The other day I “coined” a phrase in a comment which has stuck with me.
It’s like there’s this sense of obligatory egalitarianism in the West but sometimes dictatorships are best for getting the job done ;)
Disfigured smiley aside, I believe this little utterance says a lot about the futile nature of a society bound by its democratic principles in a world where its adversaries harbor no such delusions.
Our sense of “obligatory egalitarianism” is, as noted, obligatory in the sense that we can envision no other way without a shudder. Egalitarianism, its facade, regardless of its pragmatic application (usually falling far short of absolute in most cultural working models), an innate ingredient to the recipe that perpetuates our worldview and expectations of this nebulous holy form of our national existence. Egalitarianism, this dogmatic equality we nearly accept as a “God-given right,” is something our national character wears as a mark of pride. It is that which separates us from the beasts. But it is that which shackles our fluidity, as well.
It is this sense of obligatory egalitarianism that makes us “nice” and vulnerable in a world where such lofty ideals are not shared or admired. Such considerations of equality condemn us to prolonged, drawn-out spectacles of action which ultimately, manifest as inaction given the tepid nature of such watered down decisions (due to the nature of an egalitarian process required to generate a course of action). Obligatory egalitarianism spawns a government system that, over time, and faced with certain enemies, buckles under the weight of determining the best national expression of a decisive and strong response.
Everyone is “equal” and thus it is rude and reprehensible to think that anyone be granted the ability to make decision unilaterally. The neutralizing branches of government will see to it no one makes efficient, concise decisions. Yet, our adversaries, harboring no such silliness, simply do while we squander decisive response through communal dialogue that has grown under the weight of its own bureaucratic layers of officiousness. By the time the decision tree culminates in some sort of democratic response, it is diluted and clogged with domestic political agenda.
We need to be able to revert to dictatorial decision-making in certain matters of global dispute, for we are battling fiends who don’t care about, and in fact, revile, our pretty principles.