Sunday, October 14, 2012

Equality versus Fraternity

The comity of peoples in groups large or small rests not upon this chimerical notion of equality but upon fraternity, a concept which immeasurably antedates it in history because it goes immeasurably deeper in human sentiment. The ancient feeling of brotherhood carries obligations of which equality knows nothing. It calls for respect and protection, for brotherhood is status in family, and family is by nature hierarchical. It demands patience with little brother, and it may sternly exact duty of big brother. It places people in a network of sentiment, not of rights—that hortus siccus of modern vainglory.
~ p. 41

How much frustration of the modern world proceeds from starting with the assumption that all are equal, finding that this cannot be so, and then having to realize that one can no longer fall back on the bond of fraternity!
~ p. 42
Ideas Have Consequences