Principium Volume I, Book 6, Quote 671 and 673

Updated: Sep 22, 2020

671. (2-16-2010) The principle that all men are equal before the law, which is essential to the moral functioning of a limited state, becomes steadily and disastrously distorted when the state engages in activities beyond its natural functions. Equality before the law – a principle based upon the innate and incommensurable value of each individual created person – is transformed into a universal equalitarianism that ludicrously insists upon the equality of all persons in all respects. Therefore, once the state steps in, the equal ability and potentiality of everyone must be assumed. All must be educated “equally” and in the same way. When, further, as a result of the intervention of the state, education falls under the control of a bureaucracy that acts upon these premises, the very idea of quality in education inevitably goes by the board. The end becomes not the development of the spirit of man, but its acclimatization to the mediocrity of the mass mind.

- Frank S. Meyer – In Defense of Freedom and Other Essays, 1962


673. (2-17-2010) A social order is a good social order to the degree that men live as free persons under conditions in which virtue can be freely realized, advanced, and perpetuated. Freedom has its risks because it may not be virtue but vice that men advance, but all existence has its risks. Unless men are free to be vicious, they cannot be virtuous. No community can make them virtuous. Nor can any community force upon them conditions antagonistic to virtue if the state does not, with its power, give coercive strength to community and so long as the state, fulfilling its limited but necessary functions, protects individual persons from force and fraud by other persons and associations of persons. The person is the locus of virtue. No other men, no associations of other men, can deprive him of the freedom to pursue virtue and inculcate virtue in others, if the state is maintained in its limited function, giving no sanction to the imposition of coercion by men upon men and protecting each man from coercion by his fellows.

- Frank S. Meyer – In Defense of Freedom and Other Essays, 1962

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