Fear of Equality, Part 5. 03/12/2013

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THE impression forces itself upon one that men measure by false standards, that everyone seeks power, success, riches for himself and admires others who attain them, while undervaluing the truly precious things in life.

Thus begins Freud in his book, Civilization and its Discontents. We can speculate some other time about what the “truly precious things in life” may be, since such things are wholly subjective and would prevent us from cleaving to the matter at hand. But Freud does reveal a tendency or a trait within human beings, that we are often given to measure our relationships, environment and thoughts by false standards, through manipulation, ignorance and wishful thinking.

This has been my thesis so far: people fear Equality because differing groups of people fear the domination or misuse by other Groups.

There can be no vast accumulation of wealth within a system of relationships of equal cooperation. There is no rational explanation of how massive social inequality could exist within cooperative relationships within the Group. Thus, the idea of Competition, rather than cooperation, was used  to justify and protect the wealth and property of the haves from the have-nots; a framework that makes sense only within the paradigm of Capitalism.

This fear of the Group is channeled and misdirected into elevated, metaphysical conceptions as values of competition, liberty, free will and Individualism. Of these, liberty, free will and the Classical Liberal deification of the Individual are thought experiments that can only be measured and compared through the signification of vocabulary or artful terminology. Of these, only competition can be considered an event taking place in reality, since competition has very real consequences and effects that can be measured, seen and experienced. The others are mental projections that are used to justify the means and ends of competition.

Managing the Trinity of Fears

There is a Trinity of great Fears that predominately exist within human beings, and they are:

(1) knowledge that each one of us has needs that must be met in order to survive.

(2) Nobody can be trusted, and,

(3) Survival is wholly dependant on access to money or those with money.

To deal with these fears, and more importantly, matters of survival, it is believed by social scientists that early social Groups were formed within relationships of cooperation to deal collectively with the issues of survival. As Society grew more complex and advanced, competition was introduced. How did this occur? The easiest answer has to do with man’s capacity for greed and desire for power over other groups and the environment. Wars and establishing controls over groups became the accepted standards for managing people and resources. There is even a saying about the realities of war that confirms this: to the victor goes the spoils. [1] Capitalism provides the incentive to compete, survival is the motivator, the point between life and death, as well as the attainment of value through the fulfillment of desire via “winning” (acquiring property, sex or fame).  The “loser” is accorded the loss of value, since the loser’s value must be extinguished and consumed by the winner.

It was a very neat and fiendishly clever trick to convince the Group that an existential “winner – take – all” competition for survival was the best and most efficient mode of living. Yet for over 500 years, modern Capitalism has reigned as the winner over all other economic systems. But it required a lot of help from the philosophers, economists and science to do so.

Conceptions of Society

Philosophers, scientists and churchmen have all had their own ideas about forming the perfect society; The major thinkers include Plato, Augustine, Marx, Lenin, etc.. In Plato’s Republic, the cornerstone of society would be “justice.”  Plato’s perspectives were informed by his aristocratic status in Athenian society, and he had a suspicious and disapproving view of democracy, preferring his utopia to be ruled by elite philosophers.

Augustine believed that the ideal society would be one entirely devoted to Christian principles in order to gain entrance into the City of God in the hereafter. Augustine believed that if the State followed the teachings of Jesus Christ, justice and peace would ensue.

By the 18th Century, philosophers like Jean – Jacque Rousseau and others proposed that a perfect utopian state existed before being debased by European culture. Rousseau envisioned a future community that linked political “freedom” with education, but at the same time was pessimistic that self-interest could be overcome to a point that would allow such a reality to unfold.

Karl Marx proposed that “true freedom” could not be found through individual means, but only through the community. Marx’s ideal community would be a classless one of equally shared property and resources, which would only emerge after the conflicts that will cause the collapse of Capitalism.

Amazingly, small – scaled experiments of egalitarian communities were formed in Europe and America in the 19th Century by Robert Owen, Charles FourierÉtienne Cabet and others.

Despite the failure of these communities to survive, the common notions of economic and political equality would never completely be lost, although these principles would live on in diluted and distorted forms within the various stripes of socialism (which has never escaped the gravity of market capitalism, thus keeping the social inequalities in place).

The fear of Equality is based on a false, mental reality that has produced severe material and physical consequences for humanity and the environment. These consequences are fast approaching the line of no return that will endanger our civilization in ways that are scarcely imaginable, most likely in permanent, unpleasant ways. We need to find a way out of this date with a dystopian destiny before that line is crossed. Perhaps, if we could finally see and understand how a community based on common sense and Equality could become a workable, comprehensible reality, we can begin to fashion an alternative that will be to the benefit of all.

NEXT:The Natural Law Argument Against Equality

NOTE

[1] A peculiarly American political idiom that arose in the mid – 1800’s to describe a rewards – system that benefitted the winning candidate’s supporters with government jobs.

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6 thoughts on “Fear of Equality, Part 5. 03/12/2013

  1. Reblogged this on Process: 2014 and commented:

    The fear of Equality is based on a false, mental reality that has produced severe material and physical consequences for humanity and the environment. These consequences are fast approaching the line of no return that will endanger our civilization in ways that are scarcely imaginable, most likely in permanent, unpleasant ways. We need to find a way out of this date with a dystopian destiny before that line is crossed. Perhaps, if we could finally see and understand how a community based on common sense and Equality could become a workable, comprehensible reality, we can begin to fashion an alternative that will be to the benefit of all.

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