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Posts Tagged ‘goals’

“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal…”

“…one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” 

I have frequently heard those on the political left (those leaning towards a big government, socialism, and Marxism) accusing their counterparts on the right (limited government, constitutional rule, free market proponents) of the social and political sins of discrimination and injustice.  That is to say that they, with Karl Marx, acknowledge a difference of situation between men and seek someone and some idea to blame.  If all men are created equal, why do we have a government that allows so many men to have less than other men?  Why are there people living below the poverty rate and millionaires within mere miles of each other, all under the same government?  Shouldn’t we observe equality? 

On the other hand, people like me who identify themselves as conservatives and capitalists consider equality and justice to be a matter of opportunity and consequences.  One of the most vivid examples of ancient history that I still remember to this day is Hammurabi’s code.  In a public place he wrote all the laws of the country on a pillar, and those laws applied to everyone, small and great.  Each man knew what to expect from his government.  That is the nature of a constitutional republic such as ours; it is bound by laws, and most judgment is not retroactive.  Justice, you’ll remember, is depicted as blind scales: the same to everyone. 

Why then is there inequality, if everyone has the same chance and the same consequences?  The answer is that each man begins equal, but not every man makes the most of those opportunities.  Not every man even has the same goals.  For example, liberal Americans may believe that the equal thing would be to send everyone to college.  But I don’t want to go to college; I want to go to the library.  My goal is not a doctorate, while one of my best friends is eager to have “Dr.” behind her name.  Likewise, I do not care to be a millionaire.  Rather, I wish to be a friend.  That I spend more of my time on relationships than on commerce should be no concern of my government, though it will leave an inequality of assets between myself and Bill Gates. 

Some people, in exercising their liberty, make choices that preclude them from future choices.  The choice to do drugs means you can’t be hired by the postal service until you are clean.  Too many speeding tickets will relieve you of the choice to drive.  Entering into a contract to buy something prevents you from spending that money on something else.  Created equal means you have the right to do your best and to experience the consequences of your actions. 

So I contend that it is the Left which denies that beloved proposition that all men are created equal.  If men are left to equal opportunities, yet there remains a disparity between them and the above explanations are denied, the only option left is to say that the men were not created equal; that it is rather the responsibility of the government, to make them equal. 

 Whomever the liberal government proposes to specially help, they are admitting that they believe these groups to have been created (or born) unequal, requiring special assistance from the stronger and smarter and wealthier classes.  Who then discriminates?  And who is on the side of justice for all? 

 To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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