True Person

vs. Liberalism, Individualism and the "Immortal Principle" of Equality

(from "Men Among the Ruins")




The beginning of the disintegration of the traditional sociopolitical structures, or at least whatever was left of them in Europe, occurred through liberalism. Following the stormy and demonic period of the French Revolution, the principles espoused by the Revolution first began to act under the guise of liberalism; thus, liberalism is the origin of the various interconnected forms of global subversion.


It is therefore necessary to expose the errors on which this ideology is based and especially those of the "immortal principles" by which it is inspired. This is necessary not only from a doctrinal point of view, but also from a practical one. Nowadays the intellectual confusion has reached such an extent that liberalism, which according to ancient regimes and the Church was synonymous with antitradition and revolution, is portrayed by some as a "right-wing" movement, bent on protecting human dignity, rights, and freedom against Marxism and totalitarianism. The following considerations are aimed at exposing this misconception.


The essence of liberalism is individualism. The basis of its error is to mistake the notion of the person with that of the individual and to claim for the latter, unconditionally and according to egalitarian premises, some values that should rather be attributed solely to the former, and then only conditionally. Because of this transposition, these values are transformed into errors, or into something absurd and harmful.


Let us begin with the egalitarian premise. It is necessary to state from the outset that the "immortal principle" of equality is sheer nonsense. There is no need to comment on the inequality of human beings from a naturalistic point of view. And yet the champions of egalitarianism make equality a matter of principle, claiming that while human beings are not equal de facto, they are so de jure: they are unequal, and yet they should not be. Inequality is unfair; the merit and the superiority of the liberal idea allegedly consist of not taking it into account, overcoming it, and acknowledging the same dignity in every man. Democracy, too, shares the belief in the "fundamental equality of anything that appears to be human."


I believe these are mere empty words. This is not a "noble ideal" but something that, if taken absolutely, represents a logical absurdity; wherever this view becomes an established trend, it may usher in only regression and decadence.


Concerning the first point, the notion of "many" (i.e., a multiplicity of individual beings) logically contradicts the notion of "many equals." First of all, ontologically speaking, this is due to the so-called "principle of undiscernibles," which is expressed in these terms: "A being that is absolutely identical to another, under every regard, would be one and the same with it." Thus, in the concept of "many" is implicit the concept of their fundamental difference: "many" beings that are equal, completely equal, would not be many, but one. To uphold the equality of the many is a contradiction in terms, unless we refer to a body of soulless mass-produced objects.


Second, the contradiction lies in the "principle of sufficient reason," which is expressed in these terms: "For every thing there must be some reason why it is one thing and not another." Now, a being that is totally equal to another would lack "sufficient reason": it would be just a meaningless duplicate.


From both perspectives, it is rationally well established that the "many" not only cannot be equal, but they also must not be equal: inequality is true de facto only because it is true de jure and it is real only because it is necessary. That which the egalitarian ideology wished to portray as a state of "justice" is in reality a state of injustice, according to a perspective that is higher and beyond the humanitarian and democratic rhetorics. In the past, Cicero and Aristotle argued along these lines.


Conversely, to posit inequality means to transcend quantity and admit quality. It is here that the two notions of the individual and the person are differentiated. The individual may be conceived only as an atomic unit, or as a mere number in the reign of quantity; in absolute terms, it is a mere fiction and an abstraction. And yet it is possible to lean toward this solution, namely to minimize the differences characterizing the individual being, emphasizing mixed and uniform qualities (what ensues from this, through massification and standardization, is a uniformity of paths, rights, and freedoms) and conceiving this as an ideal and desirable condition. However, this means to degrade and to alter the course of nature.


For all practical purposes, the pure individual belongs to the inorganic rather than to the organic dimension. In reality, the law of progressive differentiation rules supreme. In virtue of this law, the lower degrees of reality are differentiated from the higher ones because in the lower degrees a whole can be broken down into many parts, all of which retain the same quality (as in the case of the parts of a noncrystallized mineral, or those parts of some plants and animals that reproduce themselves by parthenogenesis); in the higher degrees of reality this is no longer possible, as there is a higher organic unity in them that does not allow itself to be split without being compromised and without its parts entirely losing the quality, meaning, and function they had in it. Therefore the atomic, unrestricted (solutus), "free" individual is under the aegis of inorganic matter, and belongs, analogically, to the lowest degrees of reality.


An equality may exist on the plane of a mere social aggregate or of a primordial, almost animal-like promiscuity; moreover, it may be recognized wherever we consider not the individual but the overall dimension; not the person but the species; not the "form" but "matter" (in the Aristotelian sense of these two terms). I will not deny that there are in human beings some aspects under which they are approximately equal, and yet these aspects, in every normal and traditional view, represent not the "plus" but the "minus"; in other words, they correspond to the lowest degree of reality, and to that which is least interesting in every being. Again, these aspects fall into an order that is not yet that of "form," or of personality, in the proper sense. To value these aspects and to emphasize them as those that truly matter is the same as regarding as paramount the bronze found in many statues, rather than seeing each one as the expression of distinct ideas, to which bronze (in our case, the generic human quality) has supplied the working matter.


These references clarify what is truly a person and personal value, as opposed to the mere individual and the mere element belonging to a mass or to a social agglomerate. The person is an individual who is differentiated through his qualities, endowed with his own face, his proper nature, and a series of attributes that make him who he is and distinguish him from all others—in other words, attributes that make him fundamentally unequal. The person is a man in whom the general characteristics (beginning with that very general characteristic of being human, to that of belonging to a given race, nation, gender, and social group) assume a differentiated form of expression by articulating and variously individuating themselves.


Any vital, individual, social, or moral process that goes in this direction and leads to the fulfillment of the person according to his own nature is truly ascending. Conversely, to give emphasis and priority to that which in every being is equal signifies regression. The will to equality is one and the same with the will to what is formless. Every egalitarian ideology is the barometric index of a certain climate of degeneration, or the "trademark" of forces leading to a process of degeneration. Overall, this is how we should think about the "noble ideal" and the "immortal principle" of equality.




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