Monday, August 16, 2010

Looks like I struck a nerve

It looks like my post last week about how equality for all means exactly that has struck a nerve, with Chris Trotter declaring that he is not a Trotterite and declaring that the left is not about equality, but justice:

The first and most obvious riposte I would offer to this curiously naïve statement is that Mr Savant fundamentally misunderstands what the Left is all about.

For the Left, the quest for equality is not an end in itself but the means to achieving its ultimate objective – a just distribution of social and economic power.


This is what Mr Savant doesn’t "get" about the Left. That it is not simply about "the equality of all", but about transforming society to the point where power and wealth are so justly distributed that the word "equality" merely describes the way human-beings interact with one another.

Oh no, I get all that. But I'm left wondering why Trotter doesn't, at least when it comes to anyone is not white and straight and male.

Women also deserve justice. Maori also deserve justice. Gays also deserve justice. Children also deserve justice. And they deserve it every bit as much as Trotter's favoured Waitakere man.

Whether you couch it as equality for all or justice for all, the key point is that its for everyone. Saying "Maori aren't important", "Women will have to wait", "gays are a distraction", "protecting children from violence was a mistake", Trotter and his ilk are committing the same sin as the National Party: denying justice to some for the unjust benefit of others. And when women, Maori, gays and children always come last in the queue behind the white working class, its difficult not to see that as a power relationship - exactly what Trotter purports to want to abolish.