Aliens against egalitarianism

A lot has been written on the evils of egalitarianism, my point is not to reaffirm it but rather to forge convincing anti-egalitarian bullet. Next time you are spoiling a friendly dinner party by arguing against any form of welfare system, opposing egalitarianism and its bastard child opportunity-egalitarianism, here's some ammo. I don't recall reading that argument elsewhere, it's not very original but the analogy is good as few will extend egalitarianism to it.

Assume we discover a peaceful planet populated by intelligent humanoid creatures. Through the marvels of convergent evolution, they are actually very similar to us, only they have 100 years of advance in almost everything (a ridiculous drop considering the length of evolution). They have much better machines, better education, quality of life, better health care and so on.

According to the defender of egalitarianism, the very day we discover this planet, every birth of human child suddenly become "unfair" as the unprivileged human child doesn't have the same chances in life as the alien child.

Had we not discovered the planet, we should not consider the birth unfair, but as soon as we barely know of the existence of that civilization, the whole meaning of fairness should be altered to reflect that any birth of a human baby is unfair.* After all, what did the alien babies do to deserve a better life? Nothing!

That alone undermines I think the whole idea behind egalitarianism. In order to finish (and definitely kill the mood of the party):

Since the alien are privileged it is only fair we force them to share their wealth, thus we should build a fleet, invade their planet and take their resources, machines and most valuable things back to earth.


On further thoughts, that argument is most efficient against someone defending equality of opportunities rather than pure egalitarianism. A pure egalitarian would claim the only "unfair" thing us the alien's attempt to prevent us from grabbing their ressources, the opportunity-egalitarian however must consider that being born human suddenly becomes unfair.

* Yes, that is the rothbardian view of egalitarianism as a revolt against nature, nothing new here but the framework.

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Compelling - to me

I find the point compelling. However, I have a feeling that, faced with an actual alien encounter like this one, egalitarians would not take long to arrive at the position, "yes, it is unfair." Utilitarians would go on about declining marginal utility and the need to maximize total interstellar utility through redistribution. Touchy feely "all I need to know I learned when I was eating my own poop" types would repeat what they've been saying all along about the virtue of sharing. Marxists would manage to find some way of showing that the wealth of the alien species was expropriated from the terrestrial proletariat (any voluntary trade between Earthlings and aliens would be a target ripe for this critique). Georgists would demand payment of back rent.

With a title like that I

With a title like that I knew it could only be you, Arthur. :)

The Moral Burden

Since the aliens are intellectually and culturally superior they have the moral duty to serve man. Books detailing ways to serve man are available at Cooks Dave