Friday, May 24, 2024
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Quality or equality? Pick one


TODAY we are saturated in symbols which have no connection to reality. They are not patterned on something you can see and touch. Equality is one such idea. So is the even more nebulous ‘equity’.

These concepts sound nice. Well, the first one does. The second, like all jargon, just arouses suspicion that someone is up to something. This is another function of words which have been made up to describe things which are not there. The words themselves disguise this basic fact.

Equality sounds nice because decent people accept that they should not treat people differently based on their difference. This is a simplification of the legal fiction of equality, wherewith we purport to treat people equally before the law when brought to court. This is not the case, but the idea remains intact for now that this is what the law should do.

This is not what is meant by practical ‘equality’. What it means is the preference for some people over others. This means power and money is to be distributed through educational advancement and opportunity, job offers and special treatment under the law and in disciplinary and performance measures. It means to replace the winners with the losers.

It should be clear that if you reward people for any reason other than merit the result will be chaos and even collapse. To prefer people on the basis of criteria excluding competence is a recipe for disaster. It is a system which penalises the talented and the intelligent, and treats aptitude as an outmoded prejudice. This does not make sense except from the point of view of sabotage. Is vandalism now a virtue, too?

The term ‘equity’ has been wheeled out of the wooden horse since the ruse of ‘equality’ is a too obvious nonsense. The dictionary still gives a definition of ‘justice according to natural law or right . . . freedom from bias or favouritism’. This is a direct contradiction of the term in practice. 

What is meant by ‘equity’ is the justification for the legal privileging of some groups over others regardless of merit. It is done in the name of some nebulous fairness, the pathological urge to contradict reality. This babble of rights is really a series of objections to the world, as if we can change the menu of life chances by complaining loudly enough. It is a clamour of empty phrases which usually brings us back to talk of ‘equality’. 

People are not equal. Men are not women, the wise and the witless cannot be made alike. To enforce ‘equality’ is to penalise the best and marginalise excellence. It is, from the point of view of civilisation, a suicidal policy. It inverts the meaning of the very words it uses to advance its project, as equality results in the unequal treatment of the best, and privileges the meritless. It does not render everyone the same but discriminates against success and the ability which drives it. You can have ‘equality’, or quality, but not both.

As with every other major concept in our declining culture it is a moral inversion, one whose apparent meaning is actually the opposite. ‘Equality’ is inequality for the worst of reasons. It makes an appeal to natural law, but has no example in nature. The decision to ‘equalise’ is made by the kind of bureaucrats who are likely themselves a product of this process. Our culture will become like a penal colony for the brilliant and the skilled if their just rewards are tossed to people incapable of fair competition. 

We are ruled by concepts which have no basis in reality, because they are the infantile dreams of utopians. Utopia is a Greek word. It means nowhere. The jargon of equality is another example of talking over the somewhere of reality to lead us all there.

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Frank Wright
Frank Wright
Frank Wright is a writer from the North East of England. He lives in Hampshire with his wife and young family. Follow him on Substack at .

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