12 Observations On Equality And What It Means

12 Observations On Equality And What It Means

Most people, when referring to the subject of equality, actually mean “social equality.”

This is a state of affairs in which all people within a specific society have the same status in certain respects. At the very least, social equality includes equal rights under the law, such as security, voting rights, freedom of speech and assembly, property rights, and equal access to social goods and services

Some believe that it should also include concepts of health equity, economic equality and other social securities. It also includes equal opportunities and obligations, and so involves the whole of society.

In some societies the obsession with equality is a function of the current climate of “political correctness,” which is in conflict with George Orwell’s wry observation that “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” in his allegorical story Animal Farm.

Ben Stein defines equality by saying “We are not supposed to be all equal. Let’s just forget that. We are supposed to have equal rights under law. If we do that, we have done enough.”

The oft quoted phrase “all men are born equal” might have more meaning if it said instead “all people are born equal.” But are either of those statements true in reality?

History, and what actually happens in the “real world,” would appear to dispute that.

Here are another 10 quotes about what some others think about equality:

Alexis de Tocqueville:

Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

Alexis de Tocqueville Americans are enamored of equality

Abraham Lincoln:

Four score 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.

J. K. Rowling:

If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.

J. K. Rowling Equality


The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.

Sonia Sotomayor:

Until we get equality in education, we won’t have an equal society.

Sonia Sotomayor equality in education

Frances Wright:

Equality is the soul of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without it.

George Mason:

We came equals into this world, and equals shall we go out of it.

George Mason We came equals into this world

David Allan Coe:

All men are created equal, it is only men themselves who place themselves above equality.

Arthur Ashe:

You learn about equality in history and civics, but you find out life is not really like that.

Arthur Ashe equality in reality

Shirley Chisholm:

The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says: It’s a girl.

David Horowitz has suggested that socialism, a system advocating social equality, played a significant part in 20th Century murder and torture under dictators in the USSR, Maoist China and Cambodia.

What do you feel about the concept of equality? Will it always remain an unattainable ideal?

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