A "Gift" That Keeps On Taking

May, 2015 Feature--Truth Based Logic


Synopsis
Gifts that keep on giving or Egalitarian Collectivism: A gift that keeps on taking. Denial of reality; envy, jealousy, despondency, hubris & guilt; failure to analyze the cause of a problem.

Almost everyone has heard the phrase, "a gift that keeps on giving"; a reference to a charitable undertaking that encourages beneficiaries in the direction of self-reliance & personal responsibility. Such a gift is likely to involve recognition of important aspects of human nature--a concept or concepts that encourage individuals to identify & employ actual talents--that inspire beneficiaries to solve real problems, rather than look to others to solve those problems for them.

"Gifts that keep on giving," do not flow from pretending that everyone has the same aptitudes, or teaching those with problems to blame someone else for every disappointment. They do not flow from dependence on intrusive Government; or from trying to shame those who succeed into feeling guilty for that success. They depend on positive thinking, not envy, resentment or the promises of power seeking demagogues; on personal responsibility & constructive behavior, not an illusion of entitlement.

Here we reject a false "altruism," which posits Humanist folly and the pretense of egalitarian collectivists that Man is merely a creature of his social environment. We deny, not only the truth, but the fantasy that claims a mantle of idealism for such pretensions. No one ever sat in a class-room with his or her equal on either side--unless an identical twin or triplet;--and we recognize that the most significant trait of Mankind is not an abstract glorification of things that are not true, but vast & useful variations in the complex of qualities, aptitudes, motivations & aspirations, of actual people, who have benefited unique communities, down through the ages.

The Gift That Keeps On Taking

Egalitarian/Collectivism--an ideological movement that seeks ever to increase the role of Government as a leveler of disparity in individual achievement--is the ultimate enemy of human progress. In seeking to force an equalization of human achievement--or in any significant move in that direction--the Egalitarian embarks on an endless effort to fit square pegs into round holes, and round pegs into square ones. Like the mythical ostrich, his head buried in the sand of self-inflicted ignorance, the Egalitarian builds his social theory on a compulsion for fantasy: The pursuit of an airborne wish list to deny the most fundamental realities of human existence. (For a clear demonstration of this denial, central to the Egalitarian quest, see Footnote On Egalitarian Compulsion.) This hopelessly flawed foundation is the launch pad for the gift that keeps on taking.

Since people are not actually equal in aptitudes, motivations or aspirations, the Egalitarian mantra opens a veritable Pandora's Box of destructive emotion, from envy & jealousy to depression, despondency & depravity--as well as hubris & guilt;--each depending on the personality of those afflicted, interacting with an absurd ideological presumption of an ongoing equality of Mankind. No premise could possibly be more self-defeating than the Egalitarian one. It is made to order for the demagogue or false prophet, insinuating a perception of grievance in the ear of any one dissatisfied with their lot in life. (Consider the technique employed on Eve in Genesis, continually repeated in recent centuries, by those seeking cultural "change" to address "income inequality" or a lack of "social justice" from an Egalitarian perspective: Variations On Demonic Theme.)

While the Egalitarian mantra, endlessly suggesting an entitlement to equality of condition, obviously tends to corrupt the poor; that same endless iteration takes much of the emotional bloom from high achievement. It has even worked to embarrass some high achievers into going to great lengths to atone for their good fortune, by financing political campaigns of those who aggressively embrace an Egalitarian agenda. Indeed, it has become difficult in some years, for political candidates, who endorse the economic & social freedom that allowed others to amass great wealth, to raise adequate funds to compete against Egalitarian candidates who support redistribution of wealth schemes that would confiscate much of the fruits of the labor of those who actually contributed the most to the over-all well being of their communities.

But it is not just the over-all material well being of a community that is burdened by the gift that keeps on taking. Consider the damage to the spirit of a community, once the less successful in that community are taught to resent the more successful--to demand some form of redistribution;--or, indeed, once high achievement, in itself, ceases to be honored; once what actually works to a common betterment is no longer emulated, only analyzed in order to disparage all that flows from human inequality & the division of labor!

The term, often employed by Egalitarian theorists (and demagogues), "social justice," is not an appeal to fairness, but an ideological albatross to confuse the perspective of inexperienced students. It is seldom critically examined--never subjected to the Socratic analysis that would have been its fate in a less egalitarian era; but accepted as a shibboleth in the pursuit of political "virtue" & the forced leveling of achievement. (Note Not Social & Not Just.)

Yet the damage to the educational system is hardly limited to a failure to analyze the use of a particular term. The whole subject of definable human differences has been encapsulated in a sense of primitive taboo; indeed almost completely impermissible if it involves race, sex, ethnicity or economic class. This--despite what some may claim--has no benign effect. It not only prevents constructive analysis, which clearly should be directed at situations flowing from what is being deliberately ignored; but it facilitates the quest of Egalitarian demagogues to play the Blame & Envy gambit, turning one group against another--pretending that someone else is always to blame for any observed failure.

Thus while it is manifestly not true that all of us have the same complex of talents & personality traits, or in similar proportion; it is almost certainly true that any definable group is capable of greatly improving their lot & upgrading their ongoing level of achievement. The problem, here, is that Egalitarian/Collectivism, in denying reality & turning us one against the other, Sabotages Human Potential. The sustained generation of improving conditions for any family, community, tribe, race or nation, depends on a better focus. Blame & envy; coveting what others have achieved, rather than emulating what has actually worked; looking to Government, or a Humanist or Egalitarian theorist; are all, at best, only distractions from what is needed; at worst, they are part of a gift that keeps on taking, without redemptive grace.

William Flax





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