to the highest degree, especially since the notion itself was born of
religious motivation. I suppose progressives should give thanks where it is due.
Equal in the eyes of the law…assuming that something so inhuman and so disembodied as the law indeed has eyes, it might also have the wherewithal to
witness the variety of individuals and different circumstances unique to every living being, both human and non-human alike. Why pretend that the law
is divine when it is conceived, written and enforced by men? Such a notion is as arrogant as the vacuous assumption that humans are equal in the eyes
of God, that other ever-present ghost we anthropomorphize and set to do our bidding. If we are to be governed by some divine and all-encompassing set
of standards, it might be best if this divinity understood and accurately described what it is that it is governing, rather than forcing an untenable,
and likely disastrous, expectation upon them. If we are equal in the eyes of God or the law—whatever the case may be, it all serves the same
function—this all-powerful coordinator is unable to distinguish one human and situation from the next, which would place it somewhere in the realm
of idiocy. Let’s do ourselves a favour and endow our governing principles with at least a comparable intellect to our own. I think we deserve that
Wage gaps, income disparity, social inequality—are these the outcomes of a crude and corrupt society, or the glaring results of a fair one? Have
people been pushed and shoved beneath their supposed equals, or have they fallen on their own accord?
Of course, some people get a head-start in life or have some sort of advantage or disadvantage, which is an empirical example of how unequal we really
are; but then again determination, ingenuity and even luck have given the edge to even the most disadvantaged and underprivileged of people. There
most certainly are some institutional hurdles or privileges embedded within the very structures of our institutions and systems, and in the very minds
of the people that compose them. Luckily for us, there are people not so concerned with pulling people down and lifting other’s up, but have rather
tasked themselves with constructing better steps so that people can do it themselves. This is why I choose equity over equality, so we can give reward
to those who do not expect reward, and so that we can entitle those who do not feel that they are entitled, but have earned it. Give these folks a
larger slice of the pie. Hell, give them mine.
Thank you for reading,