Equality of Opportunity Always Masks Desire For (More Than) Equality Of Outcome

Last November, Spiked magazine held a discussion panel on “Is the left eating itself?” at which appeared ex-Evergreen State College professor and self-described progressive Bret Weinstein. You may recall that Weinstein was chased off campus by a mob of social justice warrior students.

Weinstein answered yes to the question, the only possible response. Except for the amplification that they’re eating everything else, too.

Why the voracious appetite?

“I recognized that there was a hidden dichotomy between two populations within the left.” He continued, “One of those populations earnestly wishes equality, and there can be some debate over what it is that is being equalized, but virtually everybody on the left would say that they are for equality of opportunity.

“Then there is another population that does not wish equality of opportunity, what it wishes to do is to turn the tables of oppression…you would discover that some of the people who had been pursuing some nominal version of equality were really about some radical version of inequity with new people at the head. And I do think that is what we are facing.”

Genuine equality of opportunity is rare, found only in carefully controlled situations. Take runners toeing the line in a race. Everybody starts in the exact same position, measured down to the millimeter. Any runner found edging off the mark before the gun, even by a fingertip, is disqualified, or causes a re-do.

But this careful scrutiny only occurs because the runners have proven themselves eligible to participate in the race in the first place. Years of inequality (training, biology, etc.) went into creating a moment of controlled equality of opportunity.

It’s also plain that this controlled equality is expensive. The groomed track, trained judges, even the audience: it all adds up. What’s maybe not as obvious is the glaring inequality necessarily created in this mini-equalitarian scenario. Not just that only the best runners will be there, but they will either be all men or all women.

True, some of the women might be men pretending to be women, as in this race, but the natural and ineradicable inequality between the sexes will be manifest. Who would host a race pitting the best men against the best women? Who could doubt the outcome? Only somebody who is convinced in genuine equality and who desires equality of outcome.

There is no evidence of genuine equality. All outcomes, except in specialized or trivial circumstances, are unequal. Men and women do not race equally in the sense the top runners will be on average male, nor do they take math tests equally in the sense the top and bottom scores will on average be male. Men and women have never produced equal outcomes (in these senses). There is no observation that confirms equality. Yet some still believe in it. This can only be the result of ideology, which is the only possible way thousands of years of observation can be dismissed in favor of theory.

Those who preach for equality of opportunity generally believe in equality in general, though they will claim this equality is occult. Genuine or true equality really does exist, but it is hidden or suppressed, and there would be genuine real equality of outcome if not for forces holding back equality. That these forces exist is, of course, proof in inequality, at least in ability to wield these forces. Believing in forces thus disproves equality.

At any rate, nothing but equality of outcome will do for some. And by equality of outcome, what supporters mean is the superior result of some favored group or groups.

Here’s the headline: Oxford University gives women more time to pass exams.

Students taking maths and computer science examinations in the summer of 2017 were given an extra 15 minutes to complete their papers, after dons ruled that “female candidates might be more likely to be adversely affected by time pressure”. There was no change to the length or difficulty of the questions.

Equality demands men and women are no different, therefore equality of outcome should result. When it does not, forces are at work. At the least, it must be that men are better suppressing women who take math and science tests, or that women can’t face the pressures of testing as men can. True inequality must exist. So equality is false. Thus there is no reason to expect equality of outcome.

In this case, changing the test time changed nothing: “Men continued to be awarded more first class degrees than women in the two subjects.”

The next step is to change the tests, and make them so that equality of outcome occurs. Equality, since it doesn’t exist, must always be enforced by artificial means. And, of course, this force proves the inequality. Satisfaction will only be announced when more women than men produce top scores.

Categories: Culture

5 replies »

  1. The kind of “equality” one observes coming from activist groups mucking in adult society is an unachievable ideal that CAN, and often DOES pretty much exist on the playground among children.

    That’s a clue and here’s part of an assessment:

    “Under the creed of modern liberalism, the individual citizen is not called to maturity but is instead invited to begin a second childhood. Like the child at play, he is given, or at least promised, ultimate economic, social and political security without having to assume responsibility for himself. The liberal agenda requires him to remain in an artificial environment–the daycare program of the grandiose state–where he need not become an adult, take responsibility for his own welfare, nor cooperate with others to achieve what the state will give him for nothing.”

    That quote is from (the website for the book, The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness, by Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr., M.D.).

    Arguing about the pragmatic issues of “equality” in action is okay…and in broad social themes such as law where equality is manifested in equal rights (e.g. anti-discrimination in housing/hiring, equal rights such as woman’s right to vote, and so on) is undoubtedly for the better. Lately we see things taken to bizarre extremes, and those extremes are explained well (if unavoidably in somewhat dry academic-ese by Dr. Rossiter) as outward manifestations of metal defects.

    The mental issues involved also account for some (not all) of the asserted lack of ‘free will’ such as in yesterday’s essay’s topic — the ‘tell’ is when the ‘we-have-no-free-will’ viewpoint goes to extremes that are thinly veiled rationalizations for abdicating personal accountability/culpability. (Numerous studies have shown, consistently, that what most of us consider “free will” isn’t, often to surprising extremes; so much of human behavior is a kind of averaging and autonomous process — though we think/believe otherwise…however…the research shows we can, when we try, truly exercise more “free will” — the corruption such as flagged in yesterday’s post is in taking routine behavior and extrapolating that to one extreme. Briggs likes to take the opposite extreme, that everything is free will, and occasionally regales us with linguistic gems such as: “…you little biochemical automaton, you…”).

    The above referenced book touches on “free will” in a sense more associated with individual freedom:

    “…modern liberalism does not seek authentic freedom, despite its historical association with that ideal, nor does it foster the individual’s growth to competence. It does not promote the virtues of individual liberty: not self-reliance, responsibility, dependability or accountability; not cooperation by consent or initiative or industry; not high moral standards or caring or altruism. It does not seek a society of sovereign citizens, but fosters instead a society of allegedly victimized dependents under the custodial care of the state. In keeping with its origins in early childhood, the liberal agenda endorses self-indulgence through short-term hedonism and primitive impulse gratification. In keeping with its ethic of injustice collecting, the agenda seeks ever increasing government regulation to defeat alleged villains, and ever increasing levels of unearned compensation, reparation and restitution to compensate alleged victims. In keeping with its secular tradition, modern liberalism attacks the legitimacy of formal religion, dismisses its historical importance and denies its critical role in maintaining the nation’s moral integrity.”

    This quote sums up nicely:

    “Under the creed of modern liberalism the individual citizen is not called to maturity but is instead invited to begin a second childhood. Like the child at play, he is given, or at least promised, ultimate economic, social and political security without having to assume responsibility for himself. The liberal agenda requires him to remain in an artificial environment–the daycare program of the grandiose state–where he need not become an adult, take responsibility for his own welfare, nor cooperate with others to achieve what the state will give him for nothing.”

    And what are Left Wing initiatives taken to extremes, such as “equality” [from legal rules to opportunity to results…] than efforts at re-creating the kind of stability only found on the playground or in a day care center? Those are efforts by people with the mental stability of children, who despite aging into adult bodies have never grown up (often because of their own emotional traumas). LOGICAL DEBATE WILL NEVER, EVER, PENETRATE THE MENTAL DEFENSE MECHANISMS DRIVING THE VALUES AND BEHAVIORS.

  2. Despite evidence that the demands for equality look so much like a quest for omnipotence, I wonder if deep down there might be lurking a longing for perfection and a return to the Garden.

  3. Ken,

    You mention that equality manifested in equal rights, for example anti discrimination laws, are ok and undoubtably for the better.

    I will argue that anti discrimination laws are the cornerstone of the radical equality movement. What can possibly be worse than a law that prohibits one from exercising their own volition with regard to who they hire or who they sell their property to? The right to hire rests with the employer, not with the candidate. Your right to marry who you like rests with you, not prospective mates who may feel discriminated against. The loss of the right to discriminate has led directly to the forced methods to achieve equality.

  4. “Equality of Opportunity Always Masks Desire For (More Than) Equality Of Outcome”
    It doesn’t mask anything at all.
    Nobody need ‘mask’ their ‘desires’ for fairness.
    Simply moaning that equality gives unfair advantage to the disadvantaged is ‘masking desire’ of a different sort. It pretends that the sort of fairness you like is different from the other fellow!
    Life isn’t fair! Which is why we have criminal law courts let alone Civil ones.

    There are and have been measures throughout time to improve fairness.
    Giving candidates for competition, tests, jobs, whatever opportunity that is equal simply states that, just like the children in a blind school, they are given the opportunity to sit the same exam as the sighted child rather than being forced to be a burden on society and do nothing with their life because some unimaginative types think they can’t do what a sighted person can. As it turns out, they can do a lot of things better and often do.
    It’s the same kind of lack of imagination which holds back all sorts of human endeavour historically.
    There is no such thing as equality. Quoters are not remotely the way to go and are damaging for a host of obvious reasons. However, your title goes a bit too far and borders on neurosis about this topic. Anybody should be allowed to apply for a job. That’s equal opportunity. Everybody should be given the chance of an education if education is any kind of thing to aspire to.
    Or we could go back to the days when only rich people received an education. In which case ‘Worcester college for blind sons of worthy gentlemen’ existed in such a system and poor underprivileged sighted scallywags went uneducated whilst snotty nosed blind boys were educated by rich gentlemen. I’ll vote for that. I’m flexible.

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