A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a quote from Alexis De Tocqueville’s book Democracy in America. The quote stopped me in my tracks. It was almost like De Tocqueville (who wrote his book in 1835) had predicted the events of 2020 would unfold.
De Tocqueville said, “Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.”
He said this 59 years after the United States won its freedom from Great Britain in the book he wrote after his visit to America. De Tocqueville spent nine months in the U.S. during the 1830s touring around the country. He came to see what made America great, and what made America different from European countries such as Great Britain and France.
What did De Tocqueville mean when he said unequal in freedom?
Americans have the freedom to choose what they do with their lives. America is a nation where a farmer’s son can go to college and become a doctor or a lawyer. It’s where a foster child can go from nothing to being a successful business owner. While we may not start in the same place financially, we have the opportunity to work hard and make our dreams a reality.
This freedom is what has drawn and continues to draw millions of immigrants into the United States. The chance to be free, to work and to make a better livelihood for you and your family, something that isn’t found in many other places.
We have the same opportunities here. We can travel, we’re free to worship as we please and we can choose how we want to live our lives. For some it may be harder to get where they want to go, but they still have the freedom to choose whether or not it’s worth pursuing.
We have the chance to reap the fruits of our hard work and our effort. One can own land, make a home for their family and choose what to do with their money—with no one telling them how to do it.
Equality sounds like a great thing overall, right? We all can agree that in regard to racial equality everyone should be treated the same regardless of their skin color. Skin color should not be the basis of how we treat people; someone should be chosen for a job based on their talents and merit and not on the color of their skin, for example.
However, the other facets of equality can turn ugly quickly. The major driving factor of socialism is a skewed view of equality. Instead of the individual owning their own land or owning a business and getting to choose what they do with their money, the government owns all businesses and they distribute funds to the population.
All that is given to the population is what the one in power believes their populace needs. Everyone is paid the same amount of money, given the same medical care and everyone lives in the same kind of home.
On the outside, it can sound like an okay idea. But instead of people being able to advance themselves or work harder to make more money or chase after their dream, the government chooses their station in life. There is no chance for advancement. Where you are is where you’ll be for the rest of your life. Individuals are no longer able to choose what is best for their family and free to choose what they want to do with their lives.
They are “equal in slavery”. Socialists say they will provide equality, but at what cost? Gone is the incentive to make something of yourself. What’s left is a severely broken system that makes all individuals under it equally poor and equally struggling to survive.
Look at countries like Venezuela for example. The people are starving equally, there isn’t enough medical supplies to take care of the people flocking to the hospitals and families are leaving. They’re leaving to find opportunity in a country where they can actually feed their families.
De Tocqueville was spot on when he said Americans would rather be “equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.”
I don’t know about you, but I want to be unequal in freedom. I want the chance to pursue my dream and make it a reality. I want to be able to own a home someday and donate to charities of my choice.
I want to be able to see the downtrodden citizen rise from the ashes and make a name for themselves. I want to hear more stories of how someone came here because they knew it was the land of opportunity.
I don’t want to be equal in slavery with no freedoms and fear of religious persecution. I want to be able to worship the God of the Bible with other believers who love Him. I don’t want the government or anyone else to tell me when and where I can worship my Savior, and I for sure don’t want to lose the freedom to worship.
I want to live in a land where we don’t let unequal circumstances define where we can go with our lives, and we should be protecting our freedoms that let us do this. And let us not forget that while we may be unequal on this earth, in God’s eyes we are all created equal in our value and purpose. Equally loved, equally chosen and equally pursued.