One of the greatest modern shibboleths is the concept of equality as defined by egalitarianism. Proponents would have you believe that their intent is genuinely good-willed. Their aim supposedly is to end prejudice and bigotry, to treat everyone equally.
However, their idealistic rhetoric does not match the brutal tactics they employ to carry out their vision for the world.
That is because when they speak of equality, libertarians often confuse that to mean “equal rights.” Their definition is far removed.
Libertarians speak of equality as the basis of how people should be allowed to interact with one another.Whether inequality results from this is not their concern, provided no rights are violated. Egalitarians see equality in outcome and circumstance as a human right.
The former is the foundation for human relations. The latter is the objective. One is descriptive, the other is prescription.
There are some libertarians who also espouse an egalitarian mindset. The problem is that their vision contradicts the natural order; the world is inherently unequal in regard to abilities, strengths, intelligence, culture, language, technology, and so on.
To make people equal, you must first violate their rights.
As author John C. Wright writes (bold emphasis mine):
Egalitarianism is the theory that if men differ in success or wealth or strength, popularity or fame or intelligence or moral fiber, the state must act to subsidize, reward, and uplift the failures, and also handicap and punish the successful.
Equality before the law means that each man’s innate rights to his property or liberty are protected with a blind indifference to rank or privilege. A pauper’s hovel is as protected from entry without a search warrant as much as a millionaire’s mansion. The notorious have the same right to trial by jury as the famous. The ill-spoken has the same freedom of speech as the eloquent, the fool as much as the wise cannot be forbidden from printing his views in pamphlets or newspapers, the sinner and the saint may each serve God in the denomination as beseems him best. And so on.
Equality means that each man’s home is his castle, whether hovel or mansion, and not even the king may enter without leave. It does not mean each man’s home is no worse than his neighbor’s.
Equality does not mean that, in order to make all housing equal, both pauper and millionaire now live in the same dormitory owned by Caesar and paid for by the millionaire. That is egalitarianism.
Egalitarianism, I say again, is the mere opposite of equality: the rich are singled out and subjected to special taxes, regulation, and suspicion merely because they are rich, in order to lower him to equal poverty with the poor. The fool must be subsidized at public expense on national public radio, because he cannot compete with the wise on talk raid. Black criminals and thugs cannot be pursued by the police, or shot when resisting arrest, because then the Democrat Party will organize and fund a riot, bus in thugs, and burn down neighborhoods, starting with the pauper’s hovels.
One would think that Kurt Vonnegut had the final word on the endgame of egalitarianism is in his short story “Harrison Bergeron” in which all people were required by law to be equally weak, dumb, and ugly.
Murray Rothbard rightfully described egalitarianism as a revolt against nature.
In “We’re Not Equal,” he writes (bold emphasis added):
Let us proceed, then, to a critique of the egalitarian ideal itself – should equality be granted its current status as an unquestioned ethical ideal? In the first place, we must challenge the very idea of a radical separation between something that is “true in theory” but “not valid in practice.” If a theory is correct, then it does work in practice; if it does not work in practice, then it is a bad theory. The common separation between theory and practice is an artificial and fallacious one. But this is true in ethics as well as anything else. If an ethical ideal is inherently “impractical,” that is, if it cannot work in practice, then it is a poor ideal and should be discarded forthwith. To put it more precisely, if an ethical goal violates the nature of man and/or the universe and, therefore, cannot work in practice, then it is a bad ideal and should be dismissed as a goal. If the goal itself violates the nature of man, then it is also a poor idea to work in the direction of that goal.
I would further add that egalitarianism is a modern day death cult, because when taken to its logical conclusion, everyone must die. The only way for all men to be equal is for all men to be dead. Life is superior to death, ergo having some people alive and some dead creates inequity.
Everyone must be special, so that no one can be.
Anyone who wears equality – as defined by egalitarianism – on their sleeve might as well be wearing a swastika, because both ideologies resort to the same brutal measures to achieve their desired outcomes.