Thursday, 14 December 2006

The Egalitarian Fancy

It seems incredible to suggest that there are people who think it wrong for parents to want what is best for their children, that is, wrong to provide them with the love, support and opportunities that will happen to give them advantages over others less fortunate than they; but since equality is the madness of the age, we should have no trouble in believing our eyes when the symptoms are so markedly ugly.
…..One hated source of difference and advantage is private education. Whilst some can afford it, and some cannot, it can only be an object of the egalitarian’s wrath. Zoe Williams of The Guardian, for instance, thinks it reprehensible that parents should wish to fulfil their duty of care to their children in wanting the best education for them, being that it allows them to “[buy their] way out of equality”. [1] But why on earth would one want to flush oneself and one’s ilk down the drain of equality in the first place?
…..Never mind for the moment that, to come close to the egalitarian fancy, every man, woman, and child must come under the control of one power, so that nothing be left to varied chance, talent, diligence, responsibility, or even love – an injustice of opportunity perpetrated against every man, woman, and child. Never mind for the moment that, in practice, the egalitarian fancy produces the most startling inequalities in power between those who must maintain the suppression of inequalities and those who must be made subject to it, which, moreover, will require for its operation a suffusion of mendacity throughout society. Think for the moment only of what madness it is to maintain that equality is in every respect better than inequality, whereby, it is better that there be three ignorant men than one ignorant and two knowledgeable; or three poor men than one rich and two poor. What can explain this? Is it a genuine fear that advantage will lead to domination? But then, one would have to do away with every advantage, every marked skill or talent, every source of culture – and banish chance itself! Besides, as already mentioned, the drive towards this equality – this destruction – makes domination necessary, most likely in a ruthless and mendacious form. Perhaps, after all, it is the working-through of a political will to power, parasitical on resentment, which sees that a mass of, say, equally ignorant men is easier to dominate than a group of varied men.

[1] Zoe Williams, “A mixed bag of morals”, The Guardian, 13th December 2006.

3 comments:

Hesperian said...

Very well said!

billy said...

You over state your case.
Public schools exist as questionable charities because they are protected by powerful ex pupils.
All that is needed is a level playing field for all pupils at the start and then let ability, diligence and talent take them where it will.

james higham said...

...Perhaps, after all, it is the working-through of a political will to power, parasitical on resentment, which sees that a mass of, say, equally ignorant men is easier to dominate than a group of varied men...

I was speaking with a fluent French speaker [and adequate English]today and mentioned P-G and your good self as the two I have found in the blogosphere with both the turn of phrase and the grammatical consistency.

I would dearly love to know the source of your education.