Leftists look around and see that while some people are poor and lead chaotic lives, others aren’t and don’t. How did things turn out so unfairly? To know that, you would have to find out what specific factors led to each person becoming either poor and chaotic or well-off and leading a well-ordered life.
Such close inspection of individual lives doesn’t interest a certain kind of progressive. They assume instead that the lives that people lead have little to do with individual character and much more to do with large social forces. Just as in some people’s minds a murderer must be mentally ill, simply by dint of committing murder, so the poor and chaotic must have been disadvantaged by impersonal social forces. The poverty and chaos of their lives is put forward as evidence of this fact.
Other leftists admit that we do all have individual characters which benefit or handicap us in many ways, and think that consequently life should be one long handicapped golf tournament. The worst players are giving generous ‘handicaps’ to help them attain parity while the best players are given no extra help. Any poor golfer who doesn’t end up winning some form of trophy can’t have been given a big enough handicap at the start. Likewise, when stupid or lazy children fail, it is concluded that not enough was done for them by others to raise their performance. The children’s failure can’t possibly have anything to do with them.
Thus, in the eyes of some, the apparently equal opportunities offered in Britain by free state schools is really just a pretence of equality. If it were real then all children would succeed, right? There must therefore still be some hidden disadvantages built into the system that fails the so-called disadvantaged and vulnerable.
Yet just as it is never possible to handicap a golfing tournament so that all players hole out on the 18th green with precisely the same score after handicaps have been taken into consideration, so it is impossible to achieve absolute equality in society. To genuinely level the playing field so that all children performed equally well at school, we would have to replace both the parents and the genomes of many children. Stupid or uncaring parents are an obvious handicap to achievement, as are a natural lack or talent or a disinclination to learn.
Yet what can realistically be done about either of these factors? Should we put hundreds of thousands of children into foster care, or perform gene replacement therapy on unpromising embryos? Would this really constitute a better outcome than just putting up with a reasonable amount of inequality?
Many on the left, while willing to admit there are such things as bad parents, are rarely willing to admit that some children are by nature lazier or less intelligent than others. For them there is no nature, only nurture. Yet this is certainly wrong. Scientists know that genes are probably more than the environment when it comes to learning.
Of course if you were to dump a 3-year-old Einstein in a ploughed field for 15 years and then expect him to come up with the Theory of Relativity in 20 years’ time you are wasting your time. If a learning environment falls below a certain basic level then it doesn’t matter how good your genes are, you will never amount to much.
Equally, young bodies need a basic level of nutrition to allow their bodies to grow to their full genetic potential, as doesn’t happen in North Korea, who are genetically identical to South Koreans but 6 inches shorter. Even so, once a basic minimum level of environment (or nutrition) has been attained, as has surely been done with British state schools, just how far above that basic minimum level the school rises is less important than the child’s genes.
Of course, when scientists put forward their data to demonstrate that this is the case they are immediately labelled racists, eugenicists and Nazis. Yet this doesn’t stop it from being true.
Since leftists don’t believe in innate differences in academic performance, they insist that ever more public money be poured into helping the ‘socially disadvantaged’ and ‘dispossessed’ (dispossessed of what, exactly?) so as to give them a leg-up to the academic average. These ideologues would bankrupt a whole country in their pursuit of equality before they would admit that their basic premise is wrong.
To avoid wasting public money, you need to start out with a realistic picture of how the world works. Trying to shoehorn reality into your ideology doesn’t work. It’s like the Ugly Sisters squeezing their big fat feet into a glass slipper, or Soviet science dictating how nature ought to proceed. When Russian crops failed, the pretence had to be kept going that barren fields were, in reality, a bumper harvest and the whole thing was a great success. Never mind the starving millions, the ideology must remain intact.
Leftists believe that all men are good but that bad experience twists their character. So give everyone the right opportunities and resources and no one will ever be bad again because they won’t have become twisted with bitterness at the unfairness of society.
Leftists believe that all races are equally good at all things – though of course black people are allowed to be better at sport than other races. The fact that blacks can run fast is not caused by racism but black underachievement in school is.
Rather than looking honestly at the facts and admitting that equality of outcome is neither possible nor desirable – who would train to be a doctor if sweeping the hospital corridors brought the same remuneration? – leftists insist on trying to make us all equal, even if that means dragging the best down rather than pulling the worst up. They won’t rest until all animals, cats included, soar like birds in the sky.