When Equity Replaces Meritocracy, Your Nation Will Soon Die — E.g. South Africa

When Equity Replaces Meritocracy, Your Nation Will Soon Die — E.g. South Africa. By Benjamin Croker.

[South Africa] is a harbinger of things to come for the Western World. Many prosperous nations are now held captive by the exact same spiritual, intellectual, and political malaise that has driven South Africa into anarchy.

The wider world struggles to grasp this understanding because it too easily views South Africa as a simple poorly basket case….

The world has forgotten that for all its sins, modern South Africa was once a beacon of administrative competency and — for the briefest of moments after the fall of apartheid — relative social cohesion. It is a country rich in natural resources, and rich too, in the potential of its human capital. At least it was, until three decades of grift snuffed out its innate spirit of freedom and enterprise. …

To understand the story of 21st Century South Africa is to understand the inescapable destruction wrought by grievance studies and identity politics. It is above all else, to understand the inevitable national disintegration that occurs when equality is replaced by equity as a nation’s preeminent socio-political principle.

Equality as a political concept concerns the equal value, worth, and dignity of all persons before the Law, and ultimately, before God. It holds consistent with a Judeo-Christian society because it leans heavily on human forgiveness to redress historic wrongs, allowing meritocracy to continue unimpeded as the supreme qualifying value in public administration.

Conversely, Equity as a political concept relies on material destruction and redistribution in order to redress historic wrongs. It is an inherently unChristian principle of public justice. Equity seeks not to forgive, but to punish, by preferencing victimhood over competency, as the supreme qualifying value. One of its grand follies is its discarding of the civilizing genius of human forgiveness.

Nelson Mandela leant heavily on human forgiveness in his quest to reconcile South Africa. He personified this value by his grace and dignity in engaging warmly with his former persecutors. … He met his predecessor, F. W. De Klerk, with warmth and magnanimity. Whatever his administrative failings, his South Africa was a nation that attempted to give true credence to the political principle of equality.

At Mandela’s passing, his successors began to reject political equality, giving more credence to the concept of political equity. Race permanently replaced competency as the supreme qualification for public administration. Of course, in South Africa’s early democratic years, a corrective was necessary — a country of majority blacks run exclusively by minority whites was exceedingly undemocratic. But a failure to balance this response set the nation on a slippery slope toward renewed race exclusivity.

This race exclusivity established, South Africa soon slid into tribal rule. By the time Jacob Zuma, a criminally incompetent corruptocrat, took control of the Presidency in 2009, the devolution was all but complete. The consequences of meritocracy’s demise had led to societal collapse.

South Africa today is facing near total breakdown of its electricity infrastructure. Its once magnificent schooling system is deteriorating. Petty crime has been rampant for twenty years, and violent crime endemic for the past ten. The value of the Rand against the US dollar has dropped from 1:5 in 1998, to 1:18 today. Residents who want to escape an impending ‘Civil War’ are trapped because they have no relative purchasing power in international markets.

What South Africa’s tragedy must teach the world is that any dalliance with the socio-political principle of ‘equity’ will set a nation on a path to eventual collapse.

Once any qualification other than merit is preferenced within governmental, business, and social spheres, the slide into eventual corruption is all but inevitable.

Special categories of citizens – categories based not on competency, but on an identification with historical victimhood – will soon rise to take control of institutions, leading to their deterioration, corruption, and eventual collapse.

South Africa’s special category was race. Then it became tribe, and then it became those from whom most financial advantage could be mutually gleaned. The wider Western World’s special ‘equity’ categories include race too, but also now include ethnicity, sex, sexuality, and political ideology itself.

We in the Western World have become utterly obsessed with equity. We have blazed through equality and devoured its fruits. Not content, we now seek to tear up the very foundations of a healthy, functioning, and competent society, at the behest of an ideology that places historically-derived victimhood as the highest value in determining suitability for both public and private sector leadership. Banks, schools, arts companies, and airlines (Airlines!) now proudly boast of ‘line-in-the-sand’ equity targets.

In Australia, the Voice would be a big step towards “equity.”

Equity means equality of outcome. It’s is the opposite of equality of opportunity, which is what our societies have been moving  towards for a thousand years.