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EQUALITY

1221. The great promise of socialism is "equality." But "equality' is a Procrustean bed into which real, competitive, and unequal human beings simply will not fit. The attempts to make them fit explain why socialist experiments  eventually end as dictatorships.

1214. Aiding the unfortunate should never be referred to as "reducing inequality" -- since that suggests that "equality" is a desirable goal. It is not: the attempt to attain the unattainable is coercive and stupid. "Aiding the unfortunate" should be referred to as "aiding the unfortunate."

1213. We are witnessing a period of self-loathing in western societies which is based on a sense that "equality" is the bedrock reality of the human condition. Using that standard, everything which is "successful" offends the egalitarian moral imperative, and, in that sense, is a failure. Conversely, anything manifestly unsuccessful represents an oppressed virtue in dire need of promotion and respect.

1212. Human beings respond to incentives; they are inherently competitive. Just as the competitive spirit cannot be allowed unfettered reign, neither can it be extinguished. Those who attempt to do so -- under the banners of virtue and equality -- are not merely foolish; given sufficient power, they become dictators -- and murderers.

1206. The just society does not promote equality, rather, it removes barriers to self-fulfilment. It allows capitalism as the most efficient economic system, but mitigates its Darwinian effects by alleviating need.

1202. The law of the survival of the fittest is cruel, but axiomatic and irrefutable. As civilizations focus on equality, rather than merit, so they ensure their decline.

1201. Socialism, multiculturalism, and political correctness are all informed by the principle of equality. Since "equality" is an unattainable ideal state, coercion and oppression are intrinsic to all three.

1200. What evils are wrought in the name of "equality!" It is the Procrustean bed into which the great unequal masses of mankind must be forced in order to proclaim that "virtue" has been achieved.

1199. The strand of self-loathing currently so evident in western civilization may be attributed to the idealistic focus on equality. All western achievements fail the egalitarian test; true virtue is to be found in cultures less competent, and less successful -- the traditionally disparaged. Even  directly antithetical cultural values must be spared criticism in the name of "equality." 

1198. When equality is the measure, all success is tainted by failure.

1183. We live in an age of "necessary equality." The truth -- that things are inherently unequal -- must be denied at all costs.

1176. Those who murder for the "correct" socialist reasons seem to be judged on their fine egalitarian intentions – never on their ruthless means and disastrous results. (Ireland issues Che Guevara stamp.)

1172. The great revolutionary truth that hardly dares to speak its name: some things are better than others.

1171. We live in a time of universal deceit -- and there is little appetite for revolution. "Equality" is the pleasant lie which underlies multiculturalism, socialism, and, indeed, political correctness itself.

1169. Everyone knows that people are not equal. That is why it is necessary to keep insisting -- with such vehemence and conviction -- that they are. That is why we are always willing to give socialism one more chance.

1167. The most dangerous men are those who have -- or pretend they have -- a vision of an egalitarian society. That noble end will justify a tsunami of oppressive means.

1166. The secret to a successful murderous dictatorship is to call it socialism.

1165. Emphasizing equality rather than merit will work -- as long as you are not in competition with realists.

1157. Socialism pretends to equality; but the distinction -- the inequality -- between the central planners and those who must fit into their plan reveals the intrinsic and fatal flaw in the pretence.

1154. Socialism promises the ideal of equality; it fails to note two pertinent truths: equality is not actually attainable in the real world -- and the attempt to achieve the impossible is invariably oppressive and coercive.

1153. When the rallying cry is "equality," it takes a very brave man to resist. There is little to be gained from denying cherished illusions.

1152. Socialism proves -- through its repeated failures -- that equality is not in the blueprint of nature. That socialist schemes are still pursued illustrates the continuing unpopularity of reality.

1151. Churchill described the virtues of socialism and capitalism as – respectively – the equal sharing of misery and the unequal sharing of blessings. What the Canadian health care system shows is even less flattering to socialism: despite the pretence, even the sharing of misery is unequal.

1150. Socialism teaches a valuable -- although very expensive -- lesson: societies cannot function on the principle of equality. Unfortunately, idealists are very slow learners.

1149. Socialism: the aim -- equality; the result -- stupidity.

1133. The great intellectual failure of the left is to assume that ideal conceptions represent viable alternatives in real life. It is easy to proclaim virtue by being on the side of peace, tolerance, and equality. But peace may entail self-destruction, tolerance of evil allows it to spread, and equality -- if it were actually attainable -- implies mediocrity, stasis, and the cessation of progress. Choosing -- in the real world -- usually involves determining the lesser evil. 

1132. Political correctness attempts to realize -- on earth -- a heaven of equality, with saintly concomitants of benign tolerance and universal respect. The problem is that equality is not in the blueprint of natural things, and what political correctness exposes -- unintentionally -- is the gargantuan gap between the ideal and the real.

1131. When excellence plays second fiddle to diversity, the performance will suffer. (The more refined version of #1130)

1130. When excellence plays second fiddle to diversity, the tune will stink.

1120. Political correctness aims for a world of equality where feelings are triumphantly unhurt; the attempt is oppressive, and ultimately must founder on the implacable truth: feelings can never be sacrosanct, and equality is not in the blueprint of natural things.

1118. Socialism illustrates the tyranny of the ideal: it invariably leads to dictatorship.

1099. Political correctness invariably leads to moral relativism -- because the commitment to "equality" precludes judgment. The criticism of ideas -- the suggestion that some ideas are better than others -- is considered unseemly and hurtful of feelings. But ultimately, basic judgments about life are necessary. It is better to be free than to be enslaved; it is better to be comfortable than in pain -- to be fed and sheltered rather than hungry and exposed. It is better to be confident than fearful. It is better to have more opportunities for self-fulfilment rather than fewer. It is better to live a long life than a short one. One may quibble at the edges of such assumptions -- there may be occasions when death is preferable to life -- but, quibbles aside, cultures can -- and should  -- be judged.

1085. Mr. Dawkins has noted the "epidemic" of restrictions on open speech. The pathogen responsible is the notion of equality; the disease is called political correctness. In the ideal world, people, cultures, and religions -- even ideas -- except those which deny the very premise of equality -- are equal. Thus criticism becomes "unfair" and -- the ultimate in tragedy -- hurtful of feelings. The ideal world is, necessarily, a restrictive and coercive factor in the real one.

1064. Life, at its core, is not egalitarian, but competitive. This fact may be deplored, and competition may be beneficially modified in the interests of "equality" -- but it can never be eliminated. The attempts to create egalitarian societies -- socialist states -- are coercive cures worse than the disease they are meant to remedy. All socialist societies are Procrustean beds -- they invariably become dictatorships as they attempt to force real, natural, competitive inequalities into a theoretical framework of equality.

1062. It is fashionable to proclaim -- especially in the interests of compassion and tolerance -- that unequal things are equal. In this manner, stupidity is enhanced, while the reality remains unchanged.

1021. Central planning can never achieve the promised equality -- for its premise is the existence of two unequal classes: the planners and the planned.

1015. Capitalism works because it recognizes and gives scope to the competitive instinct. Socialism doesn't work because it pretends that people don't want to compete -- they want to be equal. It's the distinction -- once again -- between what works and what sounds good.

1005. God, Equality, and the Easter Bunny have a lot in common.

996. The attractive theory is equality; the plain reality is hierarchy.

987. Sometimes the request for "equal treatment" is mere artful dodgery: the aim is, in fact, "special treatment."

907. Merit gets things done; "Equality" makes us feel good. But ultimately, feelings are no substitute for facts.

901. Socialism has a magnificent vision: a crystal palace of equality for all. Such edifices are doomed to fail -- since no one has found a way to construct the crystal people required to inhabit them.

885. It is currently fashionable to wallow in the misery of hurt feelings, and to vie in delineating degrees of outrage and victimization. When equality claims it is in bad taste to succeed -- triumph can still be found -- in complaint, frustration, or failure. Perhaps there is some comfort to be taken from the fact that the competitive spirit has not been entirely extinguished.

881. In dealing with some claims for "equality," it is necessary to distinguish between reasonable accommodation and the tyranny of the minority.  Sometimes "equality" looks like special treatment for those whose claim is based on subjective perceptions of oppression.

879. A revulsion against the manifest inequities of the real world has led to extraordinary and draconian attempts to create an ideal world of equality. The oppression necessary to create the ideal is self-defeating; failure is assured.

872. Reducing inequality is like extending lifespan -- very desirable, but subject to limitations, and not the sole purpose of existence.

862. The removal of barriers to participation may be described as a passive approach to promoting equality. An active approach involves the use of quotas and reverse discrimination, which is a cure at least as troubling as the disease. The implicit assumption is that equality is in the natural order of things. It is not.

857. Inequality is the bite of the apple -- the original sin -- both necessary and deplorable -- at the heart of all existence.

812. Each society must determine how much liberty should be sacrificed for security and equality.

811. Equality is no friend to liberty.

810. Schemes to promote equality invariably involve a loss of liberty.

809. The greater the freedom, the greater the inequality.

794. Equality is a fool's game; there's always someone richer, smarter, or better looking. It's better to try for your personal best.

754. Multiculturalism and socialism are conceptually attractive, but thoroughly impractical. One proclaims the equality of cultures, the other the equality of men. But to cherish equality is to reject what works -- merit, competence, and accomplishment. 

753. Equality looks like a peach, tastes like a lemon.

752. Equality is a false God, but a true Devil. His worshippers never achieve the promise of his name, but effectively seek to destroy competence, excellence, and achievement.

741. "Equality," "tolerance," "faith," ‘science" and "racism" are some of the most dangerous words in the English language – because they all encompass unjustified assumptions.

"Equality" is assumed to be the natural state of things, or a state towards which things should be -- virtuously -- manoeuvered. But while equality of opportunity and treatment are worthy aims, it is inequality -- not equality -- which is at the heart of all change, all life, and all progress. "Equality" is not attainable, except -- perhaps – in stasis, finality, and death. The true motive of those claiming to seek equality is generally improvement. Anyone who attains equality in some respect will not be satisfied; he will seek further improvement, even if that should result in inequality.

"Tolerance" and "faith" are assumed to be universally benign; but focus and direction are the determinants: tolerance of murder, or faith in a God who approves of human sacrifice, slavery, or cannibalism can hardly be considered virtuous.

"Science" suggests the authority of facts, and a reliability of prediction; but too often the term is applied to matters of mere hypothesis, to conclusions preliminary or premature, or to pronouncements made by those with expertise in a field labelled "scientific." Only a record of consistent predictive success gives evidence of a scientific understanding of how the world works.

"Racism" is used as a term of irrefutable opprobrium; it is often applied – not legitimately – to an irrational disapproval of race -- but illegitimately -- to simple criticisms of cultural ideas and practices.

721. Equality is the dream; competition is the reality.

719. Whenever anyone sets out to prove that equality and brotherhood are the central truths of the human condition, they are challenged by merit, and are overcome by competition.

708. We are the temporary achievement of relentless change and ceaseless striving; yet, like the flower that disdains the supportive soil and forgets its roots, we yearn for unwitherable bloom, and a quiet, unhurried garden of equality.

702. The idea of human equality -- a hopeful gloss of lipstick on the snout of truth.

689. "Equality" boasts of super-powers in a seductive and honeyed voice; but it is a poseur and charlatan -- always vulnerable to the kryptonite of truth.

685. Those who see equality as a legitimate goal are deluded; men seek not equality, but improvement. The bauble goal of equality -- be it reached or breached -- the desire for improvement remains.

682. The West has decided to trade in its moral compass for a shiny bauble called "equality" -- and a smug, self-congratulatory sense of "tolerance." In the end, the bargain will prove to be both debilitating and impoverishing.

664. Equality, like a spoiled child, demands attention, recognition, and reward -- whether they are deserved or not.

663. A melody is not created by selecting notes on the basis of their diversity, but on the basis of their effectiveness.

655. The despotic impulse is a human constant. It often appears cloaked as virtue -- protecting the sanctity of religion, the fragility of feelings, or the ideal of equality. It even pretends to a saving of the planet.                  

653. Truth will always be ignored if it threatens the cherished ideal of equality.

636. Society will always be torn between the pretence of equality -- in order to make people feel good -- and the need for a hierarchy of competence -- in order to make things work.

609. One thing is reliably certain -- my equality is a lot better than yours.

608. Caste and class systems represent the oppressive imposition of artificial inequality. The opposite -- the attempt to impose some degree of artificial equality -- is more laudable, but has limited scope. Equality before the law and equality of opportunity -- based on the the absence of discriminatory practices -- seem self-evidently worthy. The provision of one vote for each unequal citizen, or the taxing of the rich to provide for the poor may, on balance, be beneficial.  But the idea of imposed artificial equality -- carried too far -- denies the bedrock realities of success and failure -- and becomes just as oppressive as artificial inequality.

607. "Equality of opportunity" refers to the attempt to remove artificial barriers -- but still permits the effects of natural inequalities revealed by competition. "Equal opportunity" refers to the attempt to create an artificial circumstance of equal access to opportunity. "Equality of result" refers to the attempt to deny, by artificial means, any effects of natural inequalities. The range is from the admirable to the unlikely to the perversely impossible.

575. People should feel valued for their unique gifts and abilities. To seek validation in equality is to ensure disappointment.

574. There is a distinction between equality of opportunity and equal opportunity. One suggests a potential; the other assumes an unachievable circumstance.

573. Equality is not in the blueprint of natural things. Thus it will not be found among living creatures.

565. The ideal is that all human beings are equal, and should not be judged on the basis of their culturally derived ideas and attitudes. The fact is that cultural gulfs can be wide, deep, and dangerous. Pretending that there is no abyss will not repeal the law of gravity.

541. No garden of equality is without its serpent of competition.

538. Blown from the pipe of hope, the shimmering, iridescent bubbles of equality eventually find their way to the uneven reality of earth.

534. The level path is easy, but it will not bring you to the mountaintop.

527. Equality offers ambrosia in a poisoned chalice -- but Merit has never acquired a taste for suicide.

478. What an odd joke life is! After eons of competitive striving, matter achieves consciousness, renounces striving, and yearns, pathetically, for the stasis of equality.

459. The ladder of progress contains the rungs of freedom, competition, wealth, and inequality. Apart from the ladder is equality -- the smooth, level, unchallenging plain. But for all its superficial attractiveness, it rejects wealth, eschews competition, and enforces conformity.

456. Inequality is the seed of progress.

452. Equality is the desirable dream; inequality is the practical necessity.

450. Just as nature abhors a vacuum, so it eschews equality.

448. There are contradictions at the heart of human existence which ensure a restless dis-ease: sentient creatures can thrive only in the unreasonable expectation of their own permanence; uplifting, co-operative, egalitarian dreams are restrictively contained in a prevailing landscape of hostile competition. In short, religious and social ideals inevitably conflict with reality.

449. Some ideas – some accomplishments – are better than others. This landscape truth of mountain and abyss will always frustrate the prairie dreams of equality.

443. The United Nations is doomed to dysfunction because it falsely assumes the equality of nations and the moral equivalence of cultures.

438. Competition -- with its implications of inequality and injustice -- is much out of favour among those of the compassionate left. To them we would pose this question: Would you rather be the product of a competitively successful sperm, or one enabled to reach its destination with the aid of an auxiliary propeller -- installed at a government-sponsored after-school remedial swimming program -- and with the charitable provision -- from the International Sperm Workers' Co-operative Brotherhood -- of a taxi service for the difficult parts of the journey?

421. Equality is motionless, bound to the level and unvarying plain; only the exceptional can touch the stars.

420. Equality is to be found locked in the abyss of stasis, mired in the paralysis of perfection. Some things are better than others; this truth is at the heart of all change, all creativity, and all progress.

408. Failures of idealism: religion, socialism, multiculturalism, the United Nations, the compulsory universal healthcare system, concerted attempts to protect ideas or people from criticism, the committed belief that equality is a "natural" state – especially the notion that equality of result is either attainable or desirable.

372. It is a common error to confuse equality of opportunity with equality of result. One is a worthy aspiration, the other an absurd fantasy -- cherished chiefly by those who have undergone voluntary intellectual spinectomies.

368. Not all ideas are equal. In the real world, fact takes you farther than fancy.

346. Some ideas are better than others. The refusal to face this simple fact lies at the heart of multiculturalism.

344. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal... (The American Declaration of Independence) This, of course, is mere pious piffle, the empty puffery of platitudinous pretense. We must conclude that declarations of independence are meant to have the flavour of ceremonial occasions – in which the pomp of oratory is expected to vie with the facade of circumstance.

324. For the mindlessly compassionate, the road to equality is paved with the uneven stones of bias.

283. The path of merit may scale the heights of progress; the even road of equality -- contained in an imaginary fixed point of stasis -- leads nowhere.

252. Progress is achieved by evolution; evolution is the antithesis of equality. No one who wants progress wants equality.

230. Equality, that unexamined, almost universal desire, is inextricable from stasis -- and stasis is indistinguishable from death.

229. Capitalism can never be harnessed into the service of equality, for that is a blue-horned unicorn, a chimerical creature of the imagination run wild.

227. It has been oft observed that, while capitalism tends to create a disparity of wealth, the socialist alternative offers only a pretence -- a mask of equality slipped over the face of poverty.

221. The height of prosperity is not reached by traversing the even, level plain of equality; rather it is achieved by ascending the challenging and competitive slope of improvement.

220. Of all words, few are more dangerous than the word "equality."

183. Reality is Darwinian; man’s aspirations, egalitarian. From this obdurate dichotomy flows much disappointment, dissatisfaction, and despair.

168. When equality is the aim, mediocrity is the result; when excellence is the aim, equality finds its true place.

131. Equality is admirable as one lamb in the fold of justice–an impartial gatekeeper to public benefit and private opportunity; worshiped blindly as an all-encompassing principle, it is transformed: the tiger is unleashed, the essential cruelty, the Procrustean essence, comes inevitably, relentlessly, to the fore.

127. Those who would be reluctant to subscribe to the general proposition that "the end justifies the means," may yet see no difficulty in instituting preferential treatment in order to advance equality.

126. The modern fool is a strange creature indeed; he will readily admit the observable variability of natural talent: that A runs faster than B, that B is wittier than C, and that C is more eloquent than D–and yet take great offense at the dismissing of the old canard: "All men are created equal." We can only assume that the price of contentment is high, and folly the only coin suitable in the effecting of its purchase.

125. To strive for--and in some cases achieve--equality of opportunity, or equality of treatment, is a welcome enhancement of the light of human progress; to expect–or demand--equality of result is to call forth doomed yet disruptive forces which lurk in the abyss, in the profound, dark craters of human ignorance.

124. The road to equality envisioned by the socialists passes through a valley of corrective fire, the flames of which are as unsurvivable as they are perceived to be purifying.

117. The left has an admirable but single-eyed concern for mercy–the raising of the unfortunate to a state of equality; what is missing in its vision is a concern for merit, that element of justice which dismisses equality, and acknowledges the legitimacy of both failure and success.

102. Equality fascism is the authoritarian impulse directed at the creation of equality. Since equality is as unachievable as it is desirable, the impulse is both persistent and perilous; it inevitably involves the sacrifice of common sense notions of justice and freedom.

80. The harmony of civilization rests in finding a balance between the Darwinian realities of competition and hierarchy--and the ideal of equality. This balance is a matter of individual perception and circumstance, and, like the perfect shade of green, will always elude a final determination.

67. The ideal of equality in human affairs will always be undermined by the persistence of variation and preference, and by the realities of failure and success.

41. Equality of opportunity is difficult enough to achieve; equality of result is like the unicorn, a fanciful construct of the human imagination.

40. The desire for "equality" is the desire for improvement; no one seeks the equality which would involve a reduction in his circumstance. "Equality" once achieved--the desire for improvement remains--even if it should result in inequality.

39. Equality is as rare as the unicorn, and as possible as the seamless reconstruction of Humpty-Dumpty.

13. Affirmative action is simply discrimination with a pretty face.

8. If, in the interests of equality, single-celled organisms had adopted the governing philosophy of socialism, the present population of the world would consist entirely of single-celled organisms. Variation: If, in the interests of an ideal circumstance, single-celled organisms had chosen equality as the ultimate good, then the present population of the world would consist entirely of single-celled organisms.

7. Socialism places much store in the notion of equality, but all it can provide is equality of  poverty.

6. Equality is the enemy of advancement, and of wealth.