If we are all born ‘blank slates’ with equal potentials, in a meritocratic society where rewards are proportionate to effort, sacrifice, and risk-taking , then inequality is legitimate. If you get what you deserve then life is fair.
Once your recognise that we are not born with equal holistic inheritances, that intelligence, health, beauty, talent, socio-economic status, and access to resources and opportunities such as education are not fairly distributed, you need an alternative myth to legitimate inequality.
Karma is this myth. Karma defines our unequal holistic inheritances as deserved, having been earned through our behaviour in past lives. This adds insult to injury, defining the unlucky as ‘morally‘ inferior to the lucky. The lucky need feel no compulsion to help the unlucky, to re-distribute their luck, their windfalls, as the unlucky deserve their bad fortune.
Blank slates, meritocracy, and karma all assume free-will. We can only deserve to be rewarded or punished if we have free-will.
If our behaviour is determined, then it would be unfair to punish or reward us for behaviours that are not within our control.
The keystone to enlightenment is a recognition of the deterministic nature of TROONATNOOR. No system of social relations with the fallacious assumption of free-will as its basis will ever produce holistic justice.
The concept, the myth, of free-will, is perpetuated most strongly by the lucky few who use their favourable holistic inheritances to accumulate power and priveledge for themselves, to exploit and re-produce inequality in the service of their own desires.
Remember that inequality is produced by the universe, but only persists if it is re-produced. This is our level of response-ability in an interactively-deterministic universe.
If you are among the lucky it is satisfying and convenient to define your luck as earned in this life, or, where this is patently absurd given the facts of our behaviour in this life, the previous, and therefore deserved.
However our nature and our nurture are inherited as part of our holistic inheritances. No-one can deserves their holistic inheritance. Our holistic inheritances are randomly distributed. It is the luck of the draw, to which parents, society, historical period, and therefore opportunities, we are born. Karma cannot exist in a deterministic universe such as the one we live in.
We can only rightly deserve what we have earned ,through effort, sacrifice, and risk-taking, in this life.
The outcomes of our actions are the product of effort-sacrifice-risk multiplied by the luck of our holistic inheritance. Luck leverages effort-sacrifice-risk.
The greater our holistic inheritances, the more likely it is that we will believe that we can attain our desired ends if we invest effort-sacrifice-risk. That is why we often observe a higher level of motivation in people who have inherited opportunities, talents, beauty, intelligence, wealth, social connections and education. The realistic confidence that we can succeed is motivating. Thus success is facilitated or prevented by our holistic inheritance, and this indirectly determines our level of motivation. Thus blaming someone for being unmotivated is as absurd as blaming them for any other part of their holistic inheritance.
The more realistic our chances of success are, and the more our effort-sacrifice-risk taking is leveraged by our holistic inheritances, the more motivated we are likely to be to try, and to keep trying when we face setbacks. The more able, with greater access to the resources required for success, are more motivated to invest effort-sacrifice-risk than the less able, as they rightly feel more confident of ultimately being rewarded for their effort-sacrifice-risk.
Those who use Napoleon or Adolf Hitler as counter-arguments forget the inherited personality and, more importantly, historical situation their ‘successes’ were favoured by.
The rare cases of ‘rags-to-riches’ successes are used as propaganda by the lucky, to deny the reality that we tend to stay in the socio-economic-status group we were born to, no matter how hard we try. It is a myth the unlucky want to be true, and hence it is eagerly consumed by the masses. It motivates those with poor inheritances to work hard for the benefit of the priveledged minority, while seeking their own, unrealistic dreams of joining that priveledged minority.
And as the unlucky are no more noble and no less opportunistic in their motivations than the lucky, there is no reason to expect any changes in society when they come to power. Human nature is opportunistic. It did not change when we moved from aristocacy to democracy any more than it did when we went from capitalism to socialism. There was merely less for the privileged to appropriate under socialism, as people were not motivated to invest effort-sacrifice-risk taking, and the production of consumer goods was given a low priorty by the central planners, who got all their ‘luxury’ goods direct from the Capitalist west.
It is a fallacy to assume the victim is any better than the perpetrator. The weak, untalented, unattractive, not-so-intelligent want to eliminate the privledges they feel are unattainable to them, not out of a love of justice, but merely as they do not want others to have what they are unlikely to attain. Everyone wants to keep their own privledges. If you asked people to set a level for a wealth tax, they would set it just a bit higher than their own level of wealth. Tax those richer than themselves. They will not, however, want to share what they have with those less fortunate than themselves.
Socialism is merely another form of opportunism. Those without the current forms of capital want to pretend we are all equal. Like Freud’s siblings, they recognise they themselves do not have the qualities by which priveleges and power are naturally accumulated, and so giving up on the hope of having more than others, they content themselves with ensuring no-one else shall have more than them. If they themselves don’t have the qualities to be better than others, they will make sure all are ‘equal’. This is their best opportunistic strategy given their poor holistic inheritances.
And as experience in the U.S.S.R shows, under socialism party power is exploited as opportunistically under socialism as other forms of capital are opportunistically exploited under capitalism. Those with power use it to accumulate priveledges and goods for themselves, whatever the form that power takes. Search in vain for your ‘noble savage’ . Doubt the motivations of your ‘socialist’. The first thing they do when they get in power is destroy anything of real beauty, talent, truth, or nobility. They vent their self-loathing on anything that reminds them of their own weakness, lack of talent, lack of beauty, and lack of nobility.
Further, as most people want to reproduce themselves, and not feel guilty for the poor inheritances they will force upon their offspring, they delude themselves, imagining their children can have it all too. This allows them to blame their children if they do not live up to the myth of the the potential their parents imagine for them.
The crux of the myths of karma, meritocracy, and the blank-slate is the blaming of the victim, and the reflexive masturbatory self-congratulation of the lucky.
The unlucky are motivated to continue striving for a mostly impossible quality of life while actually producing all the products that make the lives of the lucky so comfortable and rewarding.
Of course they do receive benefits for their efforts in terms of higher living standards. The fact that the lucky priveledged can appropriate most of the value produced does not mean the exploited are not rewarded at all for their efforts.
Under Socialism the self-interest motive is mostly eliminated. Capitalism, with its myths, does motivate people to effort-sacrifice-risk, and does produce better outcomes than Socialism ever could. Socialism is not compatible with human nature. The real question is whether we could allow those who ultimately produce most of the value to consume a fairer share of it than they currently do.
©Copyright 2009Markus Heinrich Rehbach All Rights Reserved