- Capitalism and Alternatives -

What do you hold greater? freedom or equality?

Posted by: Niblet the Space Chicken on December 20, 1999 at 15:37:29:

The biggest issue that needs to be decided with any social system is what is to be held to be most important - freedom or equality, for surely to hold one higher is to degrade the other.

The higher the freedom in a particular system, the less equal there will be (depending on what gauge you measure equality - money, intellegence, physical attributes). Example - two people pursue the same role in society (which they are completely free to do), but due to some personal attribute one of them is better at that role, and as a result that person is held in higher esteem and may even recieve greater rewards than the other (they are not treated equally because one is better at their job than another).

Equality, if that is the goal of the society, reduces freedom. The society is equal, with people fulfilling roles that would normally left for others. The freedom to pursue whatever pastime is almost nil. Also, if the roles are not assigned with care, genius for a paricular role can be crushed under the weight of performing a task which that individual is not suited.

Barry Stoller (and others who share his views) seems to hold equality as the greatest attribute of his system. Others may hold freedom as the greater. But realise that you cannot have complete freedom with complete equality and vice versa.

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