As someone who (as of yesterday) believed in progressive, dare I say far leftist ideals (I attend a socialist-based university), this one passage from Tom Robbins’s Still Life With Woodpecker made me understand exactly why such methods don’t work.
My whole world view just shifted because of one page in a novel. Intense.
“The sameness of the socialistic system was stifling and boring to me. There was no mystery in Cuba, no variety, no novelty and worse, no options. For all the ugly vices that capitalism encourages, it’s at least interesting, exciting, it offers possibilities. In America, the struggle is at least an individual struggle. And if the individual has strength enough of character, salt enough of wit, the alternatives are thicker than polyesters in a car salesman’s closet. In a socialistic system, you’re no better or no worse than anybody else.”
“But that’s equality!”
“Bullshit. Unromantic, unattractive bullshit. Equality is not in regarding different things similarly, equality is in regarding different things differently.”