On Inequality

Inequality is an unavoidable consequence of human society. One section of society shall always be more advantaged than the other. This does not justify inequality, but rather, provides one with a starting point to arrive at the best method to combat it.

Inequality may reveal itself in a host of forms in multiple domains of human existence, but there is only one form which forms the bedrock of all of these. Before identifying it, one should ponder further on the foundation of human progress, which is inevitably tied to bridging the gap between the powerful and the powerless, since it is always upliftment of society as a whole that results in diminishing inequity.

The capacity to self-consciously reason and logically arrive at conclusions from widely accepted postulates, or rules, is the only characteristic evidently unique to humans. Invariably, it is this capacity that leads to all of human progress and equity. But at the same time, this capacity has to be exercised in a decidedly iniquitous atmosphere, which forces us to return to that one fundamental form of inequality – the unfair balance in scales appropriated to the advantaged and the disadvantaged in terms of rational speech and access to appropriate listeners.

Given that rational thought needs to be exercised for human progress and also that progress leads to greater equality (regardless of how disproportionate its rate of achievement is to the rate of progress), a fair opportunity to the exercise of the dialectical method is superlative and hence is the first inequality that must be resolved.

At this point, it is important to recognize that given a fair debating ground, it is theoretically possible to alleviate all disadvantages using just the power to logically convince those in power that only equality can assure a stable society. Further, only a rationally sound argument can ensure that this environment is propagated uninterrupted. To arrive at this conclusion, introspection on the decay of civilizations is key.

The downfall of civilizations is contingent upon one section of society revolting against the other. These revolts may be caused by various factors, but a society without discord cannot break down. One group of people must engage in targeted destructive action, for which the reason is always some form of iniquity. On the other hand, an equitable society has no internal tensions and as a consequence, safe from internal breakdown. Once it is understood that a breakdown in social order disaffects everyone, powerful or not, it is logically evident that a stable, equitable society is in everybody’s interest.

Now, we’ve proven that fair access to exercise of rational discourse is paramount, but it is eminently clear that this need not be ensured in any society. Further, we have not yet proven that only the exercise of rational discourse can maintain its own possibility.

First, the achievement of a fair opportunity to debate should be pondered upon, following which the necessity and sufficiency of this opportunity to sustain itself shall become clear. Whenever the possibility of rational discussion is denied, disruptive action must prevail. This is because humans have only two tools of winning over others of their species at their disposal – by reason or by force – and forceful acquisition automatically sets in when reasoning is impossible. This means that targeted revolt is the only method available to the disadvantaged in order to achieve a fair opportunity at rational discourse.

It is logical to ask, at this point, why the same method of force should not be sufficient to achieve a stable state of equality in all other cases of inequality. For one, the use of force rarely results in an absolute equilibrium. Power keeps changing hands, without respite for those temporarily powerless. This is applicable for equality achieved by means of reason as well, but as long as dialogue is allowed, the disadvantaged have the option of seeking redressal using dialogue. But as soon as the option of dialogue is lost, the use of force to regain it is inevitable. In this manner, a system where force is used only as an instrument to establish a stable means of redressal for all inequalities can be established, and safely claimed to be the best possible under a wide variety of circumstances.

Of course, as always, there are a few caveats. What if dialogue cannot be achieved, regardless of how much force is employed? Moreover, it was assumed earlier, when the fall of civilizations was analysed, that two unequal sections will exist throughout. In some cases, circumstances will take a different turn – the disadvantaged cannot achieve dialogue and both sections will employ force throughout, in which case the only outcome where the civilization still stands is when one of these is completely annihilated, since this would ensure the society consists of only one section which is composed of equals. Since murder must be abhorred irrespective of circumstances, this shall be the worst possible outcome and must be avoided at all costs.


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