Tag Archives: equality

Vonnegut’s Dark Vision, by Jim Quinn

Greatness lifts those around it, failure tries to bring everyone to its level. From Jim Quinn at theburningplatform.com:

“THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.” – Harrison Bergeron – Kurt Vonnegut

Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut Short Story Bundle Common Core Aligned

Kurt Vonnegut’s short story – Harrison Bergeron – was written in 1961, and in Vonnegut’s darkly satirical style, portrayed America in 2081 as an disgracefully dystopian nightmare. Little did Vonnegut know what he considered outrageous and 120 years in the future, would be far closer to our current dystopian reality just 60 years later. The story was brought to my attention by my wife a week ago when we were talking about the absurdity of masks, their uselessness in stopping viruses, how they are nothing more than a means to control the population, being used to spread fear, and as a dehumanizing technique.

She remembered the name Diana Moon Glampers from reading the story in high school. Never has a story that takes 15 minutes to read, captured the evilness and depravity of a government demanding “equality” in a more succinct and brutal manner. Its parallels with our current government enforced lockdown, mandatory muzzles, mainstream media propaganda, and social media censorship is uncannily accurate.

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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Nonsense, by Walter E. Williams

Short women with no talent for basketball are underrepresented in the NBA. Should we be concerned? From Walter E. Williams at lewrockwell.com:

Check out any professional and most college basketball teams. Their starting five, and most of their other 10 players, are black, as is 80% of the NBA. This does not come anywhere close to the diversity and inclusion sought by the nation’s social justice warriors. Both professional and college coaches have ignored and threw any pretense of seeking diversity and inclusiveness. My question to you is: Would a basketball team be improved if coaches were required to include ethnically diverse players for the sake of equity? I have no idea of what your answer might be but mine would be: “The hell with diversity, equity and inclusion. I am going to recruit the best players and do not care if most of them turn out to be black players.” Another question: Do you think that any diversity-crazed college president would chastise his basketball coach for lack of diversity and inclusiveness?

Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (National Accelerator Laboratory) is home to the world’s most powerful experiments, fastest supercomputers and top-notch physics researchers. Much of SLAC’s research is on particle accelerators that are complicated machines that are designed, engineered and operated to produce high-quality particle beams and develop clues to the fundamental structure of matter and the forces between subatomic particles. You can bet that their personnel makeup exhibits very little concern about racial diversity, equity and inclusion. The bulk of their scientists is not only Americans of European and Asian ancestry but mostly men. My question to you is: What would you do to make SLAC more illustrative of the racial, ethnic and sexual diversity of America? As for me, my answer would be the same one that I gave in the basketball example: I am going to recruit the brightest scientists and I do not care if most of them turn out to be men of European and Asian ancestry.

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The “Try-Hard” Club: Limp-Wristed Marxists Need Not Apply, by Brandon Smith

The old-fashioned ethic was that if you wanted respect and admiration, you had to do something to earn it. Marxism puts the cart before the horse, to use an old-fashioned expression. From Brandon Smith at alt-market.com:

Memes are a dominant force in popular culture today, and there is good reason for this; they allow people to inject an argument into discussion without having to actually compose that argument. In other words, by sharing a meme, everyone already knows what you are saying without an explanation. We all do this from time to time.

When I refer to a woman screaming at a man on the sidewalk for not wearing a mask as a “Karen”, most people immediately understand why this woman is a problem. She fits an archetypal mold, she has made herself into a walking, talking stereotype. The meme describes a thing everyone has experienced and is tired of dealing with. Memes make debate easier – They take on a life of their own.

That said, problems arise when dishonest people try to hijack a meme for their own agenda. For example, how many times have you seen crazed leftists call a conservative a “snowflake” because he/she is criticizing crazy leftist behavior? The meme refers to people who let their emotions get in the way of reason and they have “meltdowns” when faced with facts that disagree with their feelings. It also refers to people who fear competition and discomfort so much that they are trying to reshape the world so that it is “more fair” and less threatening to their self esteem. It does not apply to people who are logically debunking terrible behavior and terrible arguments.

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On the Road to Oblivion: “Quality, Thy Antonym is Equality!” by Doug “Uncola” Lynn

The drive for equality of results, as opposed to equality before the law, results in both social deterioration and unequal outcomes. From Doug “Uncola” Lynn at theburningplatform.com:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

― C.S. Lewis

On Thanksgiving eve, I was notified of a circumstance which caused me to drive thirteen hours round trip the following weekend.  The event which precipitated my travels is now beside the point, but I will say, given prior commitments and work scheduling, I was compelled to go alone. I didn’t mind. So I booked my hotel located in a major American metropolis, and that Saturday, packed my bag, grabbed my toothbrush and car keys, and bid my bewitching bride fare-thee-well.

Rather than take my larger rig, I decided to drive something more compact for the city; and more fun.  Soon, I was rolling over roads that were seemingly slung before me like waving ribbons in a whimsical wind. Although my material journey had just begun, mentally, I was already traveling down familiar, distant thoroughfares at the speed of thought; what The Grateful Dead would call the “West L.A. Fadeaway”:  Little red light on the highway, big green light on the speedway, hey hey hey.

My coincidental cognitive cruise began with gratitude. If I were to align sonic bell curves to represent my personal automotive preferences, the car I was driving would percuss the pinnacle position of every measure. With just the right exterior dimensions, and the perfect amount of interior room, horsepower, safety, comfort, reliability, economy, and style, I am fortunate to own such a vehicle. I knew I would successfully complete my mission and favorably manage all comers.  Yet, with any other make, model, or trim level, I would have had to accept some degree away from the apex of my carefully calibrated predilections.

To continue reading: On the Road to Oblivion: “Quality, Thy Antonym is Equality!

He Said That? 5/26/16

From Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–1859), French political thinker and historian, Democracy in America, Volume I, (1835):

There is in fact a manly and legitimate passion for equality that spurs all men to wish to be strong and esteemed. This passion tends to elevate the lesser to the rank of the greater. But one also finds in the human heart a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to want to bring the strong down to their level, and which reduces men to preferring equality in servitude to inequality in freedom.

He Said That? 4/26/16

From Honoré de Balzac, (1799-1850), French novelist, La Duchesse de Langeais (1834):

Equality may be a right, but no power on earth can convert it into fact.

He Said That? 2/22/15

From Allan Bloom, American philosopher, classicist, and academician, The Closing of the American Mind:

Contrary to much contemporary wisdom, the United States has one of the longest uninterrupted political traditions of any nation in the world. What is more, that traditions is unambiguous; its meaning is articulated in simple, rational speech that is immediately comprehensible and powerfully persuasive to all normal human beings. America tells one story: the unbroken, ineluctable progress of freedom and equality. From its first settlers and its political foundings on, there has been no dispute that freedom and equality are the essence of justice for us. No one serious or notable has stood outside this consensus. You had to be a crank or buffoon (e.g., Henry Adams or H. L. Mencken, respectively) to get attention as a nonbeliever in the democracy. All significant political disputes have been about the meaning of freedom and equality, not about their rightness. Nowhere else is there a tradition or a culture whose message is so distinct and unequivocal—certainly not if France, Italy, Germany, or even England. There the greatest events and the greatest men speak for monarchy and aristocracy as well as for democracy, for established religions as well as for tolerance, for patriotism that takes primacy over liberty, for privilege that takes primacy over equality of right. Belong to one of these peoples may be explained as a sentiment, an attachment to one’s own, akin to the attachment to father and mother, but Frenchness, Englishness, Germanness remain, nonetheless, ineffable. Everybody can, however, articulate what Americanness is. And that Americanness generated a race of heroes—Franklin, Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lincoln and so on—all of whom contributed to equality. Our imagination is not turned toward a Joan of Arc, a Louis XIV or a Napoleon who counterbalance our equivalent of 1789. Our heroes and the language of the Declaration contribute to a nation reverence for our Constitution, also a unique phenomenon. All this is material for self-consciousness and provides a superior moral significance to humdrum lives as well as something to study.

But the unity, grandeur and attendant folklore of the founding heritage was attacked from so many directions in the last half-century that it gradually disappeared from daily life and from the textbooks.

The Closing of the American Mind was published in 1987, and while the attention paid to it will wax and wane, it will never be dated or forgotten. While it was a critique of contemporary society, it was also a well-reasoned and passionate brief for the study of classic literature and art, and the wisdom and insight therein. Unfortunately, ours is an age where those with the least to say garner the most attention, while those with the most to say are either ignored or persecuted. This is a great book when you feel completely overwhelmed by the banality and falsity of modernity, and are asking: “Isn’t there more to life than this?” The short answer: there is, and this book is a great place to start finding it.