Is equality bad for society

Comment: Equality is inhuman

The current global formula is: More equality means more justice, means more good, means more happiness. I, on the other hand, argue that equality is not a value in itself. To strive for it is not only economic nonsense, but also immoral. The eternal truth of equality is only true because its opposite is inconceivable. But once you have overcome the fear of slipping out of the community of decent people, the unimaginable is very easy to think. X

In mathematics, the thing with equality is still simple: r = q holds if and only if r has all the properties that q has and vice versa. But this case will never occur among humans. They have different genes, experiences, needs. They are not the same. So whoever demands equality between people can only ever refer to a few aspects. But if something is adjusted in one place, it changes in the other. The same amount of cotton and iron is either the same volume or the same weight. It is similar with humans: it is impossible to treat them all equally and to achieve the same treatment success. If equality is to come out in the end, people must be treated unequally.

Anyone who, despite this aphoria of equality, arbitrarily wants to equalize people in one respect must justify their actions. But instead of doing this, egalitarianism assumes the principle of equality as a matter of course (J. Rawls) or uses rhetorical tricks: “How could it not be a bad thing that countless people's lives from birth automatically only have a relation to the lives of others drastically limited spectrum of possibilities is given? "(T. Nagel)

The answer is that what people's lives are like in relation to other people is not a question of justice. Whether a life is bad does not depend on the extent of inequality, but on the extent of the evil.

The evil is that a person has poor prospects in life. Whether other people have better or even worse prospects in life is irrelevant: It is an evil when a child starves to death, even if his siblings died as infants. Conversely, the child should not starve to death because it has a well-fed neighbor. Everyone shouldn't starve to death for one reason: because they are human.

Now if no one had to starve to death, people would be equal to one another in this regard. This equality is only a side effect of adhering to absolute standards (enough to eat), which must not be confused with relational standards (the same amount to eat). If equality were a value in itself, it would be better that all people die than that some survive. The principle of equality cannot even say that it is better for no one to starve than for everyone to starve! Because everyone is equal in both cases, these variants are morally equivalent from an equality standpoint. The objection that one also has to take absolute standards such as human dignity or the benefit principle into account does not work. What is needed is a justification of the principle of equality. Anyone who wants to save this through auxiliary constructions that firstly make it obsolete and secondly imply inequality of treatment fails.

Another problem with the principle of equality is that it calls into question freedom of action. For how could the literacy of some people be balanced? But only through a ban on reading for some and compulsory reading for others.

The restriction of only wanting to equalize undeserved life prospects in the sense of equal opportunities does not work either: a beauty penalty tax cannot be set, any more than an ugliness allowance. Because it cannot even be determined whether beauty is an advantage or a disadvantage, the melodious talk of supporting the disadvantaged must avoid precisely identifying the alleged disadvantage and justifying its disadvantageous character. More and more people are made disadvantaged in this way - even if nothing changes in their living conditions or they even improve.

Who should decide what and how great a disadvantage is: when parents die early or live long? Is It Better To Lose An Arm Than A Leg? There is no universal order of preference. The redistributing state is therefore faced with a decision: Either it determines the order of preferences itself and treats people against their own preferences. Or he lets them act according to their own preferences and accepts inequality.

The principle of equality is not just theoretically and morally unjust. It also has devastating consequences for the prosperity of a society. It leads to a lack of performance and thus to a loss of prosperity.

Intelligent people would have to wear a beeping button in their ear that prevents them from taking “unfair advantage” of their intelligence. Unfortunately, this is then no longer available to increase prosperity. And if a helpful invention or an above-average achievement is no longer rewarded, then there is no incentive to make an effort. If everyone, regardless of whether they work a lot or little, receives the same thing in the end, who wouldn't want to come just before the end of the day? If the places in the national soccer team were not allocated to all interested parties on the basis of performance, but on a rotation principle, who would do more than a little alibi training?

Nobody works solely to create an advantage for other people or to increase the prosperity of society. It is the prospect of reward, regardless of whether it consists of money, a sense of achievement, recognition or anything else, that makes people strain. The prosperity created by this effort benefits everyone. If there is no reward or if it is equalized after the work is done, there is no incentive to perform, which leads directly to a loss of prosperity: without a new harvest, supplies are quickly used up.

But why has equality not yet found its way into the Museum of Ideas? It is inhumane and unjust, leads to less freedom of decision and action, it reduces prosperity. So what's the secret promise of equality that could outweigh all of these downsides? Perhaps it is the fact that equality promises freedom from envy. Freedom from envy is nice for those who used to be envious, who are no longer ashamed of envy and who no longer have to feel bad because of (supposed) deprivation. Freedom from envy is also nice for those who used to be envied who no longer have to fear envy with its destructive effects.

Most people prefer a relatively better position, even if it is associated with an absolute loss. To put it bluntly: Better, I feel bad and the others are even worse than I am doing well, but the others are better. Within narrow limits, this behavior is thoroughly rational, because social status is a resource that can be used to improve one's absolute position. However, it is irrational to accept an absolutely large loss of prosperity for a small relative advantage. In this context, it is downright threatening that it has been shown in behavioral experiments that many people who want to put the improvement of others into perspective do not try to improve their own situation, but work towards making the situation of the better - even if they do this is associated with high costs for them. The destruction of wealth and advantages is unfortunately not limited to experimentation.