We hear this word a heluvalot these days. It is as if equality was the perfect moral target held high in our day. What do we strive for, people? Equality! Equality!
Should we perhaps consider the meaning of the word before setting it on display with full regalia as our national dream?
Are we talking about everyone weighing the same amount, which could certainly not be done without some nasty surgeries taking place, perhaps in some cases even fatal surgeries?
Are we talking about gender equality? Also cannot be done without surgery.
So then, is it financial equality as in totalitarian socialism? In that case I'd venture a wild guess that those beneath the average would want this and those above probably not, so some struggle would be required to achieve this new utopia, probably, again, involving some level of surgery and bloodshed.
Perhaps "fairness" would be a better word then? And if this is the real moral principle we're after, let's go for it, for who could possibly be against fairness??
Now then, let's discuss fairness-equality thingy. I'm picturing a Canadian 26 year old, slightly plump waitress, whose boyfriend left her when she suddenly became pregnant with twins and would not "terminate the pregnancy" "for the sake of the children". She works nine hours including the walks to deliver and collect her kids from the daycare and pays 30 percent combined federal and provincial tax on her minimum wage income, Gst on most everything she buys, even Gst on the stamps she buys for the postcards she sends to her mom in Hungary.
Ok, so I made this poor Hungarian woman up in my head. Yet millions of such parents exist and the fruit of their tiring physical labour is being confiscated whilst this is being typed so that failing banking conglomerates and failed businesses can be bailed and failed politicians can receive their generous severance packages and their gilded indexed pensions continue to flow unimpeded.
In realities harsh light then, how dare any politician in Canada mouth the word "equality" as if we had made even the slightest awkward stumbling step towards it?
On another level, we fail on "equality" when we confiscate, (steal, take by force) a working person's property and dish it out to the one who refuses to work. What exactly is fair about that? Should the satellite dish game show expert receive the same benefit as the rig-hand who rolls out of bed at 4 AM and puts in 16 hours in the -40C temperature of northern Alberta? If you can answer "yes" to that, you just might be a liberal!
Maybe it's time to put this word "equality", finally to bed then. Let it toss and turn there, forever fretting fitfully about how to make things more equal in a grotesquely unequal world. How to build millions of identical houses for millions of identical same-gendered equal people who don't exist anywhere, whatsoever. Isn't it the differences between us that make life interesting and entertaining, after all?