How Our Founders Understood Equality

The New Criterion recently published a review by Michael Anton of a new book by Thomas West, The Political Theory of the American Founding. Anton's review is entitled “Founding Philosophy.” 

Anton and West are two of the best, and The New Criterion deserves praise for publishing Anton's thoughtful review and for highlighting West's important book. Both the book and the review are deserving of all the acclaim that will be heaped upon them. 

Early on in his review, Anton addresses the question of how we are to understand the claim in the Declaration of Independence that we are all equal. In what way are we equal? After all, we are certainly not equal in intelligence, strength, beauty, or virtue; we do not all have the same gifts and talents.

The Declaration teaches that all men are created equal. But do we today understand equality as the Founders did?

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