Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mad Rant: The Lie of Equality


Whenever republicans try to argue against monarchy, they will invariably bring up the issue of “equality”. Everyone should be treated equally they say, because we are all equal even though that is complete and utter nonsense. It is a shame that this way of thinking has become so pervasive around the world because, not only is it a complete lie, but because it is actually harmful as well. We see it everywhere, in monarchies as well as republics such as in the recent trend to make monarchy more “fair” by getting rid of male primogeniture. What makes that particularly ridiculous is that it simply replaced gender discrimination with age discrimination. Why does it make sense to claim that the old way implied boys were of greater value than girls and that this can only be corrected by asserting that a first born is of greater value than a second or third born? Makes no sense to me, but that is equality for you; nonsense in a nutshell. It is a farce and always has been. The whole equality bandwagon really got going after the French and American Revolutions. And, as we all know, even in the beginning, it was painfully obvious that it was a farce. The French were crying, “Liberty, equality and fraternity” while chopping off the heads of their countrymen in the tens of thousands and it was not lost on the loyalists of the English-speaking world that many Americans who claimed that “all men are created equal” considered Black people to be “property”.

The fact is, of course, that no two things in the whole of creation are equal. No two people who ever drew breath have been equal or had an equal chance. It is an idea that does not, has not and will never exist. Furthermore, despite what republicans like to think, equality does not exist in republics either. Take the United States for example (not to pick on America, but it is the republic I am most familiar with) and no, I am not talking about the days when slavery was legal and women could not vote. Look at it today. There is no monarch, no hereditary titles and according to the law, all Americans are supposed to be “equal”. However, suppose you are a Native American. You get benefits from the government that no one else does, just because of who your ancestors are. Those ancestors were treated terribly unfairly but then so were the ancestors of African-Americans and an immigrant who just moved to America from the Ukraine or Somalia or India has to pay, in taxes, for crimes their ancestors had nothing to do with, to people who have actually suffered no such misfortune themselves. How is that treating everyone equally? All races or ethnic groups are certainly not treated absolutely equal.

Beyond that, does anyone think for a moment that it is mere coincidence that so many members of the House and Senate of the United States hold the same seats their fathers and sometimes grandfathers held before them? And this hold true in the private sector as well as the public. Look at the media; does anyone honestly believe that Jenna Bush Hager would be on the “Today” show if she were not the daughter of a President? Does anyone honestly believe that Gayle King would be on “CBS This Morning” or that anyone would even know who she is were she not Oprah’s best friend? Would Hillary Clinton, a rather lackluster lawyer from Arkansas have become a Senator for New York, presidential candidate and Secretary of State had she not been married to Bill Clinton (and gained widespread sympathy for his philandering)? Can anyone honestly say that the children of Donald Trump are treated equally and have equal opportunities as the children of, say, a garbage man from Haarlem? Were the political careers of Jeb and George W. Bush based solely on their own merits and not their last name -at all? Of course no one would dream of such a ridiculous notion. Then there are other attributes. Just speaking generally, in almost any field, a man who happens to be born looking like Brad Pitt is probably going to have an easier time than one born looking like Rodney Dangerfield just as a woman will probably have a much easier time in life if she looks like Ashley Green than if she looked like Eleanor Roosevelt.

No matter what the law says about equality, a girl who looks like she stepped off the pages of Sports Illustrated is not going to be treated the same as an overweight girl with stringy hair and a bad complexion. Governments do not and cannot change that simple fact. Even in the Soviet Union, if you were a member of the upper echelons of the Communist Party, your life was going to be a great deal better than if you were a factory worker. The ordinary people lived in dilapidated, cramped apartments and stood in bread lines. Members of the ruling elite had cars, fancy houses and vacationed on the Crimea. And that was supposed to be a regime dedicated to making everything equal and no one having more than anyone else (feel free to chuckle at that ridiculous notion). Even when people have the best of intentions (and those in the USSR certainly did not) it is evident that efforts to enforce equality only make things worse, because, again, equality does not exist and no government program or policy can enact the impossible. So, efforts to enforce equality in terms of race usually end up just making things more unfair for different races and efforts to enforce equality in terms of gender have, in many western countries today, simply made life harder for males by favoring females. Efforts to enforce income equality robs the productive to reward the unproductive and the only thing that is accomplished is that productivity goes down.

Old fashioned monarchies and aristocracies were better because they recognized the simple fact that inequality is a fact of life and so decided to just be open and honest about who was an aristocrat and who was a commoner. Again, republics all over the world have and have always had these same divisions, they are just dishonest about it and try to pretend otherwise. Massachusetts could have named the late Senator Ted Kennedy the Earl of Hyannis Port, entitled to a lifetime seat in the upper house and it would have been just the same as in actuality. I am sure some will say that, taking the Kennedy family as an example, that they started out as poor Irish immigrants and worked their way up to elite status. Which is true, mostly through black market liquor smuggling, but, yes, they started low and reached great heights. However, you could say the same for the modern Earl Nelson in Great Britain whose ancestor Horatio Nelson, the son of a preacher who entered the Royal Navy as an ordinary seaman and was raised to the peerage for something a little more remarkable than bootlegging; namely defeating the combined navies of Spain and France during the Napoleonic Wars. Surely his was the more hard earned and well deserved.

This points to one of the most often-swallowed lies of the revolutionary republicans; that monarchies with their established aristocracies were places where society was totally stagnant, where no one could advance themselves, improve their lives or rise above the station in life they were born into. This is often believed by the willfully ignorant because it is so obviously untrue. Certainly, your ancestry could be a help or a hindrance, but rising by determination and success was never totally impossible and much of this often varied a great deal based on time and circumstances and the country in question. In Renaissance Europe the Popes may have been known for their nepotism but this was also the time that the son of a butcher rose to be chancellor of England. In the Ottoman Empire, the son of an Italian doctor became Grand Vizier, in Imperial China a man born as a poor peasant became the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, readers will also recall the subject of a recent article here who rose from being a servant carrying the sandals of his lord to be the political ruler of all Japan. True, it was always difficult for someone to start out at the very bottom of society and work their way to the top, but could anyone say it is “easy” to do so today?

In a republic like the United States or France, you can start out with very little in life and eventually become President, but the odds are a million-to-one against you and your chances of making it will not be the same as someone whose father was a congressman, senator or former president. There are also many people who have observed that those who start from the bottom and claw their way to fame and fortune who are often the most arrogant, snobbish and insufferable; far more than those born to such a position, and who are most likely to begrudge others from achieving what they have. That comes to mind whenever I hear wealthy liberals calling for higher taxes on people who are rich, “like them”. They, of course, will be fine, but they are perfectly willing to make it even harder for anyone else to have what they have and live the lifestyle they enjoy. Royals and aristocrats are much more likely to view their status as a duty, at times even a burden, which they did not choose or desire but which they must fulfill. Revolutionaries view status as something to steal from those who have it and then prevent others from taking away once they themselves have it.

In traditional monarchies, hereditary privilege usually originated in some form of merit, usually some form of service and that is a major difference from today, even where monarchies still exist. In England, for example, in the old days you might gain a hereditary title for defending your country, whereas later on such titles came to be given out in large numbers simply to gain a majority for a particular party in the House of Lords. Not at all a happy development in my book. However, the traditional view had always been one of privilege going hand in hand with service and this was once quite normal in cultures all over the world. The English word “knight”, for example, originates from the German word “knecht” which meant ‘servant’ just as, on the opposite side of the world, the Japanese word “samurai” meant ‘servant’. Those entrusted with military training were expected to be honest, upright, loyal and to protect the weak and the innocent just as noble lords were expected to protect their people, both from harm and from injustice. Yet, the same people who cry the most for changes in pursuit of their impossible dream of “equality” are the same ones who have robbed traditional elites, not only of their privileges, but also of their responsibilities to those lower down on the social hierarchy. It just never works out.

The bottom line is simply this; no two people in the whole of creation are equal just as no two things anywhere in nature are equal or have an equal chance. Any two people of the same or different genders, races, social status or income will be superior to the other in some ways and inferior in others and nothing can ever change that simple fact of life. Everyone is different and equality requires everyone and everything to be the same, something that is not possible and never can be made so. Trying to do so only results in making things worse for everyone in the long-run. Those of more traditional times had a better way; a way developed over centuries of learning by experience, to accept the inequalities of life, to recognize and “legitimize” them so as to ensure that strong will have a duty to protect the weak and so on so that a more balanced and stable society might be maintained. In our modern, chaotic and uncertain times, we would do well to remember that. However, I cannot be too optimistic at present given how easy it is for the pro-”equality” crowd to use envy to stir up the masses for their own, limited benefit. To my mind, simple equality under the law would be a more worthy and somewhat more obtainable goal, yet even that seems a hopelessly distant ideal that very few people these days are even interested in pursuing. But, maybe it’s just me … The Mad Monarchist

12 comments:

  1. I don't know how you come up with these excellent rants M.M. but they are Spot On!

    Sorry Republicans but a King IS more important than a president (among the reasons is that a King won't sell his country down the river for personal gain)

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    1. To be fair, the Duke of Courland did sell off his entire Duchy to the Russians because he was personally broke...
      But certainly if they did, it'd be more honest and direct.

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  2. I totally agree with you on this matter, MM. I am baffled by the fact that some people still believe the lie that humans are created equal. Individual human beings are never equal to each other because they are not created to be equal in the first place. Each of us is born different biologically from each other in countless ways ranging from physical characteristics, intelligence, and natural talents. Unfortunately, few people are born with genetic disabilities while most of us are perfectly normal.

    Although some people may say that equality on the US Constitution is about being equal before the law, why is something so racist and discriminating like affirmative action still being enforced? Also, if we are all equal, then we should all pay the same tax rate regardless of the amount of incomes each of us earns. Since we humans tend to judge others based on their appearances, there is the question of beauty, one of the few subjective opinions that are universal among different cultures.

    The republican argument that monarchy is an obstacle to equality is utter nonsense. But, I guess many of them know perfectly well about this, but decide to lie and deceive other credulous people.

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    1. To even believe in equality one has to be either dishonest or willfully ignorant. Most, I suspect, are simply dishonest and using an impossible dream to advance their own position.

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  3. I think the most damning thing about equality is that it de-humanizes society by making natural human tendency towards heritage, community and identity things of evil.

    Shared values: Evil
    Cultural norms: Evil
    Homogeneous community: Evil
    Strength: Evil
    True Beauty: Evil

    Etc. Etc.

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    1. It would have to de-humanize society because humans are each different and thus inherently unequal. Such is why campaigns for equality always end up in uniformity and trying to turn people into clones that all think, look and act exactly the same.

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    2. Theoretically, if a society was so inclined to selectively breed in equality, the human members of that society will become weak and eventually sterile. We see it when dogs are bred too specifically.

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  4. All men are created equal in one respect, to wit: "Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness" (Gen 1:26 ESV). Every individual inhabiting earth was created in the image and likeness of God, thus God cherishes the life of every individual regardless of social, economic, and political status.

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    1. Being of equal value is perfectly fine but that is nowhere near the same as being equal -period. In the same way, equality under the law is fine but that is not the same as being equal-period. A parent might love each of their children equally but they are still going to expect more from the elder than the younger and give them responsibilities and privileges the younger ones do not have. Each one will be more talented than the others in one way and less able in others. The two facts are not in opposition.

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  5. Agree with much of what you say but I am in favour of the recent changes to the line of succession here in the UK.

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  6. Goethe said once that one can never have both Freedom and Equality. Equality doesn't exist in natue, to create Equality requires Violence. Equality is created on a hedge by usign shears.


    I think he is right,a nd even Kurt Vonnegut Jr wrote a story abotu it called Harrison Bergeron. In it, the word is made equel by haign sdmsrt peopel wear ear peices that play loud random noises every 30 seconds, and beuty is concaled by masks, and strenght mitigated by heavy weights.

    I find the ursuit of Equliy themost destructive of all, btu alas, peopel think it leads to Freedom.

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    1. I agree, it is highly destructive because it is the pursuit of an impossible goal. What is baffling to me is that those pushing for it at least act like they fail to see the blatantly obvious: that to make things "equal" for one group you have to make them "unequal" for another.

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