The Absurdity and Cruelty of Trying to Create Equality

The Absurdity and Cruelty of Trying to Create Equality
by Rev. Rory McClure

Almost every good thing we enjoy and benefit from comes directly from human inequality and the resulting ability for each person to specialise in what he or she is best at. The decades of training required to master brain surgery or molecular engineering or premier league football would make it impossible for any one individual to rise to the top of all three fields. Yet without human inequality no body would be able to devote a decade of their life to mastering each of these skills. Instead, people would die from brain haemorrhages, complex drugs wouldn’t be created to cure dangerous diseases and millions wouldn’t be entertained. 

In The German Ideology (1845) Karl Marx condemned our glorious ability to specialise. He complained that “the division of labour implies the contradiction between the interest of the separate individual… and the communal interest of all individuals… As long as [that] activity is not voluntarily… man’s own deed becomes an alien power opposed to him, which enslaves him instead of being controlled by him. For as soon as the distribution of labour comes into being, each man has a particular, exclusive sphere of activity, which is forced upon him and from which he cannot escape. He is a hunter, a fisherman, a herdsman, or a critical critic, and must remain so if he does not want to lose his means of livelihood.” Marx was so lazy and selfish that he never did a day of manual labour in his life. Perhaps this is why he doesn’t tell us what prevented critics like himself from learning to herd animals.

What does Marx propose a truly equal society would look like?  He promises… “in communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic.”

Marx blindly assumes that every child is born equally competent and interested in learning all the skills required to become a hunter, fisherman, herdsman and critic. They are not. If everyone was born with an equal potential for brilliance in everything, every sport would end in a tie. Everyone would want the jobs that had the greatest ability to stimulate the full potential of their creativity and talents. Nobody would want the tedious, unstimulating jobs working for people that were no more competent than themselves. In reality, in an equal society, nobody would specialise because why would the brain surgeon train for a decade only to spend his afternoons climbing down sewers to unblock drains? If not wasn’t to do it, who would? Someone else equally talented and brilliant as the brain surgeon? Instead, there would be no brain surgeons, no cars, no computer and no toilets. The potential brain surgeon would be too busy trying to grow his own food, make his own clothes, build his own house to ever find time to gain the education and experience needed to become a brain surgeon. He would have to do these things for himself because they are too boring for every other potential brain surgeons in his country to do them for him. Everybody else would already posses his strengths and weaknesses in equal proportion to him. What would motivate them to do something for him if he couldn’t do any thing for them that they couldn’t do equally well for themselves? Even in a utopia made up of  a hard working, brilliant geniuses, equality would lead straight to poverty.

The only way to overcome the beautiful diversity of inequality is to use brute force to bludgeon reality into a predetermined design. The quest for equality is like a saw mill that will take a thousand unique trees dozens of different species, cut them down, lop their branches off and force them through their machines to produce identically sized planks of wood. If trees had opinions, they wouldn’t want this. They would want to be left alone. People do have opinions and yet communism has never left people alone. Communism has aways used and threatened violence to force equality on an unequal humanity.  It promised freedom from want only to deliver the want of freedom, the want of life and the want of everything else.

According to The Black Book of Communism, Lenin and Stalin ordered the execution of tens of thousands of of hostages and prisoners, hundreds of thousands of of rebellious workers and peasants from 1918 to 1922. They caused the avoidable deaths of 5 million people in 1921. They murder tens of thousands of political prisoners in concentration camps between 1918 and 1930,  killed a further 690,000 in the 1936-38 Great Purge. They killed a further 6 million people in the avoidable famine of 1932-33.  Communist atrocities have happened so frequently and the numbers of their victims are so huge that it is almost impossible to take it all in. In total, communism as managed to give 94 million people a taste of equality sending them to an early grave. Those that survived remained unequal to those who were forcing equality onto them.

Was the blood of 94 million people a price worth paying for the achievements of communism? Can communists stand back and say, “This is what communism has invented and created” ? Certainly not. The communist pursuit of equality dramatically retarded the development of technology in the USSR for all 70 years of its existence. It started by murdering and punishing the very people who had the best eduction and the most potential to develop new technology. Without them, every Soviet leader from Lenin to Gorbachov was forced to buy, borrow or steal capitalist technology to survive. The historian Anthony Sutton wrote,  “Soviet economic development for 1917–1930 was essentially dependent on Western technological aid” and  “at least 95 per cent of the industrial structure received this assistance.”  After 1945 virtually all of its technology, (including most of what it needed to develop its space programme) was stolen from universities and factories in Soviet held East Germany.[1]

Post war Germany was the ideal experiment to compare capitalism  to communism. Both East and West Germany started with the same culture, same problems and same potential. Communist East Germany ended up with only one third of the economic output per capita of capitalist West Germany. Korea proved exactly the same thing.  Today, 92% of capitalist South Korea’s 100,000 km of roads are paved, while in North Korea, communism as only managed to create 25,000 km of roads and has paved just 3% of them. Today the average South Korean is 3–8cm taller than the average North Korean, and lives more than ten years longer. [2]

If you want a picture of how beautiful and how useful inequality is, look at your hand: Thumb, index finger, middle finger, ring finger and little finger. If you want to imagine what creating an equal society looks like, picture every finger that is longer than your little finger being chopped off to make them the same length as it.  If you want to see what living a socialist society would look like, picture a clenched fist punching you in the face. If you want to see communism’s attitude to your individuality and freedom, here it is: Middle finger. Middle finger. Middle finger. Middle finger. Middle finger.


[1]    Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development. Antony C. Sutton. p. 283, 348.



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