Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Equality In Slavery Or Inequality In Freedom?

"There exists also in the human heart a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to attempt to lower the powerful to their own level, and reduces men to prefer equality in slavery to inequality with freedom."

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)

How can you legislate equality of outcome?

Or equality of enjoyment of the fruits of many freedoms?

Does "one size fits all" ever fit all?

Would equality equal slavery, as de Tocqueville suggests?

We have all heard it said that if we took away everyone's wealth, everything that everyone has, and put it in a pile, and then redistributed that wealth (sound familiar?) back again in equal amounts to everybody - that in short order the same "inequality" that existed in the beginning would exist again.

Why is that?  For CERTAINLY it is true!

It is because nobody can legislate drive, or desire, or individual energy, or skill development, or productive use of time, or ability in one thing over another thing - or any of a thousand other characteristics that makes each individual just that - AN INDIVIDUAL!

Taking money or any form of wealth from one individual and giving it to another harms only the one it is given to!

Why is that?  Because it is the equivalent of taking water out of one end of a pool and pouring it back into the other end.  Wealth flows to that which attracts it!

Why does a stock price go up at the end of the day?  Because more people bought that stock than sold it.  The company, or products, that risked wealth or attracted wealth in the first place, continued to attract wealth, more wealth in fact than would flee from it.  And its value improves.

So it goes with every person.  We all are paid in life, some more and some less, by what we do and how hard it is to replace us.  The person picking up trash in a park with a nail on the end of a stick can be replaced by a fourth grader, and therefore is paid very little.  Those who rise to the top in each of their fields, and become, therefore, very difficult to replace, are paid very well.  Pick your field and see if that isn't true.  Even in trash collection.


It is better to act than to be acted upon. 

Those who would bring down the "wealthy," however wealthy is defined, would make slaves of those who are not wealthy, because the only way to maintain the new found "equality" of those two groups is by force.

And when we are forced to do or to be something we do not want to do or be, we are slaves to a master.


Why?  Because eventually a new and different inequality will be the result!  But the inequality will be one of privilege.  And H. G. Wells's little Animal Farm metaphor will come to pass - the governing two legs will be "good" and the governed four legs will be "bad."  And the four legs will support the two legs in their "privilege," and de Toqueville's slavery, not freedom, will reign supreme.


  1. Ahhhhhh, this topic again. I saw a manager at a fortune 50 company lose his job because he didn't understand this idea of:

    "fairness vs. equality"

    Here ya go.....

    It is FAIR because we all have 10 fingers and toes.

    What we choose to do with our freedom to move those finges and toes will decide outcomes that are different. Is it equal? No! We made different decisions....HOW could that come out equal?

    BUT! It was equal.....we started in the same place. In the same country. With the same constitution.

    Equal? Why yes it is! Which make it fair!.....and equal.....and fair....and equal....etc

  2. Well, Unknown, I'm not sure you read the quote. de Toqueville was not talking about fairness. He was speaking about the imposition of "equality" by the powers that be.

    May I suggest you re-read the quote, try to digest and understand it, and comment coherently.

    And not all of us have 10 fingers and toes.