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A SierraTimes Editorial - 2000 SierraTimes.com

Envy, Egalitarianism, and Empire

Wayne Carlson


Alexander H. Stephens, wartime Vice-President of the conquered Confederate nation, in speaking to the subjugated people of the South, and across time, to us today, offered insights we would do well to remember. He correctly surmised that the defeat of the South would lead toward the centralization of federal power and the supplanting of the American Republic with an American Empire.

In his A Constitutional View of the Late War Between the States he noted,

“If centralism is ultimately to prevail; if our entire system of free institutions as established by our common ancestors is to be subverted, and an empire is to be established in their stead; if that is to be the last scene of the great tragic drama now being enacted: then, be assured, that we of the South will be acquitted, not only in our own consciences, but in the judgment of mankind, of all responsibility for so terrible a catastrophe, and from all guilt of so great a crime against humanity.”

According to the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, “Empire” can be defined as a centralized bureaucratic state, especially one that extends its authority over a large territorial area. It can be expanded to include, a State that exercises control over various weaker states. William Marina noted in his essay Egalitarianism and Empire that though the Founding Fathers were committed to the establishment of a Republic of self-governing, sovereign States, they feared that the “dissolution toward empire, which had occurred in Rome, was historically inevitable. Perhaps this is why Thomas Jefferson suggested that we not go 20 years without a revolution against those that would inevitably rise to threaten our liberties. He considered it to be an essential ingredient if freedom was to be preserved. He further noted that the state with power to do things “for” people has the power to do things “to” them.

Alexis de Tocqueville, in his book Democracy in America drew a connection between centralization of power and an unchecked commitment to the principle of equality that had taken root in America and that he predicted would sweep the world. Who would deny that his prediction has come true? He wrote, “Every central power which follows its natural tendencies courts and encourages the principle of equality; for equality singularly facilitates, extends, and secures the influence of a central power.”

The founding generation came to embrace the concept of equality as applying to two areas; equality of opportunity and equality before the law. They never envisioned that the principle would be extended, or radicalized, to demand an absolute equality in every facet of life such as in income, property, and status. The phrase “all men are created equal” in the Declaration of Independence has been perverted and misconstrued to justify the demands today of whiny voices that are motivated by nothing more than envy and hatred. They cloak these ugly motives by babbling endlessly about the pursuit of social justice. Distinctions in intelligence, talent, or just plain grit, hard work, and determination are dismissed outright. They would deny that they are part of the human condition and that they cannot be simply legislated away by a beneficent government edict. Not only will these differences always lead to inequalities in reward or status, but in any truly just or right thinking nation, they should. As William Marina further noted, “Envy of differences created by equality is a significant factor in the demand for egalitarianism, (an absolute equality of outcome) which is the harbinger of empire – that is, the need for a strong bureaucratic, centralized state to carry out the egalitarian program.”

The Constitution and Bill of Rights, as increasing numbers of conservatives are beginning to see, are viewed as obstacles to be overcome by the Socialist programs our radical egalitarians wish to continue and expand. Those that truly revere the Constitution and Republic that was originally established on this continent certainly cannot continue to coexist indefinitely with those that, like their “abolitionist” progenitors, burned the Constitution and did everything in their power to subvert it.

As Alexander H. Stephens correctly pointed out in my opening paragraph, Southerners recognized that the invasion and subjugation of their States in 1865 destroyed the old Republic and established not a “new nation under God,” but an Empire that supplants the rule of law based on Biblical morality in favor of the rule of men in rebellion to God. In the name of high- sounding rhetoric and a radical, unnatural reconstruction of society they imperil true liberty and make war upon the principles enumerated in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. For those attuned to current events, we sense that these attacks are quickening and that we must rise, as patriots of old, to meet the challenge.


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12 dec 2000