From 1835, Alexis de Tocqueville sends a message to America about the right and wrong kinds of equality

by alexvanbuskirk

From 1835, Alexis de Tocqueville sends a message to America about the right and wrong kinds of equality

By James Pethokoukis @ AEI (September 25, 2012)

… [Democracy In America]

‘There is in fact a manly and legitimate passion for equality that spurs all men to wish to be strong and esteemed. This passion tends to elevate the lesser to the rank of the greater.

But one also finds in the human heart a depraved taste for equality which impels the weak to want to bring the strong down to their level and which reduces men to preferring equality in servitude to inequality in freedom.

That is the difference between aspiration and redistribution, between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome, between earned success and learned helplessness. My boss, Arthur Brooks:

All surveys show that most Americans still embrace our free enterprise system—today. The crucial test is whether the country is willing to support the hard work and policy reforms that will sustain it.The cost of failing this test will be more human than financial. In our hands is the earned success—and thus the happiness—of our children and grandchildren. The stakes in the current policy battles today are not just economic. They are moral.

Advertisements