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Joyriding the Gravy Train of Economic Inequality

I escaped from the shipwreck of the Soviet "workers' paradise," the forced inequality of socialism, and chose the volunteer material inequality of capitalism.

by
Oleg Atbashian

Bio

October 17, 2009 - 12:00 am

This “something else” is precisely the consequence of the view of human beings as spiritless creatures, devoid of mind and free will, and dependent on the government for sustenance. It also happens to be a view that permeates today’s media coverage of domestic and international events, as well as films, books, and TV shows produced by cultural elites obsessed with economic equality.

Few of them will argue that the spiritual rewards one derives from life are often more important than the material ones, and that a poor artist may enjoy a richer spiritual life than a government clerk or a CEO. But doesn’t that make them spiritually unequal? Shouldn’t cultural elites make award-winning movies and documentaries exposing an appalling spiritual unfairness? Shouldn’t they call for massive street protests against the poor artist — the metaphysical hog who selfishly hoards spiritual values and leaves others to live in moral depravity? Shouldn’t the clerks and the CEOs use media channels to vent their spiritual envy, decry the spiritual gap, and give scripted media interviews about the indignity of living in a system that allows the rich in spirit to get richer as the poor in spirit get poorer? Where are the self-righteous campaigners for spiritual equality?

Let us defer these questions to the experts on “egalitarian justice,” whose one-sided fixation on economic equality can be explained by the fortunate circumstance that spiritual equality is beyond their control, or they would be redistributing that as well. Not that they haven’t tried to redefine spirituality, supplant it with a surrogate version, and preach the redemption of guilt for having a bourgeois lifestyle. The redistribution of surrogate spiritual units in the form of carbon offsets payable to the Church of Climatology is one of the recent additions, along with the new definition of original sin as “having been born as a carbon-based life form.”

The only kind of equality that can be realistically achieved among humans is equality before the law, meaning equal rights and opportunities for all. Despite some historical setbacks, such equality has already been achieved in the Western world, and its beneficial results are obvious. Equality before the law is incompatible with forced economic equality, which rigs the game by infringing on the rights of the more productive in favor of the less productive, limiting opportunities for some to benefit others, and taking by force from one select group only to give unearned material gains to another select group.

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