A female named Harriet Harman at England’s Equalities and Human Rights Commission has discovered a new method of producing inequality under the law.
She has codified this method—England’s version of a legal patent—in a Parliamentary procedure called an “Equality Bill.” England, like many European countries, has proudly led the way in producing unequal treatment under the law for its citizens in the name of “Equality.”
The law mandates that organizations consider the “impact” of their policies on “minority” groups. This method of inequality was, of course, already well known. Harman’s genius was to insist that any group which holds distinct beliefs can form their own minority. To quote: “A belief need not include faith or worship of a god or gods, but must affect how a person lives their life or perceives the world.”
Harman gave “vegans” as an example of a new minority. A “vegan”, she said, is a person who “eschews the exploitation of animals for food, clothing, accessories or any other purpose and does so out of an ethical commitment to animal welfare.”
Lest you feel this is arbitrary, the Daily Mail reports that “[a] spokesman from the commission explained: ‘This is about someone for whom being vegan or vegetarian is central to who they are. This is not something ‘thought up by the commission’.”
Incidentally, it should be pointed out that no human can be a complete vegan in practice. It is impossible for a human to eat without both directly and indirectly killing animals. Many small animals—insects, worms, mice, and so forth—are killed both in the planting and harvesting of the vegetables vegans eat. The fields also provide a food source for many animals, and they in turn provide a food source for various predators. Thus, the very act of planting a crop causes the death of many animals.
In any case, the classification of minorities covers “any religious belief or philosophical belief” or and even “a lack of belief.”
Among the many anticipated successes of this new law will be the banning of dress codes (which might discriminate against transsexuals) and the outlawing of “ladies’ nights” at pubs.
That’s the news, now the analysis.
A minority group is defined as a set of humans who share a belief that is “central to who they are.”
Now, a set—in mathematics, anyway—can include just one, or even no, members. In the name of “equality”, then, England must admit that any belief, even if it is held by just one person, as long as that belief is “central to who they are.”
Technically, this must also be true for a belief that is (currently) held by nobody. I won’t insist on this definition, but examples of easily frightened bureaucrats anticipating protected beliefs are too easily brought to mind.
The law will require that organizations consider how their policies might adversely “harm” minorities. The law doesn’t say “harm”, but that, of course, is what it will amount to in practice. No minority sues for redress against advantages.
Inequality before the law arises because it is the minorities that get to define the “harm” they are caused. It is they who get to decide what actions are considered negative and discriminatory. This follows logically. It cannot be, for instance, the bureaucrat who codifies what counts as harm (for minorities consisting of at least one member), because it is the minorities who define themselves.
Thus, to be consistent, England must allow any individual to claim minority status. She must also allow each individual to define what he considers harmful behavior directed toward himself. And England must write regulations to disallow that harm, whatever it might be. Thus, it must guarantee unequal treatment under the law.
This is obviously insane.
There must have been some lone soul at the Equality Commission who realized this, because he put out that “scientific or political beliefs such as Marxism and fascism would not be covered.”
“Whew!” thought opponents, “At least we won’t have renegade bands of Hitlarians or other militant socialists running around. They’ll be disallowed to claim minority status.”
Maybe so. But if that’s true, the Commission is saying that it knows certain beliefs are verboten, which is equivalent to saying it knows which beliefs should be encouraged. That is, the Commission is saying it has a complete moral code, and that its moral code trumps any other, including those codes that are completely independent of government, such as religious codes.
This is a point of elementary logic. If the Commission can create a minority, it is they who are making the moral judgment of what is good and what bad. Either they must let every behavior claim equal status. Or they must discriminate.
Thus, the Orwell-named Equality Commission guarantees inequality. Since equality is nowhere to be desired, this is fine. But the evidence is that the Commission will discriminate against anything that is traditional in favor of whatever is not. And that is silly.