What could possibly be wrong with the concept of equality? C. S. Lewis shows us that it has its boundaries, and he also reveals its darker underside. Here are his thoughts, taken from two separate essays:
When equality is treated not as a medicine or a safety-gadget but as an ideal we begin to breed that stunted and envious sort of mind which hates all superiority. . . .
The demand for equality has two sources; one of them is among the noblest, the other the basest, of human emotions. The noble source is the desire for fair play. But the other source is the hatred of superiority. . . .
Equality . . . is a purely social conception. It applies to man as a political and economic animal. It has no place in the world of the mind. Beauty is not democratic; she reveals herself more to the few than to the many, more to the persistent and disciplined seekers than to the careless. Virtue is not democratic; she is achieved by those who pursue her more hotly than most men.
Truth is not democratic; she demands special talents and special industry in those to whom she gives her favours. Political democracy is doomed if it tries to extend its demand for equality into these higher spheres. Ethical, intellectual, or aesthetic democracy is death.