Another one of those ‘why weren’t we told this in school’ moments when reading Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn’s Liberty or Equality. ERVKL points out that democracy, the political system of political equality par excellence, and liberty are incompatible. Liberty upholds inequality because a political system where everyone has to conform to an equal ‘mould’ goes against the libertarian ideal. Hence, someone who subscribes to a perspective of liberty might support monarchy or dictatorship if it enabled them to flourish.
While Americans who affiliate with groups like the Tea Party are vilified outside of the US, members of these movements do show an awareness of the difference between liberty and equality. An imposition of equality runs contrary to the traditions of the US which are rooted in liberty. In Europe, these two concepts are often confused under such misleading slogans as ‘liberty, equality, fraternity.’
It seems as if the love of equality is predicated on the notion that if we all reduce everyone to the same level we can then start to live as completely free humans. This seems strange because a people who are habituated to being levelled are unlikely to rehabilitate themselves as staunch libertarians.