In the course of a discussion about charter schools vs. “regular” public schools (note: charter schools ARE public schools), a dear friend happened to remark that:
“It should also be plain to see that the two-facility system, one for the masses and one for the elites destroys what originally was one of America’s prize attributes, a classless society.”
I could not help myself, I had to blast away with guns blazing till the barrels melted:
Please disabuse yourself of one serious fundamental misconception.
Egalitarianism has NEVER been an American ideal.
The American ideal is FREEDOM to let you find your own path to your own happiness, as defined by YOU.
It is NOT the American ideal to live in fear that someone might have more, or might have achieved more, or have a better opportunity to succeed, or better luck, or be born with more brains or talent, or have more responsible parents, or whatever the hell divides or distinguishes us as individuals.
A “classless society” has never been either an American ideal, the American way, or the American reality. People naturally separate into classes on the basis of all sorts of distinctions; surely you would not equate the drug-dealing losers in a ghetto with the nerds even from the same ghetto who take up an instrument and end up in Carnegie Hall, would you?
The “classless society” is a marxist ideal, one where everybody is equal — equally proletarian (and that’s a term that goes back to the ancient Romans).
The American ideal is social MOBILITY, upward mobility, which you achieve or fail at achieving as a result of your own efforts.
There is no mobility in a classless society, only conformity with the lowest common denominator, which therefore takes away all incentive to better yourself. What’s the point in making the effort if you are equal to begin with and end up being equal when you stop trying?
We are humans, not drones serving a queen bee. We are all dealt a different hand; the only thing that we require, and could find only in America, is the freedom to play that hand as we see fit, not be forced to beat our heads against impenetrable artificial barriers arising from oppressive ideologies. That freedom is the direct result of the AMERICAN Declaration of Independence that says “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that enshrined it into law — equality under the law regardless of social or economic status. But equality under the law does not mean equality of results; it just means equal opportunity to achieve whatever results you desire.
No other country did that before Americans did it; the French failed to grasp the concept and came up with nothing better than “liberty, equality and fraternity” — and then they recoiled in horrified disbelief when their ideals degenerated into the Reign of Terror, the almost total extermination of their upper and middle class, and the endless bloodbaths of the napoleonic wars. Under similar ideologies, Germans were perfectly “free” to be nazis, Italians were perfectly “free” to be fascists, Russians were perfectly “free” to be soviets. THAT is what egalitarianism is all about, and THAT is the only thing that it leads to.
So please remember that you are not French, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese or muslim or any other proletarian victim of egalitarian philosophies. You are American, and it should not take a foreigner like me to tell you that.
Sorry if I sound like I am lecturing, but I guess I am, and angrily so, especially in this campaign season when certain candidates talk and act like they are immune to the laws that are enforced against the rest of us.
We are at a serious crossroads in 2016. In this election, either we highly resolve that patriots before us had not died in vain, or watch this nation squander its birthright of freedom and let the only government that was of the people, by the people and for the people perish forever from this earth.