From “system” equality to Destonian equality, or how I learned to understand the meaning of equality

Before I became a Destonian, I was unable to understand the true sense of equality. Even though it was clear to me that all people should be equal and that differences related to gender, sexual orientation and race – among others – are a non-issue when it comes to equality. There is no doubt that these are big issues in the world that are founded on prejudice causing injustice and inequality; and furthermore there is no doubt that these so-called issues can only be tackled when we collectively come to the realisation that we are equals no matter of gender, sexual orientation and race, or what else we use to excuse our self-interest and superiority. This was my view then, which entailed that equality is a legal right that is practised in accordance to the law where everyone is guaranteed the same rights without exception.

This type of understanding of equality is convenient, of course. It primarily looks at equality as categorical, rather than fundamental, to-be-applied-as-necessary qualifier. By doing so it implies that the basic system we live by, our society, is in its manifold operational and functioning appearance a valid system to begin with. From this perspective the essence of equality supports the perpetuation of the system’s dynamics, which in actuality are there to keep us separated from each other by reinforcing the categorical distinction of irrelevant differences that are invented by the mind.

A practical example of this perspective I recently saw when I was packing up documents in the process of getting ready to move to another country. I came across my last employment contract which I had not yet put in its appropriate place so all the addenda one usually receives in conjunction with a contract was still there and had not been weeded out yet, as I usually strip away all bureaucratic fillers to keep only the most important part of the document. Hence, together with my contract I retrieved a paper that explained that my employer, an institution, was an ‘equal opportunity employer’. In several paragraphs it was outlined how various aspects, such as age, gender and disability, were guaranteed not to influence my participation in a career with the institution.

I remember reading these types of flyers before, at other occasions when I entered employment or some contractual relationship in the employment business. Generally I would acknowledge such a flyer as a ‘good’ thing that the institution or company is at least trying to do their best. At times I even considered myself lucky to work for an equal opportunity employer, I felt that this approach was politically correct. Today of course I know that this is deception because all equality in relation to something else that is already from the starting point unequal can never be made equal by applying equality on limited terms.

The fact that I had this contract with the institution makes this clear. I come from a middle class family; I have education; I am fed and have shelter. In other words, I have all my basic needs met. Anyone who does not have those prerequisites for this ‘opportunity’ can never have this job, and no employer would give them a job on the basis of being an ‘equal opportunity employer’. The equality mentioned in this context is a patch to a system, a system that is intrinsically flawed and needs constant upgrades and repairs. This makes the use of equality a form of bargaining chip, rather than what it is – a principle.

When I became a Destonian I realised that as long as we apply equality to fix an existing problem caused by the system, we are working from delusion because we do not recognise that the problem is there because the system is build on inequality and hierarchy. It is fact that the cultural and economic world systems are established on inequality through competitive practices, and losers can never be equals in these systems. Losers and winners are not self-determined ways of existing that we choose for ourselves, even a loser-in-the-self-making in a wealthy country is not comparable to a loser who is born to be starving for the rest of his life. From this perspective we can see that attention given to perceived differences such as gender, sexual orientation and race are little patches that cover up the distinct mechanism of inequality which underpins every cultural and economic system on the planet.

Continuing to apply equality-as-patch will just continue the convoluted bureaucratic systems that we have always experienced throughout recorded history, and which have become increasingly inscrutable where individuals as well as businesses make their way through the system by deploying abusive practices. For me the conclusion was simple at this point, equality has to be created as foundation to the system we live by – meaning the only solution is to work on the roots of the system which means we have to revise the entire system to one that is build on equality from the starting point. With such a system, perceived differences such as gender, age, sexual orientation, disability and race will no longer need any attention because there is no need to “fix something that is not broken”.

So, for me to be a Destonian is, among other things, the recognition that we need equality as a starting point that covers all the bases of one cultural and economic world system – starting with Equal Money.

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