Every year, we get closer and closer to true equality.  Wages are going up for minority races and for women, and the state of equality was much worse even just ten years ago compared to today.  People have become extremely conscious of inequality, and that is a very good thing.  The more people that work towards equality, the faster it will take hold of our society.  However, will humanity ever reach true, 100% equality for all? Or will it be like approaching an asymptote, where we can get closer and closer to the end goal but never completely get there?

According to George Lakey from Waging Nonviolence, there can never be true equality.  According to him, “rank reflects values. The only way not to have rank would be for groups to give up having values, which is undesirable and impossible anyway.”  And rank, unfortunately is a covert form of inequality.  If someone is ranked higher than another in even a social situation, automatically full equality is not present.  However, Lakey is optimistic about curbing the effects of rank in society, and if that’s the best we can do, then I am all for it.  Lakey recommends “training, mentoring, tweaking the decision-making structure, planning better to reduce crisis-points and deliberately staying out of group spaces where their power might slow others down.”  These are all good suggestions, and if creating a world with total equality is not possible, then this is the next best thing.

However, some even advocate that equality is neither possible nor desirable, as David van Mill says in his article for The Conversation.  As he puts it, “We will need a drastic rethink on how we distribute housing, education, health care, recreational activities and many other things to get close to the ideal.”  This does not sound particularly appealing, because it leaves little room for people to improve themselves and doesn’t encourage people to strive for greatness.  Perhaps a small amount of inequality is necessary for the success of our world community.


CC BY-SA 4.0 Is Total Equality Possible? by Zach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

1 Comment
  1. Paola 2 years ago

    I was intrigued by the title. I read the Feminine Mystique some time ago and I remember it saying that for women to ever be payed as much as men people either have to be fired or men’s pay has to be lowered. I’ve also read stories about dystopian societies where for example ballerinas have to dance with weights so that the bad dancers would be as good as them or how people with good eyesight had to wear terrible glasses to that they wouldn’t be better than the people with bad eyesight. Maybe equality isn;t that good.

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