Equality and Fairness

by Robert Arvay

Perhaps the most famous of all fictional statements regarding equality comes to us from George Orwell’s classic, Animal Farm:  “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” The animals, of course, were symbols for people.

Perhaps the most famous nonfictional statement on this topic is, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The first quote, the Orwellian statement, is classic in that it demonstrates the duplicity of those who profess to believe in equality, but who are in fact supremacists, believing themselves to be superior to ordinary people, superior not in skills and virtues, but rather, in their entitlement to rule. The very word itself, “equality,” is distorted by them to mean its opposite. Such verbal inversions are yet another Orwellian device used for deceit and tyranny (see his novel, 1984).

The statement in the Declaration of Independence is also classic, in that it embodies an entirely different ideal of equality, that of personal responsibility and autonomy, both of which are anathema to those who promote socialist statism.

A word often associated with “equality” is, “fairness.” I think that we can all agree on fairness in its generic sense. Who among us advocates for unfairness? The problem is that we all define fairness in different ways. For some people, fairness means that everybody shares equally in the fruits of those who produce those fruits. For others, it means that everyone is free to produce his own fruit, and keep what he produces.

Stating it in this fashion makes it very clear that freedom is not about taking somebody else’s “stuff.” That is not freedom, but stealing.

Therefore, socialists do not call it stealing, they call it, “sharing,” or by various other euphemisms including taxation, and even “investing.” They call it redistribution. They accuse the producers by saying, “You didn’t make that, somebody else made that for you.”

Socialists point to the evils of what they call, “unfettered capitalism.” They would have a point if there were any such thing, but there isn’t.  Besides that, there is a vast difference anyway between pure capitalism and free markets. The so-called capitalists of the 1800’s and early 1900’s were never shy about exploiting big government to ensconce themselves in power. By forming monopolies, they shut off access to free markets for the ordinary citizen. There was no free market. 

Free markets do not come about in the absence of government. They come about when the primary purpose of government is to empower individuals.  When everyone has equal access to the marketplace, when anyone can start up a legitimate business, when small startup businesses can operate without being regulated out of business — then it is that you have free markets.

Fairness, then, is not defined by government power, because government power can too easily fall into the hands of big business. How else does General Motors get a massive, taxpayer bailout, while Hank’s Custom Auto gets nothing except the tax bill to pay for it?

Fairness is defined by the word, “freedom,” and by its twin word, “responsibility.”

There is so much more to this topic than can be covered here. Let’s encapsulate some of the positions taken by the social left into a few satiric statements.

1. I would like to be a quarterback in the National Football League. It’s not my fault that I do not have the talent or the physique to do so. Therefore, the NFL is unfair to me. The rules are rigged to keep me out.

2. Women get pregnant. Men do not. This gives men an unfair competitive advantage in jobs and promotion. Therefore, the government should force the National Football League to reserve half of its roster spots for women, including half its quarterbacks, and half its players at each and every position.

3. Marriage is traditionally heterosexual, because it takes one man and one woman to produce children. That’s not fair to homosexuals who wish to have same-sex marriage. The majority should abandon its moral principles in order to accommodate homosexuals. This abandonment would force Christians to participate materially in same-sex wedding ceremonies by providing supportive services (bakery, photography, etc), their moral values be damned.

4. Marriage is also traditionally confined to two people. If homosexuals can erase the opposite-sex requirement for marriage, then what justification can there be for maintaining the two-person standard? Marriage should consist of any number of people. It’s only fair.

5. Some people have poor health. Others have excellent health. This health inequality is a travesty. Either healthy persons should compensate unhealthy people through forced insurance plans, or else, the healthy people should become unhealthy, so that everyone can be equal. 

These are only a very few of the absurd statements that illustrate the inherent inability of government to make everyone equal, and to make everything fair. There is no end to it. Not terribly long ago, there were actually serious proposals to force high end department stores to hire male dressing room assistants for women’s dressing rooms, including the lingerie department. The proposal would have ruled out any consideration of customer preference.  If you think this is a joke, read this:

“A young woman was fired from the Macy’s San Antonio Rivercenter department store for refusing to violate her religious beliefs by permitting a young man dressed as a woman from entering the women’s dressing room.”

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According to the social left, in order to be fair to everybody, one principle must be paramount above all others:  Everybody is equal, but some people are more equal than others.

Robert Arvay is a Contributing Writer

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