Why Inequality Works
As terrible as it sounds, I feel that the most surprising and important lesson I have learned from this course is that inequality works. Evidence of this is in the works of Burke, Marx (his failure to prove a case against inequality in a capitalistic society proves the opposite), and More.
To begin, in Burke and More, it is made clear that inequality has allowed for the specialties of individuals and for the success of many. It is because of specialization that men have been able to thrive. If all men played equal roles in a society, they would all be stuck doing the same thing, or as Hannah More implied in The Village, we would all be in our backyards caring for home gardens. If all citizens were preoccupied doing the same thing then there would be no room for any kind of societal, governmental or philosophical advancement.
Although I am calling for a society where there is inequality, there must certainly be justice for all. Inequality, as paradoxical as it may seem, can allow for the justice that is necessary for a democratic society. Especially, if you consider that inequality makes room for those who are most suited to be in power. This allows society to function close to its maximum efficiency. Those who are above average intellectually and socially are able to create laws necessary to keep society in line, and provide for the proper judgment making that allows for the justice of man. Such laws and judicial interpretations can allow for princes and paupers to face the same jurisdiction, especially when enacted by an indirect democracy. It is better for inequality to reign, than for “Joe Six-Pack” to be calling the shots.
A modern society must be unequal in order to thrive, not only socially. but economically. Just look at how well Marx’s theory of communism plays out. It is terrible when it is applied. There isn’t equality, but a lack of motivation and justice. What country that has attempted such so-called “equality” under the name of communism or else has prospered? The only noncommunist, but “equal” societies would be in third world countries where the people survive by the means of hunting and gathering. Should westernized nations aspire to that? Men should be able to do what they’re best at, and develop a specialty. If we were all totally equal in the eyes of the government, citizens would become complacent and they would then loose their drive to create and innovate.
Inequality allows for man, government and business to specialize. Specialization creates means for excellence. When one excels, whether it is in a certain business or philosophy or whatever, it is further developed. When it if furthered, those who are involved prosper, and many other outsiders are able to reap the benefits. For instance, if Steve Jobs hadn’t spent his time specializing in computer science, I wouldn’t be typing this blog post up on my Mac, but instead plunking it out typewriter (okay that might be a stretch, but you get the idea). In end I am saying that inequality allows for creation and innovation. We are all far better off with it than without it.