Equality is a slogan based on envy. It signifies in the heart of every republican: “Nobody is going to occupy a place higher than I.”
There is, in fact, a manly and lawful passion for equality which excites men to wish all to be powerful and honored. This passion tends to elevate the humble to the rank of the great; but there exists also in the human heart a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to attempt to lower the powerful to their own level, and reduces men to prefer equality in slavery to inequality with freedom.
—Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy In America