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Today, I inaugurate a new category, “Equality,” deliberately putting the word defining said category in quotation marks. Not only do we have a gay movement focused on attaining this elusive and ambiguous abstaction, but with the rise of the #Occupy Wall Street movement, “income inequality” has also come to the fore, as Jazz Shaw reports, one “of the hot terms occupying the center ring of the political circus these days“.
It seems that in both cases, the various political movements are demanding increased government regulation of and control over private enterprise in order to achieve their desired equal result.
Recently, I listened to a representative of “Equality California” detailing all the legislation his outfit advocated, asking his interlocutor to eheck the web-site to see the full list of laws they wanted to see enacted. Driving away, I recalled the first five words of the Bill of Rights, “Congress shall make no law . . .” (Emphasis added.)
This important addition to our nation’s charter reinforced its initial provisions limiting the things the federal government can do.* Later, the Fourteenth Amendment applied these limitations to the states.
The Founder and the Framers wanted to limit government’s power in order to protect individual freedom. And now, equality activists want to expand federal — and state — power to achieve “equality.” This should help elucidate why conservatives should not rush to embrace this ambiguous abstraction. And should call into question the motives of those who bury their commitment to an ever larger state under a noble-sounding ideal.
RELATED: Over at Powerline quoting Steven den Beste, Scott Johnson offers a unified theory of left-wing causes:
Isn’t it interesting that no matter what the current global crisis is, according to leftists, the solution is always the same: a benevolent world dictatorship of the enlightened elite, and mass transfer of wealth from rich nations to poor nations.
*ADDENDUM: Nine of the ten amendments which constitute the Bill of Rights use the words “no”, “nor”, and/or “not”, all preventing the government from depriving individuals of their life, liberty and property.
There is only one way that a powerful, external force can make everybody equal — and that is by making them slaves.
In slavery, everyone is equal to everyone else. That’s because they are given no choice. As soon as freedom and free choice become involved, some people will “rise above” others — at least in the material sense. And often, this has to be with their ability to better serve their fellow human beings in non-coerced ways.
In fostering equality, government has the ability to do only one thing. It can treat all people equally under the law. In any other sense, equality is an existential term. Or perhaps a theological one. Government can do nothing in either case.
Well said, very well said. Equality is just an existential term.
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