Were all men equal to-night, some would get the start by rising an hour earlier to-morrow.
ELIZABETH GASKELL, Mary Barton
Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.... The subjection of individuals will increase amongst democratic nations, not only in the same proportion as their equality, but in the same proportion as their ignorance.
ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE, Democracy in America
No one has yet been found resolute enough in dogmatizing to deny that Nature made man equal; that society has destroyed this equality is a truth not more incontrovertible.
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY, letter to Elizabeth Hitchener, Jul. 25, 1811
God made you and me, in certain respects, quite unequal, and it would be futile to try any interference with His arrangements.
REX STOUT, The League of Frightened Men
No one enjoys being equal.
DAVID MAMET, Goldberg Street: Short Plays and Monologues
Fourscore and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Gettysburg Address, Nov. 19, 1863
Equality before the law is probably forever unattainable. It is a noble ideal, but it can never be realized, for what men value in this world is not rights but privileges.
H. L. MENCKEN, "H. L. Mencken: His Last Gibes and Brickbats," Life Magazine, Feb. 20, 1956
God created the first pair equal in rights, possessions, and authority. He bequeathed the earth to them as a joint inheritance; gave them joint dominion over the irrational creation; but none over each other.
ANTOINETTE L. BROWN, speech to woman's rights convention in Syracuse, 1852
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable Rights; that among these, are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness; that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Unites States Declaration of Independence, 1776
All men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with a mighty urge to become otherwise.
EVAN ESAR, 20,000 Quips & Quotes
So far is it from being true that men are naturally equal, that no two people can be half an hour together, but one shall acquire an evident superiority over the other.
SAMUEL JOHNSON, The Table Talk of Dr. Johnson
All men are by nature equal, all made of the same earth by one Workman; and however we may deceive ourselves, as dear unto God is the poor peasant as the mighty prince.
PLATO, attributed, Day's Collacon
If all things were equally in all men, nothing would be prized.
Equality is the share of every one at their advent upon earth, and equality is also theirs, when placed beneath it.
NINON DE L'ENCLOS, attributed, Day's Collacon
Equality and freedom are not luxuries to lightly cast aside. Without them, order cannot long endure before approaching depths beyond imagining.
ALAN MOORE, V for Vendetta
A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.
MILTON FRIEDMAN, Free to Choose
Equality is one of the most consummate scoundrels that ever crept from the brain of a political juggler; a fellow who thrusts his hand into the pocket of honest industry or enterprising talent, and squanders their hard-earned profits on profligate idleness or indolent stupidity.
L. LANGSTAFF, attributed, Day's Collacon
I have no respect for the passion of equality, which seems to me merely idealizing envy.
OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, Holmes-Laski Letters
It is not true that equality is a law of nature. Nature has made nothing equal; her sovereign law is subordination and dependence.
LUC DE CLAPIERS, Réflexions et Maximes
All men are equal: it is not birth, but virtue alone, that makes the difference.
VOLTAIRE, attributed, Day's Collacon
Nothing is so unequal as equality.
PLINY THE ELDER, attributed, Day's Collacon
Come forward, some great marshal, and organize equality in society, and your rod shall swallow up all the juggling old court gold-sticks.
WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY, The Book of Snobs
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1
I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers.
MAHATMA GANDHI, attributed, The Photographer's Vision
What is life without liberty; and what is liberty without equality of rights?
ERNESTINE L. ROSE, History of Woman Suffrage
All men are born equal, but some of them outgrow it.
EVAN ESAR, 20,000 Quips & Quotes
Never, till woman stands side by side with man, his equal in the eye of the law as well as the Creator, will the high destiny of the race be accomplished.
C. L. SHOLES, The Liberator, May 1856
- Among unequals what society
- Can sort, what harmony, or true delight?
JOHN MILTON, Paradise Lost
Men are made by nature unequal. It is vain, therefore, to treat them as if they were equal.
JAMES ANTHONY FROUDE, Short Studies on Great Subjects
We live in a system that espouses merit, equality, and a level playing field, but exalts those with wealth, power, and celebrity, however gained.
DERRICK A. BELL, Ethical Ambition
The first great political truth to be impressed on the minds of our youth is, that they are born free, and that no acts of legislation should deprive them of perfect equality in rights. This principle will constantly stimulate those of humble birth to compete with with favorites of fortune, and teach them that without personal merit, no one can have just claims to honorable distinction.
ISAAC S. SMITH, letter, Sep. 29, 1836
We are all brothers under the skin - and I, for one, would be willing to skin humanity to prove it.
AYN RAND, The Fountainhead
Equality is the life of conversation; and he is as much out who assumes to himself any part above another, as he who considers himself below the rest of the society.
RICHARD STEELE, The Tatler, No. 225
The only place where you can find equality is in the cemetery.
EVAN ESAR, 20,000 Quips & Quotes