Allowing for excellence or enforcing sameness

All fingers are not alike,
If you cut bigger ones to make all equal it is communism,
If you stretch smaller ones to make all equal it is socialism,
If you do nothing to make all equal it is capitalism.

Equality is a nice thing. People should have the same opportunities to succeed. Race, age, sex/gender, sexual orientation, socio-economical status — those all should not matter. But even if all people do have the same opportunities, there will still be those who are more successful than others. After all, people are different. The variations in human beings are there and necessary for us to continue to adapt to the world. Not to mention that this variety of people is quite nice. Can you imagine living in a world of clones-of-two-people? One Alice and one Bob? No? Me neither.

But I get the impression that some people, or groups of people, are bent on enforcing a kind of equality where differences between individuals — and that includes excellence of some individuals — are no longer allowed. Where people who excel in certain areas must be cut down to the average. If not in actual performance, then at least in the evaluation of this performance.

And personally, I find this deeply inhumane.

Human beings are different. Some excel in some areas, others in other areas, and for some, you have to define subgroups of subgroups to find something they excel in. But that’s okay. These differences are what makes the human race strong and able to survive on a piece of rock rotating around a star in an uncaring universe.

Attempts to enforce equality by enforcing an average — both discarding above average performance and reclassifying sub-par performance as “average” — will do much more damage than good.

After all, few people want to vegetate through life. Many people want to excel in at least part of what they do, no matter what they do.

And we are all better off for it — for allowing for excellence in all people.

One other issue though, it’s always interesting that there are people who are so equal that they assume they have the authority to decide what is best for others. That “need” seems to come up in different guises in different times. At one time, it was communism (hello “Animal Farm”), today there are different guises. But the question always remains: Why — if we are all equal — are some people more equal than others?