Michel Foucault (1926-1984) developed the idea that every kind of discourse is an attempt on the part of its user to exercise power over others. He was a deconstructionist like Nietzsche (see my 8/30/16 post), who probed down into the true motivation of the writer of an argument. There are no facts, only interpretations. Every lawyer knows this as they begin a trial – “ladies and gentlemen of the jury, these are the facts……” Neither truth nor virtue is centralized in anyone; those who claim to have a monopoly on truth or morality are just trying to exert power.
Considerable power was institutionalized in government, the media and academia but its strength in those institutions has been greatly weakened by the obvious exercise of that power to advance a Leftist agenda. Here are a couple of examples of ‘progressive’ bias: Academics proposed the idea of a personality trait they labeled “Social Dominance Orientation” based on Social Dominance Theory (which sounds a lot like Marxism). It suggests that the idea of a meritocracy (individual achievement) is a “legitimizing myth” designed to produce a false illusion of fairness. I wrote about that horseshit nonsense back on 11/3/15 –Well isn’t that special (in the voice of the Church Lady from SNL). If you don’t hold egalitarianism as an ideal, you’re a morally inferior, evil racist!
Another example is all the hubbub over income inequality as measured by the Gini Coefficient. It’s based on the Lorenz Curve, developed by Max O. Lorenz in 1905, which graphs share of income against percentage of people. As expected, wealth is always distributed in a power function (80/20 rule) allocation. The Gini Coefficient measures inequality by calculating the ratio of the area between the “perfect” line of equality and the total area including under the Lorenz Curve. The underlying assumption seems to be that the ideal distribution of income is equality and we are measuring how far off we are from that “ideal”.
The point is that discourse is always in pursuit of an agenda (or in defense against the imposition of one). Everyone is biased, including me, but I happily recognize and acknowledge it. I battle for my mass affluent tribe – an intellectual gladiator wielding my sword of reason against the egalitarian dragon. I don’t root for inequality (that’s like cheering for the earth to be a sphere) but I strongly believe that egalitarians are morally and logically misguided in trying to attack those who own wealth. It bears repeating – every competitive endeavor (golf, chess, spelling bees, sports, business, etc.) has a highly skewed distribution favoring the successful. Trying to knock down the strong to pull up the weak is just wrong and will never work. The strong fight back. We have powerful cognitive, moral and pecuniary weapons in our Estate Planning War Chests.