Exchanging Freedom for Equality

30 11 2015

Lenin, Jefferson, Alinsky and Tocqueville

“The end of Socialism is Communism” – Vladimir Lenin

“Polyezniy Idiot” or “Useful Idiot”:  A term coined by Vladimir Lenin to describe Westerners who blindly support Communism.

The Utopian dream of “total equality” is the crux of Communism and the fuel of revolutions for time eternal.  It also totally discounts the fallen nature of mankind.

Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

 Even if total political, social, and economic equality were possible to achieve, there would be those among us whose intellectual capacity, initiative and/or talents, overshadow the rest of us.  Total equality is not achievable.

Cries of “Social Justice” and “Black Lives Matter” echo in protests on college campuses and street protests around the country, largely emanating from “polyezniy idiots” who are not only ignorant to why they are protesting, but worse yet, ignorant to what the Great American Idea is; that being that all men are created equal before the law and are free to pursue a life of liberty and happiness.

“Pursue” that is.  It’s not guaranteed.  One’s own success depends upon his own desires, dreams, and abilities.  The role of the government, as originally established, is to guarantee that each individual is protected under the law so that he may be free to pursue his own place in society.  The success of the individual lies within his own limitations (everyone has them), abilities, and desires to overcome and/or apply those.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,…”- Declaration of Independence

All men are created equal being endowed by God with certain “unalienable rights”.  (Cannot be given or taken by any government, king, or tyrant.)  Among those rights are “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”. (No one has a right to deprive you of life, liberty, or things pursuant to your happiness (exploitation of ones own talents, legal/moral pursuance and acquisition of wealth and property- both physical and intellectual, living a life of liberty according to ones own choosing which does not infringe upon or require subsidization from ones neighbor.)  You are not guaranteed success in these endeavors.  You are a sovereign individual among fellow sovereign individuals, to pursue your own success.  You are also free to fail.  And most times failure precedes success.  Failure will aid success in the future if the individual learns from the experience.  But he must be allowed to fail.  (The same goes for businesses; no one is “too big to fail”.)

[Individualism as opposed to Egotism according to Tocqueville:  Individualism is a mature expression which disposes each member to sever himself from the masses into a smaller circle of family and friends leaving society at large to itself.  Egotism is a passionate and exaggerated love of self, which leads a man to connect everything with his own person, and to prefer himself to everything in the world.]

Are the militant demands for “Equality” that bombard us on every front today a natural result of liberty in the scheme of societal evolution?  As liberty is acquired and handed down, equality in everything becomes more and more desired, even when unattainable.  Do you really want “total equality”?

A friend recently turned me on to the French writer, political thinker, and historian, Alexis D’ Tocqueville who came to America in 1845 and studied the new nation for several months.  I’ve carelessly perused some of his quotes in the past, but never really read him. My loss.  He was a contemporary of Karl Marx.  His work “Democracy in America” is his observation of the American people, their virtues and faults, their strengths and weaknesses as well, and commentary on those concerning man in general.  His remarks about liberty compared to equality are worth considering (especially in the context of my last post about “Campus Capers”).  He writes:

“There is, in fact, a manly and lawful passion for equality that incites men to wish all to be powerful and honored. This passion tends to elevate the humble to the rank of the great; but 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 … But liberty is not the chief and constant object of their desires; equality is their idol.” -[Democracy in America, 1847, Book 2, Ch. 1]

Saul_AlinskyIt is my contention that most of these protesters are a product of a progressive/marxist education system which is designed, not to promote freedom and responsibility, but to incite a revolutionary mindset which demands “social justice” not to elevate those who “have not”, but to reduce those “haves” to a common misery, always assuming those who “have” gained by immoral means.  This is the practical result, and as Saul Alinsky wrote, “The issue is never the issue; the issue is always the Revolution.”

Again, Tocqueville:

“Democratic nations are at all times fond of equality, but there are certain epochs at which the passion they entertain for it swells to the height of fury. This occurs at the moment when the old social system, long menaced, completes its own destruction after a last intestine struggle, and when the barriers of rank are at length thrown down. At such times men pounce upon equality as their booty, and they cling to it as to some precious treasure which they fear to lose. The passion for equality penetrates on every side into men’s hearts, expands there, and fills them entirely. Tell them not that by this blind surrender of themselves to an exclusive passion they risk their dearest interests: they are deaf. Show them not freedom escaping from their grasp, whilst they are looking another way: they are blind – or rather, they can discern but one sole object to be desired in the universe…”

“I think that democratic communities have a natural taste for freedom: left to themselves, they will seek it, cherish it, and view any privation of it with regret. But for equality, their passion is ardent, insatiable, incessant, invincible: they call for equality in freedom; and if they cannot obtain that, they still call for equality in slavery. They will endure poverty, servitude, barbarism – but they will not endure aristocracy. This is true at all times, and especially true in our own. All men and all powers seeking to cope with this irresistible passion, will be overthrown and destroyed by it. In our age, freedom cannot be established without it, and despotism itself cannot reign without its support.” -[Ibid]

I am finding Tocqueville to be fascinating and quite prophetic.  His insight was incredible.  He called socialism a “new form of slavery” in 1848.  But my current pondering continues to be this startling matter of preferring equality to liberty.  Indeed, I believe it to be irrefutable.  The Bolsheviks are among us.  Dear God, we raised them…

 

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2 responses

30 11 2015
Jana Rea

I am digging out my textbook on Western Civilization I took at KU. It highlighted Tocqueville. Thank you for the refresher on his words especially now that we no longer offer that course at KU. Our loss.

1 12 2015
sandycee89

Reverse that. The illustrious academics (NOT) has as its new agenda to force “equality”, that selecting a toilet based on specious olde western values of “gender preferences” insults others with higher ideals. Hard Left” equality means their terms alone have merit. Teaching de Tocqueville is probably above these faux academics.

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