Thoughts on the “other equality” – taking the idea of equality to the point of ridiculousness

Here’s a thought I had:

Something that I think is getting out of control is the idea of “equality”.  What’s happened is that equality is being used for other motives than what it was intended for.  As I have said many times, equality is a nothing but a legal term . . . and nothing more.  All it means is that we are all “equal before the law” and that there is “no one above the law”.  This means no one gets preferential treatment in the court of law.  To me, that’s all the term means.

I’ve seen people who have used the word in a way that went way beyond law and its original intent.  What bothers me is that no one is questioning or disputing it!  Some examples I’ve heard include:

The idea that “equality” should be applied to everyday life

  • We must treat everyone the same all the time with no variation whatsoever.

The idea that everyone must be treated exactly the same

  • A person cannot, for example, treat a female different from the male.  A good example is that you can’t open doors for females.

The denial of natural differences, abilities, and natural tendencies

  • The belief that there is absolutely no difference between people, such as male and female, and that they are exactly the same.

The denial of differences in people

  • The idea that a person cannot make any distinctions between people whatsoever, such as that he is Chinese or Mexican.
  • That you cannot make any distinctions of people in expressions, such as “workman” which should be said as “workperson”.
  • The idea that the expression of people must be “neutral”, not referring to a specific type of person, race, sex, sexual orientation, etc.
  • In some cases, you cannot make any distinctions between a peoples character, a cultural character, a national, character, etc.  If you do then they call it “stereotyping” which is supposed to be a bad thing.

The idea that there must be an equal number of different people in all things

  • In situations, such as a job, there must be an equal number of different types of people, such as male and female or racially, whether they are qualified or not.
  • In situations, like the movies, it must show every type of person, such as a white male, a female (of course, she must be warrior-like), a black person, and so on (pretty soon they will probably have to have every race, sexual orientation, and so on in every movie).

Favoritism/exclusion

  • The giving of certain people, who are a minority in the population usually, a certain “privilege” so there will be more of them doing things.  They often call this “equality” but its really a favoritism and a form of justified unfairness.
  • Some people think that “equality” means the favoring of certain people such as by more likely giving them credit, awards, recognition, glorifying them, etc.
  • Some peoples version of “equality” is to exclude people because there are more of them.  For example, at a University I know they started to restrict the number of white American males admitted because there were “too many” of them.

Entitlement

  • Some people think that “equality” means that they are automatically entitled to have what everyone else, or a specific person, has.

The idea that they can be whoever they want

  • Some peoples idea of “equality” is that they can literally choose whoever they want to be.

The idea that the people of the world should all be the same

  • I’ve heard people say how everyone should believe the same and do the same thing all over the world.
  • I’ve heard people idealize a Utopian world where all the races of the world will intermarry to the point that there will only be one “world race”.

Socialist and communist thinking

  • The ideas that everyone should have exactly what everyone else has, have the same status, and be exactly the same.

The basic message is that everybody is supposed to be “absolutely the same”.  Why don’t we just pick a person, clone that person, and let everyone else die off so there will only be one type of person in the world?

I often joke that I’m going to write Marvel Comics and ask them when the gay or transgender super hero is going to come out.  I’ve even come up with a super hero:  Captain-All*.  Underneath it says, “* the super hero that can be any gender, sexual orientation, race, height, weight, etc.”  All he/she/it/whatever does is say what he/she/it/whatever wants to be and he/she/it/whatever becomes it!  Every episode can be a different person.  This way it can satisfy every gender, sexual orientation, race, etc. and no one will feel discriminated against!  We can advertise it as the “equal rights super hero!”  With the mentality of today, I wouldn’t be surprised if something like that appears.

What’s more important is that if a person violates these ideas of “equality” then it is often automatically assumed to be a result of hatred or some other sinister motive. This reveals a great truth behind this philosophy, that it is rooted in fear, insecurity, and the fear of people in general (as we’ll see below).

The idea of equality has been taken so far beyond what it was meant to be that it is being turned into something else. It is taken to the point that it is displaying qualities such as these:

  • The idea is becoming an avenue for other “issues” that have nothing to do with
  • The idea hides other motives and intentions for which it was not designed
  • The idea is being used as a cover to hide problems
  • The idea is being used as a means of manipulation
  • The idea is being used to give some people special privilege
  • The idea is being used in everyday life and into aspects of life that it was not intended to be used

The effect of these is that the idea is being distorted and warped out of shape and becoming a whole new beast reflecting qualities and points of view that have nothing to do with the original idea.  I sometimes speak of this new distorted view of equality as the “other equality” or, sometimes, the “new equality”.

Interestingly, much of the qualities of this mentality is reflected in John Lennon’s song “Imagine” which reflects many points of view found in the “other equality” (see http://www.songlyrics.com/john-lennon/imagine-lyrics/ ).

We see references to nihilism:

  • “There’s no heaven”, “no hell below us”, “above us, only sky”, and “no religion too”
  • “Imagine there’s no countries”
  • “Imagine no possessions”

We see references to fear of war:

  • “No reason to kill or die for”

We see references to peace:

  • “Imagine all the people living life in peace”

We see references to an “equality” of humanity:

  • “A brotherhood of man”
  • “Imagine all the people sharing all the world”
  • ” . . . the world will live as one”

To me, one of the messages of the song seems to say, “if we destroy everything that makes us different (religion, countries, possessions), and make us all the same (“equal”), then we will live in peace and harmony because we’re scared war is going to kill us all”.  This is a reflection of the times he wrote it:  a reaction to the fear caused by WWII and the Cold War.  The song is very reflective of this reaction.  In a way, it is symbolic of the origin of the historical conditions, the times, and the mentality that created the “other equality”.

ORIGINS

I tend to associate the “other equality” mentality to a number of different things, such as:

  • The mood of about 1970
  • The Vietnam War protest
  • Fear of war in general
  • Fear of humanity
  • Social rebellion
  • Social hysteria
  • Self-righteousness
  • Fanatacism
  • Liberals
  • Hippies
  • Feminists
  • Civil Rights Activists
  • Peace fanatics
  • Political Correctness

All this is reflecting aspects of the mentality behind the “other equality” mentality.

For many people, the “other equality” has started to take on qualities of a religion.  In fact, this religious quality is one of the traits of the “other equality”.  As part of this, it has taken on the quality of a horribly bad self-righteousness.  In fact, its now become one of the worst self-righteousness I’ve ever seen in my life.

I see several forms of this self-righteousness:

  • Political self-righteousness
  • Religious self-righteousness

The “other equality” is a blending of political and religious self-righteousness.  This blending is something that took many centuries to develop.  Because of this, it has encompassed many different social, political, and historical problems that span those centuries.  In this way, it is an accumulation of all that which is reflective of how it has developed through the years.

In general, the “other equality” is a philosophy that has developed primarily in England and the U.S. and therefore reflects the conditions, the history, the attitudes, the beliefs, and the problems of those countries.

I tend to believe that the “other equality”, as a distinct philosophy, appeared recently, particularly since about 1970, or thereabouts.  It has particularly developed in the 1990’s and gotten worse in the 21st century.  Its closely associated with the growth of liberalism that developed after about 1970 (what I often call “70’s liberalism”) and is, in many ways, a product of that thinking and mentality.  As a result, I see similar origins and its thinking parallels it.  I have written a number of articles in this blog about such things, such as Thoughts on liberalism, with remarks about “70’s liberalism”.

I see various the origins of the different qualities of the “other equality” as coming from things like these:

  • Tribalism.  This is a sense of a people as a distinct group in the world.  The awareness of this group offers a security.  As a result, the breakdown of tribalism often causes great insecurity and fear (as we’ll see below, this plays a big role in the “other equality”).  I have always believed that there is a strong tribalism in England and that many problems of England are rooted in tribalism.
  • The Norman invasion and its effects.  The Norman Invasion and conquest upset the English tribalism and, it seems to me, set the stage for many of England’s attitudes and conflicts that carry on down to today.
  • Christianity.  This is the source of a self-righteousness and “high cause” that permeates the “other equality”.  Christianity also offered a “new tribe” to be part of as well, which offered a security as well.
  • The fall of religion.  In the 1700’s Christianity really fell as a belief system for most of Western Europe.  As a result of this, it caused great insecurity in many people.
  • Democracy.  This became the “new tribe” to replace Christianity in the 1700’s and into the 1800’s.
  • The horror of war, especially WWII.  This created a great sense of fear of conflicts between people.  
  • The horror of the Nazi’s.  The Holocaust created a fear of the hatred between people, particularly people that are different.
  • The Civil Rights Movement.  This continued the fear of hatred between people started with the Nazi’s.
  • The Cold War and threat of nuclear annihilation.  This created a fear of what humanity could do to itself.
  • The Hippie Movement.  This created a justified rebellion.  In addition, it created a social movement motivated by fear.
  • Liberalism.  This largely continues the justified rebellion cause of the Hippie Movement as well as being motivated by fear.
  • The effects of media.  This created a means for fear, insecurity, and cause to spread in the population.
  • Overpopulation.  This causes tension between people that is unavoidable.  In many ways, the problems caused by overpopulation keep the “other equality” alive and relevant.

FEAR AND INSECURITY

From its origins, one of the things that is prevalent is that the “other equality” is very much rooted in different forms of fear and insecurity.  As a result, it is a philosophy that is intended to be a defense against that fear and insecurity.  In this way, the “other equality” is a defensive philosophy.

The main fears could be described as:

  • The fear of war
  • The fear of hatred
  • The fear of what humanity can do to itself

The main origins of this insecurity are:

  • The loss of the “tribe” and its security
  • The loss of religion and its security

The effects of the loss of these has caused several forms of insecurity

  • Personal insecurity
  • Social insecurity

The “other equality” has become an avenue and outlet for these problems.  In other words, when people speak of “equality” they are generally referring to a personal or social insecurity, or both.  As a result, people who promote that philosophy are generally insecure frightened people deep down.  This is what my observation has shown anyways.

The Fear of other People . . . paranoid delusion

Behind much of the fear and insecurity of the “other equality” is really a fear of other people.  By saying that we are all “equal”, and therefore the same, the fear of other people is alleviated . . . there’s no one to fear if we are all the same.  In many ways, that’s the basic attitude and assumption of the “other equality”.

This is the irony of it.  Most people who profess the “other equality” think that they do it for the “love of other people” (showing Christian influence) but they are actually frightened of other people.  Though this has a basis in the war and hatred of the past (see above) I tend to believe that there are a number of things that play a large role in it:

  • Mass media, which makes it spread so easily and reach so many people causing mass mentality to develop
  • Mass mentality, which causes something like a mass hysteria in the people, of people “in a panic”

These have basically kept the fears and insecurities of the past alive.  In many ways, because of mass mentality, which is maintained by mass media, it has caused some of the population to still be “in a panic” over the conflicts of the past, which are no longer existing and no longer a threat.  In short, most of the fears and insecurities that have caused the “other equality” no longer exist.  People are basically “scared over nothing” . . . a “phantom fear” of the past.  This creates a condition where people create fears that don’t exist and start seeing fears that aren’t there . . . paranoia . . . and this permeates the “other equality” mentality. It motivates much of their point of view and mentality.

THE DEFENSE

In general, the basic premise of “equality” is that it is viewed as a “solution” to war and hate . . . by being “equal” there will be no reason for war or to hate people.  This is the main logic of the defense.

But where would a logic like this come from?  To me, it seems almost ridiculous for a number of reasons:

  • The idea of people being “equal”, and in the ways they want, is unrealistic
  • The idea that it would end war and hate seems absurd . . . there’s a lot more to why war and hate happens than the fact that people aren’t “equal”

So where did this logic come from?  I tend to feel it comes from a number of sources:

  • Christianity Basically, the Christian influence reflected the ideas that we must love one another, that we are all one people in Christ, and that war and hate is bad.  We see the themes love/equality/end war and hate.  I tend to feel that Christianity is at the base of this whole logic and everything builds upon it.  This gives this mentality a religious quality.
  • Political theory. This is primarily democracy whose point of view rests on Christian thinking described above, primarily of the importance of the people as a whole.  This gave this mentality a more political and secular quality.
  • Mass society.  This means the perception, primarily caused by mass media, that society is a mass of people.  This created a strong sense of “the people”.  This gave this mentality a mob quality.

These create a unique blend of mentalities that are used in the “other equality”:  religious/political/secular/mob.  As a result, these qualities are seen in a lot in this mentality.

Much of the mentality of the defense, used by the “other equality”, was influenced by a mentality that appeared after the French Revolution which I call “secular oppression” (see my article Thoughts on ‘secular oppression’).  This is a tendency to use the ideas of the French Revolution as a way to explain social problems and the problems between people.  Its based on the idea, or model, that there is the mean, evil, and tyrannical “oppressor” who unjustly “oppresses” the people who are, accordingly, seeking “freedom” from the “oppressor”.  This became one of the main models to explain social problems in the 1800’s and was very prevalent in England.  The idea of “equality” came from this mentality . . . “equality” leveling the difference between “oppressor” and “oppressed”.

This point of view may of been relevant during the French Revolution but, later, it was used for everything to the point of excess.  The problem is that many things it was being applied to didn’t match the model and was not relevant.  The result is that “secular oppression” started a tendency of what I call “forcing the interpretation”, of making things fit the model whether they did or not.  In so doing, it started to do things such as:

  • It started to distort things
  • It gave wrong explanations
  • It fabricated threats and fears
  • It falsely accused people and institutions
  • It created a narrow-mindedness – they see only what they want to see
  • It created a selfish point of view – they favor themselves and their point of view
  • It created a blind idealism – they live in an ideal world that does not match real world reality

This tendency has carried on down to today.  One of the ways its being continued is with the “other equality”.

What all this shows is that the “other equality” is a reactionary, defensive, and idealistic philosophy that is reacting to a fear or insecurity whether it be real, fabricated, or imagined.  

THE “OTHER EQUALITY” AS A “NEW TRIBALISM” AND HYPOCRISY

What is apparent, to me anyways, is that behind much of this mentality is a tribalism.  In fact, I tend to believe that this whole conflict originates from the fall of tribalism in England, possibly as a result of Christianity but definitely as a result of the Norman Conquest, and its effects through the centuries.  What we’re seeing today is just the culmination of what started back then.

Some aspects of tribalism include:

  • A sense of a distinct and separate group of people among people and the world
  • A great sense of security in the tribe
  • A disregard or ignoring of people not part of your group

I’ve written an article about “tribalism called Thoughts on “tribalism” – some aspects and dilemma’s.

Whats ironic about “other equality” is that, though it is based in “tribalism”, it reflects points of view completely contrary and opposite to it.  It almost seems “anti-tribalism” but, if you look at its mentality, you can see that it is very “tribal” in its orientation.  Some qualities of this include:

  • They view their philosophy as “right”
  • They are self-righteousness
  • They disregard people who don’t take their view
  • They find security in their philosophy
  • They even uses emblems to display their “tribalism” . . . such as a rainbow flag or an equal sign bumper sticker

This is very “tribal” and show that the “other equality” is also a “new tribalism”. 

What it also means is that the “other equality” is a hypocrisy.  It is not practicing what it preaches.  It condemns the qualities of tribalism but it is, in actuality, creating a new form of one.

THE “OTHER EQUALITY” AS A CONTINUATION OF CHRISTIAN BELIEF

Many viewpoints of the “other equality” originate from Christianity and reflect its values.  Some common themes include:

  • The idea that we are all “the same” – we are all “one” in the body of Christ
  • The idea that we must “love one another”
  • A tendency to favor the  people that are “low”
  • A self-righteous attitude
  • A view that “new equality” is something that should infiltrate into every facet and detail of life
  • The idea that it is a world view
  • The idea that it is a philosophy that is almost holy
  • The idea that the world must be converted to this point of view
  • The idea often becomes fanatical

In many ways, the “other equality” is really a continuation of Christianity along with it religious qualities and points of views.

EQUALITY AND NIHILISM

I would say that the “other equality” is a nihilistic philosophy.  By “nihilism” I mean the turning of everybody into the “same thing” to the point that everybody becomes a nothing (“nihil”).  Therefore, to be “equal” really means we’re all the “exact same”, a great big “blur”, with no differences . . . and in being the same, we all become nothing.  In this way, I see it as a destructive philosophy, almost anti-human.

It does several forms of destruction:

  • It destroys individuality, the person
  • It destroys the social structure and social institutions

What these eventually do is turn people into “nameless numbers”, or “cogs in the wheel of society”.  In a way, the “other equality” is saying that we are all supposed to be a carbon copy of the same person.

The effects of this nihilism is that it actually ends up causing things like:

  • Alienation and dehumanization
  • Tension and conflict between people and in society
  • Breakdowns and undermining’s because it doesn’t establish anything

These are actually what I’m seeing.  The people who believe in the “other equality” tend to not see this but the people who don’t believe in it often see it (its referred to all the time).

Ironically, a long time ago equality actually recognized the differences in people, and supported those differences.  To believe in “equality” meant that you only married, for example, people who are “equal” to your station in life (a daughter of a farmer only marries a farmer and does not marry a nobleman).  In this way, it supported a social structure.  The “other equality”, on the other hand, is destroying it.  One can see, then, that the idea of “equality” has gone from one extreme to another . . . a good example of how much the idea has been distorted.

THE “OTHER EQUALITY” AS A “NEW MANIPULATION” – USING POLITICS AS “MUSCLE”

Because of the prevalence of the “other equality” there has developed many people who now use the ideas of “equality” to manipulate things in order to get what they want.  In fact, whenever I hear the word “equality” I generally assume that is what it is.  My experience is that this assumption is often accurate.

One of the reasons why this has become so effective is that “equality” is based in political theory and because of the Cold War, especially, these political ideas have developed great authority.  In short, the “other equality” is using the authority of politics as its “muscle”.  Since the Cold War this authority has had, sadly enough, a lot of power and many people have taken advantage of it.

THE “OTHER EQUALITY” AS A “COVER” FOR PERSONAL REASONS – MISUSE AND ABUSE

Over the years, the “other equality” has been increasingly been misused and abused by people for personal reasons . . .

Personal Problems

In this century, especially, I have noticed that the “other equality” has become a “cover” for personal problems  for some people.  In other words, its become a refuge for people who have certain problems.

These personal problems can have a number of sources, such as:

  • Identity problems.  For example, a person unsure of who they are.
  • Problems fitting into society.  For example, immigrants not feeling they belong, etc.
  • Disappointment in life.  For example, they feel they’ve been “slighted”.
  • Problems associating with people.  For example, any problem or dispute with people becomes a matter of “equality”.
  • Feelings of inferiority.  For example, they think that they should automatically have what other people have or be treated the same way.

Personal Agenda’s

Many people have used the “other equality” for personal agenda’s and motives.  Some examples include

  • To seek entitlement
  • To gain glory
  • To gain power and influence
  • To get ahead

Most personal agenda’s are means to have what other “more fortunate” people have.  In other words, “other equality” is a means of manipulating things so that one gains in some way.  Usually, this is in comparison to someone else.  Basically, the idea is to have what someone else has.  It’s like saying, “if he has it then I should equally have it . . . what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”  As a result, the “other equality” has become associated with:

  • Envy
  • Jealousy
  • Greed  
  • Materialism
  • Money
  • Status

By yelling “equality!”, in this post-WWII/post-holocaust/post-cold war/paranoid/frightened society, some people have found a way to satisfy these desires.  The problem is that they often get it!

GROUPS THAT PERSIST THE “OTHER EQUALITY”

There are a number of groups, in society, that tend to favor the “other equality” point of view.  As a result, they tend to make the point of view persist.  These groups include:

  • Minorities
  • Females
  • People that are different in some way

Normally, the line would be that these groups favor this point of view because they are disadvantaged in some way.  I don’t believe that to be true.  That’s the “other equality” perspective! That’s how they interpret things which, accordingly, supports their philosophy.

There are many people who are “disadvantaged” in the world and history and they never complained in the “other equality” way nor preached a similar point of view.  I’m more inclined to think its because of things like these:

  • They are in a society of wealth and have found an “easy” means to gain that wealth
  • They found a means to complain about their problems

In other words, the “other equality” has given them a means to gain in some way.  Its not because they are disadvantaged but because they have a means to get what they want!  This is something that is very obvious to many of us.

FORCING THE “OTHER EQUALITY” ONTO SOCIETY

Despite what they claim the philosophy of the “other equality” is something that has to be forced onto society . . . people just didn’t automatically believe it.  In other words, the “other equality” did not appear in society naturally.  It was not a philosophy that was going to happen through the course of events.  It seems like a philosophy that a minority of people developed but who, using the mania caused by the Cold War (see above), was able to “muscle” their way into things like:

  • The law and legal system
  • The news media
  • Specific groups of people (females, minorities, homosexuals, etc.)

This gave them great power and influence.  Through these means they were able to force the “other equality” onto society.  In other words, the “other equality” isn’t there because people believe it.  In fact, for many of the people I’m around the themes of the “other equality” have become something like a joke . . .

THE “OTHER EQUALITY” REPUTATION

Many things the “other equality” has created has a reputation for having qualities such as:

  • Making ridiculous, asinine, and absurd claims
  • Being fanatical
  • Being biased to its point of view
  • Being hypocritical
  • Being accusatory

These are particularly apparent to people that don’t believe in it.

I think that I speak for many people when I say that “other equality” is not only embarrassing but degrading and, frankly, disgusting.  Many people I see who speak of its themes speak in contempt and disgust.  Many of us have said, “I can’t believe this is taken seriously”.  I think that this is the worst aspect of it, that it is being taken seriously.  And, what’s worse, this is by politics and the legal system.  This only makes it look all the more absurd and ridiculous.

IS THE “OTHER EQUALITY” A SOLUTION?

I have no reason to believe that the “other equality” is a solution to problems.  Some of the reasons for this include:

  • Its a paranoid and frightened philosophy
  • Its prone to hysteria
  • Its prone to fanaticism
  • Its confrontational
  • Its accusatory
  • Its idealistic
  • Its narrow
  • Its biased, favoring people who it supports
  • Its impractical
  • It thinks its the only solution
  • It undermines too many things
  • Its become manipulative
  • Its a reactionary philosophy, not a constructive one

There is a belief that “equality” is supposed to alleviate the fears and insecurities, described above, and get rid of them.  The problem is that they don’t.  As near as I can see the “other equality” isn’t doing a whole lot to alleviate any insecurity or fear.  In fact, it seems that the “other equality” has actually made the fears and insecurities worse because it has turned them into a philosophy.  As a result, it has actually turned the fears and insecurities into a way of life and a world view.  In other words, if you take the “other equality” point of view you must have fear and insecurity.  Because of this, several things happen:

  • The fears and insecurities don’t go away
  • Everything is interpreted in the context of fear and insecurity
  • Because of this, one see’s fear and insecurity everywhere
  • This causes them to become exaggerated and to become “blown out of proportion

In other words, my observation is that the “other equality” actually makes the fears and insecurities worse and, accordingly, does nothing to solve them.

In addition, as I said above, the “other equality” only seems to work for the people who believe it.  They use the “other quality” point of view to as if hide behind and protect themselves with.  This gives it an illusionary quality for those people.  But, for those who don’t believe it its obvious that it doesn’t work.

THE DAMAGING EFFECTS OF THE “OTHER EQUALITY”

In my opinion, the “other equality” has a lot of damaging qualities.  Some of these include:

  • It promotes paranoia and fear
  • It promotes distrust of people
  • It promotes conflict between people
  • It promotes alienation
  • It promotes identity problems
  • It undermines social hierarchy and social institutions
  • It promotes a blind self-righteousness
  • It falsely accuses
  • It misuses, and abuses, legal and political ideas
  • It promotes manipulation of the system and people

AFTERTHOUGHT

What all this shows is that the “other equality” isn’t about equality at all.  It is about things altogether different.  In many ways, the “other equality” is just a manipulation of an already existing idea that had good intentions, meant well, and has authority.  This manipulation was primarily done to alleviate fear and insecurity.  But now it has become a hypocrisy and a means of manipulation.  It has taken the idea of equality too far.

This is what it looks like to me anyways.


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

This entry was posted in Britain and British things, Dehumanization and alienation, Government and politics, Law and legal stuff, Modern life and society, The effects of WWII, the Nazi's, the Holocaust, the Cold War, and the Vietnam War era protests, The U.S. and American society, Twenty first century and post cold war society and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s