This is the tagline of my blog, the origin of which seems to be the French Revolution. And in fact are there these three, plus other aspects of our lives that are so important that we would give up our lives rather than be without them? Now there are moments of course when you might be ready to do that, gi ve up your life inorder to be free for example. ” Live free or Die,” isn’t that what they say in New Hampshire?
I’ve always wondered just how real was this expression. Do people in NH actually do this? Or was it just another one of those countless mantras, words of phrases, that we hide behind in order not be found, or rather not to be found out?
Now take the three of them, freedom, equality and fraternity? I would say first of all that they are not of equal importance (my personal choice going to fraternity) and they/we might be better off if we separated them in our hearts and minds, as it were, the ones from the others, in order that the truths and lies of the ones not be confused with the truths and lies of the others. Because all three have their truths and falsehoods as just about everything else in this world. All three will have their own Bell Curves.
Take the one, equality, the one about which perhaps the most scholarly treatises have been written. From all that I’ve read no one seems to know what the word means, not even Thomas Jefferson who did write mysteriously in 1776, that all men were created equal. Yeah sure. Do you know what he meant by that? I don’t.
There are of course many equalities, an infinite number of them. There are the equalities of this or that or the other thing Also there are the inequalities of this or that. Inequality, has been pretty much with us since the onset of civlisation some tens of thousands of years ago. Perhaps the greatest failing of the Founding Fathers was to have run away from this subject as fast as they could. For one thing hey were all slave holders, that is those who considered slaves as their own property. Also they probably sensed that there was nothing they could do, unless they happened to be followers of Christ and gave up their shirt to the poor. I don’t think anyone of them did, but I could be wrong about that.
Now this is not a book I’m writing, just beginning (again) to put down on “paper” a few of my thoughts. I take much of my thinking about equality from an article by Andrew Sullivan, a long time “see you next Friday’ writer at the New York Magazine), his article, The Logic Of,Bell Curve Leftism.
And if there ever was a truth teller it’s Andrew. In this article, he’s telling us the truth about equality of intelligence (there isn’t any), a subject that has been mostly avoided in my life time by writers wanting to keep themselves from being struck down and banished from the guest list of New York, the Hampshires, and Washington DC social gatherings, from all those who would treat everyone the same, who want to go on believing that intelligence no less than wealth can be evenly distributed among the population. It can’t. Says Andrew and me too.