Freedom Versus Radical Egalitarianism

Produced by Family Research Institute for the 1995 Conservative Political Action Conference
The struggle between freedom and egalitarianism rages. On one side is the traditional constitutional view: People should be left alone to do with their own as they see fit unless they do gross harm to themselves or others. While everyone is equal before the law, people should enjoy the product of their labors and the fruit of their loins limited only by compelling societal interests. Radical egalitarianism holds that because they are human, everybody deserves an approximately equal share of what the productive generate. Since people obviously differ in height, intelligence, perseverance, etc., it demands that society focus on those human attributes for which no clear ranking exists: opinions and feelings.

The state comfortably sides with egalitarianism, enhancing itself by taking material from the productive and giving it to the non-productive. Similarly it seeks to wrest control of children from the family and put them into the hands of professionals and bureaucrats beholden to the state. The state is jealous of any God and continually seeks to limit belief and allegiance to anybody or anything but itself. The Framers of the Constitution recognized that the state, though necessary, is inherently evil – only to be contained with great effort. They designed it to be weakened from without by continual electoral cleansing. They weakened it from within by setting up competition between the various branches of government. But it is always the enemy, because those who come to control it quickly become corrupted by its power.

The contemporary elite has weighed in on the egalitarian side. Profoundly embarrassed by the Christian tradition of the U.S., the elite assumes that there is no objective truth and is determined to impose its resulting confusion on everyone. Therefore anyone’s opinions and feelings, especially if hostile to Christianity, must be protected and advanced. The elite’s anti-Christian bias extends to foreign as well as domestic affairs.

The rights of the people must be asserted against the power of the state. In our times conservatives also demand that the traditions that brought us to the dance, even if they happen to be Christian, be retained unless compelling empirical evidence to the contrary surfaces. We are in favor of:

1. term limits for all governmental officials (including judges)
2. the initiative and referendum as well as the initiative and recall
3. lower taxes (the less money government controls, the less oppressive it can be)
4. checking the power of the judiciary (the Constitution does not mean “whatever the Supreme Court says it means”)
5. canceling civil rights laws and civil rights commissions. Whatever good the civil rights laws did has already been accomplished. “Special rights,” “special preferences,” or “set asides” for any group should be abolished. The state is using these laws to intrude into our lives, and then divide, conquer and control us. It is unjust to “make up” for past injustices by taking from the descendants of one group and giving to the descendants of another. Instead there should be equality of opportunity for individuals.
6. getting the government out of our lives in as many ways as possible (e.g., allowing school vouchers, stopping taxes to support the “artsy-craftsy community”)
7. leaving traditions alone unless harm is empirically demonstrated (e.g., Christmas decorations and songs; English as the sole official language; homosexuals not allowed to adopt or marry; children taught that they are expected to work, marry and raise children; homosexuals banned from the military)
8. private property should be interfered with only if compelling community interest exists (e.g., environmental laws should be enforced only if they are proven to be necessary and proven to correct the problem; employers should be free to run their businesses free of regulations that have not been proven to be necessary).