On Equality

Friday, June 23, 2017

Tu: “About equality: equal does not mean the same. For example, women and men are different but deserve same freedom of expression.”

Moi: “Perhaps, solidarity?”

note: about Tu et Moi

The notion of equality has been bothering me. Not that there should or shouldn’t be equality. It is a given that there should be. But more, what do we really mean by equality. As I visit different places around the world, it is absolutely astounding the different baselines we have, and what we take for granted based simply on where we have happened to be born (of course, the same applies to gender and skin color, not even counting other genetic lotteries that we might have won or lost on birth).

Basing the concept of equality on modern, material factors shows the weakness in the argument because the planet simply doesn’t have enough to support everyone if everyone in this world were to live at the same standard as the average American-WesternEuropean country.

For example, there are ~1B cars in this world, and 7.5B people. So, 1 car per 7.5 persons, or ~133 cars per 1000 persons. There are 797 cars/1000 persons in the US, so to bring the world to that standard, we would need almost 5B more cars. That is clearly unsustainable.

So, we need a drastic recalibration of what we mean by equality, and both raise some standards and lower other standards. Or, perhaps a better way is to think of it as modify or shift our standards. We have to think seriously of the notion of solidarity.

“Each human shares the responsibility of the planet. Now we have very immature shortsighted egoists running the show with the help of technology. And that's the issue. People don’t connect with their environments but seek asylumn from disconnection. The world is a beautiful overwhelming experience that is too complex for some.”