Over the past few days, the concept of equality has troubled me a lot :). I say I am troubled when I do not get satisfactory answers for certain fundamental questions even from people who specialize in the analysis of such questions. I have come across two examples which made me think about this illusion called equality.
One example was related to the abolition of rank system in school education by the Government of Karnataka. Fortunately, this decision was taken after I completed my SSLC (Secondary School Leaving Certificate). Rank system encourages students and makes them competitive. This competition is inherent in human life described by Darwin as the ‘survival of the fittest‘.
Another example is in the accumulation of wealth. How would an egalitarian society look like? A peon would draw the same salary as the chief executive officer, a farmer would earn as much as a neurosurgeon or an investment banker, etc. This is not the case and states which tried to develop a communist society have failed. See more about the Israeli Kibbutz and the downfall of the Soviet regime. If there are no incentives of doing a particular job (i.e no competition), then people may not do that job and I have been told that competition is necessary for value addition. I agree to this hypothesis in the absence of any other feasible mechanism for division of labour and feasible algorithm for assigning value or importance to a particular profession.
Finally, I hope I have succeeded in leaving you with more questions than answers. The taylorian principle of ‘One best way’ of doing things seems to be inapplicable for most of the problems that human society faces.