Egalitarianism is the radical error of our time. If we do not attack it at the root, we will find we have nothing of cultural or spiritual value left to conserve.
The position of the conservative, whether liberal in his politics or otherwise, presumes inequality. A man ought to love his homeland more than he loves another, so he defends against its demise. Certain works of culture are better than others and command our special care.
When we love with a grateful heart, the image of God in us shines most clearly. By gratitude the creature resembles the Creator, who gives freely across an infinite abyss of being, who needs nothing, and who asks for nothing but love. Gratitude acknowledges the goodness of the giver and the gift, and delights in the excellence of both.
“Equality,” says C. S. Lewis in The Weight of Glory, “is a quantitative term and therefore love often knows nothing of it. Authority exercised with humility and obedience accepted with delight are the very lines along which our spirits live.” Equality “is medicine, not food.”
Political equality may be necessary because men are fallen, and there is also a sense, says Lewis, in which we are equal in the sight of God, whose love does not depend upon our social rank or intellectual acuity. Apart from Him, and by comparison with Him, our value is the same: nothing. In the Church, says Lewis, “we recover our real inequalities and are thereby refreshed and quickened.”
Where could Lewis have gotten such an idea? From all of Christian thought and art, and from a sane view of what all peoples have thought to be good and better and best. From Dante, for instance.
When Dante is in the lowest sphere of Paradise, that of the inconstant moon (allegory for those who did not fulfill their sacred vows), he asks his sister-in-law Piccarda whether she desires a higher place, to love more and see more and be held more dear. He is thinking in emulous terms: envy, not love, demands equality.
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