Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Liberty is equality's intractable opposite

In today├Ęs The Guardian:

The mechanisms of modern government grow ever more intricate, but the guiding principles, and ruling dilemmas, stay the same. If you want to make people more equal you will have make them less free to forge ahead of – or fall behind – their fellow citizens. There is no way round this conundrum, no form of words in an act of parliament can resolve it, and we must each of us, in the end, decide which we want: more equality and less liberty; or more liberty and less equality.

I would add that all human beings are equal. Of course this should be respected.

But trying to make everyone equal in every sphere of society is bound to fail, and shouldn't be tried.

I also think that freedom cannot be entirely dependent on the state. It's not just a matter of statism. We must have a culture of freedom, and a culture that relies more on personal initiatives and civil institutions to change society, than on the state.