William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Equality Always Wins

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The gloomy, but accurate, words forming today’s title were penned by Damon Linker in “How Ireland’s gay marriage vote exposes the catch-22 of modern Christianity“.

That equality always wins is our predicament. It wasn’t always true, and since there is no force more destructive, it won’t always be true, either. And since those of us alive now are fated to suffer its ill effects, it is our duty to catalog its calamitous consequences in the service of future generations.

So, gmarriage never made much progress until one of its proponents hit upon the happy idea of calling it “marriage equality”. How can one stand against equality? One can’t. The Western mind has little or no resistance against any argument phrased in terms of equality. Hearing it creates a fog. It is the slayer of sanity. That any thing or situation should be unequal is intolerable, even if in inequality is impossible to remove, or even if removing it causes more harm than good.

Linker, though he doesn’t know it, poor soul, is right when he diagnoses the Egalitarian Virus as a corruption of Christianity, though of course he doesn’t see it as a bug of that man-made religion, but as a feature.

As I suggested in a column back in February 2014, the movement for gay marriage appeals to the ideal of equality — and the ideal of equality originated with Jesus Christ, “who taught the equal dignity of all persons, and declared in the Sermon on the Mount that the last shall be first and the first shall be last, and that the meek shall inherit the earth.” As I also noted, “These are among the most subversive teachings ever uttered — and … Western civilization has been working out their logic for the better part of two millennia, as political communities have applied Christ’s egalitarian teachings in stricter and stricter terms.”

That paragraph demonstrates the horrors of replacing thought with ideology. If the meek inherit the earth, then the meek will have something the non-meek don’t. Inequality. If the last are first, then they become first and the first last, another inequality.

Egalitarian Christians always manage to forget the parable of the talents (a clever pun in English). “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.” Inequality is built right into the system.

And there are many more examples. Just as there are in real life. Some people are men, others women. Inequality. Some are tall and some short. Inequality. Some smart, some dumb. Inequality. Some born yesterday, some today; some born there, some here. Inequalities. Trying to eliminate inequality is like passing laws to forbid mountains (one area of land towers above another, you see).

But Linker’s right about one thing: political communities have applied egalitarian teachings in stricter and stricter terms. And will continue to do so. Linker: “we live in a culture in which reformers who successfully claim the mantle of equality inevitably triumph — because those who oppose equality find it impossible to gain public traction for their own side of the argument.”

That’s right, too. The only mistake is to cheer on this murderous force.

Equality always wins. And when it does, the victory is in a very real sense a triumph for the moral teachings of Jesus Christ, whether or not the reformers view their efforts in religious terms. No institution — not even a church founded in Christ’s name — can withstand the subversive power of his message. Confronted by critics preaching equality, defenders of the institution’s authority and traditions invariably end up sounding like modern-day Pharisees upholding abstract rules and ancient privileges against a gospel of love and universal dignity. It’s fruitless.

Except for the falsity (and absurdity) of claiming the “moral teachings” of our Lord are egalitarian, Linker’s on the money again. The institutional Church cannot stand against Equality. And what cannot stand, won’t. It will crumble, like in Ireland, everywhere equality is embraced. It’s not that it will fall everywhere—that’s guaranteed not to happen—but it will in many places.

There is only one weapon against Equality, only one force which stops it, just one lance sharp enough to pierce its black heart. Inequality. The sooner that it is taken up, the better.

27 Comments

  1. An equalizing force is at the heart of the physical universe. We call it entropy. Should we be surprised it seems to operate with social organization too?

    But there’s another way to look at it. Linker is unaware of the Constructal Law of Design in Nature which holds that all systems continually restructure themselves to optimize flow. One characteristic of mature systems is “few large, many small” as exemplified by the army with few generals commanding many privates or drainage systems with few large river channels that are fed by many small streams. Inequality is a fundamental component of all systems. Linker, like most progressives, just wants to be a general so he’s going with the flow and using language to enhance his position. If he’s right about the power of “Equality” then opponents need to appropriate the term for their own use.

    Society is in a particularly active phase of restructuring right now to optimize flow. Understand that “optimize” doesn’t mean morally right or ultimately the best; it only means reducing the barriers to flow at the moment. Things always change in ways hard to anticipate and there are always ancillary effects of change. It’s a complex world.

  2. The problem is the right is afraid of simply saying we are in favor of inequality, because such policies are in line with reality. People are NOT equal. Equal in that we will all face judgment in the end with no escape hatches for anyone, but beyond that, how can anyone posit equality?

    Gary is correct in diagnosing societal entropy, something Reactionaries have talked about for a long time. We can take heart in the fact that eventually, things in a state of entropy, self-destruct.

  3. What if woman had to worry about 2 sacks of potentially excruciating pain every day, every time she put on underwear, every time someone walked near; instead of just a few cramps once a month?

    If the first question is worth asking, then this one is too.

    THAT’S EQUALITY!

  4. Helmut Schoeck pointed out that egalitarianism is a manifestation of envy.
    http://www.amazon.com/ENVY-A-Theory-Social-Behaviour/dp/0865970645

  5. I have always wanted to argue it in this way. The principle of equality means that like should be treated as like. Calling it “marriage equality” therefore presupposes that gmarriage is the same as real marriage in every important detail. This is just the fallacy of begging the question.

    There is, of course, a collary to the principle of equality: what is unlike should not (necessarily) be treated as like. We might thus try calling gmarriage as marriage inequality. That would at least confuse people, and maybe make them think, (although unfortunately it is begging the question just as much as `marriage equality’).

    The problem we face is that the modern world sees a label it likes, never asks whether the label is justified, and then loses its brain.

  6. Marriage was killed by divorce. Gay marriage is just maggots crawling through a long dead body.

    Voters gladly gave marriage to Gays as a token of equality, and it really is just a token, something without intrinsic value. Because it is dead.

    By the way, there is a good predictor for whether you have that equality instinct: Your grandparents were monogamously married.

    After all, monogamy must be one of the strongest embodyments of the equality instinct, overriding both the female hypergamous instinct and the male polygamous one that biology should prefer, thus equalizing reproductive outcome: the only one that counts in the long run.

    So, your monogamously married grandparents gave you that super strong equality instinct by way of inheritance. The problem? Marriage is dead.

  7. BB, I sort of agree with you…in a fashion. But in order for your asserted principle to be valid in the eyes of the law, would you not have to first change the legal definition of marriage? You refer to ‘unlike’ [I presume] in the manner of biological procreation….or perhaps a Biblical [of a sort] premise. The law currently requires from correlation with procreation nor religion, for a martial contract to be valid. This is why the ‘traditional marriage’ camp has consistently failed to make it’s case in the eyes of the court. It cannot show harm to the citizenry writ large, and it cannot show violation of the law.

  8. Gary,

    What is ‘flow’ in your context?

  9. @James

    Good question. I originally typed “information flow” but took it out. My instinct says that’s right, if vague. Information gives social power so as we’re seeing concentration of wealth (as predicted by the CL) happening, we’re also seeing the system adjust using another element. Information sharing through social media and technology is altering the power structure. It’s much easier to organize resistance now (the Occupy movement, flash mobs, etc.) and give The Man a poke in the eye. There’s a difficulty sometimes with identifying what’s flowing because the big system is composed of smaller ones (levels of organization) with different flows (which can be units, volumes, energy) and time scales. Boundaries aren’t always clear.

    See http://constructal.org/ if you are interested in the concept.

  10. Gary,

    I’ll check it out at some point, thank you for the explanation and link.

    My first thought is that, for society, the flow isn’t information, but rather morality (or moral directions/approval). I’m not big on the idea of approximating human societies with such simplified principles, but it does appear that we humans are extremely concerned with morality. The sources of that morality, the social cues, and the reinforcement/reward/punishment mechanisms do seem to drive aggregate behavior.

    It is, in my view, impossible for a society-level abandonment of morality (in any form). The new morality of ‘equality’ or ‘sustainability’, or anything else fill the void that Christianity isn’t (at least in the West). Social media and all that jazz changes the speed and visibility of certain moral ideas, and so it’s probably not unreasonable to describe that in shorthand with something like “restructuring to minimize the feelbads”.

  11. Inequality is built right into the system.

    Some people are men, others women. Inequality. Some are tall and some short. Inequality. Some smart, some dumb. Inequality. Some born yesterday, some today; some born there, some here. Inequalities. Trying to eliminate inequality is like passing laws to forbid mountains.

    So, Briggs, why do you need any weapons again equality? Perhaps, you do understand what marriage equality is about.

  12. James,

    Constructal theory (don’t tell Briggs; theory gives him fits) is concerned with measurable flow (it was developed by an engineer). I don’t think it’s possible to analyze the flow of moral behavior through a culture. How do you quantify a concept like morality? Beauty apparently has been quantified in terms of the Golden Ratio, though. I suppose there might be proxies, but I think moral climate would be a condition of the system rather than a flow element.

  13. You need to listen to a poem by Les Barker called “Blessed are the Meek” to really get this. Absolutely brilliant parody of what happens when the “meek inherit the earth”

    http://redmp3.me/6397453/ryan-kelly-blessed-are-the-meek.html

    is a link to hear the poem read aloud, but I will try to find the lyrics.

  14. Is gays getting the right to marry, and the various rights that go with that [like inheritance] involving a pool of some 2-percent or so of the population, is really so much a threat to that institution it requires so much discourse & fretting over? (that’s the RIGHT to marry & the rights that come with that, which is not the same thing as the SACRAMENT of marriage)

    And, presumably, if one buys into the ‘silence is consent’ construct, that a relatively new [few years old] trend in which “starter husbands” and “starter marriages” are not a cause for concern (and that from a group that might exceed 25-percent of the marriage-eligible population)!?!?!?

    Given the social trends now underway & accelerating in the “marriage arena,” giving gays the right to marry might establish them as a sub-population group that sets an exemplary example in terms of commitment & stability for “straights”…. Won’t that be a horrifying if it turns out that way….

    E.G.:

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-08-06/nine-wests-new-ads-sells-women-shoes-to-find-starter-husbands

    If you’re a lady, Nine West says leopard print pumps will help you find a husband. Actually, not your main husband. Just your “starter” husband—presumably the one you get before you have enough money to upgrade to a better husband. Also acceptable husband-snatchers: peep-toe stilettos, red leather gladiator heels, and some sort of open-toed boot thing called “meoww.”

    The Case For The Starter Marriage
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/09/starter-marriage_n_777375.html

  15. The equality thing was indeed good PR, as was the discrimination thing. But I’m not sure they would have been enough to make homosexual “marriage” happen if so many opponents’ arguments had not been so dreadful.

    “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman.” That’s little more than saying I’m an opponent. “Homosexuality is a sin.” That’s saying I want to impose my or my religion’s moral code on you.

    Of the opposition opinions I saw in the press, I’ll bet at least 19 out of 20 were of that ilk. If those were the only arguments I knew of in opposition, I wouldn’t have opposed it, either. Those arguments merely reinforced the narrative that we opponents are narrow-minded bigots.

    To me it all seemed like a massive friendly-fire episode.

  16. ‘ “Homosexuality is a sin.” That’s saying I want to impose my or my religion’s moral code on you.’

    “Homosexuality is fine” that’s saying I want to impose my or my religion’s moral code on you.

    Part of the problem is not viewing Liberalism for what it is, a dogmatic sect. And yes, they do want to impose. Hence, teaching children about sodomites in schools, and censoring any dissent against them with hate speech and equality legislation. You’ll notice that Russia succeeded in squashing this vermin because they did not try to be conciliatory towards cultural terrorist organizations. Whenever the agenda reared its ugly head, people stood up and spoke the truth plainly. In the United States, ‘Conservatives’ put up a pathetic resistance.

    This is why we don’t lack religion in our government, we have it, it’s just that the religion is Liberalism and its dogmas will be enforced upon everyone.

  17. John Wright wrote a lengthy article about why he is against same sex marriage.
    http://johncwright.livejournal.com/898333.html

  18. All men were not created equal.

    I find great irony in the fact the US “conservatives” resort to the US constitution – written by enlightenment deists- which was to a great part responsible for exporting this sort of lunacy outside of the US. Canada was a more traditional country for most of its history, ironically, until the Americanisation of the 1960s and 70s. You Yanks should have kept King George.

  19. This is what equality is about:

    From Cornell law,

    “The equal protection clause is not intended to provide “equality” among individuals or classes but only “equal application” of the laws. The result, therefore, of a law is not relevant so long as there is no discrimination in its application. By denying states the ability to discriminate, the equal protection clause of the Constitution is crucial to the protection of civil rights. “

  20. “‘ “Homosexuality is a sin.” That’s saying I want to impose my or my religion’s moral code on you.’

    “Homosexuality is fine” that’s saying I want to impose my or my religion’s moral code on you.””

    In neither of these cases does one impose is views on the other.

    In either of this cases people are still free to act as they wished.

    Imposition of moral code happens when one group either try to force or deny the other group their views.

    In the case of gay marriage no one is forcing none gay to get gay married, but the other group want to deny gays the same right they enjoy. This is discrimination an cannot be tolerated.

  21. Bla bla bla…

    The argument is about equality before the law, equality of opportunity, equality of our liberties in the public sphere. It is not about imposing an assumption of total equality in all ways amongst all. What would be the point? Moot. Moot would be your point. Even in the case of equal opportunity, we see this implied right has it’s limits. Our other rights trump it. Only in rare cases of real d’bags acting like real d’bags, and getting sued, do we see these implied rights contending with the Bill of Rights at all.

    You’re simply rationalizing applied Social Darwinism here, a far, far, far greater threat to humanity than the liberalization of rights could ever be. Of course, you must be familiar enough with history to know that, no?

    JMJ

  22. Briggs

    May 30, 2015 at 5:59 am

    All,

    Equality! Wesleyan administration ordered all fraternities to admit women as members.

    “With equity and inclusion in mind,” Wesleyan President Michael Roth wrote in an email to the student body in September 2014. “Women as well as men must be full members and well-represented in the body and leadership of the organization.”

  23. Women in fraternities will be the ones to “take charge” of events, fundraisers, etc. Men will yet again recede into the background.

  24. That bothers you, huh?

    JMJ

  25. Rich people pay more tax than poor people. Inequality!
    Old people get to vote more often then young people. Inequality!

    I think I’m getting the hang of this ….

  26. Semiotic Animal

    May 30, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Inequality as such is not the proper weapon as the real racism and sexism of the Reactionaries is demonstrating. This is because equality was never the real issue. Everyone had the equal right and protection to marry, man or woman, gay or straight, black or white. Gay and straight were equally able to marry a person of opposite sex. The same benefits and restrictions were imposed upon on all equally.
    The issue is the creation of a fiction, that is man’s attempt to enforce his will and desire over and against reality. The only real weapon against this is truth and Truth Himself crucified and the embrace of the greatest inequality in the universe between God and man which has been overcome by the most radical act of selfless love.

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