Inequality -- the Engine of Prosperity

Throughout the history of civilization, people have been dreaming of a perfect world -- full employment, full satisfaction of material and intellectual needs, and equal distribution of wealth -- only to discover, to their disappointment, that this utopian system does not exist on this side of the grave.            

Nevertheless, the illusory ideas of economic equality transcend time and appeal to people of all colors and races. If the supporters of economic equality, including Marxist graduates of American universities, absorb human history, they may realize that the only historical datum that points to economic equality goes back to the era of primitive communism. Ten thousand years ago, before farming, people were forced to obtain food collectively. Everything that was produced was immediately consumed. This primitive society produced no surplus and created no wealth. Under such arrangement, the private property was limited to personal articles of clothing, hunting tools, etc. resulting in total economic equality -- in absolute poverty. Ironically, this is the only way economic equality can be achieved -- economic equality and wealth are mutually exclusive.

As people invented agriculture and property ownership, put fences around their properties, produced surpluses, engaged in commerce, and subsequently built up wealth -- inequality was born. The predominant pursuit of wealth creation is the purpose of any society, whether it is slavery, feudalism, or capitalism.

Inspired by a human’s inherent desire for well-being and passion to extricate himself from misery, wealth creation became the locomotive of economic growth. Capitalism stands out as the greatest wealth generator and distributor that has created more wealth during the last 250 years than all preceding civilizations combined in 7,000 years. 

The source of this enormous wealth is man's God-given ability to think and innovate. This intellectual ability is a property of the individual and has not been dispersed equally. Hence, it wouldn’t be reasonable to expect equal results from unequal abilities.

Aristotle observed this phenomenon 2,400 years ago when he concluded that, "The worst form of inequality is to make unequal things equal."

For millennia, inequality was the way of life. It is only with the arrival of the Industrial Revolution that wealth creation accelerated at an unimaginable rate and a political doctrine of classless societies - egalitarianism (from French égal 'equal') emerged. With the advent of Marxism, the doctrine further evolved into a socialist movement that advocated an economic system based on economic equality.  

During the 20th century, almost as if in accordance with some natural law, socialism marched triumphantly around the globe with an intellectual and moral impetus to shape the world in compliance with its values. However, by the end of the century in most socialist countries, redistribution of wealth had reached the end of its potential, egalitarian values gradually eroded and socialist economies spectacularly collapsed.

The proponents of economic equality failed to recognize the immutable fact -- freedom enables people to use their ingenuity to generate wealth, whereas coerced economic equality suppresses the very freedom required to innovate and begets poverty. The greatest moral injustice is an attempt to regulate (control) wealth by the people of limited abilities who are seeking to satisfy their unlimited needs under the banner of self-serving definitions of justice and fairness.

As so eloquently expressed by a Democrat and great American, Daniel Patrick Moynihan:

The great corporations of this country were not founded by ordinary people. They were founded by people with extraordinary intelligence, ambition, and aggressiveness.

If society imposes shackles of equality on the extraordinary contributions of great innovators such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Elon Musk to those of millions of individuals not so gifted and talented, the enormous upward mobility of the last 250 years will immediately cease.

But no lessons of history will dampen the magic of equality’s divine providence. To sell the ideology, the American socialists insist they have no intention of creating an egalitarian society; they just want to reduce the gap between rich and poor which they failed to define in commensurable terms. As long as there is a gap, the socialists will carry their convictions toward the ultimate objective -- making all of us, who are unequally rich, equally poor. 

The embracement of the malignant ideology, which signifies the total inversion of American historical traditions and values, demonstrates the magnitude of America’s psychological and political demoralization. The country is no longer having the self-confidence to define its choices. In retrospect, Marxism would never take root in America if great statesmen of earlier times who aspired to equality in liberty had not completely died out and been replaced by leaders of lesser wisdom who pursue equality in perpetual human misery.

Alexander G. Markovsky is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, a conservative think hosted at King’s College, New York City, which examines national security, energy, risk-analysis and other public policy issues, He is the author of Liberal Bolshevism: America Did Not Defeat Communism, She Adopted It. Mr. Markovsky is the owner and CEO of Litwin Management Services, LLC. He can be contacted at

Image:  Democracy Chronicles 

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