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Progressivism and Equality vs. Equity

Robin Mizrahi

Posted on March 2, 2021 04:50

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Social warriors call themselves Progressive, but there’s nothing progressive about revisiting old, failed Marxist theory. The political doctrine that everyone deserves equality of result—rather than equality of opportunity—led to one of the saddest and darkest political experiments of the 20th century.

One of the 50+ Executive Orders President Biden has signed since becoming president was his order that “The Federal Government should pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all.”

And Vice President Harris, in a Twitter-circulated video, recently said “Equitable treatment means we all end up in the same place.”

But does it? 

Equity is a structural concept based on the idea that everyone merits the same level of success in life. Sounds fair and noble. The problem is that it’s an idealistic and unattainable goal. 

Society must ensure that everyone has equal opportunity to achieve through access to education, the enforcement of anti discrimination laws, etc. But it should not, and cannot, guarantee equal results. 

In today’s Progressive thought, equity and equality are functional opposites. Instead of promoting equal treatment of all individuals, the equity movement believes in treating people unequally in order to equalize outcomes. In other words, equity precedes equality of rights. Underdog status supersedes history and ability.

Proponents of the equity movement believe that equal opportunity is not enough, and that if an individual doesn’t succeed, it’s not the fault of that person but of society—and therefore society must do something about it.

The problem with this theory is the unfortunate reality that from the moment of birth, human beings are not nurtured equally. Some develop intelligence and talent, others do not; some are born healthy, others suffer from physical and mental illnesses; some are born into families that encourage hard work and education, others have absent or neglectful parents.

In addition, as adults, people make choices. Some spend their 20s enjoying their freedom. Others learn a trade or toil in school, which will usually lead to a more satisfying career. Human beings have vastly different childhood experiences, lifestyle choices and work ethic, making it impossible for everyone to end up on equal footing.

The government cannot create equal outcomes because people don’t start out on a level playing field. Short of a vast societal manipulation in which the government assumes complete parental control over every infant, the belief that everyone can and should end up on the same level of personal, professional or financial success is unrealistic.

The theory of equity found its most forceful expression in late 19th century Marxism. Karl Marx called for dissolving free enterprise and creating a government-regulated, classless society in which everyone has the same quality of life. The ensuing Russian Revolution resulted in most everyone—except the elite government enforcers—living impoverished lives.

Social warriors call themselves Progressive, but there’s nothing progressive about revisiting old, failed Marxist theory. The political doctrine that everyone deserves equality of result—rather than equality of opportunity—led to one of the saddest and darkest political experiments of the 20th century.

Equity is a well-intended moral concept, but it’s senseless public policy. Even under the most draconian government mandates, society cannot be engineered to create equity for all.

Robin Mizrahi

Posted on March 2, 2021 04:50

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Source: Mental Floss

The dictionary definition of ‘equity’ seems similar to that of ‘equality,’ but there’s an important distinction between the...

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