Egalitarianism Without Equality Is Tyranny

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Logan Albright via Mises Canada,

Egalitarianism is the favorite religion of the left.The idea of equality has always been cherished, from the French revolutionary cry of egalite, liberte, fraternite, to the modern obsession with income inequality being the source of all the world’s evils. It has gotten to the point that no one even bothers to question whether equality is in fact a desirable goal for society. It is taken as given.

The problem is that “equality” is a very, very broad term, with myriad meanings and interpretations. When conservatives and libertarians talk about equality, they usually mean equality of rights, of treatment under the law, and to a certain extent, of opportunity. By contrast, when progressives talk about equality, they mean it in a much more sweeping sense. Everyone should be given equal medical care, men and women should be paid the same amounts, and the fact that CEOs make more than factory workers is somehow to be decried.

Both of these approaches have their problems, the most important being that it only makes sense to treat things as equals if they actually are equal, a condition that is rarely met in the real world. A perfect example is the continual harping on “equal pay for equal work” when it comes to women’s wages. Defenders of the idea claim that women make 70 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men. This is a flat out lie. The statistic being cited comes from the Bureau of Labot Statistics, and is calculated by averaging all wages of women across the entire economy, and then comparing them to all wages of men. Nowhere in this number is anything said about “equal work” and the assumption that the average woman is performing exactly the same job as the average man is pure fantasy,

Imagine if we were to perform the same calculation, comparing 18-year-olds to 45-year olds. Of course, we would find that the average 45-year-old makes far more money than the average 18-year-old. But it would make no sense to complain about this discrepancy and demand equality, because these two groups perform drastically different kinds of work and have drastically different levels of experience.

Similarly, women make different choices than men in the labor market. They opt for different kinds of jobs, they tend to spend less time in the workforce and take more time off for family. These choices are reflected in the pay gap. Circumstances are not equal, so it makes no sense to apply equal outcomes.

Another example can be seen in a new push to achieve equal treatment in American public schools. The U.S. Department of Education is trying to eliminate racial disparities between suspension and other disciplinary rates in public schools, arguing that it is unfair to punish black students more heavily than white students. There would be some merit to this argument if black and white students engaged in disruptive behavior and other rule violations at the same rates, but they most emphatically do not. Punishments are meted out in proportion to the offenses committed, regardless of who commits them. Trying to equalize them is a fundamentally unfair approach, require either undue leniency on one group or undue severity to another based purely on the color of their skin. What could be a more inherently racist policy than that?

Imagine if we were to apply the same standard on the basis of gender? Everyone knows that boys misbehave in schools more often than girls do. Should we punish the girls more or let the boys get away with their antics all for the sake of equality? This is obvious nonsense.

The cult of egalitarianism demands equal treatment of unequal circumstances, a model that can lead only to tyranny and oppression. We have to stop thinking of equality as a necessary feature of a healthy society. The only sense in which people are truly equal is in their right to life and the control of their own actions. Any interference with these must be closely guarded against, but the politically correct imposition of equal outcomes on diverse personalities destroys individualism and abolishes freedom.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
HedgeAccordingly's picture

Electric vehicles and the promise of higher EPS is what keeps the machine moving.. we all die sometime.. until then.. here is an electric LR.
boogerbently's picture

Oh heavenly day! (wiping a tear from my eye).

A thousand thumbs up.

There is hope for the world (and ZHers).

The liberal idea of "equality" is to take money from those that have it,

and give it to those who don't, until everyone has an "equal" amount of money.

We have spent the last 50 years dismantling our society to give them an equal "opportunity",

without ever explaining success would require an equal "effort".


Frolf's picture

Debt, money, and the epitome of hyperbole

Anusocracy's picture

Hunter-gatherer liberals believe that everyone in the tribe should have access to what nature produces.

The people who came after them, conservatives, mostly believed that you should have what you produce - except for government's claim.

Those who came after them, anarchists, claim that a person's output is his own.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

When everyone is a superhero, no one is a superhero. And when everyone is finally dirt poor, no one will be dirt poor.

chinoslims's picture

Until i see a woman hit 50 homeruns in the MLB, throw 40 TDs in the NFL, Run a sub 10 sec 100m, win the PGA Masters, get a triple double in the NBA, or get a hat trick in the NHL, they will never get equal pay.  How can they demand equal pay.  Is government gonna have professional sports teams pay men amd women the same?  


On a side note, they will not tamper too much with pro sports because how else are they gonna implement bread and circuses.  They need sports to occupy the men and they need the Kardashians to occupy the women (and also the men too).

bread and circuses worked in Rome why cant it work here.

Ramesees's picture

A government is necessary to ensure that private property (and the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of private property) is protected.  Conservatives/libertarians understand this; anarchists do not. 

As James Madison said, "If men were angels, no government would be necessary."

jimmytorpedo's picture

Um,..the basic tenets of anarchism are respect for private property and the non agression principle.

I think you are confusing anarchists with the black block hooligans.

Statist FAIL.

boogerbently's picture


"a person who seeks to overturn by violence all constituted forms and institutions of society and government, with no purpose of establishing any other system of order in the place of that destroyed."


The nobler aspects of anarchy (respect/non agression) are imagined by you.

Anusocracy's picture

A little bias in your selection of a definition? It basically means without a ruler but .gov and its MSM are working on it. You too?

1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a person who advocates the abolition of government and a social system based on voluntary cooperation
2. a person who causes disorder or upheaval

August's picture

>>>dismantling our society to give them an equal "opportunity",

without ever explaining success would require an equal "effort".

The rational responses include 1) exerting less effort oneself, and 2) removing oneself from said society; both resonses are happening, and will intensify. 

If I can't get the carrot, I can always lie down in the road.  I have this real bad back....

junction's picture

The idea that egalitarianism is responsible for the tyranny and oppression we sometimes see reported in the lapdog press is about as convincing a claim as the claim Con Edison in New York City made some 50 years ago, blaming high levels of asthma not on air pollution from power plant smoke stacks but on bird droppings from pigeons ("pigeon fever").  Tyrants are responsible for tyranny. 

Captain Obvious.'s picture

I hold it to be a self evident truth that no two people are equal by any measure at all.

Justice demands that all are treated unequaly.

Equality is an invention of the Price of Light to befuddle and confuse.

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

The Price of Light is measured by power consumption. Watt are you talking about? The Chinese game show "The Plice is Light"?

0b1knob's picture

Equality?  Who the f*ck wants equality?   Everybody who talks about equality is planning to take some of my stuff and give it to the FSA.

I want freedom.   And I want to have MORE stuff than average.  Because I deserve it.

boattrash's picture

I'll be damned! What with all this "anything goes" new world we live in today, I guess when I go back to the boat I can just say I feel like a real bitch this hitch and command a 30% pay raise!

exomike's picture

Unclear writing. Reeducation camp for you if you don't clear this up.

exomike's picture

Unclear writing. Reeducation camp for you if you don't clear this up.

0b1knob's picture

In Tyler's perfect egalitarian society everybody would be equal.   And EVERYBODY would be above average.   Peace and justice would prevail.   And pigs would fly on gossamer butterfly wings over the frozen wasteland of hell while lions and lambs laid down and fornicated together without shame.


You have to BELIEVE!!

LetThemEatRand's picture

That's why I'm richer than you.  -- Jamie Dimon.

ebworthen's picture

Welcome to Pottesrville!

And Biff's World!  Amurika!

Bill of Rights's picture
Belgium Investigating To Repatriate All Gold Reserves

`VTM-nieuws has just reported the Belgium central bank has confirmed it's investigating to repatriate all its gold reserves.''

stopthejunk1's picture

The author does not appear to understand what the word "egalitarian" means.

Nice straw man.

Changing channel back to adult programming....

exomike's picture

Ah yes, the Libertarian War against the Straw Man. It's all they ever do.

Pure Evil's picture


xavi1951's picture

Don't bother to get your definition from wikipedia.  They have Islam down as a very egalitarian religion. WTF?

Kantbelieveit's picture

Who in hell is inisting that everyone is absolutely "equal?" Not one word here about proportionate rewards, of course. Anyone who complains about mega-wealth and rule by the plutocrats is an absolute equality zealot, and thus can be safely ignored.

This country is turning into a Hobbesian jungle of selfishness and savagery, and ridiculous sophistries like this post are tools in the hands of those who would crush the weak to serve the strong.

Equality is tyranny. War is peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is strength. We have heard this all before.


JR's picture

“[I]t has always been true that intellectuals, not the poor, have been the chief advocates of egalitarianism. Most poor people want to become richer. It is the intellectual class that is so often obsessed with envy and hatred of people who are more financially successful than they are. That they can manipulate survey questions that are used to make it appear that this view comes from ‘the poor’ and not themselves does not make this statement untrue.” – Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Organized Crime: The Unvarnished Truth About Government (p. 189)

Pure Evil's picture

Greak quote from DiLorenzo.

JR's picture

George Bernard Shaw, who described himself as a “Communist,” confirms DiLorenzo's observation. Shaw, one of the small group of English intellectuals who formed the Fabian Society in 1884, differed with Marx only over how the revolution would be accomplished in 1901. Wrote Shaw:

“Marx’s Capital is not a treatise on Socialism; it is a jeremiad against the bourgeoisie…it was supposed to be written for the working class; but the working man respects the bourgeoisie and wants to be a bourgeoisie; Marx never got hold of him for a moment. It was the revolting sons of the bourgeoisie itself, like myself, that painted the flag Red. The middle and upper middle classes are the revolutionary element in society; the proletariat is the conservative element.”

On that basis, writes Stormer in None Dare Call It Treason, “Shaw and the Fabians worked for world revolution not through an uprising of the workers but through indoctrination of young scholars. The Fabians believed that eventually these intellectual revolutionaries would acquire power and influence in the official and unofficial opinion-making and power-wielding agencies of the world. Then, they would quietly establish a socialistic, one-world order.

“(Sidney) Webb called it the ‘doctrine of the inevitability of gradualness’ – each change so gradual that the masses never awaken in time to stop the ‘inevitable.’”

Rejecting all suggestions of a political movement, the Fabians “planned to spread their influence by penetrating existing educational institutions, political parties, the civil service, etc. As a starting point, the Webbs established the London School of Economics…the intellectual center of the Fabian Socialist Movement…”

Oldwood's picture

Obviously what we need are more laws to punish the rich and redistribute to the poor and more effort to educate people to understand how their need for material things and financial security offends others who have made diffferent choices in their life, like people who have quit their jobs to pursue being a drummer or artistic basket weaver, or just sit at home and contemplate the meaning of life. Its unfortunate that so many will sacrifice their lives for money when they could have chosen to become a world champion video gamer or social worker happily distributing the discretionary earning of others.

Pure Evil's picture

The only real problem with redistributing the wealth is that it takes a middle man, the government, which manages to siphon off the majority of the wealth for itself.

In order to forcibly redistribute the wealth the government needs a bureaucracy to manage the redistribution of wealth which requires ever expanding budgets to steal and manage the process.

They more they steal the more the bureaucracy grows resulting in an infinite feedback loop until the country looks like Cuba or N. Korea.

kchrisc's picture

"Egalitarianism Without Equality Is Tyranny"

This is tyranny.

RIP Kelly Thomas

An American, not US subject.

Tyranny as it happens:

rejected's picture

No, that's murder... the worst kind of murder,,, murder by those paid to protect and serve.

will ling's picture
will ling (not verified) Dec 7, 2014 12:16 AM

fret not, we'll all be equal diggin' for shoots to eat under 12 inches of radioactive soil.

mrpxsytin's picture

What to do when this is the modern American 'man'?

Double.Eagle.Gold's picture

I'm suing the NBA, NFL, Pro Baseball.


White guys are discriminated against and not allowed to play in-proportion to their racial mix within society.

The day whites are fairly represented in the NBA, NFL, Baseball, etc. is the day we will have solved racial inequity.

JR's picture


And why are half the principal owners of the National Basketball Association teams Jewish (14) when there are only three Jewish players in the NBA? And roughly a third of the NFL owners are Jewish while 73% of NFL players this year are black?

But, hey, most cops are white.

How bad is this diversity profiling becoming in the USA?  The Milwaukee Journal’s Bob Wolfley wrote in September 2011 in “Considering the NFL in black and white numbers”:

Richard Lapchick's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport issued its annual racial and gender report card for the National Football League.

The NFL received an A grade on racial hiring practices, a C grade on gender hiring, for a combined grade of B.

The annual report breaks down every imaginable group in terms of race: players, head coaches, assistant coaches, owners, league management and even referees, team physicians, head trainers, and radio/TV announcers.

In 2010, 67% of all NFL players were black and 31% were white. In 2011, a total of 74.8% of the NFL's league office management is white. A full 100% of the majority owners in the league are white. A total of 22% of the head coaches are black, while 31% of the assistant coaches are black.

Winston Moss of the Packers is one of seven black assistant head coaches in the league. In 2010, Packers director of football operations Reggie McKenzie was one of 16 black vice presidents of teams…

Ad Nauseam Update:

The 2014 Racial and Gender Report Card: National Football League

Bopper09's picture

At least you didn't mention hockey, thanks,

kchrisc's picture

Actually this is a valid strategy: use their laws of plunder against them.

They have been loading up the "system" with, and using against us, one law of plunder after another. Time to turn it around on them--Let them stare down the barrel of their own gun.

It's called "jamming," as in clogging. Gulag prisoners did it, and if they can, then we can as well.

All reading this should be going through all of the treasonous ones' laws, not just those on race, gender, etc., from the local on up, and filing suit after suit demanding they comply with, and pay, with their own laws of plunder.

This is one org. that is: They even citizen arrested a county park board.

An American, not US subject.


"When all else fails, guillotine."

observiate's picture

awesome post.  i also propose we ZHers and/or all true libertarians (not leftists who pose as libertarians or even neocons who do the same)... anyways, I also propose we must mount the campaign to take back our word - Liberal.  The leftists co-opted the word in the mid- 1900s i believe. 

But von Mises himself wrote a book called Liberalism defining what being liberal actually means.  libertarians and conservative thinkers are actually more waaaaaay more "liberal" in the true sense of the words then leftist, statist "liberals" ever have been or will be.

for too long we have allowed the left to co-opt and sully the true concept behind the word, for they are liers, and deceivers.

mrpxsytin's picture

I keep telling you guys to come to Australia but you don't listen. Here, 'liberal' still means liberal. Our main conservative party is called the 'Liberal party'. 

Leraconteur's picture

Since many Aussie expats who return report the same thing - ''This country is a police state"" - due to the constant regulations, signs, and nanny-statism, I will take a pass. Will make a visit, though.

wendigo's picture
wendigo (not verified) Leraconteur Dec 7, 2014 11:46 AM

Why the fuck would I want to live in Australia? And yes I've been there.

smacker's picture

+1 more

"...all true libertarians (not leftists who pose as libertarians or even neocons who do the same)"

Spot on.

The Left is a master of disguise, presenting itself as libertarian when in truth it's nothing of the sort. Give them a chance in power and before long they're spewing out ever more prescriptive laws & regulations to control the genuine freedom-lovers and successful people on the Right. All in the name of "equality" of course.

The Left is one gigantic con-trick which has nothing to do with "equality" or "fairness" as its rhetoric would have us believe. It's all about getting control of the levers of power to impose "their" preferred model of society onto us all and, via taxation, to share our hard-earned wealth with their true believer followers. When people rebel against their statist tyranny, they soon introduce the militarised police jackboots as we are seeing across America , UK and elsewhere. The rest is history.


Monty Burns's picture

The other thing I notice about the 'egalitarians' is their uncanny ability to feather their own nests by gaining well-paid sinecures in various publicly funded quangos and 'think tanks', as 'human rights' lawyers and such. These posts always seemed to include continuous travel to conferences, access to plush offices.....and all funded by the unfortunate taxpayer whom they spend their lives afflicting.

Monty Burns's picture

This is true. The term 'liberal' has been utterly corrupted, and transformed into the polar opposite of what it really means.  Today's so-called liberals are intolerant totalitarian adherents of a religion in the truest meaning of that word.