Thursday, 6 December 2012

Let's be clear: equality is *not* good


That's it, really: equality is not good.


Equality is not some kind of noble ideal which sometimes/ often/ always goes-wrong in practice - it is not a noble ideal at all not even in theory; but it is unreal (nature is all difference and hierarchy), thus nonsensical and (therefore) evil.


But where did it come from?

Where on earth did so may people get this notion that equality is an ideal.

Even in the only (approximately) egalitarian human societies ever known, that is equal sharing by age and sex among among simple hunter gatherers with low technology and no food storage, equality is not a noble ideal so much as an equilibrium state of the desire that nobody-should-have-more-than-me!

In other words actually-existing-equality was driven by envy and resentment and fear and expediency: not at all a noble ideal.

( )


One big mistake was to suppose (as did the early communists, socialists and egalitarians) that poverty was a consequence of inequality and therefore equality was the solution to poverty.

But, this was an error (or dishonesty) since poverty never-was a consequence of inequality; but of low per capita wealth.

And socialism emerged just as per capita wealth began to increase; and egalitarianism only slowed the increased in per capita wealth and delayed the abolition of poverty: honest and knowledgeable people can see this clearly now, it is just an objective fact.


So all of these are bad, not good: equality, egalitarianism, socialism, communism - bad in theory as well as in practice.

Equality is bad, bad, bad...







Deogolwulf said...

The ideal of equality is the Left’s rebellion against the nature of things, against the hierarchy of being, in its most fundamental aspect. But why is there now so little opposition to this senseless, weird, evil rebellion? How is it that almost everyone has joined it? Why has the Right almost disappeared as an explicit force? (Most of what now calls itself the Right is a part of the Left standing conservatively, cautiously, or at least vocally in favour of equality — equal freedom in the state, equal rights and values, etc.) How could so many people be seduced by a belief so irrational and immoral? You supply an answer which likely accounts for most of its popularity: grubby, ignoble selfishness.

Unknown said...

Equality is the greatest insult to nature ever hurled by an ideologue.

Equality is a lawyer in a wheelchair who wants to hobble the able for spite. Resist. Resist with all your might.

Equality turns stones into sand.

Wurmbrand said...

Ironically, I noticed a few minutes ago the design on a US postage stamp in the Postal Service's "Forever" series (i.e. the stamp will always be valued as first class postage even when the rates go up) -- "Equality [in large letters] FOREVER."

Oh. So that's what our soldiers have died for and we are taxed for. But what does it mean? "Equality before the law"? Socially-engineered "equality" of outcomes?

George Goerlich said...

Because we're all supposed to be equally important persons (like via Democracy), we can not stand that some may be truly better.

I think the left would be happy to think everyone can be raised up to the level of equal gods, but because this is rather difficult (impossible?) they have instead gone about it by tearing down everything higher.

George Goerlich said...

This is where I have the most trouble understanding Christianity.

I grew up in a US Presbyterian church. The message was very clear: Jesus was the ultimate egalitarian. Where we have not become more equal is where we had the biggest wordily failures. It seemed everyone knew we should give all our money away to the poor immediately and adopt needy children from foreign countries, but it was sin that was holding us back.

I also found it very confusing. I was told, very explicitly as a youth, that where the Bible contradicted the Church's teachings (e.g. sodomy) that it was because the Bible was produced by men and hence subject to some flaws based on prejudice and cultural stigmas.

Because I equated Christianity with the ultimate goal of liberalism (that is, we would all be truly and totally the ideal liberals if it were not for worldly sin), I completely rejected it and tried to look for truth in older Pagan religions.

George Goerlich said...

Looking at their webpage now, I think you might see what I mean: it is all about donations, feminism, and nigerian eco-justice. If you scroll to the bottom (departments) half of it is dedicated to "investment & loan programs", "pensions", and "faith-based mutual funds" (very money focused) while the rest is about liberal-related mission work.

Bruce Charlton said...

@GG - there is a view that emphasizes that there are real (tho' dwindling numbers of) Christians in 'liberal Christian' Churches - and another view that these do much more harm than good - I incline to the latter. We would be better-off without them.

danbk99 said...

Isn't it possible to make a pragmatic defense of a certain minimum amount equality, on the grounds that, since (fallen)man is naturally prone to (irrational and unjust, but perfectly predictable ) envy and resentment, social peace may be maintained by avoiding too much visible inequality? Notice that this approach doesn't sacralize equality like Leftism does, but merely uses it reluctantly as a tool for cohesion, realizing full well that there is a cost in both economic growth, and perhaps human excellence. It may be that this is a necessary price to pay for longer-term stability.

I have my own doubts about this argument, but something could at least be said for it. I know that the Mencius Moldbug answer would be that equality breeds disorder rather than peace by decentralizing power and reducing accountability..but I think the social context probably matters. It does seem that in the past few hundred-years in the West, wtih its ideologies and printing-presses, any increase in equality just fed a rage for even more equality. But i somehow can't dismiss the sense that some degree of equality (of either opportunity or circumstances) is a damper on resentments/disorder in the right context.

Bruce Charlton said...

@danbk99 - why are you tormenting yourself over this? Just let it go...

Donald said...

I can't help but see envy in most leftist eyes, everyone feels 'entitled' to everything. Once you reach a basic level of health (which is best measured by child mortality, which is increcridbly low/non existent compared to the past) it is really just plain old jealousy. The problem is really their notion of justice, that it is unjust for others to have more/better than they -- which is just to reframe envy from a vice to a moral virtue. That's not to say that life isn't harder or whatever, but compared to 99% of past humans the live in absolute luxury.

Jehu said...

God cares not about equality. He seems to practically REVEL in inequality. Look at some of the people He has made. Some of them are demonstrably superior to the overwhelming majority of the population in nearly every metric you'd care to measure. Some are the reverse. Hath not the Potter power over the clay....?

Even saying God doesn't have His favorites is also demonstrably untrue, from a basic reading of the Bible, especially the Old Testament. It is just that His favoritism isn't based on our economy, but His. King David got way more slack and love from God than you ever will. But you'll still get far more than you deserve, or will ever deserve. The social hierarchy within the Church is not supposed to reflect the hierarchy within the World. That's the approximate full meaning of that verse every liberal loves to quote to justify their diversity worship.

Contemplationist said...

Rothbard had some choice words for the egalitarians of our age.

Jonathan C said...

@danbk99: You answered your own question. I think it's an observable fact that as equality has increased, so has envy and resentment. For instance, American blacks weren't nearly as resentful in 1955 as they are today; I'm not sure they were as resentful under slavery.

The industrial revolution and modern technology have pretty much fixed any real, substantial inequality of provision in the first world. Most of the resentment is of imaginary inequality--Western whites are probably the least racist, most pro-minority majority in human history.

Social peace would be best maintained if all the authorities asserted that hierarchy is necessary and healthy, and that it is honorable for a man, whatever his station, to acquit the duties that are suitable to his merits. There was a time when hard-working janitors were respected more than drug dealers, but the equality fetish killed that notion cold.

Bruce Charlton said...

@FHL - I have read yourlong comment with care, but I don't want to post it since it might tend to hijack the post, and perhaps the blog!

On this blog I am treating such matters (mostly) abstractly - for those who appreciate such a style of discourse.

The motivation of this blog is Christian, and you can assume that everything else is subordinate to that. But some of your questions are answered on the papers and postings collected here:

FHL said...

Thank for taking the time to read my thoughts, and it is a blessing to have a blog in this crazy world that stays as true as possible to its Christian purpose such as yours.

Bruce Charlton said...

@FHL - no need for thanks, I appreciate your comments: keep 'em coming!