B.W. Wojciechowski, March, 2021
The concept of equality has a well-defined meaning in mathematics. Take the example;
This is unquestionably true. It applies to all ones, everywhere. It is also true that
This too is undeniably true in every case, But the reverse is clearly not a unique statement.
is a special case. The quantity 2 can be formed by (1.5+0.5), or by (1.8+0.2), or by (4/2) or by (10–8) and an infinite number of variants such as these. Mathematicians understand that equality defines a condition where the left-hand-side of equation 3 is absolutely equal to the right-hand-side. However, the right-hand-side of equation 3 can consist of an infinite variety of components as long as they come to the same conclusion as to what is on the left-hand-side. That is what equality is. There is no requirement that the items on the right all be equal to one another.
Social scientists, willfully or ignorantly, have changed the meaning of equality when it comes to the components of a society. In essence they insist that a sum of appropriate but identical numbers (such as (1+1)) applies to all cases of equality in society whose value is 2. That is false, the right-hand-side of equation 3 need not have all constituents equal to one another in order to add up to 2. The social concept of equality, meaning that all citizens are equal has distorted perceptions of who we are, ever since this daft idea became the essence of democratic goals.
In our model of social values let the 2 represent the total output of the society, say the GDP. This can be made up of millions of fractions of the same size on the right-hand-side of equation 3 or of a mix of values both positive and negative, differing from one another in size. That is the situation in society where individual efforts compose the value of the GDP. The contributors to the total output are not all equal nor are they all positive. The fact is that the social right-hand-side will be composed of a great variety of possible contributors. The contributors are rarely equal to one another and their mix will vary from society to society and from generation to generation. Policies which aim to value all citizens equal are burdensome, counterproductive, and plain wrong.
One may argue that equality in the social sense does not mean what it does in mathematics. Well, then, let us use more appropriate language. Democracy does not aim at equality; it aims at homogenization; all citizens are equally important and deserve equal rewards from society. Ignoring for now the objections of current activists to the use of “homo’ in this well-defined word, I will leave it to the “woke” to make the term gender neutral.
If democracy is intending to homogenize its citizenry it is doing a disservice to society and humanity at large. People may be equal in the eyes of God but not in their capabilities and inputs as citizens. We presently admit to this by the existing differences in pay and status; though there are those who believe in equal pay for all! It’s their benighted idea of a “fair” democracy. What we actually fail to do is use these differences among individuals to optimize the functioning of society for our common good.
It is tragic that we have been so misled by the meaning of the word equality. It is even more troubling to see how much strife and harm this misunderstanding has caused. One is tempted to say that subliminal disregard for this nonsense has in fact always been the engine of progress. A number of societies have collapsed due to diligent efforts to homogenize their populations; think of Cambodia where millions were massacred because they did not fit the official concept acceptable citizens. Other regimes that survived proclaiming homogenized societies owe their survival to a blatant but sub-rosa differentiation among their citizens; think of the USSR or China.
It is high time to devise a fair and rational system of differentiating the talents and contributions of citizens without instituting a hereditary caste system or exposing individuals to a feeling of obnoxious superiority or rankling inadequacy. Our ideologies should be “preaching” the undeniable truth that all men do not remain equal after they are created. What they are is individual humans with their idiosyncrasies and individual fates and deserve to be treated fairly as they travel the road of life.
The recently promoted idea of equity is threatening more madness, bureaucracy and loss of individual freedoms. I will not elaborate my thoughts on this here but raise the possibility that it threatens civilization as we know it, probably to the delight of its proponents. It appears to be even more dangerous than the idea of institutionalized equality of individuals and aims to “equalize” the interests of government recognized groupings.
I believe we can design a more rational system of democracy where human spirit can flourish to the individual’s satisfaction. I certainly do not agree with the concept of a “benevolent dictatorship” or of a “theocracy”, or a “technocracy” or any other authoritarian form of organization. I believe that governments are there to facilitate the organization of social issues according to the wishes of the citizens. I believe a well-designed democracy can invite both the participation of citizens in commenting on state affairs and help direct the talents of its citizens so as to optimize individual and social progress. All the equality we need is the equality of opportunity based on talent and an equality before the law based on the objective evaluation of facts.