“The Question Is Who Is To Be Master, That’s All”

If we ask why a claim or plea for equality should be so alarming, the natural and immediate answer will be that the race, class, gender or whatever that is currently on top does not want to abandon its favourable position. This is by no means wrong, but it is not yet complete. Much will depend on whether one thinks zero-sum or not: if I cannot conceive of you getting anything you want other than as its being taken away from me, clearly I will not be inclined to make concessions.

A subspecies of zero-sum thinking is the assumption that every group considers itself superior, and the only question is accordingly who may do so. Anyone consumed with their own superiority will be quite unable to understand any objection to this claim other than as a countervailing claim to superiority on the other side. This should make sense of the hysterical reactions of the group whose intrinsic superiority is being challenged; they do not understand what equality might be and so take it for granted that you propose to be as ruthlessly superior as they were.

Posted on February 23, 2013 at 14:03 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink

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