To Each In a Different Measure

Egalitarianism is a moral principle. It is the belief that all people should be equal. This does not amount to an ethical system, though. It has no standard of value. It is the belief that value should be split evenly, but it says nothing about what those values are. Egalitarianism rides piggyback on other ethical systems.

Examples of egalitarianism are widespread. Hatred of inheritance is one. That some people start off life in an easier position than others is despised by egalitarianism. So is the fact that some people have nurturing families, while others don’t. Equality of results manifest itself in judgments about the economy. Differences in salary causes much resentment. The list goes on and on.

Egalitarianism comes in many forms, all of which are destructive. From equality of opportunity, to equality of results, it always has a single result. Those that have achieved values must sacrifice them to those that don’t. Egalitarianism manifest itself as hatred of those that are successful or that have managed to achieve values. Those that have achieved values are despised. They are the ones that have acted to create inequality through the pursuit of happiness. The lazy and incompetent are not to blame. They didn’t cause the inequality.

Egalitarianism is just a mask for the hatred of the good. It is not concerned with the well-being of anyone. It only cares that everyone is in the same position, even if that position is starving and helpless. It asks for the destruction of value so that all can be equal. The rich must be made poor. The strong must be made weak. The beautiful must be made ugly. The competent must be made incompetent. The good must be made evil. The goal of egalitarianism is death, where true equality lies.

All men are equal because they are creatures of God, endowed with body and soul, and redeemed by Jesus Christ. Thus, by the dignity common to all, they have an equal right to everything that is proper to the human condition: life, health, work, religion, family, intellectual development, and so on. A just Christian economic and social organization thus rests upon a fundamental feature of true equality.

But, besides this essential equality, there are among men accidental inequalities placed by God: of virtue, intelligence, health, capacity of labor, and many others. Every organic and living economic and social structure has to be in harmony with the natural order of things.

This natural inequality must therefore be reflected in it. This reflection consists in this: that as long as all have what is just and deserved, those well endowed by nature can, by their honest labor and their economy, acquire more.

Equality and inequality thus compensate and complement one another, discharging diverse but harmonious roles in the ordering of a just and Christian society.

This rule constitutes, moreover, one of the most admirable characteristics of universal order. All of God’s creatures have what befits them according to their own nature, and in this they are treated according to the same norm. But, beyond this the Lord gives very much to some, much to others, and to yet others, finally, only what is adequate.

These inequalities form an immense hierarchy, in which each degree is like a musical note that forms part of an immense symphony to chant the divine glory. A totally egalitarian society and economy would, therefore, be anti-natural.

Seen in this light, inequalities represent a condition of general good order, and thus redound to the advantage of the whole social body, that is, of the great as well as of the small.

This hierarchical scale is in the plans of Providence as a means to promote the spiritual and material progress of mankind by the incentive given to the better and most capable. Egalitarianism brings with it inertia, stagnation, and, therefore, decadence, because everything inasmuch as it is alive, if it does not progress, deteriorates and dies.

The parable of the talents is thus explained (Matt. 25: 14-30). God gives to each in a different measure and He demands from each a proportionate rendering. 


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