Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Myth of Perfect Equality

From Crisis:
By putting excellence and vulgar behavior on equal footing, we do no favor to anyone. People practice true Christian charity when they do their duty to shine in virtue and excellence. It is wrong to deprive people of their right to have models before their eyes that they might imitate and admire. Manners help bring out the best in us. Everyone, and society itself, is elevated by them.

The final problem with treating everyone equally is that the logic of this false compassion inevitably leads to adopting the lowest common denominator of manners to prevent the suffering of the lowliest. Worse, it leads to turning each person into the supreme judge of what constitutes these manners since each subjectively assesses what causes one the least suffering.

Thus, some turn manners into only that which pleases them and takes the least effort. Others retreat into an individualistic world in which they see no real need for manners beyond those serving their self-interest. In the frenetic intemperance of the world of instant gratification, so many discard manners and glorify vulgarity. This attitude embeds a universal code of rudeness that well characterizes our egalitarian society.

Indeed, I fear the day when all manners will be declared equal. There is nothing more brutal than a false compassion that suppresses all excellence. There is no greater tyrant than the self-centered individualist who does not take others into consideration. There is no worse intolerance than those claim to tolerate everything in the name of Christian charity.

All this leads to a politically correct world that refuses to recognize any superiority or inferiority—even the most obvious ones for fear of offending others with the truth. In short, it leads to the uncivil society that has so polarized and fragmented our nation. (Read more.)

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