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« Fair Is Fair | WILLisms.com | Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 447 -- State Government Spending Correlates With Domestic Migration. »

Quotational Therapy: Part 137 -- Friedman, On Equality.

Equality & Liberty-

More on equality, from another intellectual giant, Milton Friedman:

"A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both."

Ultimately, it is only the power of individual liberty that will produce a world-- and a society-- inordinately more perfect, more prosperous, and more fair than the one we have today.

Previous Quotational Therapy Session:

Goldwater, On Equality.

The right quote can be therapeutic, so tune in to WILLisms.com for quotational therapy on Monday and Friday.

Posted by Will Franklin · 6 July 2007 02:49 PM


"Equality, rightly understood as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences; wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism."
Barry Goldwater
Mr Goldwater got it.

"We will do the 'right thing' and let the law catch up."
Thurgood Marshall(former Supreme Court Justice.
He did not have a clue.

Posted by: Eneils Bailey at July 9, 2007 09:18 AM

CS Lewis notes this as a universal law of virtues in general: "Of course this law has been discovered before; but it will stand rediscovery. It may be stated as follows: every preference of a small good to a great, or partial good to a total good, involves the loss of the small or partial good for which the sacrifice was made."

The entire essay "First and Second Things" can be found here: http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a37bb38967208.htm

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at July 10, 2007 09:35 AM


I hope we are on the same page here. I am just a computer weenie who dwells in an environment that mathematical logic serves some purpose in life.

Conclusions specific to the certain situation can not be applied to the general population. But, enough general conclusions can lead us to a specific conclusion.

Constitutional adherence and "doing the right thing" can not exist in the same Court, unless the two orbits intersect.

Posted by: Eneils Bailey at July 10, 2007 04:28 PM

I started as a math major, you needn't apologise. I think we are on the same page here. Lewis's point is that some good things are obtainable only as a byproduct of greater thing. For example if we seek to correctly solve a puzzle, we may get enjoyment thrown in; if we seek only enjoyment, we will find neither joy nor a solution. In Milton's thought, if we seek Liberty, we will get a fair amount of equality as a byproduct. If we seek only equality, we will get neither liberty nor equality.

I doubt that Lewis would posit this as an iron rule, but as an observation of how things tend in the moral world.

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at July 10, 2007 05:02 PM

"I doubt that Lewis would posit this as an iron rule, but as an observation of how things tend in the moral world."

I would think that in Lewis's moral world, he deals with people like himself, not a group trying to foist equality and fairness over liberty and freedom.

It's not a bad call to think that people not bestowed with Lewis's intellectual capabilities would seek equality and fairness at the legal and the moral altar of public opinion.

Posted by: Eneils Bailey at July 10, 2007 05:33 PM