The statists are swarming, energized by the cry: “Inequality is unfair!” .. Behind this preposterous and vicious campaign lies the doctrine known as “egalitarianism.”
What the egalitarians demand is not equality of rights but equality of condition. No one, they say, should be better off than another .. It is pointless to try to distinguish inequality of outcomes from inequality of opportunity. There is no more right to “equal opportunity” than to “equal outcomes.”
.. what began as a simple statistical calculation comes out the other side as pure communism: collective ownership. The national income is regarded as a common pot. Then some groups “take” from that pot more than their share.
.. who “we” are as individuals are people of different degrees of intelligence, ability, and moral virtue .. “all men are created equal” does not mean “all men must be kept equal.”
The essential is: inequality is morally irrelevant. Inequality is not “unfair,” nor is it “fair”: it has no moral significance at all.
.. it is to the interest of the poor man that those around him be as wealthy as possible. A man, for purely selfish reasons, should want to live in the richest possible society. Surrounded by billionaires, a man of modest ability can make a good living ..
.. The egalitarian hates inequality for a non-practical, non-venal reason: the sight of the successful and the happy stands as a reproach to him. It brings him face to face with his own failure and inner emptiness. Psychologically, emotionally, a man who is inferior can seethe with resentment at the sight of his betters.
Egalitarianism is a rationalization for the lowest of human emotions: envy. Not envy for what others have, but something much uglier: hatred of anyone for having achieved anything. Not “I’m upset because you have what I ought to have,” but “Punish those whose success makes me know I’m a loser.”