In a local paper, on a weekly basis, one of our old, not-so-friendly, neighborhood radicals writes a variation on the following sentiments:
“My wife and I find it immensely disturbing that we live in a country where people are allowed to have money and spend it as they see fit.
Where they’re allowed to make choices she and I disagree with.
Where they’re allowed to criticize ideas my wife and I adore.
Where they’re allowed to have more things…or a better quality of life…just because they work harder than someone else. Or, even worse, because their parents did.
Thus, we need to take away their stuff and force them, socially engineer them, into submission with our Good Ideas.
And we promise you: We will be the first in history to make these Good Ideas work. For we are the masterminds capable of achieving absolute equality throughout the land. Just ask us.”
So how does this wondrous Utopia come about? Some all-knowing mastermind snaps their fingers one day and everyone else just goes along with it?
What about diversity? Of ideas. Of thought. Of preference. Whole lot of different kinds of people out there. But…
Absolute equality requires absolute conformity. Meaning no more choices.
How do these dreamers intend to persuade the unwilling without threatening them with violence and imprisonment?
How do you make all these Good Ideas happen?
You can’t. Bring to bear all the firepower and intimidation you can muster, it’s still not going to happen.
Because, first of all, people aren’t perfect. We’re not machines, nor are we all saints. We’re all flawed. Not some of us. All of us. Nobody’s incapable of making a mistake. Nobody.
Second of all, there’s not a single human being on this planet who doesn’t operate on self-interest. That’s why giving total control to this one or that one, no matter the reason, no matter how noble the stated intention, is a real bad idea.
Propping up some devious prick know-it-all, above the law, with no consequences for whatever heinous shit they inflict on other people, (that being the mindset if not the reality)… Hey, what could ever go wrong with that, right?
Fairness. Equality of outcome. Wake up. Somebody’s got to have the power. Not just a little bit, but of the all-consuming variety.
Give anybody that kind of power, you better believe they’re going to use it to line their pockets, enrich themselves, grab special privileges, take care of their family and friends.
Why? Because that’s the nature of human beings.
History gives us no other example.
Collectivist daydreaming aside, we’re also unique. Being unique, as individuals, we’re not all going to want the same things or share the same ideas. There’s going to be a clash.
So face it, in this perfect society of all-encompassing equality, contrarians are going to have to be controlled. Skulls are going to have to be cracked. Deny it if you want, but if so, that just tells me you really haven’t thought it through.
You get a police state like that, whoever runs it, no matter how miserable they make it, absolute equality stays nothing but a pipe dream. Sooner you wake up and shrug it off, that unrealistic, implausible expectation, the better.
Winners. Losers. Ups. Downs. That’s life.
Start thinking you’re larger than life, that you got the power and the know-how to change the way it works, the way it’s always worked? Put that arrogant mindset into action, and guess what? You’re not solving a thing, just making it worse.
And in the end? Life? Guess what? It’s still going to beat your ass.
So if you really got all that compassion inside you that you’re claiming, do the rest of us a favor: Mind your own business.
Actually celebrate differences for a change, or better yet, respect them, instead of weaponizing them.
And if you’re not mature enough to quit daydreaming about pushing other people around, the least you can do is keep it where it belongs, that being the only place your Good Ideas could ever possibly work:
Inside your own narrow mind.