On being unfair

Societies all over the world continue to progress because there is inequality. If all men are created equal no one will work as cleaning ladies, no one will bother scrub our toilets, all of us will be movie stars. If all of us indeed become movie stars, I’ll be the first to volunteer to slit my wrist. If life is fair, this world will lose life.

Student: Sir, I think that the biggest problem these people in the public market have is the recurrence of poverty.

Me: Could you expound on that. I asked you to look into tangible problems encountered by the people in the market in which you can write an investigative report about. This problem you’ve just presented is interesting because you’ve looked into the more fundamental concerns. But please be clearer.

S: The mother is a fish vendor. So is the father. And I believe that their children will also be fish vendors someday who will take their parents’ place.

M: I do not see any problem with that.

S: They lack dreams. They do not want to make their lives better. It’s as if they do not anymore want to become somebody else other than being fish vendors.

M: But we cannot all be doctors. We cannot all be college professors. Not all of us are given similar opportunities. It is insensitive to insinuate that these vendors lack dream.

All this fuss about equality and fairness is only valid so long as the person who is making the pronouncement is on an elevated position. Seeking for equality is nothing more than empty diatribe told to the wind.

Equality is a fallacy.


23 thoughts on “On being unfair”

  1. no, it’s usually just bored teenagers, they compete with each other on who gets to hack the most pc’s. apparently, hacking is simply child’s play but i’m too old to learn the business, otherwise i wouldn’t have minded getting into some swiss account or something like that, ha ha ha.

  2. probably there might have been changes in your ip address. i’m just hypothesizing. grabeh, are you working for some exra-secret service? i wonder why somebody is interested to know the contents of your emails…hmmm.

  3. how does it work with these avatars anyway? :-). don’t know anything about these, all i know is that this pc is under permanent siege from some hacker/s, which is why i never send emails, as i have no illusions on their privacy anyway. as i write, i’m sure this msg will be rerouted first before it gets to you, but what the hell, let them read, hé?
    yeah, i liked that cockroachy thing too. maybe it’ll come back sometime, he he :-).

  4. i.b,

    the family front is doing well so far. that Dutch concept of relativeren is quite similar to euphemism, is it? very interesting. it’s finding reason to be happy when everything around is starting to crumble.

  5. kate, i must have missed some of your points, i apologize. thanks for bringing them up. what i was trying to say is that being poor is not good and poverty should never be romanticized. none should be blamed that he is poor. poverty is a result of multifarious factors.

    for us who are privileged to be at the university, it wouldn’t hurt much if we anchor ourselves a bit on reality.

    again, the irony i employed might not have properly worked again.

  6. all of us become movie stars? god forbid, hahaha.
    i dream of being a cargo truck driver or a seaman, seriously, but too bad it’s a bit late for that dream :-).
    unfortunately, ha ha, unfortunate events will always come, like it or not. there’s this great dutch word called ‘relativeren’ that people use when talking about misfortune. it’s defined online as ‘down-playing’, but i take it as more in the sense of seeing things in perspective. For ex. i’ve lost my job. not good but well, at least i haven’t lost my job in iraq, or worse, my leg, or my arms, or my life.
    hope you’ve had a nice weekend by the time you read this and that things are much better on the family front.

  7. point, sir… i think you got me wrong…

    i never said anything about them lacking dreams… i even said i saw the spark in Nang “M”‘s eyes when we talked about school and sciences, specifically if the fish is either male or female and how they get excited when they go to the UPV fisheries to learn something…

    but those are details, sir… my point here is, they would have wanted to make their lives better if they were only given the chance… but social reality, as you say, has it… that we can’t be all “equal”… i don’t move for equality here… i only think that they have so much potential IF ONLY they were given the chance…

    it came from Nang “M” that it is possible that her children and even her grandchildren in the future will become just like her, but she will do anything that she can to avoid this recurrent problem…

    any argument about equality will take up so much time, ‘coz true, it is a fallacy… and maybe, it doesn’t even really exist…(“,)

  8. first you were morbid, now this sounds like fatalism if not downright pessimism. hope it’s only a phase, considering. not a very sunny start to the year, but there’s still chinese new year, iranian new year, and all other new years coming up :-).

  9. nikos,

    but what is the object of this equality? we’ve done so much to maintain and to let every human being the chance to experience it. does it need to reach a level of equality that is absolute?

    i think retaining inequality is beneficial to the society as a whole.

  10. hi john! i think the term equality can best be understood by framing it in an ideology or a discourse. democracy believes in social equality where people have the same rights no matter their socio-economic class. ideally in a democratic country, a poor person’s electoral vote has the same weight as that of a rich person’s.

    people may not be born equal. but depending on one’s access to opportunities, inequality is lessened. for example, in the US, the civil rights movement has slowly erased much of the boundaries that restricted access to opportunities. now america has a black president.

    equality can also be exercised in the sense of “fields” (bourdieu) (fields are not analogous to classes and are autonomous spaces of social play). who knows, if that fish vendor boy becomes a binatilyo someday he might have more opportunities and power in the gay porn arena than somebody who’s richer. 😉

  11. I think it is more of the CHOICES that we make..

    what we choose to do or act determines the outcome. and we all are responsible to whatever results it may lead us.

    fate is something we make because of our choices. fate doesn’t decided what we would be (or always be) till the end but it is our choices that we determine our fate. 🙂

    we can still make the necessary changes.

  12. Equality is a fallacy. AGREE!

    But I believe we all have equal chances.
    It doesn’t mean that if your parents are fish vendors, you will be one. It doesn’t mean also that when you become one, its because you don’t dream to be somebody else, it must be because sitautions (eg. poverty) hinders them to be what they want to be…

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