Equality of Opportunity is Not Enough

freedom this time

libertyequalityfraternity

When exactly did equality become a dirty word? Or at least, become so laden with suspicions of its harbouring some lurking despotism? It seems for a long time that greater material equality was regarded as a natural, almost irrefutable, demand for any progressive social movement to make – “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” was the slogan of the French Revolution, for example. Adam Smith regarded the desire for equal material conditions as a natural desire of mankind, which only legal coercion founded upon violence could suppress, stating in his Lectures on Jurisprudence that:

“Laws and government may be considered in this and indeed in every case as a combination of the rich to oppress the poor, and to preserve to themselves the inequality of the goods which would otherwise be soon destroyed by the attacks of the poor, who if not hindered by the government would soon reduce the others to an…

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