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Mindless Adherence To The New God of Equality

I’m finally getting around to reading my latest issue of the Claremont Review of Books. One of the surprising delights in this publication is to read the literate and intellectual back and forth between the learned reviewers and the authors of books reviewed. In this instance, I had to go back and reread the original review of a book by Danielle Allen, called  Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality.  

The reviewer took issue with Allen’s efforts to put equality above liberty in her interpretation of the Declaration of Independence.  Over all, it was a fine and thoughtful review, and fair, if critical.  One section caught my eye especially though, after having heard tales of such stupidity from my children’s time at some state Universities.

Allen’s unrelenting egalitarianism is also visible in small ways, such as her use of pronouns. As she explains in one of only ten substantive footnotes, her practice is to “alternate between using the female and the male for the third-person generic pronoun so that there is a fifty-fifty distribution. The first time I use the generic pronoun in any piece of writing, I always start with the female to make up for centuries of past practice.” This rule of hers led to a dilemma, however, when she apparently could not avoid writing the following sentence: “When one finally sees an enemy for who she is, can one do anything other than try to protect oneself from her?” God forbid that the reciprocating saw of equality should land a sister in such a position. Hence, the apologetic footnote: “A reader may wonder why an enemy is ‘she.’ …[I]t’s just chance that when I got to this sentence it was time for ‘she.’” Honestly, if this is what the “damned female scribblers” (to borrow an invidious phrase) are going to do to the language—demand “equality,” then quail at the nasty results, and absurdly blame it on the “chance” of the writing process as if there were no author in charge—then the third person singular feminine pronoun is the enemy.



1 Jeff Edelman { 10.18.15 at 5:26 pm }

Here’s a little something that pulls back the curtain on the idiocy of equality.


2 Cat { 12.26.15 at 11:25 pm }

@ Jeff Edelman- To use the words ‘idiocy’ and ‘equality’ in the same sentence is very unflattering. There isn’t anything idiotic about equality. However, there is idiocy in how some approach it. I’ve no quarrel with the fact that we are each born with different inherent abilities, innate tendencies and IQ’s. That’s never been in question. Extreme egalitarianism suggests differently and that’s flat out stupid. Our very diversity is our greatest strength. Nor do I believe, as some suggest, that we must all “understand” where another person’s beliefs and thoughts originate from in order to accept and/or respect that person or said beliefs.

Egalitarians, like any other faction or school of thought, have their fair share of extremists, but to use this to imply that equality is idiocy is throwing the baby out with the bath water.

People, by this I mean families, are not born into the same socio-economic circumstances. That’s not inequality, that’s a fact. Does this mean that the person born into poverty who has the mind to create unheard of technology should not expect to have the chance to learn and move onward and upward? Absolutely not. Equality isn’t about the circumstances we’re born into, it’s about being given the opportunity to take whatever abilities we’re born with and expand them. Not for the first time, I’ve heard about this supposed correlation between equality and the ending of the family institution. I’ve yet to see it proven. That, to me, is more of a cultural bemoaning based on the fact that the LGBT movement has made such inroads into equal rights.

On the issue of income inequality, one need look no further than the facts to see that it’s real and its effect on society as a whole is detrimental to the foundation of this country. The US is now ranked in the top 5 nations overall for income inequality and #1 out of all industrialized nations. Consider the idiotic tax cuts made during the Iraq War (the first time this nation has ever cut taxes during war time). the slow and subtle eradication of the Glass-Steagall Act, Citizens United, the “fair trade” agreements and the Powell Memo of 1971 and we now have a society that’s anything but equal, particularly considering the standard of living Americans once had and rightfully so. Once #1 in education, our ranking is now laughable, being at 40 and 41 respectively. Incentives for further education are hampered by obscene interest rates on student loans and privatization of prisons has made it more profitable to send people to prison than college for the wealthy. Our infrastructure is sorely in need, yet we have bridges crumbling and there is very real danger that even more people will be hurt and killed in the future. Equality is idiocy when it comes to ensuring that ALL Americans live in a safe country. Of course, fixing our infrastructure would create jobs that would create even more tax revenue that would further strengthen our base in many ways. It might even make things more equal. I hardly call that idiocy.

There is nothing idiotic about people being given equal chances at changing their circumstances, thereby increasing their standard of living. There is something wrong when a billionaire pays less overall in taxes, percentage wise, than the middle class American. The real inequality here lies, not in the attitudes of people, but in a government that has sold its soul to K Street and Wall Street, thus decreasing the tax revenue by the very wealthy.
This isn’t about what the wealthiest make, it’s about the very little they pay in taxes compared to main stream America who make up the vast majority of those who make up the foundation of our tax revenue platform. Or rather, they ONCE were the vast majority… lets not forget those “fair trade agreements” and who can live without WTO?
Whenever you have income inequality to this degree, you will have inequality in how people live their lives.
People can quibble all they want about equality and what it may or may not do to society, but when a society faces the income inequality this society does, any and all facets of this argument are useless until the income inequality itself is fully addressed. How idiotic is it, exactly, when people don’t have the ability to live a sustainable life due to the unequal laws and tax reforms of a criminal government?

The idiocy doesn’t lie in the argument of equality, necessarily, but in the blindness of some to ferret out the basic problems underlying society itself. I suspect if the basic issues were addressed, equality wouldn’t be creating the buzz it is now. Because more would be living it.


3 John L { 12.23.17 at 6:48 pm }

Why does this conversation always get lost in extremes? The problem is not “equality” in an absolute, Marxist-classless sense. The problem is one of class-linearity. Balanced proportionality.

From 1946 to 1982, all classes (ALL) grew at the exact same slope. This is our model. Eisenhower-Truman fiscal policy was brilliant. The income-growth and the wealth of all classes, from the poor to the 0.01%, grew at an identical rate. By design.

This created history’s greatest all-class social experience. Our middle class had historically low debt, historically high savings, skyrocketing home ownership, and it took less than 1.2 breadwinners to keep a middle-class home.

Since 1982, the start of “trickle down” policy, middle-class income and wealth growth has stagnated and even downturned, while the top 20% has accelerated. And the farther up the income curve we go, the faster the acceleration. This is virtually all a result of trickle down tax and fiscal policy (the top rates reduced to 39%, far less for CG, Divs, and carried interest).

After 35 years of trickle-down policies, our middle class has been gutted, with historically high debt, historically low savings, falling home ownership rates, and with a home that takes over 1.8 breadwinners to keep. Average 60% middle-class savings (in 2010 dollars) has fallen from $30,000 in 1975 to $5,000 today.

The recent “tax cut” will accelerate this trend of rising top and stagnating middle. Trickle down doesn’t work. It’s killing our broad middle class. “Inequality” has nothing to do with socialist wealth redistribution schemes. It has EVERYTHING to do politicians who work for their donors, and not the common man. Alas, the root of this growing economic dis-proportion is political corruption, rooted in common greed.

We’ll not return to a balanced class-socioeconomy until the influence of big money is removed from Congress, and our elected officials work for the people, not the 0.01%. The strange thing is — everyone benefits better with a balanced socioeconomy, including the ultra-top.
Here’s a billionaire’s take on all this,


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