Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Myth of Equality

Jon Smith

Every age has had a foundational legend, an underlying mythos reflecting the zeitgeist of the era. Those of us who live in the contemporary West live in the shadow of the Myth of Equality. Our political and social institutions operate on the assumption that humans are fundamentally equal and that any real world inequalities are therefore aberrant and in need of coercive redress. Hiring, firing, entrance into insitutions of higher learning, even our speech patterns, all are dictated by egalitarian principles. We deify the champions of equality as saints of rationality and demonize its opponents as backwoods mouthbreathers or jackbooted thugs. What then are the roots and results of the Myth of Equality?

Equality: Origins of a Myth Given the way in which the Myth of Equality is packaged and marketed, its origins are rather surprising. Despite being trumpeted as the product of Enlightenment rationalism, and the "logical" choice for the thinking human, egalitarianism is rooted not in scientific evidence or rational inquiry, but rather in Christian theology and metaphysics. Indeed, empirical reality and science remain key stumbling blocks for egalitarian thinkers, for they reveal that human beings are NOT equal, but instead possess widely varying aptitudes and abilities. The simple reality is that some humans are vastly more capable than others, and thus, in a practical sense, are vastly superior to those who are less well endowed. As a result, egalitarians are forced to resort to an essentially metaphysical argument, that humans have equal "moral" or "spiritual" worth and essence, and thus deserve equal treatment. This assumption is, of course, rooted not in rational observation, but in Christian scripture, and derives ultimately from the notion that all humans are equal before God (cf. Galatians 3:26-29, Acts 10:34-35-17:26). Obviously, this gives lie to the rationalist veil in which egalitarians like to cloak themselves (and explains why egalitarians are curiously reluctant to introduce empirical evidence for their positions, while racialists, ethnic nationalists, anti-feminists and other non-egalitarians are able to back their positions up with copious statistical and empirical fact).

Social Consequences of the Myth of Equality

Their are, of course, dangers inherent in accepting myths uncritically, and the Myth of Equality is no exception. The ramifications of egalitarianism are manifest and manifold.1. The Myth of Equality penalizes the gifted and creates a society of mediocrity. Superior humans, those who are the most capable and most gifted, are systematically shortchanged in the effort to benefit their inferiors (affirmative action is one example of this process). Excellence is viewed with suspicion, and is certainly not rewarded. The end result is an "equality" of uniform mediocrity, a situation that is both counterproductive (obviously) and unnatural (evolution favors differentiation, hierarchy and the advancement of superior life).

2. The Myth of Equality leads to the degeneration of values and ideals. Honor, fidelity and transcendence are aristocratic virtues (that is, they are the virtues of superior men), and, as such, have no place in a society of "equals." The result, not surprisingly, is social decay. Broken homes, broken families, crime, vice, shortsightedness and greed, these are the fruits of egalitarianism. Even art is affected by the malign hand of egalitarianism, for egalitarian society directs all its energies towards the pacification and deification of "The Average Man" (in mathematical terms, the Lowest Common Denominator). The result is meaningless "art," tending towards shock schlock or simply bubblegum. This too is a travesty.

The truth, of course, is that there is no such thing as "equality." Human beings are different, not equal. Thus, human beings deserve, not equal treatment, but treatment befitting their abilities and value to society. The dangerous, irrational Myth of Equality must be rejected, for it is ultimately nothing more than a social cancer eating away the very fabric of civilized society.

1 comment:

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