The Individual Minority: Why Formal Equality can Never be Equal

The evidence that man have failed at attaining through themselves divinity is displayed through the inadequacy of providing for our own basic needs. This is not to say that animals who depend on their own capabilities to fend for themselves are divine, but that we are still mere men. The yarns of our lives are out of our control, we stand as commentators as life unfolds like a movie before us, with little power to alter anything. Destiny. We are thoroughly dependent.

Seemingly, the only horse we could ever manage to harness is Society. How me and you work together, live together and interact. That is basic the only ship man has his hands on wheel and sails alike, so we go on in that process. We are aware that authority is given to human beings in the social sphere in varying degrees. Rulers head great nations, army commanders have a vast army to command, the mayor has his councilors, the judge his clerks, the boss his subordinates and the mother her children. In our little spheres we may play a leadership role, which could seem as nonexistent if not much diligence is put into it. However, it is probable that the luckiest of men are those whose power extends its impact on the livelihoods of people in their most private lives. Legislators are fortunate, and so are policy makers. In this regard, although they do not have the yarn of our lives in their hands, they could well be the ones who order the spin and pause of it.

It is deeply troubling for me to get a hold of this truth, it is like a slap on the face for being brave enough to think myself the superior force in my life. To think of the absence of equality is appalling and one could lose sleep. In common socio-legal academia, there are two types of equality that exist. First, is the Formal, which ensures that both you and I are equal before the law. The other is Substantive, which aspires to address each individual according to their ‘differences’.

I despise unfair advantage, and wouldn’t normally pay instructors visits to gain a deeper scope of the set test, nor would I push into the system though actions my mouth would fail to utter in the next human’s ear-shot. I do not dispute the existence of desire to get ahead fast, in human nature, such desires are innate. We could all be thoroughly pleased with ourselves if we could get to our goals without much of a hustle. But we don’t anyway. Hard work is mandatory, the brow was made for the sweat.

However, formal equality or equality before the law is negative to the core of human beings’ lives. If legislators are going to advocate for the same laws and policies to every single human being, and despise substantive efforts to address us in our differences, what of the inner person? What of me? Before I allude to any ‘master status’, the person I believe I am before all else, I am the many differences and complexities that make up my persona. I could be woman, with color, in a forgotten district in India, offered to a religion of gods I have never encountered, of a caste I do not choose, a tribe I wouldn’t choose. I could be man, in solidarity, living for pursuits of others, laboring for the others desires, in a cold snowy farm in Alaska, of a family I did not choose, a calling I wouldn’t have answered. I could be ill, or of lesser ability, or of lesser intellect. Before being a citizen, I am all these things. And the uniqueness of my character and personality ultimately make me the smallest minority to ever exist. In mere existence, in my failure to extricate myself, to rid myself of the bonds of mortality I was born into. I am open to inequality and violation because none can stand for my cause since there is no one exactly like me.

How can we then say that formal equality is good for all? How can we say that the attempts made at special treatment under substantive equality are too ‘special’? How can we see the generalization of normative orders as the complete right? How can we go on in society while others are lagging behind due to institutionalized discrimination? How could law-makers and policy makers believe they are doing the best of their abilities for every individual? The minority in you is crying and wailing over broken dreams, injured characters and destroyed identity. You are, as you are, fighting for survival in a world that does not recognize your true self, which treats you as an existing ‘thing’ to be pawned over and about by the system. And you are marginalized, stereotyped, limited to the things which have been achieved, and not those which are realities waiting to happen in your beautiful wide enchanting mind. Divinity has failed, Right has failed. Should the maneuverable social self-actualization also fail?

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