[This op-ed was first posted at Ramparts360.com which is the premier political/cultural blog for Texas.]
We are a nation that prides itself for acknowledging the principle of equality, but as wisdom instructs:
- Pride is the first step to self-created destruction.
- The frailty of human willpower ensures that the ability to practice a virtue eventually devolves to vice.
The hellish world where the ends justify the means is the direct result of ends unhinged from the source of the principle. This is the dangerous world of radical or extreme equality that is devoid of self-interest and individual responsibility.
The movement of radical equality has been slowly gaining ground over the years via lawsuits which prompt “corrective” legislation and regulation. Even our tax code is no longer viewed as a means to raise revenue, but rather as a social construct to promote equality. Radical equality makes those individuals adhering to the principles of self-government (as a means to better pursue happiness) targets for those who choose to ignore the principles of self-government. A culture practicing extreme radical equality is set for self-destruction.
What is critical for us to appreciate today is that this understanding is not new. According to Mark Levin’s Ameritopia, the danger of radical equality was well known to our Founders. The subject was discussed in Tocqueville’s Democracy in America with the warning that by the time radical equality is recognized as the problem, it is too late for the nation in peril:
“The evils that extreme equality may produce are slowly disclosed; they creep gradually into the social frame; they are seen only at intervals; and at the moment at which they become most violent, habit already causes them to be no longer felt.”
The questions we must ask ourselves are:
- Why, as we are only now “discovering” the perils of radical equality, do we find the footprints of men far more enlightened than ourselves having already charted this “unknown” land?
- What did these great thinkers understand about Human Nature that enabled them to contemplate potential disaster in advance?
The answer is that these enlightened thinkers knew and feared God. Contemplation of this reality drove them in pursuit of the virtue of the good, justice, and truth in every aspect of intellectual study and action.
Comparatively, our pop culture aggressively acts and speaks upon the fallacy that God is a subject about which the LESS one knows, the more intelligent one is. These self-ascribed know-nothings then define the terms of discussion for the rest of the community. Radical equality is all about the silencing of those that do know by those that don’t want to know. If allowed to continue, this siren song of “no accountability or responsibility required, but share equally the results of those who are” will wreck our ship of state.
There is nothing noble, kind, or even tolerant about treating foolishness and ignorance as the equals of wisdom.
In his 1994 speech at Independence Hall, former Czech Republic President, Vaclav Havel reminded us of the need for transcendence if man is to actually appreciate the privilege of Creator endowed rights. It seems there is a paradox that only by acknowledging the Creator can man even imagine equality and then recognize the humanity within his fellow man. This is the process that creates the leveling force of equality, and with that fact comes the accountability of self-government. Every man will be held accountable for his deeds, as well as the results of those deeds (God is not impressed by “good intentions”).
So, in identifying the danger of radical equality, we now must appreciate and respond to the two fronts of this battle within our Human Nature:
- Acknowledging that there is a God to fear.
- Deeds, and results of those deeds, in keeping with that acknowledgment.
The future of our Creator-endowed rights within civil society are dependent upon our action.