There are in the world today two mutually exclusive definitions of human equality: American and Marxist; with American as equality before law, and Marxist as equality of material property and other measures of outcome.

American equality means that all individuals are equal before just law instituted among men to secure their sacred rights to life, liberty and private property honestly earned – part of an individual’s pursuit of happiness. Marxist equality means that some individuals and classes are higher before law than others; an arbitrary and unjust legal inequality which brings equality of property to certain individuals based on their special class designation without regard to creativity and labor. Social engineering of the Marxist sort relies on un-Constitutional government appropriation (theft) and redistribution of private property and private businesses (means of production).

Marxist government must unjustly steal property from some (Productive, State-supporting entrepreneurs and middle class) in order to unjustly equalize property with others (Non-productive, State-supported intellectuals and proletariat class).

“The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degree, all capital from the bourgeoisie (middle class), to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the state (for redistribution to the proletariat class)… Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property”  Karl Marx

Jean Jacques Rousseau and Gracchus Babeuf (philosophers of the French Revolution) preceded Karl Marx in embracing property equality rather than legal equality.

“You are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.”  Jean Jacques Rousseau

“We claim to live and die equal, the way we were born: we want this real equality or death; that’s what we need. And we’ll have this real equality, at whatever price. Unhappy will be those who stand between it and us!…We need not only that equality of rights written into the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen; we want it in our midst, under the roofs of our houses… The French Revolution was nothing but a precursor of another revolution, one that will be bigger, more solemn, and which will be the last.”  Gracchus Babeuf

Even though Karl Marx was yet unborn, our Founding Fathers anticipated his irrational thinking; and they decided on government enforced natural individual equality before law with associated natural individual inequality of outcomes rather than unnatural government enforced equal outcomes with associated unnatural inequality before law.

“Bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect…”   Thomas Jefferson1st Inaugural, 1801

The French and Communist revolutions stand in direct contradiction to our American Revolution, and the enlightenment philosopher John Locke.

“The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions: for men being all the workmanship of one omnipotent, and infinitely wise maker; all the servants of one sovereign master, sent into the world by his order, and about his business; they are his property, whose workmanship they are, made to last during his, not one another’s pleasure: and being furnished with like faculties, sharing all in one community of nature, there cannot be supposed any such subordination among us, that may authorize us to destroy one another, as if we were made for one another’s uses, as the inferior ranks of creatures are for ours.”  John Locke

“Though the earth, and all inferior creatures, be common to all men, yet every man has a property in his own person: this nobody has any right to but himself. The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property. It being by him removed from the common state nature hath placed it in, it hath by this labour something annexed to it, that excludes the common right of other men: for this labour being the unquestionable property of the labourer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to, at least where there is enough, and as good, left in common for others.”  John Locke

Marxist belief is an inversion of self-evident truth; a falsehood that must be concealed through clever perversion of language, i.e.: “newspeak;” and which can only be accepted by an act of “doublethink.” American equality before law, with natural economic inequality, by Marxist “reasoning” is “detrimental to human freedom;” when in reality it is a pre-requisite. Marxists believe that a private employer “appropriates” a workers labor which “alienates them from, their fundamental nature;” when in fact the worker is paid by the employer in free exchange for his labor which anchors them both to human nature.  Marxists believe that “Equality in ownership and control of the means of production is a necessary prerequisite for freedom;” when in fact, as twentieth Century has shown, and as F. A. Hayek noted, “A claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers.”

Realize that those who have studied Marxist equality and “social justice,” and those who lived under its full weight have observed and experienced both inequality before law and inequality of property (inequality between the ordinary individual; i.e.:  serfs, and the Marxist ruling elite); thus the Marxist claim of equal outcome is an Orwellian lie.

“The imperative of economic equality also generates a striking opposition between “social justice” and its liberal rival. The equality of the latter, we’ve noted, is the equality of all individuals in the eyes of the law — the protection of the political rights of each man, irrespective of “class.” However, this political equality, also noted, spawns the difference in “class” between Smith and Jones. All this echoes Nobel laureate F.A. Hayek’s observation that if “we treat them equally [politically], the result must be inequality in their actual [i.e., economic] position.”

The irresistable conclusion is that “the only way to place them in an equal [economic] position would be to treat them differently [politically]” — precisely the conclusion that the advocates of “social justice” themselves have always reached…Hayek had continued, “Equality before the law and material equality are, therefore, not only different, but in conflict with each other… The goal of complete economic equality logically enjoins the means of complete state control, yet this means has never practically achieved that end. Yes, Smith and Jones, once “socialized,” are equally poor and equally oppressed, but now above them looms an oligarchy of not-to-be-equalized equalizers. The inescapable rise of this “new class” — privileged economically as well as politically, never quite ready to “wither away” — forever destroys the possibility of a “classless” society.”  Barry Loberfeld  

 “The usual understanding of “equality,” when applied to people entails equality of rights and sometimes equality of opportunity. But what is meant in all these (Socialist) cases is the equalization of external conditions which do not touch the individuality of man. In socialist ideology, however, the understanding of equality is akin to that used in mathematics, i.e., this is in fact identity, the abolition of differences in behavior as well as in the inner world of the individuals constituting society. From this point of view, a puzzling and at first sight contradictory property of socialist doctrines becomes apparent. They proclaim the greatest possible equality, the destruction of hierarchy in society and at the same time a strict regimentation of all of life, which would be impossible without absolute control and an all-powerful bureaucracy which would engender an incomparably greater inequality.” Igor Shafarevich

American Equality is liberty and justice for all; Marxist Equality is utopia for an elite and privileged few; with dystopian tyranny and injustice for the rest. As much as I’d like to believe it isn’t true, some Americas are choosing Marxist Equality.

Ronald R. Cherry, MD