A review of Matthew S. Battaglioli’s “The Consequences of Equality.”
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Review by Keith Preston
For the political Left, there is no value that is more important than “universal human equality.” To be against equality is to be reactionary, regressive, benighted, bigoted, unenlightened, unseemly, and anti-human. And while previous generations of leftists were concerned primarily with legal equality, and then economic equality, today’s leftists demand equality in every sphere of human activity. Every profession must have an exact proportion of males and females (“gender parity”). Every institution must have an equitable proportion of ethnic groups. Any statistical disparity among races, genders, ages, sexual orientations, or classes is thought to be the result of mere oppression, exploitation or greed on the part of those who seem to have a leg up in life. Hence, the popularity of “privilege theory” among fashionable social justice warriors who equate the fact of having been born straight, white, male, “cisgendered” or some combination of these to be the equivalent of original sin.
In “The Consequences of Equality,” Matthew Battaglioli takes aim at every prevalent piety of the age. There is not one major leftist idea in this work that is not subjected to scathing criticism. Whether the issue is income inequality, climate change, racial equality, gender equality, the LGBT movement, the welfare state, “democratic peace theory,” or even conventional democracy itself, Battaglioli does not shy away from the critical examination of the assumptions behind each of these sacred leftist cows. He finds these assumptions to be wanting for substance and intellectual rigor. For Battaglioli, the enemy is “equality,” which he regards as a pernicious concept that carries severe consequences in the areas of economics, politics, ethics, and culture.
It is also clear that Battaglioli is heavily influenced by those whose ideas have helped to shape the neo-reactionary and right-libertarian movements that have become increasingly prominent in recent years. Much of his economic analysis relies heavily on Austrian economic theory. His criticism of modern mass democracy is clearly very profoundly influenced by the thought of Hans Hermann Hoppe on this question. Battaglioli also embraces the theories of Richard Lynn regarding the relationship between the distribution of average IQ levels among ethnic groups and their relative economic success. This brief but weighty volume is a must read for anyone who is in search for a primer on the basic theories of paleolibertarianism. Battaglioli provides a wealth of information and arguments with which students can enjoy offending and irritating their leftist professors and campus social justice crusaders.