Equality (Op/Ed)

Mitchell Messom & Greg Rodger – The Aquinian –

Like many terms that are often bantered about both in academia and common usage, the word equality is poorly defined, misunderstood, and horribly abused in its practice.

In Canada equality, whether understood or not, appears to be a buzzword of our society. Whether it is used to prop up a guise of multi-centralism, social justice or in the rallying cry of democratic values, equality is often used as a means to another end and rarely valued in itself.

We suppose this misunderstanding is due to conflicting views of what equality is.

For instance some think gender plays a role in equality, others believe the tone of your skin effects equality, while still others believe wealth is an indicator of equality.

We want to know what happened to being equal as human beings.

Surely wealth, race, and gender are part of being human but they are all accidental. What happened to the ideal treatment of a human based upon merely being human?

To create an equality of wealth is to create a false equality, wealth is not being human and humanity cannot be measured by wealth. Furthermore, humanity is not measured by genitals or any other accident or birth.

So why are the solutions based on manipulating these criteria?

We think it is due to the fact that we do not have a proper grasp of equality. We are attempting to draw a concept of equality from our social constructions instead of human nature. In doing this, the so-called solution is a creation of another construction, thus avoiding addressing the source of the inequality, which is ‘what is human nature?’

Now, we have to admit this is a difficult question to answer and even we do not have the answer. But to cop out and focus on relatively trivial answers is not the right way forward.

In fact it may be counterintuitive.

For example, we should not be concerned about the number of minorities working in the RCMP. The fundamental question for the RCMP is ‘do we have a functioning law enforcement agency that treats all members of our society fairly.’ Their genetic make up does not matter.

Almost all these programs created to correct inequalities are done with the best of intentions, however a concept of equality that comes from the individual on the basis that he desires it is infinitely more altruistic and effective then any mandate or program created by others.

To achieve the altruistic, we must first have defined what we truly mean.