The Price Of Egalitarianism

September, 2008 Feature--Truth Based Logic


Synopsis
Egalitarianism: Destructive effects on liberty, education, health care, moral values, ethnic (family) continuity, social programs & domestic tranquility. Epicycles of the mind.

Active in the fight against Socialist & Collectivist movements of every sort, over the decades, we created this web site as an attempt to arm a new generation of Conservatives, both American & foreign, with arguments for which no Socialist, Communist, Egalitarian or Utilitarian Collectivist, has an answer. While examples are many, at the core of almost every major controversy of the 21st Century is an agitation--a facet of an ideological pestilence, infecting humanity for over two centuries--premised upon the notion of the equality of mankind: An equality both of potential & entitlement. As the purveyors & promoters cooperate in varied manifestations, the cumulative effect of the pestilence has impacted virtually every aspect of public policy, both domestic & international; indeed, almost every aspect of social, political or moral ideology, or direction.

We do not imply that there should not be equal access to Courts of Justice, within a political society; nor ever advocate unfair dealings between individuals, communities, tribes or nations. By "Egalitarian," we mean theorists, politicians, demagogues, advocates & opportunists, who seek power over the lives of other people, to pursue Collectivist Egalitarian ends. These fall into two definable, yet overlapping, classes: The first, are those who postulate never supported theories of an equality of individual potential--both within any community and across tribal, ethnic & racial lines--as a rationalization for employing collective power to redistribute the fruits of labor & ingenuity; Socialists, who seek to level society, both in a macro & micro sense.

The second, are those in a broader, parallel, pursuit, who seek to undermine the unique character and cultural heritage of existing communities, tribes, nations and states, with multi-cultural promotions, in which there are at least implicit suggestions of human interchangeability; those seeking a Collectivist consolidation of power over greater aggregations of persons. The latter pursuit has taken varied forms over the past century. Examples would include Nazis crushing States' Rights, to create a totalitarian Socialist Utilitarian monolith in Germany in the 1930s; a somewhat parallel--yet more restrained--aggrandizement of Federal power in America in the same era; forcing tribal nations, caught within broad maps drawn by former Colonial powers, to remain within Colonial borders, after receiving nominal "independence"; a Socialist dogmatism, being forced on the diverse peoples of Europe by the EU, today; as well as the former Soviet Union.

While our usual response, to the impact of Egalitarian argument, has emphasized the fallacies of the dogma; this month we focus on the social costs--both material & spiritual--experienced in those categories of political & social concern, most heavily impacted by a promotion of Egalitarian premises. Yet, even in this, we must repeat earlier observations on the compulsive nature of Egalitarian movements:

A Compulsion For Uniformity

One of the first features, posted at this web site almost ten years ago, A Compulsion For Uniformity, set forth the thesis that "modern Liberalism"-- actually Fabian Socialism--was motivated by the same neurotic compulsion for uniformity, as drove Communists & National Socialists in the construction of monolithic totalitarian societies over great aggregations of people. We have explored the neurotic roots of Collectivist movements, which seek uniformity in one form or another, in other essays; and have reprinted material from other writers, who have dealt with the nature of fanaticism in various historic manifestations. [See Faces Of Fanaticism, The Pestilence Of Fanaticism, Racial Denial In America--Politics In A Pavlovian Kennel, School Killings vs. "Something of Value" & The Feminist Delusion, linked below, as examples.] Yet the most compelling evidence that in studying modern Egalitarianism, we are dealing with compulsion, not reason, may be afforded by comparing the behavior of the proponents, when the subject is Mankind, with the behavior of any rational person with respect to virtually any other subject within the ken of Man.

Consider how Egalitarians in Academia and the media react to studies--even personal observations--of fundamental differences in the characteristics of definable human stocks. Contrast efforts to define, characterize or distinguish the unique qualities, even the nuances, of any other item of human interest. People engaged in raising horses have no problem with efforts to classify different equine breeds or varieties. Rather, they welcome the scrutiny. It is precisely the same with breeders of cats, dogs, swine, cattle. Zoologists are constantly discovering and cataloguing new variations of a vast array of species; botanists, of a vast array of new varieties of flora. No one has an emotional problem with such ongoing progress in defining and cataloguing. Nor is there a problem with studies in the inorganic world of elements and minerals; none in cataloguing the immense range of variation in the products and inventions of human ingenuity.

No collector of antique cars, no student of architecture, has any problem with the ongoing process of refining definitions, classifying differences or cataloguing variation. Whether the subject is sport or literature, the seekers of more refined perceptions--better statistics in the one, or better characterizations in the other--never have to fear being hissed at on the campuses of "higher education," being shouted down in the lecture halls, or fired from jobs in the media! Not since the fanaticism, which for a time defended the concept of a flat earth at the heart of a geocentric universe, has Mankind witnessed anything so pathological as the contemporary need to pretend human equality. And, whereas the present compulsion actually interferes with the immediate well being of all peoples--both men & women of every race--the "flat earth" obsession, prior to the age of exploration and discovery, had few if any immediate consequences for the average person.

But consider the price we pay for indulging the present compulsion:

Egalitarianism & Liberty

The recurring conflict between Liberty & Equality was well addressed by the late R. Carter Pittman of the Georgia Bar, who defended Liberty against a frenetic Egalitarian push for what were labeled "Civil Rights" in the 1950s & 1960s. We deal with the conflict between traditional American Liberty and "Civil Rights" in Chapter 19 of the Conservative Debate Handbook, and in other essays. Clearly,Government can not equalize circumstances without infringing individual freedom. This is no less true, when private property owners are told that they may no longer favor particular types in employment, or the use of their property, than in an outright confiscation of the fruits of their labor & ingenuity, for the purpose of redistributing wealth. In point of fact, "Civil Rights" laws effectively socialize key attributes of private property without compensation.

Yet while "Civil Rights" laws represent a direct attack on individual liberty, in pursuit of Egalitarian values, they are but an extreme example of an Egalitarian bias involved in a more general misuse of Government as a personal problem solver; one able to unilaterally extend its powers to pursue popular Utilitarian fantasies of "the greatest good for the greatest number." The Welfare State--see How The Welfare State Works, linked below;--Keynesian efforts to artificially stimulate an economy at the expense of sound money (Chapter 16, Conservative Debate Handbook); and a "Progressive Tax" structure that imposes punitive rates on the efforts of free men & women, who actually succeed (Chapter 26, Conservative Debate Handbook), with proceeds being spent to do for others what they once were expected to do for themselves; all reflect Egalitarian premises; all have the net effect of restricting the liberty of productive individuals in their ability to fully enjoy and pass on the fruits of individual and family pursuits.

More ominous, even than these, is an engine that continues to push our political system to the Left: Universal suffrage, based on Egalitarian theory, that has eliminated every restriction previously intended to produce a qualified electorate; to allow almost anyone--even those effectively bribed by Welfare programs--to vote for those who bribe them (Chapter 10, Conservative Debate Handbook).

Egalitarianism & Education

The fatuous "No Child Left Behind" Act illustrates two particularly destructive effects of Egalitarianism. Anyone, who ever sat in a classroom with more than a handful of students, knows that the stated object is absurd. There is no way that it would ever be possible to educate all children to the same level. Some have aptitudes in one direction, others in another. Some may be at least reasonably able in most fields; some will be poor prospects in any. The point is not to disparage anyone; but a recognition of differences is essential, if a school or teacher is to do the best possible for each child.

For a time, public schools could minimize problems from the varied aptitudes of enrolled students, by adopting tracking mechanisms, where those with better academic potential would be provided one curriculum, those with better mechanical skills, another. But the problem, there, was that the aggregated profiles of those, falling in one track or another, tended to refute the myth of racial equality--or even equivalence;--to refute the pretended interchangeability of human races, which had provided a rationale for the great Leftward surge in American Jurisprudence in the 1950s & 1960s. The result? The interests of the children were sacrificed to the mythology of collectivist Egalitarianism! We discussed the sad price that minority children had to pay in the Conservative Debate Handbook (Chapter 5). Yet those American White children, unable to escape stultifying public school systems in American cities, have paid a similar price.

Children, denied any real benefit, are far more apt to drop out of school, or to become disruptive if they remain. Another price America pays for Egalitarianism in education, has been the "Blackboard Jungle," where children learn fear and intimidation, but very little of anything positive. Yet so great has been the public conditioning in Egalitarian fantasy, that it has become practically impossible to have a meaningful discussion of factors--such as inherited differences among students--that contribute to observed failures. Meanwhile, the demagogue's field day, blaming everyone & everything but the actual cause of any problem, continues.

Egalitarianism & Health Care

An essential first premise, in considering health care in any Western nation, is found in the Hippocratic Oath, taken by physicians for well over two thousand years: The solemn duty to never refuse help to any person! The acceptance of this obligation by Western doctors has meant that no person was too poor to obtain medical services. Further, in the spirit that accompanied that obligation, most hospitals were run by religious bodies or other non-profit or eleemosynary organizations, where no patient was ever turned away simply because he was too poor to pay reasonable charges.

At least that was the situation, when Egalitarians began to promote an ever increasing Federal involvement in American health care. The rationalization, of course, was to accomplish what private medicine had already accomplished over many centuries. Yet the price of intrusive intervention would triple the percentage of American earnings spent on health care, while creating a situation where less of those health care dollars actually went for diagnosis or treatment. It also virtually eliminated the concept of the hospital as a charitable institution. (This is discussed in greater & more specific detail in Chapter 20, Conservative Debate Handbook.)

Contrast the scene in almost any medical office, today, with that in the America that was. Whereas, a typical physician's staff in the 1940s were there to help the physician with diagnostic procedures or treatment, it is quite different now. Virtually every office is full of people processing bills, insurance forms or other paper work. In creating a system where one or another level of Government subsidizes the treatment of those defined as "eligible" (people determined by Government to be under some form of disadvantage), replacing that derived from the Hippocratic oath to protect the genuinely poor, Egalitarian politicians have created an expensive nightmare. As everything that any Government spends must be wrung, one way or another, from the productive citizenry, the result is an orgy of waste: A destruction of the achievements of the productive to little purpose but to feed the compulsions of Egalitarian collectivists.

Egalitarianism & Moral Values

Egalitarianism combines false assumptions as to human nature with a utilitarian indifference to the natural rights of the individual. As such, it is a direct challenge to the moral bases of traditional American society. While this is discussed in detail in the Conservative Debate Handbook (Chapter 9), the moral price, paid for indulging egalitarian premises, must be noted here.

First, they provide a rationalization for twisting the meaning of otherwise clear language in basic legal documents. The Constitution--a solemn compact between peoples, acting as States with Republican Governments--becomes whatever political appointees to the Supreme Court want it to mean, at any given moment in time. And substitution of situational ethics, in so profoundly important a realm, is not lost on each new generation, growing into citizenship and weighing the concept of duty.

Clearly, Egalitarianism undermines a sense of personal responsibility at every level, and across the gamut of human interaction. The loss of public morality, among office holders, is but one small effect. For the very notion of equality is contrary to that of what is unique; contrary, indeed, to a moral code that imposes a striving for what is noble, honorable and especially to be esteemed. In tending to pay people merely for existing, it destroys a work ethic that always flowed from a realization of responsibility for one's own well being; while the concomitant impression of human interchangeability, tends to weaken social benefits from strong group identity--the desire to measure up to family and community standards;--to strive for perfection, not equivalence.

In other essays, we have commented on what we described as "trashing Grandma," the influence of forced integration and the pursuit of social diversity, as excuse for young women to ignore a traditional grandmother's advice--admonitions never to fall to the level of the lower strata of other definable groups. The tragic explosion of illegitimate births in America has tended to correlate with dynamic factors, which pushed in the direction of the fantasy of human interchangeability in the 1960s and beyond. And in this aspect of the moral breakdown, we find peril to the very continuity of family structure, the essential foundation to the continuity of any people, as a people.

Egalitarianism & Ethnic Continuity

Egalitarianism, by promoting notions of human interchangeability, guilt for success, trivialization of the significance of heredity and heritable traits, even embarrassment for ethnic or racial pride or identity, is the obvious enemy of ethnic continuity. The Conservative Debate Handbook (Chapter 15) deals at length with the very relevant subject of immigration. You can also find discussion of the issues involved in immigration & ethnicity in the extensive menu, below. We will only summarize major points:

The essence of any tribe or nation is in its lines of descent, its ongoing family structure and multi-generational purpose. While others (immigrants & settlers) may enter the domains of a nation--indeed may seek and obtain acceptance into an existing nation--it is in ongoing lines of descent that any nation obtains its identity. That nature--that character--is derived from the characteristics of its rooted families; its biological stock, not its domains. While there is usually a great emotional attachment to domain--the "land where my fathers died," as in the song--that does not make anyone who happens to stumble into a nation's domain, immediately part of that nation. To lose sight of this principle, is to convert a people from being a distinct nation, to little--if any--more than a game of "musical chairs."

Egalitarians have long attacked the very concept of race and ethnicity--part of a general onslaught on human differentiation--the essential obstacle to their promotion of the fantasy of human equality; indeed, the principle impediment to the frenetic pursuit of new Egalitarian collectivist social orders. An obvious result of such attacks have been loose immigration policies that have created social havoc in almost every major Western nation. Despite propaganda, all peoples do not blend together well in local communities, which reflect the real daily needs, aspirations & social traits of their residents. Deny it how they may, anyone with eyes to see, ears to hear--and a brain to analyze--will recognize the enormous problems inherent in "multi-culturalism"--the popular newspeak for the attack on ethnic continuity. Yet conditions will only continue to deteriorate, unless we find the will to "cut the "Gordian knot" of Egalitarian pretense.

Egalitarianism & Domestic Tranquility

While the greatest apparent impact of Egalitarian thought in recent decades has been in the explosion of Governmental efforts to manipulate social & economic conditions; the psychological dynamics, unleashed by Egalitarian agitation, are alone sufficient to make it very unlikely that any true social progress will ever result. Egalitarianism creates a jealous and suspicious mindset, even among the beneficiaries of Egalitarian efforts to redistribute the fruits of other people's productivity according to Socialist principles. Since Eve's response to the Serpent demonstrated the susceptibility of humans to corruptive influences, there has never been a more egregious example of how to lead Mankind on a path to self-destruction, than that achieved by contemporary American Egalitarians.

Once you cross the line between individual responsibility & unearned individual entitlement, you are on a path to moral free fall, even among a closely knit, fairly homogeneous people. But we are no longer such in America, today. Throw in racial and ethnic diversity on the present scale, and you have a condition that can only continue to feed upon itself. No matter what you do for any subset of the population, given an Egalitarian background; given the proclaimed acceptance of human equality, both as a goal and as an underlying biological reality; given the acceptance of inherent Egalitarian fallacies; one group or another will always feel it has a major grievance. Indoctrinating children in the schools; bombarding adults via the entertainment, as well as the "News" media, with Egalitarian concepts and expectations; Egalitarian collectivists have created a self-sustaining cancer in the vitals of American society. The mechanism is not difficult to grasp.

Any group, failing to achieve at even an average level, in any area of focus, will demand the attention of the collective. Others will resent any assistance involving unequal treatment; though they, in turn, may demand assistance where they fail in some other area of focus. The process has & will inevitably feed upon itself, growing ever uglier. Indeed, even the most basic human bond--the instinctive one between man & woman, upon which all human continuity depends--has already been corrupted by Egalitarian efforts to turn perception of the sexes into that of competing interest groups. Egalitarianism is the most destructive influence on any interactive relationship. It causes ill feeling between the sexes, races, classes & families, because it creates false bases for the analysis of social problems; leading only to resentment, never what is constructive.

At the core, always, is a denial of the fundamental reality of human difference; of different aptitudes, peculiarities of personality, thought and behavioral tendencies, flowing from real differences. But no one can acknowledge those differences without puncturing the airy fantasy at the heart of Egalitarian thought. Thus we are condemned to a deteriorating social malaise, afflicting almost every element of the population, unless, and until, we come again to understand that equality is no fit goal for human aspiration; that Egalitarianism is not an ideal, rather--as in our April, 2007 Feature--"The Greatest Mischief Ever Wrought."

Epicycles Of The Mind

In the era before it was understood that the earth was round, and neither the center of the universe nor of our own Solar system, resourceful students of astronomical observation explained the apparent deviation of the other planets, from paths that would have been consistent with a geocentric system, by constructing imaginary epicycles in their orbits. These were perfectly designed to account for all divergence from expected paths; designed to uphold the geocentric result, wished for, against the more reasonable actual reality. It has been much the same with Egalitarian efforts to pretend that all human stocks have roughly the same potential. Instead of being cited as authoritative texts on American College campuses, writings by the likes of Ashley Montagu or other followers of the Boas school of Cultural Anthropology, and those of such as Gordon Allport on "prejudice" (see Chapter 16, Conservative Debate Handbook), should be studied as examples of wish driven, contrived & tortured, rationalization, typical of a fanaticism that must deny reality.

This is, perhaps, the greatest price that we pay for indulging Egalitarianism in America & in the West, generally. We have allowed a sham science to provide a dramatic, living, example of the unreliability of our perceptions of human academic & scientific progress; a throwback to an earlier age--yet one in which the promulgated errors were far less destructive than those of the present era. This fantasy, enforced with a fanaticism exceeding that which fought so long and hard for a "flat earth" & geocentric universe, may end all hope of ever actually solving any of the serious problems, inherent in man's efforts to live at peace with his neighbors. The reality is that nothing was ever contributed towards the solution to any problem, which began with a self-inflicted ignorance of that problem's cause. The mythical ostrich, his head buried deeply in the sands of self-inflicted ignorance, is no model for anything but disaster.

William Flax





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