The idea of equality is one that whirls all around us, we hear it so often and so convincingly that we can fall for it's seductive charm. It's sirens call is that Human conflict is artificial because under the skin we are all the same, we are all equal to each other. Here is presented a way forward for Humanity, the old tensions are old and best forgotten, the way forward is to remember that there is no difference between you and the person next to you, or on the other side of the world. Best of all equality is easy to remember and it makes people feel good as they are doing something good and resisting something bad. How could anyone oppose it in good conscience? I'll come to that.
The idea of equality isn't a Leftist idea, nor is it a Liberal one, it's origins are Christian, it comes from the belief that we are all Gods children, we are all descendant from Adam and Eve, that we are all born in original sin, that Jesus Christ died for the sins of all of Mankind, that we can all be saved, that there is a place in Heaven for all of us if we are saved. In other words we are all equal, at least in theory.
In reality the vast majority of Christians, Church and Lay, accepted that Christian fellowship was one thing and society was another. That society was hierarchical, that different people did different tasks and had different levels of wealth and obligations. For Traditional Christians there was nothing controversial in this, it was simply life. But that idea of everyone being equal in the eyes of God took on a life of it's own. It left Christianity and came back, weaving in and out of politics and theology along the way. It's origins remembered by some and never known of by others, it went out into the world and spread it's lovely message. That war could be vanquished from the Earth because two equals would see no reason to fight, that our personal relationships would be harmonious as we would see others as our equals and they would return that feeling, that no man should look down upon another man because we are all equal. It is a lovely message.
Sadly, it's not true, to hear that for the first time can be quite shocking. But let me use you, the reader and myself as examples. The chances are I've never met you but I still know we are not equal, in fact I know we are distinct individuals. Which of us is taller? Which one of us is heavier? Which one one of us is smarter? Which one of us has more technical ability? Which one of us is faster? Which one of us is better looking? Which one of us is a better dancer?
To be honest, I don't know the answer but I heavily suspect that it is unlikely that we are equal in any of these. Either you or I will be the "winner" in each of these, that much I think is clear. So in what way are we equal?
You might argue that that is not what is meant by equality. In my experience thats when people fall back upon the legal definition. That we should all be equal before the law. Ok fair enough, I like that. Unfortunately many people think it also means fairness. That people should be treated fairly regardless of who they are. In principle I think thats a fine thing to aspire too, I'm not sure how you achieve it but in principle it's a worthy goal. Others think equality means that not only are all people equal but all behavior is equal. You can see this in zero tolerance, fighting back against a bully makes you a bully, both equally guilty. Some think that equality means that outcomes should be the same, a sort of every child wins a prize attitude, except for adults. Still others think that there is something shameful if everyone is not equally good at everything.
So why is it that these are wrong?
Being equal before the law isn't wrong, it is both fair and good policy, a Traditional Conservative should always support this equality.
Being fair to all people is one of those things that sounds easy but is in reality very difficult. A big problem is that when you treat everyone equal you treat everyone the same, the distinctiveness of the individual is lost because they must now fit your or your organisations idea of fairness. One size fits all and the individual must give up their distinctiveness to fit that size. It sounds equal but is in reality incredibly dehumanizing. Here there is no perfect answer, both approaches have problems. My suggestion is to have a policy that treats people equally but that still allows for people to be individuals and different, in other words a compromise.
That all behavior is equal is mindless, it is an unintelligent anti-idea. Nothing good can come of this and it should always be rejected. It is not equality it is the promotion of bad behavior and morals, it is the rejection of standards and should not be tolerated.
Equality of outcome is one that Liberalism loves because it means they always have something to fight for. The innate differences in ability and resources that exist within the human race is the enemy here and to fight this "problem" they will call for greater Government power and involvement in peoples lives. It will not solve the unsolvable problem because it is not privilege, nor is it wealth, nor is it negative discrimination that is the enemy, here the enemy is life and peoples ability or lack there of that decides these issues.
Why is it that some people are rich and others poor? You might just as well ask why some people are healthy and others unhealthy. It is certainly unfair but it is not a right to be healthy anymore than it is to be wealthy, no matter how desirable it is. Unfortunately there are those who claim that if something is unfair in outcome it must be stopped or changed so that it can no longer occur. Many who seek this don't understand that this has been tried before, it's called Socialism and it doesn't work. The attempt to create a world of equal outcomes sounds to many as fairness but it is exactly the opposite. It takes from those who have done better and gives to others who haven't. Do you want to be operated on by a Surgeon who obtained their degree because it was fair or because they earned it? Annoyingly some people complain that that example is stupid but it simply shows that they haven't thought through the effects this idea would have, if unequal outcomes are bad then it is only a matter of time until we get the first blind surgeon. That is what equality of outcomes means.
Still others think that unless everyone is equal in every way then somehow the world is a bad place, they complain about not enough women doing certain jobs but not about men. But how often do you see them complaining about the Olympics, where not only are there winners and losers but the winners are graded? Of course they don't because their position is untenable, it is the loony side of the equality argument. They only operate on emotions and logic has no place here.
The Traditional Conservative should always support equality before the law and it is probably for the better if we compromise upon trying to treat all people equal in our personal and professional dealings. Of course that doesn't mean put yourself or others at risk, it still means using your judgement and common sense. It is an attempt for us to use our better nature instead of being hard or cynical, of course if you have good reason to be hard and/or cynical than be that way. Just don't start that way.
In regards to the other "equalities", Traditional Conservatives must reject them, they are not equal they are a rabbit warren into which there is nothing but confusion and despair. We will not gain anything, politically or as individuals by supporting or agreeing to them. Equality is not the natural state of things, it is in fact rare and extreme. We should remember that and strive to do what is right for ourselves and others instead of trying to create a false reality and then trying to force people to live in it.
Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future