Freedom AND Equality is a Dangerous Myth

freedom-and-equality.jpg

Ok, this is yet another old argument that I feel compelled to resurface given some of the political rhetoric being tossed about of late. It’s regarding a phrase that just makes my skin crawl: Freedom and Equality.

I know the term ‘Freedom and Equality’ is bantered about incessantly, but it simply amazes me the context in which this phrase is now used. Whether it be political, social, religious, race, gender or even species (?), the ‘necessity’ for “freedom and equality” is invoked.

The real scary thing is that we’re seeing this thread weave its way into the economic dialogue, most notably by the Barry Hussein camp (perhaps most so by his perpetually frumpy and socialist wife). Like so many things that Barry pretends to understand but doesn’t, the reality is that “freedom and equality” cannot co-exist in a free market economy, a property-rights economy, or within a society based on either. In this context, the terms are mutually exclusive. I would love to explain this to Barry in a way that he might understand. Perhaps something like this:

“Let’s pretend we’re both regular Joe’s just starting out our individual adult lives. For argument’s sake, we’ll pretend that we both come from similar backgrounds with similar circumstances and have similar resources at our disposal. Then you decide to go to expensive Ivy-league schools, get a top-notch education and earn a prestigious position at a reputable law firm. I, on the other hand, decide that I don’t want to go to college (too much work), and instead get a minimum wage job and live in my parent’s basement where I can drink beer and watch television with my other bitter-dead-ender friends.

We’re both “free” adults, and able to make our own independent decisions about our own lives. Good old fashioned freedom of choice is alive and well. But as I peer out my basement window I’m shocked to see that we really aren’t all that “equal” anymore. You have a big beautiful home, and drive a Mercedes and wear $1,000 suits. I, on the other hand, sleep on a futon in a radon-palace underground, drive a 20 year old Renault pieced together from obsolete parts and have a wardrobe largely comprised of blue jeans and old summer camp T-shirts. That doesn’t seem very equal to me, Barry….

So, I’m pissed and I become bitter. I cry foul and say that freedom and equality don’t exist (for me) and that in order to make us “more equal”, demand that you give up some of your pie so that I can have more. I turn out for every election and vote for anyone running on the “pie cutter” platform, ensuring that will get more than I have actually earned (you know – in order to make us ‘more equal’) complements of the varied and numerous governmental wealth re-distribution programs.

But now something else has changed. Now you must surrender some of the pie that you have earned. It’s not a choice mind you – the word “give” implies freedom of choice-you must relinquish your assets to me, merely because I covet them. I now control ever-growing portions of your livelihood. I have staked my claim on your wealth, and have successfully seized your property against your will and without your consent, and will continue to do so by force if necessary. You have, dear Barry, been looted.

So, Barry, the question for you is: How free are you now? And how ‘equal’ do you feel having to work to generate the rewards we now ‘share’.

Freedom AND Equality is a myth and an impossibility. Real freedom creates inequality, and forced equality shackles freedom. And when we try to pretend otherwise, we risk destroying everything for which this country was founded.

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5 Responses to Freedom AND Equality is a Dangerous Myth

  1. Pastorius says:

    The word equality, in the Freedom and Equality equation, refers to the notion that we are all equal in our humanity, our innate dignity, our access to justice.

    There is Freedom and Equality. In fact, they can only exist, where they exist together.

    I have to wonder what is wrong that you would attempt to deny such a foundational American idea.

  2. R.D. Walker says:

    Pastorius, that may be how you interpret the word “equality” and I doubt Vanagram would disagree. He did, however, make it very clear that he was talking about equality of economic circumstances. Equality of economic circumstances is exactly what Obama and the left are talking about when they use the word “equality”. Burying our heads in the sand to ignore that reality won’t make it go away.

  3. Van-a-gram says:

    Pastorius:

    Noble sentiment. But demonstrate how they exist as a practical matter in the context provided. You state rather definitively that “There is Freedom and Equality.. and can only exist where they exist together.” Where is that? How does that work, exactly? Give me an example.

    One might argue whether freedom and equality (really) exist along racial, legal, gender or social lines — but that’s more opinion than anything else and not germaine to the point here.

    Granted, confined within the abstracts of “dignity” and “humanity” you might find the “foundational american idea” you cite.

    But that premise cannot hold true in the practical execution of the great experiment called democracy. Rather, its when these two opposites are artifically combined that begs the end of the democracy itself, especially when applied to ECONOMICS, which is the purpose and point of the original post.

    Freedom allows for some succeed and enjoy the fruits of that sucess. It also allows others to fail and to bear the consquences of that failure. Equality stives to minimize or eliminate that disparity which requires taking from some, and giving to others. And in doing so freedom is the price that is paid (perhaps arguably for both, but certainly for one).

    Too often we confuse “equal opportunity” and “freedom of choice” both of which are integral to a true democracy. But these two separate phrases and ideas get highjacked and corrupted, and re-combined as “freedom and equality” for all.

    And the practical manner in which we try to deliver this corrputed version was never, ever a foundational American idea.

  4. Frank Sauvage says:

    “For argument’s sake, we’ll pretend that we both come from similar backgrounds with similar circumstances and have similar resources at our disposal.” For argument’s sake, tell us a parable that starts with the opposite circumstance. You made it way too easy.

  5. a says:

    A very interesting argument…I’m glad i was curious enough to click on the scale picture in Google images.

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