Concerning Equality, Happiness, and Freedom

Equality is not a solution. Equality is death.

A strong statement, at that, but true nonetheless. Consider this: Most people consider a Utopian society to be based off equality, happiness, and freedom. But really, can a society where everyone is equal be satisfying and happy, let alone free?

No, for equality is not, nor has it ever been, the key to happiness. If the term “equality” is taken literally, an “equal” society is one where each person is the same. Nobody is better than anyone at anything, and nobody has a different personality than the next person. In such a society, one cannot excel, nor can one enjoy being unique or special, and even the things that make others unique pass by unnoticed. These are the very things that make life worth living.

In such a society, living ceases to be living. Instead, life becomes a walking death. What motivation to continue living can possibly be found in a society where one person is simply a duplicate of the next? If each person is simply a generic “human”, feeling will be lost. Relationships will falter and eventually cease altogether, as any meaning to be found in life dies a quick and painful death.

Think about it. If all of us were equal, we would think the same thoughts, feel the same feelings, and be the same person. Will Person A begin to desire a relationship with Person B if Person A and Person B are the same? No, for there is no use or benefit. Interpersonal skills will become a thing of the past as people begin to realize that there is no point in getting to know anyone else. When the ability (or desire) to have relationships is removed from a person, their capacity to love is removed as well. When the ability to love is removed, the ability to be happy ceases to exist.

Therefore, equality is essentially the opposite of freedom, in as much a way as happiness and freedom are in tandem. A person without the capacity to make choices, to enjoy being unique, or to love another person, is not a free person. Instead, the person is equal. The person is the same as every other person.

They are no longer alive. Instead, they simply “exist”.


~ by offling on April 26, 2009.

5 Responses to “Concerning Equality, Happiness, and Freedom”

  1. […] Original post by offling […]

  2. Interesting. And yet. Being the grammar/dictionary/word usage geek that I am, I must disagree with your definition of equality. The new oxford dictionary says: “Equality: the state of being equal, esp. in status, rights, and opportunities”
    Having equal status, rights, and opportunities doesn’t mean uniformity. People will always chose to use their abilities and opportunities differently – (seeing as we are all genetically born with different abilities). That doesn’t mean they don’t have equal opportunity, or that one is superior to the other.
    In principle, equality in that sense can exist without being restrictive and conformist.

  3. That is true, but I was referring to equality in a more extremist idealogical sense. While equality is commonly viewed as a key component of a Utopian society, it also figures equally often as an element of a Dystopian society. In that sense, equally ceases to refer to an abstract sense of equal privilege, and instead becomes a physical, tangible equality that transcends all ethical and moral inhibitions. The equality I was referring to involved restricting what made one person unique in order to cause another person to seem more unique. An enforced balancing of the scales, if you will. A slightly out of context quote comes to mind, from the movie, “The Incredibles”: “When everyone’s super, no one will be!” To equalize the individuality is to remove individuality.

    My inspiration for this post was drawn in part from a short story by Kurt Vonnegut, entitled “Harrison Bergeron”.

    This is a link to an online copy:

  4. Ooo I remember reading that story for previous english courses. 😛 Yeah, I see what you mean – but I still think a better word for it is “uniformity” rather than equality. I think idealogical extremists tend to twist word meanings to their own ends. 😛
    I had to laugh reading this part of the story:
    “Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains.”

    So. You smart people? Don’t go taking unfair advantage of your brains. It’s unsporting.

  5. Yeah, I first read the story in an English course a couple years back. A real eye-opener, I found. It shows a dark future eerily possible, given today’s “advancements” in technology and control-tactics.

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