Equality before the law is a fundamental feature of free societies, but the idea of equality is often taken much further, with social engineers demanding equality of opportunity, income, outcome, social status, and more. In order to explain how these leftist ideas destroy individual liberty and economic progress, Axel Kaiser, executive director of the Chilean Atlas Network partner Fundación para el Progreso (FPP), wrote a new book, The Tyranny of Equality (La Tiranía de la Igualdad).
Kaiser launched the book at an Aug. 27 event, with sponsorship of the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio, before of more than 300 people — among them politicians, businessmen, and representatives of civil society. Currently in in the top 10 bestsellers’ list in Chile, The Tyranny of Equality seeks to spark controversy and serious conversation within Chilean society about the country’s current critical political moment.
“The Tyranny of Equality analyzes the fallacies and contradictions inherent to the egalitarian ideology that has gained ground in Chile´s public debate and has served as the theoretical foundation of President [Michelle] Bachelet's socialist reforms,” Kaiser said.
Kaiser said he believes that the people of Chile are realizing that a government that promises heaven on earth is both incredibly expensive and likely to fail. Politicians and the promises they make are paid for by all taxpayers, he maintains, and political leaders must be held accountable for paring back government expenses. “You must have the courage to be unpopular,” Kaiser challenged them.
“These days we live under a true tyranny of equality; nobody can dare to challenge its fundamentals without being call an immoral, selfish person without soul,” Kaiser points out in the book’s introduction.
With The Tyranny of Equality, Kaiser also wants to leave the readers with fundamental questions about the well-being of a free society: Is material equality compatible with liberty? Is inequality the result of a specific economic model? How do the socialist reforms diminish individual freedoms and condemn Chile to mediocrity?
Note: Quotes translated from Spanish.