Hayek states “Nothing, however, is more damaging to the demand for equal treatment than to base it on so obviously untrue as assumption as that of the factual inequality of all men” (86). I can’t help but recall Atticus Finch’s monologue from To Kill a Mockingbird where he is saying that all men are not created equally but there is one place where they should be treated equally which is in a court of Law; ironically Harper Lee published To Kill a Mockingbird the same year Hayek published The Constitution of Liberty, perhaps they knew each other, or perhaps this is simply just not a new thought.
I find it depressing that Hayek thinks that the “equality before the law which freedom requires leads to material inequality” (87). I find it depressing because I think I agree with him. I guess I am just the type of person who wants to have her cake and eat it too… Why can’t equality be a two way street? Why (as Hayek points out multiple times) does equality in one area lead to inequality in the other… My interpretation of chapter 6 is that while the state can enforce equality as far as minimal laws and government are concerned, the state cannot enforce material equality without taking away personal freedom.
But is there a point where the government should step and say, this is just to much of a disproportionate distribution of monetary wealth? I understand when Hayek argues to the extreme side of government manipulation of equality, but is there a point in the middle where it is okay?