Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Equality

"Foremost among the barriers to equality is the system which ignores the mother’s service to Society in making a home and rearing children. The mother is still the uncharted servant of the future, who receives from her husband, at his discretion, a share in his wages." - Katharine Anthony, fully Katharine Susan Anthony

"Equality is no rule in Love’s grammar." -

"At rest everywhere... Indifference... Equality." -

"There is no peace except where I am, saith the Lord... As space spreads everywhere, and all things move and change within it, but it moves not nor changes, so I am the space within the soul, of which the space without is but the similitude and mental image; cometh thou to inhabit me, thou hast the entrance to all life - death shall no longer divide thee from whom thou lovest. I am the sun that shines upon all creatures from within - gazest thou upon me thou shalt be filled with joy eternal. Be not deceived. Soon this outer world shall drop off - thou shalt slough it away as a man sloughs his mortal body. Learn even now to spread thy wings in that other world - the world of equality - to swim in the ocean, my child, of me and my love. (Ah! have I not taught thee by the semblance of this outer world, but its alienations and deaths and mortal sufferings - all for this? For joy, ah! joy unutterable!)" -

"Security and equality cannot bring man happiness.. but they can bring him something no less important - dignity - a sense of social value and individual worth." - Hayim Greenberg

"Esteem incites friendship, but not love; the former is the twin brother of Reverence; the latter is the child of Equality." -

"Liberty and equality - lovely and sacred words!" - Guiseppe Mazzini

"The doctrine of equality!... But there exists no more poisonous poison: for it seems to be preached by justice itself, while it is the end of justice... ‘Equality for equals, inequality for unequals’ - that would be the true voice of justice: and, what follows from it, ‘Never make equal what is unequal’." -

"It is a mistake to base one’s hopes for happiness upon the enforcement of security and equality. In principle, both desires are insatiable... No individual or society is secure in a world of emergent probability and sin... To exercise liberty is to take risks, to embrace uncertainties." - Michael Novak

"Where there are no distinctions there can be no superiority; perfect equality affords no temptation." - Thomas Paine

"It is... possible for a civilized man and woman to be happy in marriage, although if this is to be the case a number of conditions must be fulfilled. There must be a feeling of complete equality on both sides; there must be no interference with mutual freedom; there must be the most complete physical and mental intimacy; and there must be a certain similarity in regard to standards of values." -

"Socialists are filled with the enthusiasm of equality... Equality of possession or of rights and equality before the law are diametrically opposed to each other. The object of equality before the law is to make the state entirely neutral." - William Graham Sumner

"A society which values equality will attach a high degree of significance to differences of character and intelligence between different individuals, and a low degree of significance to economic and social differences between different groups. It will endeavor, in shaping its policy and organization, to encourage the former and to neutralize and suppress the latter, and will regard it as vulgar and childish to emphasize them when, unfortunately, they still exist." -

"In the principle of equality I discern two tendencies: the one leading the mind of every man to untried thoughts; the other prohibiting him from thinking at all." -

"It cannot be denied that democratic institutions strongly tend to promote the feeling of envy in the human heart; not so much because they afford to everyone the means of rising to the same level with others as because those means perpetually disappoint the persons who employ them. Democratic institutions awaken and foster a passion for equality which they can never entirely satisfy." -

"Liberty, equality - bad principles! The only true principle for humanity is justice, and justice towards the feeble becomes necessarily protection or kindness." -

"The matter of justice is an external operation, in so far as either it or the thing we use by it is made proportionate to some other person to whom we are related by justice. Now each man’s own is that which is due to him according to equality of proportion. Therefore the proper act of justice is nothing else than to render to each one his own." -

"Judaism is based upon the principle of Divine Unity, which signifies the unity and equality of all men." - Astruc of Lunel, originally Abba Mari Ben Moses Ben Joseph NULL

"The defect of equality is that we only desire it with our superiors." - Henry François Becque

"There is no human reason why a child should not admire and emulate his teacher's ability to do sums, rather than the village bum's ability to whittle sticks and smoke cigarettes. The reason why the child does not is plain enough - the bum has put himself on an equality with him and the teacher has not." - Floyd Dell

"A society that puts equality... ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom." -

"Love is based on equality and freedom." -

"To equal justice appertaineth also the equal imposition of taxes; the equality whereof dependeth not on the equality of riches, but on the equality of the debt that every man oweth to the commonwealth for his defense." - Thomas Hobbes

"Even if governmental conduct of business could give us more efficiency instead of less efficiency, the fundamental objection to it would remain unaltered and unabated. It would destroy political equality. It would increase rather than decrease abuse and corruption. It would stifle initiative and invention. It would undermine the development of leadership. It would cramp and cripple the mental and spiritual energies of our people. It would extinguish equality and opportunity. It would dry up the spirit of liberty and progress." - Herbert Hoover, fully Herbert Clark Hoover

"Disease generally begins that equality which death completes; the distinctions which set one man so much above another are very little perceived in the gloom of a sick-chamber, where it will be vain to expect entertainment from the gay, or instruction from the wise; where all human glory is obliterated, the wit is clouded, the reasoner perplexed, and the hero subdued; where the highest and brightest of mortal being finds nothing left behind him but the consciousness of innocence." -

"Equality is the share of every one at their advent upon earth, and equality is also their when placed beneath it." -

"Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it." -

"In the state of nature... all men are born equal, but they cannot continue in this equality. Society makes them lose it, and they recover it only by protection of the laws." - Baron de Montesquieu, fully Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu

"The greatest security of the liberties of a people who do not cultivate the earth is their not knowing the use of money... The people who have no money have but few wants; and these are supplied with ease, and in an equal manner. Equality is then unavoidable; and hence it proceeds that their chiefs are not despotic." - Baron de Montesquieu, fully Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu

"The principle of democracy is corrupted not only when the spirit of equality is extinct, but likewise when they fall into a spirit of extreme equality, and when each citizen would fain to be upon a level with those whom he has chosen to command him. Then the people, incapable of bearing the very power they have delegated, want to manage everything themselves, to debate for the senate, to execute for the magistrate, and to decide for the judges." - Baron de Montesquieu, fully Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu

"Liberty and Equality are the twin ideals of American democracy. But they are not the same thing... Many person who would gladly die for liberty are appalled by equality. Many who are devoted to equality are puzzled and even troubled by liberty. Much of the political history of the American nation can be seen as a competition between these two ideals." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan, aka "Pat"

"A few hours of mountain climbing turn a rascal and a saint into two pretty similar creatures. Fatigue is the shortest way to Equality and Fraternity - and, in the end, Liberty will surrender to Sleep." -

"Equality is one of the most consummate scoundrels that ever crept from the brain of a political juggler - a fellow who thrusts his hand into the pocket of honest industry or enterprising talent, and squanders their hard-earned profits on profligate idleness or indolent stupidity." - James Kirke Paulding

"Geometry gives us the sense of equality produced by proportion. It also heals by means of fine music all that is harsh and inharmonious or discordant in the soul, under the influence of rhythm, meter and melody." - Philo, aka Philo of Alexandria, Philo Judaeus, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Yedidia, "Philon", and Philo the Jew NULL

"Supporting the Equal Rights Amendment is like trying to kill a fly with a sledge hammer. You don’t kill the fly, but you end up breaking the furniture... We cannot reduce women to equality. Equality is a step down for most women." - Phyllis Schlafly, fully Phyllis McAlpin Stewart Schlafly

"An earthquake achieves what the law promises but does not in practice maintain - the equality of all men." - Ignazio Silone , original name Secondo Transqulli

"Democratic institutions awaken and foster a passion for equality which they can never entirely satisfy." - Alexis de Tocqueville, fully Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville

"Eager and apprehensive men of small property constitute the class that is constantly increased by the equality of conditions. Hence in democratic communities the majority of the people do not clearly see what they have to gain by a revolution, but they continually and in a thousand ways feel that they might lose by one." - Alexis de Tocqueville, fully Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville

"We may naturally believe that it is not the singular prosperity of the few, but the greater well-being of all that is most pleasing in the sight of the Creator and Preserver of men. What appears to me to be man’s decline, is His eye, advancement; what afflicts me is acceptable to Him. A state of equality is perhaps less elevated, but it is more just: and its justice constitutes its greatness and its beauty. I would strive, then, to raise myself to this point of the divine contemplation and thence to view and judge the concerns of men." - Alexis de Tocqueville, fully Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville

"It is untrue that equality is a law of nature. Nature has no equality; its sovereign law is subordination and dependence." -

"The idea of bringing all men on an equality with each other has always been a pleasant dream; the law cannot equalize men in spite of nature." -

"The Bible is a book of faith, and a book of doctrine, and a book of morals, and a book of religion, of special revelation from God; but it is also a book which teaches man his own individual responsibility, his own dignity, and his equality with his fellow man." - Daniel Webster

"A "fraternity" is the antithesis of fraternity. The first... is predicated on the idea of exclusion; the second (that is, the abstract thing) is based on a feeling of total equality." - E. B. White, fully Elwyn Brooks White

"I believe that the more we think, the more we become convinced that the instinct which asks for equality is a low one, and that equality if it were completely brought out, would furnish play for the lower instincts and impulses of man." - Phillips Brooks

"It is… the essence of the demand for equality before the law that people should be treated alike in spite of the fact that they are different." - F. A. Hayek, fully Friedrich August Hayek or von Hayek

"One must remember equality, yet also be aware of difference, for if the people are allowed to act as it pleases them without coming up against displeasure, if one gives rein to its desires without setting [any] limit, it becomes confused and can no longer take delight in anything." - Hsun-Tzu NULL

"In the field of modern cosmology, the first principle is called “the Cosmological Principle.” It says that the universe has no center, that it has the same properties throughout. Every place in the universe has, in this sense, equal rights. How can the human race, which has evolved in a universe of such fundamental equality, fail to strive for a society without violence and terror? How can we fail to build a world in which the rights due to every human being from birth are respected?" - Fang Lizhe

"Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it." -

"Nations will rise and fall, but equality remains the ideal. The universal aim is to achieve respect for the entire human race, not for the dominant few." - Carlos Peña Rómulo