November 27 2022 1:28 AM E-paper Subscribe Sign in My Account Sign out

Equality and justice

Jawad Anani (Photo: Jordan News)
(Photo: Jordan News)
In his book “Animal Farm,” George Orwell fascinated us with the ever-remembered quote from the pig Napoleon, which reads, “Sure pigs in the sty are equal, but some are more equal than others.” That was Orwell’s satirical critique of the communist regimes in the post WWII world.اضافة اعلان

According to the “Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,” the term equality has become an integral lexicon of the body politic.

Yet as it stands now, it is one of the most controversial and definition-resistant terms. However such difficulty is only viewed in the eyes of the intellectuals.

In ordinary political debates, it is a simple term used in a mathematical way to express the fact that each individual in any group gets an equal share of anything as the others.

Justice on the other hand is more complex. According to law, justice uses the same scale to weigh and the goddess of justice is blind to color, ethnicity, gender, age, status, and wealth.

Conventionally people often use the two terms, justice and equality, as perfect alternates meaning exactly the same thing.

In Arab culture, this mix-up is often a common practice.

Yet, I claim here that this lack of separation between the two concepts is responsible for much of the discontent and anger with government practices.
People usually adopt paradoxical attitudes towards the two concepts.

They use them willy-nilly as may suit their respective purposes.

If we talk about salaries, the majority wants them to be equal for the same job.
No one should get extras, bonuses ,or any other salary hikes even if that employee is performing way above his peers.

Yet, very few people raise the issue when taxes are jacked up on higher income brackets.

Why would a dinar in the JD50,000 bracket be taxed less than a dinar in the JD200,000 bracket? If people do not want to acknowledge the efficiency and effectiveness of salary differentiation, then why would they accept a difference when paying taxes, especially income or profit taxes?
The pressure on public sector employees to be given the same wages if they are of the same rank and seniority has served as a boost to the less efficient and productive people.

Better employees can always find better jobs outside governments. When the better employees leave, they are substituted by a larger number of mediocre ones. That is how window-dressing, overstaffing, and corruption creep into the system.
Communism did not differentiate between the less and more efficient which is in diagonal contradiction with human nature.

Eventually, communism had the roots of its destruction implanted in its government structures.

It eventually and eminently self-destructed and broke asunder.
If the mathematical approach to equality persists, justice and fairness eventually give way to entropy and lethargy.

A practical manual should be developed in order to promote a culture of competitiveness, innovation and self-motivation.
According to Aldous Huxley, “that men do not learn very much from lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.”

I wish the Royal Reform Committee all the success in the world.

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