Equality … or justice ?

Suppose that we could achieve a perfectly equal society. Would that mean everyone was contributing equally? – almost certainly not. So what do you do about those who are putting in the extra effort to keep things going? If their only reward is the success of the whole community, sooner or later human nature will cause them to find that this is not a good enough motivation.

So you allow them a measure of extra prosperity, as a fair reward. But then, one of the most potent motivators is the desire to enable your children to prosper. Are they allowed to pass their rewards to their children? If they aren’t, you run into the motivation issue again. If they are, then there is an inequality in the next generation. Do you rail against the children of the best workers in one generation, for being the new rich in the next?

Equality then is a transient state, an illusion that cannot be sustained. The pursuit of it often appears motivated by envy, and that’s a poor basis for trying to build a better society. I believe heaven offers not equality but, in the realm of opportunities and rewards, justice. Jesus didn’t grasp at equality. He took the role of a servant, and he won the just reward for performing it perfectly. Equality is the devil’s creed: “I will make myself like the most high”, “You will be like God”. It contains a measure of truth, for justice contains elements of equality, but it is still a lie.