We often hear that the United States and Europe are becoming less religious. That is true, in a sense; secularism, as polls show, has been growing in US and Europe for decades now. And even those who say that they are Christian are often atheists of a peculiar sort that Plato described: they believe that God exists but believe that God is a weak pushover who makes no moral demands of us. God, in this view, is like a drugged out hippie who lives by the motto “Don’t judge, man.”
But the claims of a rising secularism are incorrect, I submit, as they often are. Westerners, as other secularists past and present, have simply replaced Yahweh with their own gods: the gods of “autonomy,” of “identity,” of “equality” and so forth, deities that enjoy worship in the temples of the religion of Radical Egalitarianism that has replaced Christendom throughout vast swaths of the West.
What is the Religion of Radical Egalitarianism?
I submit that anyone who has lived in the Anglophone West (and elsewhere in the West, to be sure) has come to know the religion of radical egalitarianism well. Specifications of its tenets are repeated over and over again in the popular media and in the universities. “Women can do just as good a job as men in x!” “Stop being so ableist!” “Check your white privilege!”
All of this proceeds forth from the most central tenet of the religion of Radical Egalitarianism: that there are no natural differences between humans of any sort and that all differences that do exist are due either to some injury or to an injustice committed by some system of oppression that allows for such differences to unnaturally arise or that creates these differences itself.
Thus for a believer in the religion of Radical Egalitarianism it is unbelievable to suggest that, say, men are better in combat than women, or that women are better at taking care of children than men. It is unbelievable to suggest that some religions are better than others; that some civilizations are better than others; and so forth.
This religion of Radical Egalitarianism unfortunately has great sway and informs most–and perhaps even all–of Western government’s decision-making. There is a predictable pattern of reasoning that the religion of Radical Egalitarianism suggests in response to some difference between groups. It begins by noting a difference, eliminating an explanation for the difference that rules out discrimination and insists that the difference exists because of discrimination of some sort perpetrated by some unjust oppressive system.
“Why is it that many more men are interested in aerospace engineering than women?”, the Radical Egalitarian asks. “Is it because there is something about women that tends to not incline them to find aerospace engineering as interesting as other ventures? Of course not! That would imply that there are such things as natural differences. The answer is rather this: because there is an unjust system–the Patriarchy–that discourages women from finding field such as aerospace engineering interesting and encourages men to find them interesting. Clearly something must be done to alleviate this injustice, and so programs that encourage women to enter such fields must be implemented!”
The Religion of Radical Egalitarianism identifies groups of people that it considers to be consistently unjustly treated by an oppressive system and that are thus in need of assistance to alleviate the effects that oppression has had on them–women, African-Americans, transgender persons, etc. To the extent that such people are, on this view, oppressed, they cannot themselves oppress anybody else; to the extent that they are at the receiving end of discrimination by an unjust and oppressive system, they cannot themselves discriminate. Thus the asinine claim that it is impossible to be racist towards white persons, because white persons, according to Radical Egalitarianism, are the ones who established the supposedly oppressive system and the ones who have power. This thesis is accepted as a matter of faith and no evidence is produced in defense of it (what little evidence is proposed as evidence for this ends up condemning all groups to the status of oppressors).
There’s just one problem with Radical Egalitarianism: its foundational tenet is false. Contrary to what Radical Egalitarianism claims, reality is configured in such a way that there are natural differences between persons. Common sense confirms this to be true. Some people are taller than others; some people are more intelligent than others; some people are more beautiful than others; some people are more athletic than others; some people are stronger than others; some people are more mature than others; some people are more persuasive than others; some people are more funny than others; the list goes on.
The most obvious differences are between men and women. Men and women differ in strength, in interests, in brain structures, in body structures, in muscle distribution, in personalities, and on and on.
There is a kernel of truth to Radical Egalitarianism from which the rest of its rotten edifice gets intuitive support, however: though no two humans are equal in capacities, all human beings are equal in having dignity by nature of being human beings that demands that they be treated with respect and dignity that is owed to all. It is this truth that ought not be jettisoned when dispensing of Radical Egalitarianism.
Why Governments That Adhere To Radical Egalitarianism Become Tyrannical
Consider, however, the problem that the Radical Egalitarian confronts: these natural differences keep showing up everywhere. Men tend to dominate fields like aerospace engineering, Tommy is stronger than Bobby, Sarah is more intelligent than Jane, and Susan is more beautiful than Janice. The Radical Egalitarian looks at all of this and sees not natural differences but rather many cases of oppression committed by an unjust system that is allowing or causing such differences to exist.
But the Radical Egalitarian believes that bringing down the current oppressive system and replacing it with a system that gets rid of these differences is what justice demands. So the Radical Egalitarian wants to give the system–that is, the government, or the university, or the middle school, etc.–the power to undo all of these differences and to crush any evidence of them wherever they appear. Since there are so many differences, the system will have to be given a tremendous amount of power to get rid of all differences.
In fact, it must be given unlimited power because the system will not ever be able to get rid of all differences because the vast majority of differences are natural, not the product of unfairness. The system will be invested in a Sisyphean task that cannot ever be accomplished: getting rid of all differences. This goal cannot ever be achieved because reality is structured in such a way that there are natural differences.
Here we have a recipe for tyranny, as the government that the Radical Egalitarian favors must be afforded an enormous amount of power to attempt to accomplish the impossible. Of course, it never accomplishes the impossible because the impossible cannot ever be accomplished–universities can, for example, implement all the programs they want to try to get women to study aerospace engineering on parity with men or to try to get men to study nursing or child education on parity with women but they will never achieve such a goal because men and women simply naturally have different interests.
Such a government, in effect, will be invested in a project of trying to undo reality. Yet evidence of reality will be so abundant that the project of the Radical Egalitarian will be constantly challenged. What is a government that is committed to Radical Egalitarianism to do when reality rears its head? Crush it immediately lest the project be compromised. Thus the government must punish all who dare attempt to demonstrate or even so much as think that there is such a thing as natural differences. Thus it must punish those who say that men and women are different, or that men and women parent differently. It must punish those who say that men cannot become women by putting on dresses and mutilating their bodies. And so forth.
The sane person who realizes that the religion of Radical Egalitarianism is false, however, can take heart in knowing this: reality and truth can be denied and undermined only for some long; after years–perhaps even decades–of being undermined, reality will reassert itself, often in ways that ends with the government that undermines it dying a bloody death as it lashes out in its last breaths. We know that the project of Radical Egalitarianism will meet its end. Hopefully it meets its end gracefully rather than violently.
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