Those who have read Dante and Milton know the two poets understood and believed in hierarchal orders. For them, there was a hierarchy in Heaven as well as a hierarchy in Hell. Both hierarchies depended on gradations of status, Heaven on morality and attainment reflective to the created orders closest to the character of God, ruler of Heaven; the latter on degrees of subjection to Evil personified in the person of Satan, ruler of those who rebelled against the heavenly order.
The idea of a transcendently good order and an antagonistic, evil opposing order was a concept that informed earthly governmental structures and the individual conscience for a very long time. Eventually, the concept led to the political theory of the "Divine Right" of kings and nobles to rule their subjects much as God, it was assumed, ruled Heaven. As God the Father expected absolute obedience, so did the divine King. Over centuries, the rule of aristocracies sometimes began to ossify into a tyrannical stratification of society which was reflected most clearly in the concept of an absolute monarch who ruled with an iron fist over all his subjects.
In France of the sixteenth century, it was the reign of Louis the XIV which personified in theory and actuality the concept of the absolute monarch. While it is said he actually never uttered the words "L'etat c'est moi," the phrase summarizes his rule, for he did consider himself to be the "Sun King--" an absolute ruler.
Students of history know the aristocratic order of France ended abruptly with the French Revolution, which sought to crush permanently all hierarchical orders, including those of state and church in order to establish "liberty, equality and fraternity."
The past two and a half centuries since the French Revolution have seen the attempt to create complete equality is not successful, for hierarchy is always inevitable dispite attempts to eradicate it. Hierarchy simply is transferred to other structures and leaders. Authority simply shifts.
But the appeal of the ideals of the French Revolution and the concept of a de-stratified society based on total egalitarianism is seductive, and the twentieth century is replete with the attempts and horrific failures of communism to create a society in which all are perfectly equal. Tens of millions died because of leaders who sought to follow such a radical ideal.
Parlimentarian England, whose restrictions on the divine right of kings provided a stalwart example of resistance to the radicals of the French Revolution, was in distinct contrast to the Revolution, but English society remained stratified in many important respects.
The miracle of the American experiment in a republic governed by its constitution was that it allowed class levels to become almost completely porous, rejecting as it did both the ossification of aristocratic rule and the leveling influence of radical egalitarianism endorsed by the leaders of the French Revolution. America became the country in which one could rise above his or her class origins. America became a miracle of history.
But the radical egalitarianism of 1789 still has its followers in our own country in the form of Marxists and most importantly, radical socialists. Radical egalitarianism, especially when taken from conceptual theory to foundational political philosophy and then to law is killing to a society.
That is because radical egalitarianism is one of the chief causes of the eradication of any distinction between good and evil. It is the end of the ability to rise in any and all respects.
For if every citizen's status is to be absolutely the same, there are none who may rise higher in any respect, including attainment of and conformance to a higher morality. No attempt to distinguish one's self in any respect, including morality, especially a morality defined by religious faith, is permitted in a radical egalitarian society.
That is because the template for human behavior is dictated by a state whose changeable, contemporaneous goals vitiate or completely suffocates any personal moral choices. A template morality which disregards the vicissitudes of human life as well as the nuances of human conscience is one which kills or at least anesthetizes the moral inclination by removing the indivdual moral imperative which exists between the individual conscience and his or her God.
In short, the state decides what is best for the subject as surely as Louis XIV decided what was best for his subjects. The result of the supreme state, be it one governed by an absolute monarch or by the leaders of the former Socialist Soviet Republic is the same: all of society is subject to one template--the moral authority of an earthly government bent on erasing distinctions among its subjects other than ruler and ruled.
Of course, the above is the definition of slavery. The dictates of one's master become one's "morality" whether the slave chooses to disagree or not. Force replaces conscientious choices essential to free will.
In sum, the slave cannot say "No."
Our society is rapidly approaching a time in which the word of the state is supreme law. The past few administrations of the US have been appropriating power and legislating a morality the majority of the American people reject. Americans are being forced to take on burdens and to obey laws they cannot in all good conscience endorse. Our government is heeding the voices of the people scarcely more than Louis XIV or the Soviet Republic heeded the voices of their people. Our government is dictating to our consciences; legislating a morality inimical to a free people. The consequences, should the people not rise up and resist, will be grave indeed; for the consequences will be the complete loss of our freedom of conscience and a societal stratification that will deaden attempts at elevation.
In the place of our free conscience will be a template morality dictated to us by a government originally meant to be by the people, of the people and for the people.
The wheel of history has returned America back to 1776 and the perils which faced it then. It is time for individual Americans to exercise their individual consciences and confront the dangers before them.