I’ve heard the name Jordan Peterson on occasion, but never read any of his work until today.
Peterson is a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto and has made it his life’s work to help human beings navigate the stumbling blocks that society puts in front of them.
His essay “When the left goes too far — the dangerous doctrine of equity” captures perfectly the insanity of progressive ideology, which sets social goals first and then tries to reshape humanity to fit the goals, thus resulting in the totalitarian tactics needed to make us cussed humans toe the line.
In this case, Peterson is specifically talking about the leftist policy goal of equity. Not as he points out, equality of opportunity or equality before the law, but equality of outcomes. This goal takes many forms in leftist ideology, but is most attractive to the masses in the form of gender equity — because who wouldn’t want women to be equal to men, especially on Mother’s Day!
But as Peterson demonstrates conclusively the only way to guarantee equal representation of men and women in all professions is through a massive campaign of social engineering that would invariably result in less freedom and less equality of opportunity.
Let’s assume for a moment that we should aim at equity… and then actually think through what policies would inevitably have to be put in place to establish such a goal. We might begin by eliminating pay scales that differ (hypothetically) by gender. This would mean introducing legislation requiring companies to rank-order their sex representation at each level of the company hierarchy, adjust that to 50:50, and then adjust the pay differential by gender at every rank, so that the desired equity was achieved. Companies could be monitored over a five-year period for improvement. Failure to meet the appropriate targets would be necessarily met with fines for discrimination. In the extreme, it might be necessary to introduce staggered layoffs of men so that the gender equity requirements could be met.
Then there are the much broader social policy implications. We could start by addressing the hypothetical problems with college, university and trade school training. Many companies, compelled to move rapidly toward gender equilibria, will object (and validly) that there are simply not enough qualified female candidates to go around. Changing this would mean implementing radical and rapid changes in the post-secondary education system, implemented in a manner both immediate and draconian — justified by the obvious “fact” that the reason the pipeline problem exists is the absolutely pervasive sexism that characterizes all the programs that train such workers (and the catastrophic and prejudicial failure of the education system that is thereby implied).
The most likely solution — and the one most likely to be attractive to those who believe in such sexism — would be to establish strict quota systems in the relevant institutions to invite and incentivize more female participants, once again in proportion to the disequilibria in enrollment rates. If quotas are not enough, then a system of scholarship or, more radically (and perhaps more fairly) women could be simply paid to enroll in education systems where their sex is badly under-represented. Alternatively, perhaps, men could be asked to pay higher rates of tuition, in some proportion to their over-representation, and the excess used to subsidize the costs of under-represented females.
As Peterson demonstrates, these are just the beginning of the totalitarian changes that would have to be imposed on society by a government bureaucracy that would make Big Brother seem absolutely benevolent in comparison. Read his entire essay for more ammunition against the insanity of the left, and consider his conclusion before you decide that it’s not worth the effort to fight back against the well-meaning goal of “gender equity.”
We know the left can go too far. The Soviets taught us that. The Maoists and the Khmer Rouge taught us that. The North Koreans, and the Cubans, and the Venezuelans continue to teach us in the same manner. We don’t know when and where the “going too far” begins. But I’m willing to stake my claim on the equity doctrine. In a word, it’s inexcusable, both morally and practically. It should be roundly rejected (at whatever reasonable personal cost that might be incurred) by anyone who takes the idea of the excessive left seriously, who is concerned in any genuine sense with the increasingly destructive polarization of our political discourse, and who wants to stand up and be counted when the radicals come knocking—or pounding—at the door.
HeartlandDiaryUSA.com hosts the commentary of Frank Miele, former editor of the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, Montana. Your support for this blog is appreciated. Please consider purchasing one of my books at Amazon. My new book is “The Media Matrix: What If Everything You Know Is Fake?” — a look at Fake News from the perspective of a small-town newspaper editor. In addition, my “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy documents the downward spiral of the USA that made Trump’s presidency so important. The books are available at Amazon in paperback or Kindle editions. Go here for a free sample of “The Media Matrix”: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/sitb/B07PDQBJM4