more from Alexis de Tocqueville

Single Idea 22672

[catalogued under 25. Social Practice / B. Equalities / 1. Grounds of equality]

Full Idea

One manly and lawful passion for equality elevates the humble to the rank of the great. But there exists also a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to attempt to lower the powerful to their own level.

Gist of Idea

It is admirable to elevate the humble to the level of the great, but the opposite is depraved


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.29

A Reaction

There is a distinction in modern political rhetoric between 'levelling down' and 'levelling up'. Since levelling down is just destructive, and levelling up is unaffordable, it seems obvious that true equality needs to be a compromise.