Western societies adopted a belief in universal human equality only after many centuries of intellectual and cultural evolution. The West owes its egalitarian outlook to Jewish and Christian ideas about human dignity, and to Enlightenment-era thinkers who built on those ideas to make their case for limiting the use of state power to enforce particular notions of correct thinking.

Peter J. Hill is the George F. Bennett Professor Emeritus of Business and Economics at Wheaton College.
Culture and SocietyEconomic InequalityEconomyGovernment and PoliticsLaw and LibertyPhilosophy and ReligionPolitical Theory
Other Independent Review articles by Peter J. Hill
Spring 2024 Pricing the Priceless: A History of Environmental Economics
Summer 2022 Free Enterprise Environmentalism
Spring 2020 The Keynesian Revolution and Our Empty Economy: We’re All Dead
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