Modern Americans, especially millennials, have become obsessed with equality. Educators instruct school children at a young age of the virtues of an egalitarian society. Such an upbringing manifests in the current political arena where voters exhibit moral disgust in instances of stark inequality. The media also bombards us with images of fat-cat CEOs contrasted to their minimum wage employees. Is the equality so often demanded however, a moral good? Do instances of inequality indicate situations requiring reprisal? Contrary to conventional thinking, the lust for equality corrodes a nation.
The left entertains a lunatic obsession with not just economic equality, but equality in any means. Most of the left’s beliefs stem from a wrongheaded view of human nature. To a liberal, people are all the same in an absolute sense. Any one person amassing a fortune of wealth results from exploitation. A rich man cannot honestly have earned his wealth since we are all equal! He therefore must have stolen it from someone. This is pure fantasy. Even at birth humans are not equal. Biology easily proves the impossibility of equality. No rational person would argue that a 5’4” Chinese man possess the same potential as Lebron James. There exists a fundamental and biological inequality with no remedy. The same could be said with intelligence. With evidence indicating a high genetic component to IQ, one could safely assume that no amount of schooling would ever make Paris Hilton as smart as Albert Einstein. No amount of state reprogramming will change these disparities. Certainly those who are born smarter, stronger, prettier, or healthier will have a natural advantage in life.
Human nature itself is unequal. Humans are not clay that can be molded to the heart’s desire. Granted environmental factors undoubtedly affect a person’s position, but immutable characteristics remain. From a simply biological perspective, even men and women are not equal. Men are born with more muscle mass, and have IQs at the extreme ends of the spectrum, whereas women cluster around the average. Evolutionarily speaking, nature purposefully favors unequal traits. Biological variety leads to greater chances of survival. Individuals with uncommon traits often exceed their competitors in resource acquisition. Inequality is perfectly natural and routinely found not only in human nature, but in nature itself. Imagine a world where we are all the same in every aspect. How predictably boring would that be?
Central to the left’s fascination with equality is a very powerful human emotion. Envy. Left liberals quiver with it. The left has embraced many aspects of Marxism, including redistribution of wealth for purposes of class equality. An insatiable envy motivates the left in its compulsive drive to equality. Henry Hazlitt very succinctly explains: “The whole gospel of Karl Marx can be summed up in a single sentence: Hate the man who is better off than you are. Never under any circumstances admit that his success may be due to his own efforts, to the productive contribution he has made to the whole community. Always attribute his success to the exploitation, the cheating, the more or less open robbery of others. Never under any circumstances admit that your own failure may be owing to your own weakness, or that the failure of anyone else may be due to his own defects — his laziness, incompetence, improvidence, or stupidity.” Those hollering for equality stay awake at night at the thought of someone somewhere being more successful than they. Aside from the toxic nourishment of envious sentiment, the equality seekers fail to realize the economic aspects of the matter as well.
In the US, a relative free market, the people fluidly move among the income groups. More than half of people born into the poorest segment of society rise up and escape their poverty. Meanwhile 8% of richest top fall to the bottom and lose everything. Equality is not important; mobility is. With adequate liberty and entrepreneurial activity the disadvantaged are lifted out of their plight through their own efforts, often times to much greater comfort than state welfare programs. The left loves to rail against inequality, but is silent on the enormous potential available. Also, if a man gains his fortune through a productive business enterprise, why is he not entitled to dispose of his resources as he sees fit? In a free market one can only succeed after all by delivering superior goods and services at low cost to consumers. Wealth, and thus inequality, indicates that an individual had produced something of value and left someone else better off than they otherwise would have been. What moral authority allows the state to appropriate a rich man’s earnings? The state did not earn it, nor did it create the wealth; therefore it has absolutely no authority to tax for purposes of entirely arbitrary redistribution.
The undying pursuit of equality is enough to kill one’s soul. Motivated by envy and contrary to the inequality designed into human nature, it is intrinsically evil. It requires a large administrative state to violate human nature both abstractly and concretely. Abstractly in denying inherent inequality of human nature and concretely in the violation of man’s natural tendency to acquire property. The left constantly decries the greed of capitalism, but never looks inward to examine its own burning envy of the successful. Equality before the law undoubtedly is a goal worth striving for, as it limits the arbitrary nature of state power. Any other degree of equality however, is not only irrational, but immoral since it can only be enforced through rampant state violence.