Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

A Little American Heresy

June 28th, 2017 by Patrick Henry

If a guy kept punching you, and every time he punched you he hollered, “Remember the Alamo,” you might come to hate the Alamo.

Equality is our Alamo.  Equality they say while they attack tradition, institutions, the faith, the family, order, prosperity, happiness.  Equality they say while the Devil cackles.  And it is hard to not come to hate the idea, even if it were being badly abused.  Even if it were to have almost nothing to do how its being used.

But there are some problems with the idea itself.

We treat it as a goal or as a moral value when in fact it is neither.  It is a side-effect.  Real, full-blown equality exists and is desirable.  But it is not created directly.  It is the happy fruit of seeking other things.

One of the characteristic flaws of our society is that we can’t tell side effects from actual useful goals.  We notice that people who own houses tend to be better off and have better values.  They are middle class both financially and also in their virtues.  So we subsidize home owning.  But for the most part, owning a house was a result of their middle class finance and their middle class virtues, not a cause of it.

People who go to college tend to be smarter and make better incomes.  They are less likely to be in jail!  They have less kids out of wedlock!  They mow their lawns!  So we send everybody to college.  The results are predictably bad.  College, it turned out, was not the cause.

Progressives in particular have a kind of cargo cult belief that they can destroy institutions from the inside, but as long as the skin is the same, the results will be the same.

Real equality, the kind that is attractive, is fellow feeling.  It is peer-age.  Fellow feeling is a combination of affection and of a group of people who all possess or are striving for some kind of excellence.

Christ in a real sense is equal to the Father.  They are more equal than any other two people are or can be.  But that is not because Christ goes around stating that he is equal, or because the Father insists that he is equal.  It is because Christ has done the things that he has seen the Father do.  It is because they have perfect sympathy with each other.  It is because Christ has achieved the Father’s greatness.  “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”–it it a side effect of the fullest of love and glory.

So we arrive at the American heresy.  Except in a rarified and abstract sense, saying “All men are created equal” is the same as saying “All men are created homeowners” or “All men were created college grads.”


Comments (2)
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June 28th, 2017 06:37:48

Bruce Charlton
June 28, 2017

To say that things are equal when they are not identical is either false; or if true, it doesn’t mean all that much.

For example, the equality of Men is only true when it means something like ‘nobody is exempt from the law’

– but even then, laws are not applied identically to all Men, and never have been – not even as an ideal; because dissimilarity of Men mean that laws have different implications for different people.

June 28, 2017

I have this bookmarked: “Calls to treat different things (or people or groups) ‘equally’ are ALWAYS, eventually, *totally* destructive”


Kurt Vonnegut attempted to satirize America’s supposed over-reaction to the Soviet Union’s collectivism. But what he ended up doing was predicting America’s deadly obsession on equal outcomes, and then the hyprocrisy and tyranny of the elite who enforce equal outcomes.


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