In Defense of Favoritism

This article, a must read for anyone who believes in equality and fairness, will be sure to offend some.  “In Defense of Favoritism” article ran in the Chronicle of Higher Ed on Nov. 12, 2012.   Key quotes:
“Fairness, however, is not the be-all and end-all standard for justice, nor is it the best measure of our social lives.”
“Having favorites and having an open mind about differences are not mutually exclusive.”
“Love trumps fairness every time. It says: I don’t care if other people are more deserving.”
“Alexis de Tocqueville studied America and pronounced, “Equality is a slogan based on envy. It signifies in the heart of every republican ‘Nobody is going to occupy a place higher than I.””
“Favoritism, not egoism, is probably the primal value system.  In short, favoritism or bias toward your group is not intrinsically racist, sexist, or closed-minded. Privileging your tribe does not render you negative or bigoted toward those outside your tribe. And to top it off, we’re now beginning to understand the flexible nature of our ingroup favoritism—it doesn’t have to be carved along bloodlines, or race lines, or ethnic lines.”
“Young people in our schools are repeatedly exposed to a bogus association between unbiased equality for all and open-mindedness.”
“”In a consumer society,” Ivan Illich says, “there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy.””
“Today’s culture tries to spare kids the pains of sibling and peer rivalry, but does so by teaching them to channel their envy into the language and expectation of fairness—and a reallocation of goods that promises to redress their emotional wounds.”

“Our high-minded notions of retributive justice have roots in the lower emotions of revenge…fairness has roots in envy”….“But most egalitarians will find this repugnant, and damaging to their saintly and selfless version of fairness.”

About Taylor Halverson

I love learning. I love connecting. I love interdisciplinarity.
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