Equality – what is it and do we have it?
In my opinion equality is the state of being equal; equal in status, rights, and opportunities.
Therefore I now ask, are we born equal?
My answer is a resounding no, we are not.
Why not, well; what are the significant factors relating to how we view or obtain equality? How do we decide whether there is a lack of equality in life and understand why it is lacking?
Money, background, status and connections are often what matters most and contributes to making you equal or unequal in life. These things, or lack of them, are often why we are treated as we are treated, differently.
This hegemony upon equality begets a dangerous attitude, because it makes any country stagnant. Therefore how can this promote equality?
Equality could after all be freedom. It could change everything.
Yet, in most countries it is almost as though to to be granted the key to equality, you have to suffer from cloned genes syndrome! Let me explain; it is same old type of person, and, actually the same old type of gene pool being rewarded with equality because of who they are, their background and so on (‘the old boys network’).
I therefore ask; how can anything change in the world of equality???
How can equality be granted to all when it is the same type of people who are always gaining power, and are always in charge of the world (and therefore decide who receives equality)?
These gatekeepers of equality have far too much to lose to actually want to change a thing, and make the world more equality driven.
I therefore feel nothing has really changed; it might as well still be like it was centuries ago when only the landed gentry had suffrage, as they are the ones who are really still in charge! They are the ones who can only really achieve equality in their life.
Anyway, I digress!!!
Other points to consider in the born equal argument is the fact that not everyone is lucky enough to grow up in a nurturing environment. Couple that with impoverished living, abusive families, or criminal homes, and the odds for equality diminish against a child born into a nurturing, healthy, high-income, loving family in a nice neighbourhood.
If you travel around the world this is inequality is magnified.
Other countries do not have advantages equal to those we take for granted. Our standard of living does not apply to every child born across the world, therefore, equality means nothing.
Equality is fundamentally flawed. We are not born equal and we do not have equal chances to succeed in life either.
What do ‘equal chances’ have to do with equality or success anyway?
Well, I’m not sure it has anything to do with it! We are not all created equal in our ability to achieve success, and therefore taking advantage of equal chances is not always possible. Every person has a unique set of strengths, which can aid in achieving the success they desire. Conversely, each person also has their own unique set of challenges that inhibit them in achieving such success. Therefore, equality has nothing to do with success or lack of it, and equal chances are random things!
I know I am being hard upon equal chance, but by its very definition it is odd.
Chance depends on many factors, which are often out of our hands to control, hence the chance. It is not certain. Therefore equal chances can be partially based upon, or rely upon, the equality of ideals and ideas that people hold about others and about life and so on. This is when equal chance often falls down. Consider the dreaded ethos of ‘not what you know, but who you know in life’ which helps propel you to succeed (I have covered this topic before)!!! Where are the equal chances then??
This ‘who you know vs what you know’ is the inequality of status and of chance. This very notion causes people to become unequal – one person uses their good fortune,equality and chance to help another they can affiliate with (someone who is similar to them in every-way). Therefore, in essence, they are ring-fencing the chance, equality and good fortune of success to the chosen few.
What then can change? Are there any options to make equality apply to everyone?
Perhaps ‘positive discrimination’?
God no! Positive discrimination is akin to ‘pity’ equality. Look at all female quotas (adopted in political elections and so on), which didn’t last and were not sustainable. These were actually a form of discrimination in my view; positive, well for me that is debatable especially as positive discrimination, per se is an oxymoron. If we need such things then obviously discrimination, and the reasons for it have not been addressed or fixed.
I think we need to look far deeper to address the born equal or equality in life, or equal chance myth.
For me we propose and declare equality to try and ease our own disconcerting feelings. Telling people everyone is born equal allows for there to be no need to address inequalities in life. If you deny inequality then you don’t accept people are unequal. Therefore, conveniently it is a persons own fault if they are not equal, and that has nothing to do with the fact they live in a floundering and discriminating society.
Individual responsibility – become equal and on your own terms. Yeah, in a society that blatantly makes that an impossible feat, good luck – catch 22 or what!
Equality is a nice theory, but it would be even nicer in practice (when it finally occurs in the world).
Until then, let us not fool ourselves – we are not born equal.