The Mirage of Equal Opportunity

Back in May Dalrymple addressed the Sixth Annual Meeting of the Property and Freedom Society in Bodrum, Turkey. It was his third address to the group in as many years, and his speech described “The Mirage of Equal Opportunity”:

If one were serious about equality of opportunity, one would be a totalitarian so thoroughgoing as to make North Korea seem like a libertarian paradise. Only clones could be born and no parent could have any influence on the upbringing of his or her child, for fear of introducing inequality. Every child would receive exactly the same treatment, preferably from machines. A society of equality of opportunity would be one in which no parent could express in words or in action a preference for his own child, or to procure advantages for him or her, in case it should prejudice the chances of another child. I leave it to you to decide whether a society in which parents held no particular brief for their own children as against all the others in the world would be an attractive one. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World would be but a beginning, not an end.

A video of the address can be found here, and a transcript here.

2 thoughts on “The Mirage of Equal Opportunity

  1. Jaxon

    here’s one I made earlier

    People complain about inequality… to some extent I can sympathise but I think maybe we need a different word, people wilfully insist on conflating equality before the law, say, with equality of self esteem, equality of access to computer games, and fashion accessories. So many people only seem to cry foul about ‘racial’ or ‘sexual’ inequality as some outrageous symptom of economic inequality perpetrated primarily by the richest in society.
    I guarantee they who whinge loudest are they who have quite happily indulged in inequality of sexual selection, say, as though sexual attractiveness was somehow an infallible reflection of a person’s intrinsic worth (more often the opposite is the case). Many of the bankers are no doubt scumbags , products of a culture dedicated to overindulgence and selfishness… what can you expect? Little surprise if they hold most of society in contempt.

  2. Clare

    I found this piece a little disappointing and dare I say it – “intellectually dishonest”. The health gap between the richest and poorest in society is not fixed and we know that because some countries have a smaller gap in as measured by medical indicators such as infant mortality. These countries including Japan and Sweden are not typified by assembly line reproduction and rearing of the population.
    ‘Reducing inequalities’ is a short-cut to acknowledging that I am not deserving of the rewards I receive for the gifts which I happened to be randomly bestowed with (a middle class family and upbringing, adequate intelligence, good mental and physical health etc).
    Asking the question “What is good for society?” the answer is reducing inequalities. The dystopian vision of resentment is more likely a product of the unfettered market; free-market economics being nothing more than an efficient method of dividing labour.


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