The effective change a human being is capable of asserting in any given context is bounded only by the number of humans collaborating in that pursuit.
I think the real question of the Paragon-Pariah Paradox, after we have exercised some ideological plasticity to reduce some of our perceptual distortion on the concept of humanism to get to the heart of the difficulty, is how to talk about all the different kinds of equality?
Subjective equality, the great triumph of the multicultural movement, could be labeled the valid right of each autonomous individual to define their emotional interpretation of a given interaction as the basic fact governing our collaborative space, appearing as a recontextualized Voltairianism: I may disagree with what you said/did, but I will defend to the death your right to feel/think that way. The evolution from the original statement is a result of the reflexive nature of any fact about one side of human to human interactions. The same subjective autonomy is true of the other person in the equation, regardless of the ideological makeup framing their interpretation, a fact which deserves equal validity in the social equation. This human application of special relativity, respecting the ideological frame of reference as properly subject to the approval only of the individual holding it, and the uniqueness of which, again, is the basis of that individual's individuality.
If we then interpret this in light of the collaborative function of human potential in a socially equitable exchange featuring two autonomous agents of world change, and we arrive at a sort of Kantian Categorical, not as some imperative handed down from the condescending heights of paternalism, but as an inferential observation on the limiting principle of human collaboration. That is, in such an exchange, still rare and far from the norm, the inability to manufacture the collaborative efforts of the other as a use of them only and not at the same time as an end in and of the other as a being of independent value is the simple fact of mutual informed consent. An informed and empowered autonomous agent of intentional change is difficult to deceive, and will simply not collaborate apart from a mutual benefit. Unfortunately, as observed, this subjective equality is far from ubiquitous and primarily the domain of relationships like yours and mine, dear reader. What about all the other types of equality?
Functional and practical equality - equitable ability or equitable availability of opportunity?
Potential and actionable equality - the ability to be equal or the ability to act equal?
Conceptual and experiential equality - thought of as equal or experienced as equal?
Intellectual and emotional equality - considered equal or felt equal?
The conversation we need to be having is justice in light of injustice, equality in the face of inequality. The relationship between the two is illustrated in the relationship between the cogno-behavioral axis (Ringdahl, 2013), and the socio-emotional axis (ibid.), and the seminal work Judgment under Uncertainty (Kahneman, Slovic, & Tversky, 1982). Society approaches actionable equality -- that is, the equal availability of opportunity, but is unlikely to escape discrepancy of availability of information, limited processing ability, sheer mass of information, and privileged informational position- the inevitability of which is demanded, if by nothing more than the procreative process and the gradual development of individual processing capacity.
Privileged informational status will always dictate control of collaborative efforts between humans of full equity. In the exact same way that full establishment of our self-regulation, the governing capacity in our cogno-behavioral axis, was dependent upon surrendering the hope of certainty, or our hope of peace was contingent upon accepting mutually assured destruction, so too is our hope of justice is dependent upon our surrendering our hope of equality, establishing our emotional regulation, governing our socio-emotional axis, completing our self-actualization, on a social level. The growing popularity of this internalization is given beautiful representation by Morgan Freeman in the narrative accompaniment to the song Bombs Away (B.o.B., Freeman, 2012).
This internalization of inevitable inequitable relative positions is easiest concretized by those of double minority status in their respective cultures. This internalization is an easy step for those of well-developed ideological plasticity, the exact skill identified as code-switching by Anderson in The Code of the Streets (2000). This skill is forced upon those of double minority status by having to adapt in order to survive both in the dominant culture, but then from each other minority association on account of the other. Some might call it poetic if those subjugated to the brunt of the multicultural divisivity developed thereby the shortest path to emotional stability. Let us distinguish between that observation and any associative approval of such narrow-minded oppression. As my sister likes to say, just because Newton had to get hit in the head by an apple, we shouldn't go around pelting people with fruit to teach gravity. This is the foundational principle behind developmental psychology: it shouldn't have to hurt this much just to become human.
A skill set that will then govern social interaction control is ability to discern inferential distance, or the ability to identify with accuracy the discrepancy between information bases, the very skill picked out as absent in the Turing Test, the same skill set honed by story tellers throughout millennia, a function of the ability to collaboratively assert one's self in the world, the fundamental task of humanity. The inevitable primacy of the information economy will be dominated by the same dual skill set of identifying and leveraging market inequities that dominates our capital economy.
There is a theory of mind as compression of information (Taylor, 2011). Recontextualized for the information economy, compression of information is the skill of the shared mind, that is, in the sense that the basic transaction of the information economy is how much information one receives in return for the attention paid for the information. Mark Twain illustrated the difficulty of compression in a brilliant example, "If I had more time I would have written a shorter letter". We created the broad, shared, societal information pool to allow more clarity by providing more informational touchstones, as compression is predicated upon accurate conceptual triangulation, or the combined skills of ideological plasticity, recontextualization, and determination of inferential distance.
Therefore the societal principles must govern the ethics the information economy, as the human informational/experiential being is the most valuable commodity in the world and no longer able to be owned outright, information about the human experience becomes the most valuable possess-able thing in the world. This is the fundamental level at which the current technosocial titans are exploiting the masses. We do all the work of commoditizing this most valuable currency, human experience, into actionable data, which is then sold to everyone under the sun, proving the technosocial adaptation of the capitalist credo: if you aren't paying for it, you aren't the customer, you are the product. A test of our humanity will be how this next development occurs, this reconfiguration to an idyllic world where everyone is recognized as equal, and we interact as dictated by our ability to gain and manipulate the information around us, to our collaborative benefit, as the fundamental laws of human dynamics dictate.
It is important to distinguish between the morality of our future social harmony and the shallow Hogwarts morality that would deny the inevitability of social influence (Rowling, 1998). Consider Hogwarts as the representation of the empowered four selves: Behavior/Gryffendor, Emotional/Hufflepuff, Cognitive/Ravenclaw, and Social/Slitherin. We accept our autonomy over these different realms of interaction, but we moralize our inescapable social influence as evil. This is a failure to understand the depth of the association between humanity and change agency. Human beings change the world by virtue of our experience informed intentional sculpting of it with every moment of our existence. We are reality processors, and that extends to the malleable suggestible reality of the other reality processors with whom we share our lives. Normative proscription of a fundamental component of the human experience will have as much positive effect on societal health as the normative demonization of sex had on the Oedipal generations.
Communicating in the face of ambiguity; relating in the face of inequity: the internal and external bidirectional application of the adage you don't know what you don't know. This becomes a problem when you don't care what you don't know. The unavailability of certainty does not negate the need for judgment, and the inevitability of privilege does not negate the need for relating. That is, acting and interacting are inevitable facts of human life despite the impossibility of certainty and equality-actual (actionable). The wisdom of Freud/Jung is then all action is creation, and all interaction collaborative co-creation (as cited in Fadiman & Frager, 2013). Life is then reduced, not to sex, but libido, as the creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect alone, but by the creative mind playing with objects it loves (Jung, 1976). The governing ethical principle then coalesces as mutual informed consent, the same principle be which we consider the ethics of collaborative procreation.
Being in a position of privileged informational positioning as a result of your happenstance of birth in regards to those disparate societal influences which shape the possibilities available to an individual is difficult to handle with any kind of grace. Americans have been criticized for their ‘voluntourism’ (Biddle, 2014), the idea that white youth in particular go on foreign aid trips, sometimes in the express pursuit of cultivating this ability to love people across demographics, inadvertently perpetuating the premise of their superiority by representing a white savior archetype. I agree that a better way of doing things would be to simultaneously value the autonomous right of the culture to determine their own path of development, the way on the individual level a sibling might show off a new skill, and then allow the sibling to choose whether or not to ask to be taught.
This article demonstrates the difficulty even in the hypothetical context of social equity of how to proceed from a position of informational privilege without demeaning the other as an autonomous, ration/irrational, socio-emotional being. How do we make the shift from condescending to compassionate? We can look to how we teach children something that they don't know, in a healthy environment. The same emotional radar by which children identify the condescension in adults who don't respect their autonomy sounds off loud and clear when turned on the selfish one-sided relationship depicted in the above article, and science has demonstrated the same dynamic in the therapeutic relationship (Ivey & Ivey, 2013). No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care; intellectual connection depends on real emotional connection.