Egalitarianism. Is It Equal To The Task?

The 2014 Olympics is fast approaching… starting-line

 Should Olympians ‘race’ when everyone gets the same prize at the finish line?

 Egalitarianism = equal outcomes.  And equal outcomes are what Progressives want to have happen within our legal system, within our education system ~ within society as a whole.

 Egalitarianism is posited as a means to create the unspoken Utopian bureaucratic island where near-perfect socio-politico-legal systems exist and where no one has advantage over another except for the so-called elite who have been ‘blessed’ with “superior intellect.” Only they know enough to define life for you. (e.g., Cass Sunstein’s recent Nudge book).

 In my younger days I was a sprinter.  I would run many heats and then the final events.  To do so I had to prepare for the weekly track meet. I will use my own ‘summer event’ experience to help you to consider whether egalitarianism is equal to the hard work and discipline required for life’s trials and to decide whether the rise of “egalitarianism” will benefit or hurt our society.

 I wrote the following as a ‘real-life’ depiction of my understanding of the “Constrained Vision” and the “Unconstrained Vision” as delineated by Thomas Sowell in his own favorite book A Conflict of Visions:

A Tale of Two Foot Races

Race Number One:

Eight men enter a race.  They are roughly about the same height and weight but come from very different backgrounds. The eight men enter the race knowing that there will only be one winner.  It was for this outcome that they had prepared themselves with rigorous discipline during the past four years.

Months prior to the track meet the eight men are told of the rules:  A runner must run in qualifying heats. If the runner is successful in those heats the runner will then be allowed to compete in the final race with the other qualifying runners;  a runner who jumps the gun twice at the starting line will be disqualified as having a “false start”;  the commands “Ready”, “Set” and a gun shot will be used by a track official to start the race fairly;  each runner must stay in his lane or he will be disqualified;  runners will be timed and the first runner to cross the finish line will be the winner of the race.

The runners all agree and sign off on the rules before the race.

On the day of the race and after qualifying in the heats eight runners come to the starting line.  They know that they must run straight ahead in their own lane to reach the one-hundred meter line. They know that if they jump the gun twice they will be disqualified from running. They know that they must sprint as hard as they can to cross the finish line first. They are knowingly competing for first place. The race before them has now become the culmination of years of exhausting training and dedication to finishing the race and receiving first prize.

When the race is announced the runners shed their sweats and come to the starting line. The track official then announces, “Ready”. The runners will then carefully position their legs into the starting blocks and place their open hands stretched behind the starting line.  

Once the runners have settled the track official then snaps “Set”.  The runners immediately come up to a “set position”, coiled in their starting block. With the burst of the starting pistol eight men bolt from their starting blocks and run down the track as fast as their disciplined bodies will carry them.

The winner of the race is the one who breaks the tape. There is also a second, a third and fourth place finisher. The runners-up each congratulate the winner for his speed and, implicitly, for his fidelity to the rules and his commitment to the sport of racing.

The first three finishers receive medals, adulation and wreaths of honor from the thousands who have come to watch a fair race between those who have so vigorously prepared themselves. The experience of the race has bolstered each runner’s self-esteem. The cheering crowd is also moved by each runner’s self-sacrifice, dedication and self-discipline. This spectacle has confirmed the crowd’s understanding of athlete’s playing by the rules and aspiring to excel within those rules. Those who witnessed the race that day are stirred, encouraged to excel at what they do.

All eight racers later return home.  The runners-up are now more dedicated than ever to prepare for another day of racing and to receiving their own crown of victory. Ciltius, altius, fortius.

Race Number Two:

Eight men enter a race.  They are roughly about the same height, weight but come from very different backgrounds. The eight men entered the race knowing that everyone will be a winner.  It was for this outcome that they saw no need to prepare themselves with rigorous discipline during the past four years. They just had to show up.

Months prior to the race the eight men are told the rules.  They are told the rules are subject to change at the time of the race based on the current ad hoc articulated reasoning of one superior intellectual with unquestionable virtue.  A runner must run in qualifying heats but this will not be a constraint. Whether or not a runner is successful in those heats he will be allowed to compete in the final race with other ‘qualifying’ runners. The heats are basically events created to satisfy the need for more equality.

More rules: a runner who jumps the gun twice at the starting line will not be disqualified from running. Instead he will be given another chance; the commands “Ready” and “Set” and a gun shot will be used by a track official to start the race fairly, though any sincere attempt to cooperate with the official will be accepted; each runner must stay in his lane or he will be disqualified unless, of course, their background is such that they have never stayed within the lines; runners will not be timed because such keeping of minutes would be discrimination against slower runners.  The first runner to cross the finish line will wait at the finish line so that everyone will be considered a winner of the race. This must be done at any personal cost to the first one crossing the finish line.

The runners agree and sign off on the rules before the race.

On the day of the race all of the runners come to the starting line.  They know that they are supposed to run down to the finish line before the outcome-determining patrons. They know that there will be equal prizes and the egalitarian appreciation of well-wishers to look forward to. They are going to run for this reason. This race is now the culmination of years of knowing that the battle is just showing up and doing what you are told.

When all the runners are in their starting blocks and their hands are behind the starting line the track official then says, “Ready”.  After a long moment of reasoned judgment the official says “Set”.  The runners come up to set position.  Then the race official shoots the starting gun. The eight men come out of their starting blocks and run down the track as fast as their unfocused discipline has trained them.

At the finish line everyone is a Finisher, even those who left the race due to being out of breath. There are hand-shakes and kudos all around for having shown up for such an event.

At the awards ceremony all the runners receive medals and congratulations. Thousands have come to watch a race between runners who have shown up for a race where the outcome was predetermined to be fair ~ fair as defined by the few judges of superior intellect and of unquestioned virtue.

Later, all the runners return home and rest for another day of showing up.

*****

A Tale of Two Foot Races:  Equal Opportunities vs. Equal Outcomes by Sally Paradise © Sally Paradise, 2013, All Rights Reserved

Added 2/7/2014:

Communism Leads to Slavery Not To Equality

Course Correction Needed: 2012

Currently, we as a nation have as our leader the only un-American President ever to hold the office.  He is un-American not because he is black or because there have been questions about his place of birth.  He is un-American precisely because he wants to transform America into a completely different country ~ effectively, an EU style nation under centralized control. And as such the liberty of the individual will convert to the power of the state and its elite contingent.

Here is what a member of Britain’s Parliament said in a recent book warning Americans about the Europeanization of America:

The alarming thing is that President Obama, the former chair of the Senates’s Europe Committee, seems genuinely to believe that the United States can usefully learn from the European political and social model.  The platform on which he was elected, and the policies he is now implementing, are not a series of initiatives lashed randomly together.  They amount to a sustained project of Europeanization:  state health care, government day care, universal college education, carbon taxes, support for supra-nationalism, bigger government, a softer national policy.

 Of course European leaders are flattered by the mimicry.  But, in their hearts, even they know that pursuing such an agenda leaves a country less prosperous and less free.[1]

In order to accomplish this change Obama regularly uses blatant demagogic rhetoric of the class warfare type to stir up fears.  And, with a sliding scale of European-like moral relativism coupled with the Left’s anthropocentric humanism, he ultimately promotes the worship of man and his material needs – One nation under man and his “fair share” of material goods.

With all the arrogance he can muster and an uncontrained vision of top-down government Obama truly seeks to unsettle Americans from their long-standing moral and religious heritage and move them into the framework of a secular democracy based on nothing more than rational humanism and anthropocentrism. He plays to the fear of inequitable outcomes (materialism) and encourages envy cleverly disguised as egalitarianism.  But consider these telling words from economist Thomas Sowell:

 “Those who want to take our money and gain power over us have discovered the magic formula:  get us envious or angry at others and we will surrender, in installments, not only our money but our freedom.  The most successful dictators of the 20th century ~ Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao – all used this formula, and now class warfare politicians are doing the same.”

  “Envy plus rhetoric equals “social justice.”

Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it. (emphasis mine)

 Nor is economic failure the worst of it.  The millions slaughtered by Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot for political reasons are an even grimmer reality.

Obama daily brines us with acerbic fairness talk hoping to stir up a maelstrom of unrest and radicalism, hoping to push the U.S. into a European model of government where the rule of “Fairness” and “Rights” replaces Truth and Love.  In this madness Obama is helped by the influence of the European George Soros, his money being channeled into progressive media outlets.

Obama dislikes the U.S. because he envies Europe.  He does not want to exalt America’s exceptionlism and its unmatched charity.  Rather, he wants to extol Europe’s elitism and its useless intellectual humanitariansim.  He believes Europe to be superior to America in many ways including societal issues and in the nature of its governance.  He certainly believes Europe to be on the height of societal evolution when in fact Europe is cutting off its own moral foundations at the root.

As a student of radical SDS terrorist Bill Ayers Obama also bows to the 60’s radical’s vision of democratic revolution, but he does so now in a new button-downed guise of “Hope and Change.”  (BTW:  the phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear in the Constitution. The phrase was coined by Bill Ayers in 1975.)

Since the 1960s when the radicalization of democracy began it has continued to undermine all authoritative institutions and even Truth itself. The 60’s radical prostrates himself before pure autonomy and consent, offering nothing of value in exchange. Beyond all this Obama wants to place over America the banner of “One World” ~ “One World Under Man and Materialism

Under such a “One-World” banner Obama would pledge U.S. allegiance to international energy, environmental, economic, judicial and social policies. This banner would replace our own hard won historically, philosophically and religiously birthed constitution with an Eric Holder type of pick and choose demagoguery – a tyranny of the unconstrained vision to which Obama, Holder and Europe fully embrace. It is a banner of an abstracted democracy which encourages people to abandon self-governance and the idea of Truth. Under such a banner “The pressure builds to defer to elite opinion, to the requirements of humanitarianism and egalitarianism, to the moral authority of international law.”[2]

Not just because of the ineptness of his leadership, his lack of statesmanship, his neglect of history, his political cronyism, his scorn of facts or his faux spirituality should Obama be a one term president.  If  Obama were to be elected again America would lose its heart, mind and soul to the nihilism, secularism and parasitism of socialism so characteristic of the European nations today ~ nations floundering under the weight of their own foolishness, lack of self-governance and spiritual neglect.

America needs an American President. We need a president who will guide us, a republic established by spiritual and philosophic men and women of great insight, of great learning and of great depth of character.  The founders were people of self-governance committed to the best possible outcomes available to every man.  What we have now is a one-dimensional populist autobiographer whose main devotions are to himself and to golf.

“Barack Obama also is the deep thinker who ponders great things.  And the thing that Barack Obama seems to ponder most is his own greatness.  He doesn’t write biographies, he writes only autobiographies.  He gives speeches which he declares to be historic.  He recognizes his place in history long before he has created history.  This nation is but a stage upon which Barack Obama creates his life story, and it’s all about him.” William A. Jacobson,  A Harvard Trial Lawyer for McCain

America does not need the snarkiness and hubris of light-weight Obama. We certainly do not want or need a president who cut his ideological “teeth” on the teachings of people like 60s radical Bill Ayers and “God Damn America” Jeremiah Wright. We do not need a freshman senator from Illinois to vote “Present” during our times of national crisis.

The pilgrims left Europe in order to embrace freedom of religion ~ a freedom from a centralized religion. In the process they, along with Truth-honoring statesmen helped to form an American Republic derivative of and dependent on Truth.  Obama’s presidency is now piloting our ship away from the shores of vested Truth and back towards Europe. There the vacuum of moral relativism with its detestation of Truth will suck the U.S. down into its sink-hole.

God Save America from Obama.


[1] Daniel Hannan, The New Road to Serfdom: A letter of Warning to America (New York:  Broadside Books, 2010), 76

[2]  Daniel J. Mahoney, The Conservative Foundations of a Liberal Order  (ISI Books, 2010) 21

Where Do You Start?

A Tale of Two Foot Races

Race Number One:

Eight men enter a race.  They are roughly about the same height and weight but come from very different backgrounds. The eight men enter the race knowing that there will only be one winner.  It was for this outcome that they had prepared themselves with rigorous discipline during the past four years.

Months prior to the track meet the eight men are told of the rules:  A runner must run in qualifying heats. If the runner is successful in those heats the runner will then be allowed to compete in the final race with the other qualifying runners;  a runner who jumps the gun twice at the starting line will be disqualified as having a “false start”;  the commands “Ready”, “Set” and a gun shot will be used by a track official to start the race fairly;  each runner must stay in his lane or he will be disqualified;  runners will be timed and the first runner to cross the finish line will be the winner of the race.

The runners all agree and sign off on the rules before the race.

On the day of the race, after running in the heats, the eight qualifying runners come to the starting line.  They know that they must run straight ahead in their own lane to reach the one-hundred meter line. They know that if they jump the gun twice they will be disqualified from running. They know that they must sprint as hard as they can to cross the finish line first. They are knowingly competing for first place. The race before them has now become the culmination of years of exhausting training and dedication to finishing the race and receiving first prize.

When the race is announced the runners shed their sweats and come to the starting line. They will then position their legs into the starting blocks and place their hands stretched just hugging the starting line.  Seeing the runners in place behind the line the track official then says, “Ready”.  Then after a moment he says “Set”.  The runners then come up to a set position waiting for the starting pistol to go off.  When it does the eight men jolt from their starting blocks and run down the track as fast as their feet will carry them.

At the finish line the winner is the one who breaks the tape. There is also a second, a third and fourth place finisher. The runners-up congratulate the winner for his speed and, implicitly, for his fidelity to the rules and his commitment to the sport of racing.

The first three finishers receive medals, adulation and wreaths of honor from the thousands who have come to watch a fair race between those who have so vigorously prepared themselves. The experience of the race has bolstered each runner’s self-esteem. The cheering crowd is also moved by each runner’s self-sacrifice, dedication and self-discipline. This spectacle has confirmed the crowd’s understanding of playing by the rules and aspiring to excel within those rules. Everyone who witnessed the race that day is stirred to motion – a motion to go home and try harder.

All eight men later return home.  They are now more dedicated than ever to prepare for another day of racing and to receiving the crown of victory.

Race Number Two:

Eight men enter a race.  They are roughly about the same height, weight but come from very different backgrounds. The eight men entered the race knowing that everyone will be a winner.  It was for this outcome that they saw no need to prepare themselves with rigorous discipline during the past four years. They just had to show up.

Months prior to the race the eight men are told the rules.  They are told the rules are subject to change at the time of the race based on the current ad hoc articulated reasoning of one superior intellectual with unquestionable virtue.  A runner must run in qualifying heats but this will not be a constraint. Whether or not a runner is successful in those heats he will also be allowed to compete in the final race with other qualifying runners; a runner who jumps the gun twice at the starting line will not be disqualified from running. Instead he will be given another chance; the commands “Ready” and “Set” and a gun shot will be used by a track official to start the race fairly, though any sincere attempt to cooperate with the official will be accepted; each runner must stay in his lane or he will be disqualified unless, of course, their background is such that they have never stayed within the lines; runners will not be timed because such keeping of minutes would be discrimination against slower runners.  The first runner to cross the finish line will wait at the finish line so that everyone will be considered a winner of the race. This must be done at any personal cost to the first one crossing the finish line.

The runners agree and sign off on the rules before the race.

On the day of the race all of the runners come to the starting line.  They know that they should sincerely try running down to the finish line. There will be prizes and the appreciation of well-wishers to look forward to. They are knowingly going to try for this reason. This race is now the culmination of years of knowing that the battle is just showing up.

When all the runners are in their starting blocks and their hands are behind the starting line the track official then says, “Ready”.  After a long moment of reasoned judgment the official says “Set”.  The runners come up to set position.  When the race official shoots the starting gun the eight men come out of their starting blocks and run down the track as fast as their preparation has trained them.

At the finish line everyone becomes a finisher, even those who left the race due to being out of breath. There are congratulations all around for having showed up to such an event.

At the awards ceremony all the runners receive medals and kudos from the thousands who have come to watch a race between people who have showed up for a race where the outcome was predetermined to be fair – fair as defined by a few judges of superior intellect and of unquestioned virtue.

Later, all the runners returned home and rested from another day of showing up.

*****

A Tale of Two Foot Races:  Equal Opportunities vs. Equal Outcomes by Sally Paradise © Sally Paradise, 2011, All Rights Reserved