PostHeaderIcon Resurrecting The “E” Word

Some stories coming out of the “occupy” where ever movement have reminded me that it is time for my more-or-less annual screed about equality and how an entire nation can be confused about the notion.

We pride ourselves over our quest for equality. After all, our Declaration of Independence contains the noble words that “… all men are created equal…” and that this equality comes from our very existence. How then could anyone, as I do, think of equality in negative terms? Please allow me to explain.

First, Mr. Jefferson said “…created equal…”. He purposely did not add “…and shall remain so no matter what they may do or not do in their lives…”.

Traditionally, the notion of equality was that all “men” were to be treated equally at the bar of justice and further, that all “men” should have an equal right to pursue life on their own terms.

Now, at that time in history, everyone understood that the Declaration was effectively referring to “white males” when it spoke of “men”. The degree to which Mr. Jefferson truly thought that all humans deserved an equal chance to live their own lives was known for sure only to himself and I do not presume to speak for him. However, the events of those times do make their own statement.

But, as a nation, we have moved on and, to the extent human nature will allow it, we have improved our definition of equality such that today, it is meant to apply to all of our citizens, regardless of their ethnicity or gender.

What we have NOT done, for the simple reason that it is impossible to do, is to extend the notion from “created” to “will always be” – however much some of us pretend otherwise.

It has been truly said that Liberty and Equality are opposite states of being. Yes, we can all enjoy Equality before the law and Equality of opportunity while still enjoying Liberty. But, as soon as any power tries to intervene such that Equality become the permanent state of humanity, Liberty must cease to exist. The reason for this is so simple that one would think it not needing an explanation. Yet, so many of us seem not to understand.

However fair and even the line from which we each start our individual journeys through life, we each proceed in our own way, not all at the same speed, not all with the same ability, not all with the same ambition, and, to be sure, not all with the same external (dis)advantages.

The only way to keep the journey “equal” for all is for an external force (usually government) to keep those who posses some advantage, whatever that may be, from using that advantage to enhance their life journey. This means denying some people the LIBERTY to leverage their advantages, natural or otherwise. Therefore, true EQUALITY can exist only in the absence of LIBERTY. Further, true EQUALITY can exist only at the level of the weakest, least motivated among us.

Those who address this issue with emotion rather than reason want to pretend that everyone can somehow be raised to the level of the strongest and most motivated but there is no rational basis for such a belief.

So, if we are to champion perpetual EQUALITY, we must accept several conditions:

→ First, we must abandon any hope of LIBERTY.

→ Second, we must accept that, if there is one among us who is physically crippled, we must all perform as if physically crippled. If there is one among us who is mentally deficient, we must all perform as if mentally deficient.

→ Third, we must accept the reality that, if we bring down the most able among us – those who inevitably produce most of what we require to survive, then most of what we need will not be available. But, at least we can all suffer equally.

It is a sad testimony that, knowing all this, a huge number of our people will still opt for the false promise of Equality over Liberty.

This simple bit of insight may well tell you everything you need to know about the state of our nation and how we got here.

Think about it.

Troy L Robinson

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