Tuesday, December 29, 2015

What Is Equality? The Progressive Vision

A stamp from the USPS which promotes the division of society.

Sometime during the past decade or so, progressives began flinging around the term "equality" as seemingly the most important principle on which the US was founded. However, the definition of equality for progressives is far different than the term as originally understood when Thomas Jefferson penned the phrase "all men are created equal" in the Declaration of Independence.

If we are to defeat the worst abuses of progressivism, we must understand that when progressives say "equality" they really mean two things.

First is the socialist ideal of economic equality, where the government controls wages and prices, and also provides "free" services, so that everyone maintains some fanciful Utopian ideal. That this ideal is an unattainable chimera has never seemed to bother socialists. That such an ideal tends to promote totalitarian systems is largely ignored.

Second, and more damaging to American society, is the ideal that "oppressed" groups of people are entitled to more opportunities than non-oppressed groups. This ideal is extremely dangerous to society because of the undefined and slippery term "oppressed." In today's world, according to progressives, nearly everyone belongs to an oppressed group (except heterosexual white males and anyone who holds conservative ideals).

We see that this skewed ideal of equality promotes the most outlandish and silly categories of "oppressed" people. Progressives seem perfectly comfortable calling black, white when it suits their ideology. Hence, whites can be Black (Rachel Dolezal). Blacks can be white (Clarence Thomas). Men can be women (Bruce Jenner). Women can be men (Hillary Clinton). And on and on and on.

Worse than these artificial categories is the propaganda used to support progressive claims to their ideals of equality. Progressives use propaganda in to form of "facts" as made up by progressive propagandists. For every outlandish claim to equality, a progressive will point to some study or another which uses false premises to support it.

This is the way of propagandists throughout history. As F.A. Hayek put it:
The thrust of organized, systematic propaganda, especially in totalitarian states, centers precisely on facts and causation as the pivots of belief.
Non-progressives are able to see the harm to society that such a view promotes. The basic problem stems from the inherent inequality of such ideals. To promote one group over another is to promote inequality, not equality. To support the inherent inequality, progressives use propaganda to drive public opinion. Such propaganda creates an ever-increasing divide among the people of the United States which will lead to a breaking point.

In the world of fantasy equality, we must ground ourselves in the reality of the physical world, and we must understand history to show us what works and what doesn't work.