Inequality is in the news. Inequality has been declared the crisis of our times. Ingenious politicians have made the startling discovery that some people have more stuff than others. And they are promising to do something about it.
“Let the rich one percent grovel in sweat shops and salt mines,” they say. “And let the starving ninety-nine percent light Cuban cigars with $100 bills, quaff bottles of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild and feast on candied orchids and hummingbirds’ tongues.”
How did the rich get their obscene wealth?
“They stole it,” cry the foes of inequality. “They got it by taking more than their fair share. Another word for ‘success’ is ‘greed.’ Another word for ‘rich’ is ‘pig.’”
Apologists for the rich say that they work harder and are more talented. But what’s just and fair about unequal distribution of drive and talent? What right do successful people have to make the rest of humanity feel lazy, stupid and tormented by envy? If we were living in the time of Robespierre, the rich would be walking around without their puffed up heads. Robespierre advocated razing church steeples because they were taller than other structures. So great was his belief in equality that he gave up his own head to level the playing field. Where is our Robespierre?
School teachers have been trying to stamp out inequality. They give happy faces for work that in former, less equal times would have earned kids an “F.” They need to discourage kids from doing their best. Words such as “better” and “best” should be stricken from the language, since they necessitate “worse” and “worst.” Ambition and the desire to win should be prohibited, since “winners” require “losers.” Let mediocrity, conformity and togetherness replace the desire to “get ahead.” Let there be regulations, confiscatory taxes and dire punishments to deter greedy, egomaniacal children from pursuing success. We need new heroes: Average Man rather than Superman. Arise, ye Flunkies and Nobodies.
“Reproductive rewards go not to the peacock with a good enough tail, but the one with the best tail,” wrote some British sage. “The bloke with one more cow than the other bloke gets the girl.” So what’s to be done? Create a new breed of peacocks with uniform tails. Redistribute cows so that every bloke has an equal number of identical cows and every bloke gets an equally pretty girl…
as part of my own campaign to vanquish inequality, i have taken an oath to forswear the use of capital letters. capitals valorize big letters at the expense of lower case ones, another heinous example of prejudice and inequality. in the words of alice’s queen of hearts, “off with their heads.”