As I mentioned earlier in my quasi-review of the Kindle 2 I have been rereading David Weber’s Honor Harrington series. In the 5th book of the series Flag in Exile I came across a passage which describes a fictional past that I feel applies quite aptly to the present day.
There’d been a time when the Republic of Haven — not “the People’s Republic,” but simply “the Republic:– had inspired an entire quadrant. It had been a bright, burning beacon, a wealthy, vastly productive renaissance which had rivaled Old Earth herself as the cultural and intellectual touchstone of humanity. Yet that glorious promise had died. Not at the hands of foreign conquerors or barbarians from the marches, but in its sleep, victim of the best of motives. It had sacrificed itself upon the altar of equality. Not the equality of opportunity, but of outcomes. It had looked upon its own wealth and the inevitable inequities of any human society and decided to rectify them, and somehow the lunatics had taken over the asylum. They’d transformed the Republic into the People’s Republic — a vast, crazed machine that promised everyone more and better of everything, regardless of their own contributions to the system. And, in the process, they’d built a bureaucratic Titan locked into a headlong voyage to self-destruction and capable of swallowing reformers like gnats. — pg. 83, Flag in Exile
When I first read this series I was either still squarely in my Democrat years or beginning the transition to a full fledged Libertarian. I certainly had not yet recognized, and taken issue to, the increasing trend parading under the banner of Diversity. In fact I didn’t get a full heaping dose of work mandated Diversity until at least half a decade later. IE, the trend of fretting over and addressing the inequality of outcomes at the expense of equality of opportunity. The social double standard of preaching respecting cultural and ideological differences while trying to apply pressures to ensure that the landscape of any given vocation, avocation or representation neatly matches the distribution of of the population. Maybe, just maybe, if the cultures are different that means the outcomes will be different and that’s perfectly ok! Provided, of course, that the opportunity for any individual is equal. But throwing equality of opportunity to the winds to attempt (and always fail) to provide equality of outcomes is madness.