First published on Alternative Right: http://www.alternativeright.com/main/blogs/untimely-observations/equality-as-an-evil/
The dominant ideology of modern Western societies upholds equality as an absolute moral good, which must, therefore, be pursued for its own sake. The morality of egalitarianism is never questioned by the establishment power structure or by the vast majority of citizens; it is, in fact, a taken-for granted assumption that exists outside the scope of acceptable debate. Predicated on the arbitrary assertion that all humans are born equal in dignity and rights, and bearer of such rights by the mere fact of being human, able to reason, or endowed with dignity (note the circular reasoning) it makes of anyone questioning the moral goodness of equality into an individual of questionable humanity. Even conservatives dare not question the moral goodness of equality, focusing instead on critiquing the methods of application. Yet, equality, despite the high-flown rhetoric surrounding it, is far from an absolute moral good. On the contrary, when we examine the consequences of equality, it is an evil. This article will first explore some of the ways in which equality is an evil and will then put forth an alternative paradigm, founded on a theory of difference.
Unfair Distribution of Reward
The pursuit of equality’s most obvious consequence is the unfair distribution of reward. Because individual capabilities are always different, equality cannot be achieved without taking rewards from the deserving and reallocating them to the undeserving. Thus, talent, industry, thrift, diligence, discipline, initiative, and perseverance are penalised, while inability, idleness, profligacy, indifference, negligence, inertia, and inconstancy are rewarded in the name of social justice. This is egregiously apparent in the policies of universities in the United States, where the pursuit of racial equality has led to differential admission standards that privilege the scholastically inept at the expense of the scholastically apt. In the wake of unequal outcomes in SATs by different racial groups, millions of bright, hard-working students have been excluded from the universities of their choice, particularly where these have been ivy-league universities, in the effort racially to equalise outcomes.
The irony is that an argument for egalitarianism has been the need to combat the unfairness of what egalitarians commonly refer to as ‘privilege’. Egalitarians deem ‘privilege’ bad because it is unmeritocratic, allowing some to enjoy unearned benefits. Yet, since, as we have seen, egalitarian policies still create privileged classes of individuals, who unfairly enjoy unearned benefits, it achieves the opposite of its stated goal, merely transferring ‘privilege’ from one group to another.
Unfair Distribution of Resources
Closely related to the above is the unfair distribution of resources that accrues from pursuing equality. An example has been provided by recent a news report about universities closing or scaling down science departments to make room for diversity or equality officers. It seems the salary on one such officer would be enough to fund two cancer researchers. Being an absolute moral good, for egalitarians equality needs no logical justification, but the truth is theirs is an ideology that inflicts misery and costs lives. Let us be specific with the implications. Imagine you have a young loved one who has cancer or some other degenerative medical condition. Prognosis is early death in ten or fifteen years without a medical breakthrough. The research is making slow progress. You hope science will make the breakthrough before it is too late. Then, suddenly, the relevant research centres begin closing down or scaling down science departments, while, at the same time, these centres create positions for well-paid diversity or equality officers, allocating their departments generous funds. The research now moves more slowly, pushing back that medical breakthrough you are hoping for. Your loved one now faces a more protracted illness, possibly death before a cure or a more effective drug therapy is found. And what if you are a primary carer? Misery is thus inflicted upon you too, since the cure, or the new drug therapy, takes longer or comes too late. The worry and the sorrow also affect every close relative. It is difficult quantify the extent to which this is the case, particularly as no one seems to have researched this area, but the above scenario is not unreasonable. Can equality be a moral good when these are the consequences?
Negation of Difference
In recent decades, diversity has been a catchword among egalitarians, yet the affirmation of equality is simultaneously the negation of difference. The occasional phrase ‘different but equal’ has been the egalitarians’ attempt to have their cake and eat it, but it is a logical contradiction and therefore nonsense. The argument that the equality referred to is merely equality before the law does not hold, because were it so there would be no need for a policy of differential (unfair) treatment of university applicants. The argument that the equality referred to is merely equality of opportunity does not hold either, because were it so there would be no consternation at unequal outcomes in test results among students in different racial categories, and therefore no need for unfair admissions policies. The affirmation of equality is a straight negation of difference across the board, even to the point of denying the biological existence of one of the primary sources of difference—race and gender—and of pretending that these are pure, arbitrary fictions.
Diversity is predicated on difference. The elimination of one implies the elimination of the other. Modern egalitarianism’s celebration of diversity, and its proclamation of diversity as a good worth pursuing for its own sake, are, therefore, contradictory. What is more, by criticising opponents of diversity as immoral, egalitarians fail to meet their own professed standards of morality, making egalitarians themselves immoral.
The negation of difference implies, by extension, a negation of quality, both in the sense of distinguishing attributes and of superiority. The logical end product of equality is, therefore, sameness and mediocrity, a denial of all the things that make life good and worth living. A system of belief that takes the joy out of life, a system of belief that is, ultimately, anti-life, cannot be considered moral.
Negation of Individuality
Difference is what makes us individual. To assert that everyone is equal, therefore, is to negate individuality, because individuality implies uniqueness, autonomy, non-interchangeability. None are compatible with equality. The demand for uniformity— even when made in the name of individualism—entails a demand for conformity, a renunciation of the self, a demotion or degradation of the individual. This is not just another contradiction, but an affront to so-called ‘human dignity’, and since dignity is human, equality is inhuman. A philosophical outlook that simultaneously exalts and affronts dignity is not a coherent outlook.
There are two forms of collectivism: voluntary and imposed. The state- and institutionally sponsored pursuit of equality falls under the second category. Consequently, we can describe egalitarianism as imposing a degradation of the individual in service of an abstract collectivity—a collectivity that, because abstract and therefore dehumanised, does not exist empirically. Is this moral? Not in any way we could accept.
Agent of Oppression
As we have seen from the development of egalitarianism in modern Western societies, the logic of equality presupposes the equivalence of all humans. A result is that unrestricted immigration and racial diversity become ideologically unproblematic. Because humans are differentiated on multiple levels, racially diverse societies have become, by contrast, problematic, necessitating the proliferation of norms, regulation, laws, surveillance, penalties, bureaucracies, and additional taxation in pursuit of harmonious and continued functioning. The progressive limitation of freedoms never ends, because the above-stated measures address only symptoms, not the underlying cause: difference remains, and results in different responses to each measure, which in turn create the need for further measures. Worse still, because of the need to address an increasing number of areas in an increasingly disparate population with few or no shared values or assumptions, the regulatory effort becomes not only ever more invasive and prescriptive, but also increasingly ill-fitting for everyone. (Jack of all trades, master of none.) Freedom is also eroded economically due to the growing costs of regulating, policing, enforcing, penalising, and administrating social behaviour.
Modern Western societies provide innumerable examples of this process’ oppressive nature. This goes beyond the lost careers, ruined reputations, fines, and imprisonment that may result from expressing a politically ‘incorrect’ opinion, because being consequent with politically correct opinion can also result in adverse outcomes, such as rape, robbery, rioting, and murder, all of which are linked to and are a function of racial diversity. Forcing people—and specifically one class of people—to live under increased levels of personal danger lest they wish not to lose their livelihood, reputation, and freedom constitutes oppression. Since oppression is immoral, on this count too so is equality.
Cause of Apathy and Alienation
Robert Putnam linked racial diversity in communities to apathy and alienation: individuals in racially diverse communities tend to exhibit lower levels of community engagement, higher levels of mistrust, and greater reliance on television. According to Putnam’s study, the phenomenon becomes more pronounced with greater racial diversity. The conclusion is that individuals living in racially diverse communities enjoy a lower quality of life than individuals living in racially homogeneous communities, and that the greater the diversity, the lower the quality of life. The elevated levels of crime concurrent with a declining proportion of Whites in a community further accentuate this trend. Since racially diverse societies in the West have resulted directly from the pursuit of equality, equality is causally linked to declining quality of life, and not the opposite.
Equality is not immoral if pursued voluntarily, even if those pursuing it experience a decline in their quality of life as a result. However, it is immoral if it is imposed, by the state (with its implicit threat of violence) or through social pressure, upon those who have no wish to pursue it. And it is doubly immoral if the nonconformity of those in the latter group are, as a result, and as we have seen, denied their humanity.
As has become apparent by now, equality is a destructive force on several levels. Firstly, it is destructive of individual quality, since traits that contribute toward making individuals salient in some way, including activities or ways of behaving, are disincentivised, degraded, or denied. Secondly, it is destructive of the things that make life worth living, for the same reason. Thirdly, it is destructive of human dignity, even though it claims to be for it. Fourthly, it is an agent of oppression, even though it claims to be against it. And finally, it is destructive of quality of life and communities, even though it claims to aim at improving both.
Aside from the intrinsically destructive nature of the equality ideology, the latter is further tainted by the immorality of its practitioners, for equality activism almost invariably works—though this is not always explicitly stated or even acknowledged—to the detriment of one particular class of individuals: Whites. By their actions, equality practitioners can be safely assumed to have anti-White attitudes, or be anti-White, even though in most cases they are White themselves. It is, therefore, ironic that equality practitioners deem themselves highly moral, and even arrogate to themselves the preaching of morality.
Perhaps more egregious are the crimes of communists, who justifiably comprise the most notorious class of equality zealot. Communists have murdered, imprisoned, and condemned millions to a life of misery, including artists, writers, teachers, and intellectuals. Communists have deprived Europeans of some of the latter’s best people. Communist atrocities are, indeed, the worst in world history. Even on a smaller scale, communist and congenial egalitarians have often been prone to street violence, and as their breed of activist seems more eager than any other to engage in violence when faced with divergent opinions. This may be because egalitarianism has a terrorist history, beginning with the French Revolution, a movement comprising criminals, psychopaths, alcoholics, defectives, and sociopathic geniuses. This may also be because egalitarianism attracts the worst elements of any population, since they are the ones with most to gain by equality policies.
From the above it is difficult not to see White egalitarians as suffering from an undiagnosed psychopathology, particularly when their equality activism’s long-term effect is to cause massive damage to their race, perhaps even its eventual destruction. Being perfectly analogous, such behaviour can be conceptualised as a collective tendency towards self-mutilation and / or suicide. In the case of Whites, it is reasonable, then, to treat egalitarianism as a moral defect or mental disturbance. (In the case of coloured people, egalitarianism is paid lip service in the interest of extracting concessions; in the case of a subset of Jews since the nineteenth century, egalitarianism is a strategy aimed at making Western societies more amenable to Jews.) Mental disturbance and defective morality are often linked.
The term ‘mental disturbance’ may seem disproportionate to some, given that many egalitarians sound and act like normal, well-adjusted members of society, and given also that, at least on the surface, egalitarianism represents the consensus opinion. It must be remembered, however, that this semblance of normality is a fairly common phenomenon. ‘Racism’ is now commonly considered the epitome of evil, but ‘racist’ attitudes and opinions, not to mention ‘racist’ legislation and government policies, represented until recently the consensus opinion, and were considered perfectly normal—so normal, in fact, that they were not always easy to identify, and even now new forms continue to be ‘discovered’. Identifying, and then changing, them has been the modern egalitarians’ self-imposed mission and raison d’être. We must not, therefore, allow ourselves to be deceived by apparent normality or by the apparently normalising effect of a consensus. Also, we must keep in mind that dominant ideologies always seek to perpetuate themselves by representing orthodoxy as healthy and normal, and heterodoxy as pathological and abnormal.
The pursuit of equality has been tied up with notions of social justice for so long that many may find it difficult to separate the two, and may therefore find an alternative unthinkable, or at least an evil to be avoided. Certainly, this is how egalitarians think and would like everyone else to think. We would propose, however, that the reverse is true, and that a superior paradigm might be one based on the desirability of difference.
A theory of difference is not ‘diversity’ as egalitarians understand the term. The ‘diversity’ of egalitarians refers to humans who may look different, but who, apart from individual personality and socially constructed differences, are essentially equivalent and interchangeable. This, of course, is too one-dimensional to constitute diversity, for it denies the validity of group attributes that contribute to identity. A theory of difference defines diversity as it is meant to be defined, and embraces the multidimensionality of human difference, both at the individual and collective levels.
Under a difference paradigm, therefore, we would expect individuals and groups to be different, even to diverge significantly from our own baselines, rather than expect them to be the same or to have failed when they showed no sign of convergence with us. We would respect difference as a matter of individual or group prerogative. And even where difference may result in instances that are repugnant to us, we would not for that reason cease to consider difference generally a font of riches, for the possibility of difference is a precondition for excellence and the extraordinary.
Sample Policy Implications
Alert readers who are familiar with my earlier writing on Haiti and Sub-Saharan Africa should immediately see the policy implications. Below are some examples.
Firstly, if difference is good and a matter of prerogative, it follows that allowing genetically and culturally distant settlers from the Third World to settle in Western nations is detrimental to the uniqueness of those nations. Immigration is not necessarily an evil, but under a difference paradigm immigrants would be immigrants, rather than settlers, and therefore appellants to the established authority, whose prerogative it would be to grant or deny admission on the basis of the incomers’ potential for assimilation. Diverse regions or nations would be seen as inimical to a diversity of regions or nations, for the ability for each to define themselves on their own terms would be a precondition for that diversity.
Secondly, an earthquake in a country like Haiti would not be a call for reconstruction. Haiti cannot be regarded as a Western nation, even if it is geographically in the West and was originally a European colony, for it is not populated or run by descendants of Europeans. At the same time it is right and proper, and often advantageous, that nations cooperate with one another. Under a difference paradigm, Haiti’s economic performance and political instability would not be seen as a failure, as it is under an equality paradigm, but rather the result of artificially imposing Westernisation on what is essentially a remote West African outpost. Any international assistance, therefore, would aim at de-escalating Westernisation and facilitating convergence with West Africa’s historical baselines. (I say historical, because West Africa is presently also still suffering from a European colonial syndrome.) Efforts would aim at environmental recovery and Haiti’s gradual, managed conversion to a sustainable non-industrial society. It would then no longer be measured or included in international corruption, transparency, or ‘development’ indices because these Western parametres would have become irrelevant. Should at any point Haitians decide to pursue a Western-style model, it would be their prerogative, but they would be left to do it—indeed succeed or fail—on their own terms, not by terms imposed by any Western nation.
Thirdly, while it would be possible for a Black African-descended student to apply for admission at any Western university, admission would be conditional on the availability of spaces and on meeting the same minimum standards of academic aptitude as those of the White European-descended students. The curriculum would be defined by Whites, for Whites, and it would be assumed that any non-White student attending the university was there to study that curriculum and to be measured against Western academic criteria. No effort would be made to increase the proportion of Blacks simply on the basis of statistical under-representation, as all else being equal this would be considered the result of difference, rather than a problem. Tests would be revised for accuracy of measuring the academic aptitude of Whites, not for improving the academic performance of Blacks or any other group’s. Conversely, Black-run universities would not be expected to meet criteria set up by Whites for other Whites, but rather to meet criteria set up by Blacks for other Blacks.
Finally, a non-Western nation’s success or failure would not necessarily be a function of their degree of Westernisation. A prehistoric society could well be considered successful if it thrived on its own terms; its prehistoric nature would not necessarily be seen as a deficiency, for it may well be that a recorded history, complex organisation, and techno-industrial development are not relevant to, or needed, in that society, in its particular environment. We would no longer use the euphemism ‘underdeveloped’ or ‘developing’ or even ‘poor’ to refer to nations that do not meet Western baselines of wealth and complexity. In fact, techno-industrial or economic development would not be an objective measure applicable to all nations, for difference theory would in many cases regard these as irrelevant. A desirable consequence would probably be reduction of debt, for many regions of the world would eventually fall off the horizon of the money system—a matter with significant ramifications.
This, and the theory of difference in general, is a big topic and I can only sketch it out here in very general—and for some perhaps vague or overly abstract—terms. It will need much more serious elaboration across a range of contexts and disciplines, so for now it will be up to the reader to tease out the talking points and formulate them in ways that resonate emotionally. The potential benefits, however, are huge, for if the morality of equality were to be dismantled completely, the egalitarian Left would be delegitimised in the public discourse as an untenable proposition, and the equality project would implode as evil and absurd.