There is this idea in modern society that we should ensure fairness when we pit our abilities against others. It’s pervasive in sport, business, and politics. Unfair advantage is seen as negative and abusive behaviour.

In order to manage the expectation of fairness and equality, we define a ‘playing field’ with a set of rules that apply to all parties equally. In doing so, we achieve fairness.

In reality, this only defines the area outside the neutral ‘playing field’ as the playground for advantage. This includes historic wealth, football teams with great merchandising and branding businesses, athletes with access to sponsors through family ties and a range of other advantages negotiated through assets built over time.

Advantage is the objective of any organisation in any field of play. The idea that we should all compete on even footing is absurd and irrelevant. What society cannot afford is that those with an advantage due to whatever reason, use it to suppress or impoverish those who don’t.

With advantage comes a moral obligation to respect the dignity of all people.

On a side note, the majority is quick to point to the failures of the minority with means and advantage. It is useful to consider that morality is only truly revealed once we have the power to contravene it.

Give a man advantage and he will reveal the quality of his character.

Gautier Salles

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