by Barry A. Liebling
In 2021 January the Biden administration assumed control of the executive branch of government. Wasting no time, both President Biden and his top advisors announced their intention to enact a host of new policies that will aim for equity rather than equality. As expected, the proclamation was cheered by various leftist factions and was condemned by libertarians, conservatives, and anyone who appreciates the importance of liberty.
The way equality policies are distinguished from equity policies is repeated frequently in cultural institutions – including schools, businesses, the news media, and the entertainment industry. With the equality theme everyone is supposed to be treated the same. This idea is captured in the often quoted Martin Luther King call to “Judge a man not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character.”
Note that equality – properly understood – is explicitly individualistic. What you deserve depends on what you do (not on how you look or what happened before you were born).
“Woke social engineers” have no sympathy for individualism or the idea that people should be treated the same. Their orientation is collectivist. An equity enthusiast looks at groups of people – instead of particular individuals – and decides what each group is supposed to have. Your worth is calculated according to which groups you belong to, and your personal actions are less important or possibly irrelevant.
The problem with equality policies from the viewpoint of leftists is that it does not give them full control over outcomes. If everyone is held to the same standards, some people will make out better and others less well. And this will occur without the permission of the leftist ruling class.
If equity is the goal, equal treatment is discarded because the equity architect seeks very specific end results; some people should be given more good things while others should have less. And who should be helped or hurt must be decided by leftist thought leaders. But how is the decision made regarding which groups should be pampered and what categories of people need to experience losses? Enter Neo-Marxism which has had a strong role in defining the culture for more than half a century.
In classic Marxism there are economic oppressors (the capitalists) and the oppressed (the proletariat). Neo-Marxism expands the idea to multiple diametric groups. The notion is that the oppressed deserve to overthrow the oppressors. Think of class, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and more to be invented. As we have all learned from the dominant culture the more oppressed groups you belong to the more society owes you. Conversely, if you are a member of one or more oppressor categories you need to be punished (think straight white American-born males).
Members of oppressed groups deserve every consideration and should be showered with prizes, while people who are designated as belonging to oppressor groups have to give up their “unearned privileges” and need to be pushed down.
Consider the deep messages equity policies send to citizens. If you are designated as an oppressor you have two choices. The woke ruling class wants you to feel guilty and ashamed. You can partially redeem yourself by consistently apologizing for your identity (which is assigned to you by Neo-Marxists) and show good faith by endlessly criticizing others in your group if they do not share your decision to embrace self-hatred. The theme that you project to the world should be, “I deserve to be punished.”
Alternatively, if you recognize that you have been smeared as an oppressor by the equity gang you can refuse to accept the slander. In that case you will resist, and will regard any institution or person that pushes equity as illegitimate.
What is being communicated if you are branded with an oppressed label? The main take-away is you are told (falsely) that you have no agency. Your actions count for nothing, and any problems you have are caused by the existence of the oppressors. If your outcomes improve you are supposed to be grateful to the equity hustlers.
Of course, there are individuals designated as oppressed who recognize that the Neo-Marxist system is a fraud. If you have this accurate insight you will have no respect for the cultural elite that are pushing the equity poison.
Note well that equity policies are deliberately designed to lead people to despise one another. Oppressors are told they are being penalized for their group identity which is independent of their personal actions. The oppressed realize that rewards based on equity imply that something was stolen from them, and there is no reason to feel sympathy toward thieves (the oppressors). The woke elite believe that encouraging and stoking resentment will make it easier for them to rule.
Americans have to decide whether to promote equality or to push equity. It is one or the other. If you appreciate liberty it is obvious that equality is the right answer, and equity leads to disaster.
*** See other entries at AlertMindPublishing.com in “Monthly Columns.” ***