It is a cliché in our Left-leaning liberal society that we must all remain vigilant against any ideology that rejects equality as a morally desirable aim, because, should that ideology achieve political power, we would soon find ourselves back in the slippery slope that begins with a justification of racism and ends with the gas chambers in Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Both liberals and their Marxist critics present themselves as forces of liberation and emancipation, and their historiography portrays the time before their advent as one of privilege, oppression, and inhumanity.
Yet, the history of the last one hundred years has shown that, contrary to the conceit of liberals and the Left, and contrary to the fine rhetoric that emanates from their camp, the moral logic of egalitarianism also justifies privilege, oppression, and inhumanity, exactly the same ills it claims to have opposed.
A key assumption among egalitarians is that equality of opportunity must produce equality of outcome, and that, when outcomes are unequal, it is because an individual or group of individuals have enjoyed an unfair advantage. Egalitarians have a materialist worldview, so unfair advantage is always reducible to material conditions, which, in their view, and in the broadest possible sense, is the main determinant of outcomes. This unfair advantage is referred to as “privilege.” To combat privilege, the key strategy of egalitarianism is redistribution: those thought to have enjoyed unfair advantages are subjected to extraction, and the extracted “excess” is transferred over to those thought to have suffered unfair disadvantages.
It is, of course, true that individuals or groups of individuals sometimes enjoy unfair advantages, but unequal outcomes are not always the result of unequal opportunities resulting from “privilege.” Equal opportunities can and do result—all the time—in unequal outcomes. Egalitarians resist the cause (inherent human inequality) because they believe an unequal society is immoral. Inequality is for them always and necessarily an injustice.
The problem is that they effectively “correct” a perceived injustice with an actual one. Where there has been no unfair advantage, but unequal outcome, redistribution takes from the deserving in order to give to the undeserving. This, in effect, creates a privileged class of individuals who enjoy unearned, and hence unfair, advantages, at the expense of those who earned, fair and square, that which was taken from them. Egalitarianism, therefore, simply transfers privilege from one class to another—it does not eliminate it.
Some critics on the Right have said that we must distinguish “good equality” from “bad equality,” citing equality before the law as an example of “good equality.”
Equality may make sense in certain contexts, provided it is treated as a practical matter. When it is treated as is a moral imperative, however, it becomes impossible to justify opposition to the multiracial societies we now have in the West, where the indigenous must not be regarded as special, and where levels of genetically distant immigrants are determined purely by economic considerations.
The resulting multicultural societies are inherently unstable, because they can no longer be governed under a shared set of assumptions, values, and customs, and because racial and ethnic identification among various groups pits them in mutual competition for power and resources. It goes without saying that competition between different groups also occurs in racially homogeneous societies, but multiracialism adds wholly unnecessary layers of complexity, necessitating whole new levels of state involvement. As the multicultural experiment has shown in the West, the growth of multiculturalism against a backdrop of egalitarian morality foments the growth of equality policies, regulation, legislation, policing, enforcement, bureaucracies, and social programs, designed to prevent the indigenous from developing exclusionary strategies against the ever-growing exogenous groups. The liberal guarantee of freedom of speech is progressively curtailed in order to avoid causing offence to some group or another. Freedom of association is progressively curtailed in order to ensure no group is excluded on the basis of their difference. Freedom of representation is progressively curtailed in order to prevent the indigenous from organizing a political opposition. Economic liberty is progressively curtailed—e.g., through the tax system—in order to equalise outcomes and fund the equality state apparatus. The latter, of course, continuously grows, becoming ever more intrusive, invasive, expensive, and oppressive. In the West we have reached the stage where expressing an opinion on Twitter, in less than 140 characters, can result in a conviction with a custodial sentence.
There are other effects too, which also contribute to an oppressive atmosphere. Multiracial societies have been proven to suffer higher levels of crime and lower levels of trust, both of which destroy the community spirit, lower quality of life, and encourage citizens to retreat into alarmed homes with barred windows, sometimes behind gated communities with armed security patrols. Even these offer no guarantee, so citizens live in constant fear: fear of offending someone; fear of expressing certain opinions; fear of public spaces; fear of certain fellow citizens; fear of being associated with certain political parties; and, in the case of the indigenous, also fear of opposing their own dispossession and disprivilegement, even though in the end there will be nowhere left to run. Once again, all of the above, save the last, exist in homogeneous societies, but under egalitarian multiculturalism the sources of fear multiply, because the variables have multiplied.
As I demonstrated in an earlier piece, belief in the moral goodness of equality strips life of meaning, because meaning comes from difference, or inequality. In the process, it takes away all that makes life good and worth living, for these are dependent on meaning and on various forms of difference.
Associated with egalitarian morality is the notion of human rights. In liberal ideology, humans are considered to be of equal worth in dignity and rights. Yet, this is not really the case, for it applies only to those who believe in the moral goodness of equality.
Humans are deemed to have rights simply by virtue of being human. At the same time, it is deemed an indication of one’s humanity to recognize human rights. Treatment of other humans that grossly disregards human rights is described as “inhuman,” beastly, of demonic. A milder description is “barbarous,” which connotes a lesser humanity.
But it does not take torture or gruesome murder or mass murder to become, at least from the liberal point of view, a beast or a demon, because simply rejecting the notion that equality is an absolute moral good has the same effect. Racism, for example, implies this rejection. Therefore, it only takes someone being deemed “racist” for that someone to be treated as endowed with a lesser humanity. The animalisation and demonization of the newly identified “racist” marks his change in status.
The reason is simple: if egalitarianism is moral, and if a capacity for morality is what makes us human, the inegalitarian is automatically inhuman, and thereby a beast or a demon.
Nevertheless, observation confirms that the rule is not applied uniformly: the charge of “racism” is much more dehumanizing for Whites than it is for others. A Black man in the West can engage in blatantly racist behavior without having his humanity questioned. On the other hand, a White man in the West is held to a much more rigorous standard: it takes much less for him to be labelled “racist” and the effects of the label are for him much more severe. This could potentially indicate a tacit assumption among liberals that Blacks are of a lesser humanity to begin with, and that Whites are of a higher humanity, for this would explain the indulgence towards the former and the severity towards the latter, but this is beyond the scope of this essay. The fact remains that, once deemed “racist,” the White beast or demon no longer enjoys the same rights and privileges as the “non-racist.” His freedom of speech and association can be perverted, restricted, or denied; his property and creative output can be vandalized, seized, or destroyed; and his liberty and means to survival can be taken away from him, sometimes without an explanation—all with complete impunity and universal approval. Worse still, in the eyes of friends and relatives, he who is labelled “racist” ceases to be a person, and any kind of abuse directed at him is fair game. It is, in fact, seen as righteous and fully justified.
This may be one of various reasons why communist societies, which lived under a system of radical egalitarianism, saw the worst treatment and the worst mass murders of human beings in history. This may also be why so many lost their heads under the banner of “liberté, egalité, fraternité.” As I argued elsewhere , the pursuit of equality implies the destruction of value, and renders all human life equivalent and replaceable. If, on top, we add a moral logic that dehumanises those who reject that logic, we end up in a situation that begins with calling someone “racist,” “reactionary,” or “bourgeois” and ends in the guillotine or the Siberian gulag.
Perhaps we should remain vigilant against any ideology that presents equality as a morally desirable aim, rather than a practical solution that may be expedient in some contexts, because we have seen what happens when a morally egalitarian ideology achieves political power.