“Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville
Equality is one of these words people use without realizing that their are two distinct paths to two different meanings. The first is the liberal path towards social justice making people equal in servtude. The conservative definition strives for equality in liberty or equality under the law.
When you read or hear the word "equality," do you associate it with liberty, servitude or something else?
Do we really want equality either of opportunity or outcome or does it just sound good for a society to argue it as in the debate over entitlements. Are their equality of entitlements or are they decided by characteristics such as skin color and sex?
As I understand it the most powerful societal motive is prestige and equality nullifies prestige.
John Adams wrote: "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
We are educated so who needs the religious and moral influence? What sort of education deals with the problem of prestige other than religious influence?
Equality for the truly religious person as Siumone describes is the recognition that we are out of balance as some would call sinners. So it is silly for one idiot to call another idiot, an idiot, if we are all idiots. We share the equality and human diversity of idiotism. Obviously this is insulting and unacceptable. People have been killed for less. But without being a slave to prestige, the question of justice vs mercy would resolve itself. But the sad truth is that society as a whole is now incapable of it."The combination of these two facts — the longing in the depth of the heart for absolute good, and the power, though only latent, of directing attention and love to a reality beyond the world and of receiving good from it — constitutes a link which attaches every man without exception to that other reality.
Whoever recognizes that reality recognizes also that link. Because of it, he holds every human being without any exception as something sacred to which he is bound to show respect.
This is the only possible motive for universal respect towards all human beings. Whatever formulation of belief or disbelief a man may choose to make, if his heart inclines him to feel this respect, then he in fact also recognizes a reality other than this world's reality. Whoever in fact does not feel this respect is alien to that other reality also." ~ Simone Weil