more from Alexis de Tocqueville

Single Idea 22671

[catalogued under 25. Social Practice / B. Equalities / 2. Political equality]

Full Idea

I know of only two methods of establishing equality in the political world; rights must be given to every citizen, or none at all to anyone.

Gist of Idea

Equality can only be established by equal rights for all (or no rights for anyone)


Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America (abr Renshaw) [1840], 1.02)

Book Reference

Tocqueville,Alexis de: 'Democracy in America (abridged)', ed/tr. Renshaw,Patrick [Wordsworth 1998], p.28

A Reaction

We may have a vague concept of 'natural' rights, but primarily they are a tool of social engineering. You could grant equal rights on inheritance, for example, which turn out in practice to hugely favour the rich.