As we watch the “occupy” movement make its way across the country, Americans are reviving the age-old debate over equality. What is equality? Is it the equal sharing of opportunity or the “equal” sharing of outcomes? The fate of this free republic rests on the answer.
The Left in this country would have us believe that the equal sharing of material goods will fully satisfy the longings of our souls. Thus, while simultaneously denouncing successful free market capitalists as “materialistic,” believers in wealth redistribution are themselves hyper-materialists. They believe that the measure of equality is the uniform distribution of goods and little more. The human heart, however, demands more; therefore, conservatives believe in the equality of humanity, not the egalitarianism of hand-outs. As with everything else, socialists try and demean the side of man that is of the spirit.
It is not equality of accumulated property that matters so much as equality in personhood. God made us equal in His eyes, and in His image. In other ways, however, He made us unique; therefore, no two individuals are equal in every endeavor. Some are better baseball players than I, and some are better orators than others. If a central planner tries to make each of us equal in every respect, he or she will have to handicap some, while helping others. None of us would support such a scheme, but such is the essence of socialism.
Pursuit of equality in outcomes means we must forfeit equality as individuals. Free-market economist F.A. Hayek once observed that “from the fact that people are very different it follows that…the only way to place them in equal position would be to treat them differently.” So, in essence, individualism and the equality of outcomes (economically, educationally, etc.) are at odds. In order to have equal outcomes, the concept of the equal treatment of individuals must be undermined.
The irony of secular-progressives, who claim to champion individual rights, while supporting policies that subvert individualism in the name of their collectivist economic agenda, is abhorrent. Nevertheless, this is exactly what they do. They sacrifice the sacredness of the individual, made in God’s Image, for the collective in an image of their own. The incarnation of God as man, and the sacrifice of the same for the sins of the world, clearly demonstrates that God values the individual. Salvation for the soul is never achieved collectively. Instead, salvation for the soul, as in economics, is always an individual pursuit. Collectivists want collective salvation, when the only way to achieve it is to recognize the responsibility of the individual.
Let’s fight to preserve freedom, wherein liberty under law preserves the ideals of individualism in America. Let’s fight for the equal opportunity to pursue various outcomes.