Order, Equality, and Individuality

A paradox that the modern mind refuses to accept: in our perfectly ordered universe, inequality is both natural and good. We see inequality as disorder in need of correction, ignoring its naturality. If the natural way is chaotic, that would give the man the license to correct what he sees as unfair or problematic. But the natural way is not chaotic, but ordered, and by what standard does man measure order and disorder that he regards this element of nature or that as disordered? If the natural order of the universe is chaos (which it is not), is it truly chaotic, or is it our own understanding of order that is askew? If chaos is the natural order, then our attempt to introduce order is actually the introduction of disorder. And if we try to bring disorder to an ordered state, it is we, not nature, that is the problem. Perhaps our time and energies would be better spent in understanding what we have forgotten and neglected about the natural way of the world. Order does not demand to be understood, but it strongly insists that it be obeyed.

For instance, take two facts about the author. First, he is right-handed, and second, he is a musician. Being right-handed, he plays right-handed instruments. In his right hand he holds the pick(s) or the bow or simply wiggles his fingers when neither of the others are called for, and in his left he holds the neck of the given instrument and move his hands and fingers accordingly to produce the desired melodies. Each hand, when he plays, simultaneously performs very different functions which, were the functions reversed (as he has tried on numerous occasions), would suffer immensely. His right and left hand are vastly unequal in their abilities, relative to one another, but for the purposes that they are intended to serve, they serve with distinction. It is their inequality that produces the melody in an ordered way such that it is called music. Should the author, then, lament that he is not ambidextrous? What good would this serve? The author is still perfectly capable of doing the things that he loves and enjoys doing. There are things that others can do which he cannot, but that does not imply superiority of being, but rather of ability. Yet, a man is not judged by his tactile abilities (thanks be to God), but rather by his character; a character which, he would suggest, is made worse for wear by worrying that someone has greater ability than he.

The way of nature is complementarity, strengths and weakness, all of which compensate for one another. The most immediately obvious example of this in the natural creation are the sexes, man and woman. The man is naturally suited for activities for which the woman is not, just as the woman is naturally suited for activities that would be wholly unnatural for a man to attempt. And yet through marriage we find that man and woman have, somehow for past thousands of years, been able to meet each others weaknesses by way of their own strengths, to the perpetuation of the species. This is not by coincidence, but by design. Man and woman were quite literally made for each other. When one looks at the marriage act of love, strictly from a logistical perspective, one finds not a single natural objection. The man was made for the woman, and the woman for the man. The two compliment each other.

Consider the human race and its relationship with the global arboretum. Man requires oxygen to survive, and expels carbon dioxide. Our rooted neighbors, conversely, scrub the atmosphere of carbon dixide and convert it to oxygen. Man and tree are vastly unequal, in either direction. Trees have yet to put a tree on the Moon, and man has yet to grow to hundreds of feet tall. Man can do so much more than the mightiest redwood can, and yet the smallest cedar is capable of doing only what a recently made machines can.

If one is frustrated by perceived inequality, then one has a spectacularly narrow view of life; so narrow, in fact, that it extends only to the peripheral view of the man who looks into the mirror. He is frustrated by inequality because he fails to recognize his own gifts and how best they may be used. One is not another. This much is painfully obvious, and yet in our quest for equality we ignore this obvious truism and wish instead that all may be one, and one all. We want everyone to have the same talents, the same advantages, and the same views – choosing to overlook the logical and reasonable fact that such a societal leveling would extinguish the flames of talent, advantage, and view itself. If all are equal, then none are equal, for there is no variations to be measured. Mankind and existence itself becomes a barren salt flat of nothingness.

In the sort of equality that is sought by so many activists today, there is no individuality – which is the other idol to be worshipped in our time. There can be no individuality in an equal society, because it is precisely our inequalities that make us individuals. And it is our inequalities that make us communities. It is our inequalities that make us who we are. Another word for these inequalities are differences, and isn’t this precisely what so much activism today is concerned with preserving? Even while our world rushes headlong towards the Cliffs of Global, it is heard yelled at we whose heels are dug into the ground, “Celebrate our differences!” A reasonable man would call this social dissonance. A global world despises individuality; a local world looks upon equality with well-deserved skepticism. Neither is necessarily wrong; both taken together are idiocy.

Which, then, shall we have – equality or individuality? If it is equality that we want, we may pursue it at the cost of individuality. If, to the contrary, it is individuality that we so desire, we must accept that it comes at the cost of equality. Yet, modern man in his profound and prideful ignorance believes like a fool that he may have both, and so laments that he has neither.


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