Equality before the law and equality of opportunity are the fundamental ideals of the American experiment.
Though the imperative to form a nation in opposition to the tyranny of Britain permitted slavery to persist for the first seven decades of our history, these two objectives, imperfectly applied, were expanded by subsequent generations. America, thus, embraced freedom and so became the most ethnically and religiously diverse nation on earth. A new doctrine: that of equity, threatens to erode equality’s stunning maturation.
Enunciated by members of the Biden administration, equity has become something more than a word: It is a juggernaut. Putatively concerned with social justice, equity is applied to factions; equality is applied to individuals.
Equity is a vehicle for power that seemingly advantages groups that may have been oppressed in the past. The societal pursuit of equity, however, masks the attainment of wealth and power for the few through false promises of welfare for the many. Such a pledge has never been kept anywhere. It is largesse that is never paid nor tendered.
The Terror in France, the Russian Revolution, and Mao’s China all serve as testament that heaven is only available through God and never through the state. The millions of corpses produced by these “utopias” should serve as counsel, but the greed for the apportionment of unearned power makes the offer of utopianism indispensable to elites.
Birth is not equitable: The condition and country in which one is born and the attributes and health impressed are as different as the number of people in the world. The equity necessary to remove such distinctions may only be envisioned if massive and unending theft is perpetrated against those deemed more fortunate.
As in the cases of revolutionary France, the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China, such theft will not create equity for all, but the impoverishment of everyone except the ruling class, which will subvert the instruments of state and corporate authorities, while professing beneficence.
The consideration of the inequities that bound us gives rise to the question: Why would God permit such disparateness and lack?
Each of us contends with personal limitations, abilities, and opportunities. Our exercise of choice in embracing or eschewing moral action is rendered by our imperfections. If we were all perfect or equal in attributes, no ethical choices would be necessary, for robots cannot express free will. Our Founders believed God’s compact is with the individual, for the collective can never shine so brightly as a single star.
It is the emphasis on the rights and properties of the individual that permitted Europe and America to create the modern world, though they have been blamed for its ills. Conquest, slavery, colonialism, and free markets have all been lumped together by the left and ascribed as uniquely Western attributes.
Unsurprisingly, other cultures and religions are almost never mentioned as both embodying conquest and permitting the enslavement of others, though history is replete with monsters from every compass point. Clearly, to acknowledge the obvious is to overturn the left’s narrative.
Western culture is besmirched by the proclamation of these falsehoods, which are magnified by social media. Does the left not know that if Isaac Newton had not been born, if James Clerk Maxwell had not formulated his equations of electromagnetism, and if Albert Einstein had not made fundamental contributions to our understanding of the universe, our whole world would not exist.
Our planet would be incapable of supporting its inhabitants; billions would either be unborn, dead or starving. These are brute facts concerning man’s advancements, which could not have occurred elsewhere in any timescale that can be predicted, for the foundations for these discoveries were present nowhere else.
A debt is owed, for without America’s might, World War II could have been lost to the Axis. An epoch of brutality, slavery, murder, and genocide would have ensued. The disabled, whom the Nazis referred to as life unworthy of life, Jews, Romani and LGBTQ persons would have been exterminated, the peoples of Sub-Saharan Africa enslaved or murdered, shattering the lamp of liberty into a thousand pieces.
It is a contradiction that the corporation’s most indebted to the scientific revolution disavow it as the product of Western thought. Technological corporations, clustered around the Internet, are a dynamo that obscures individual achievement as they belittle Western history in their quest to dominate global markets. In so doing, they obviate facts to the point of immolation.
In “Schindler’s List” and in the book that preceded it, the girl in the red coat remains an enigmatic figure. In the black-and-white movie, the coat is one of only two objects rendered in color. There are many explanations proffered for this, some derivative of oral histories, some not. One common expository thread is that the red coat permitted Oskar Schindler, the German savior of many Jews, to see the little girl as an individual and not as a member of a vilified group, thus changing his heart. All group prejudice ends when one sees another person as unique, as an individual.
If executive orders are wielded that countermand laws, equity and false histories may be embraced, rescinding our nation’s consecration of individual rights. Many will contend this is in part due to the purported excesses of the Make America Great Again (MAGA) movement. It, indeed, may be time for everyone to embrace a new acronym that is incontestably inclusive: I am an individual ─ ‘IAAI.’
• Richard Levine is a former deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for Technology Transfer and Security Assistance and a former NSC staff director for policy development. His most recent book is “America’s #1 Adversary And What We Must Do About It ─ Now!”