We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It depends on what one means by "equality," doesn't it?
Equality under law is the most important form of equality, and is remarkably standard now in Western nations. Equality of opportunity is important too. Equality of personal attributes, along with wealth and power, are another matter.
Equality is a difficult subject to discuss, because it makes the assumption that "equality" exists as a concept; which it does not. There is no such thing as equality because the concept contains too many potential elements to define. Does it mean equal happiness? Or equal money? Or equal freedom? It can mean any of those things; therefore it's meaningless.
It would be much better to offer people liberty; and leave it at that. But even that term doesn't mean equal freedom under the law. It means reasonable freedom; depending on who you are; and where you come from. The amount of liberty to which any person is entitled is dependent upon where he was born, the circumstances of his birth, and his physical and intellectual capacity. For example, a recent immigrant would naturally be granted less liberty than someone who was born in this country. And a child born out of wedlock would be entitled to less liberty than a child born to married parents.
Liberty is contingent upon intellectual fitness, and social legitimacy; neither of which black people have. But black women don't like these restrictions, so they have renamed political liberty as "civil rights." In reality, there is no such thing as civil rights. Black people try to argue that they are not subject to the rules of conduct which apply to everyone else. They can spread HIV, have children out of wedlock, commit violent crime, sell drugs; and yet still claim to be socially legitimate. But that's simply not true. Black people are illegitimate; and also intellectually inferior. For these reasons, they shouldn't even exist.
But blacks claim that they are entitled to rights and privileges that don't match public opinion because civil rights are not contingent upon the attitudes of other people. Civil Rights, they claim, come directly from God. But of course that's not true. If put to a public vote, civil rights would disappear tommorow: nobody would give black people a dime. The point here being that the only source of moral authority is man's opinion. Not some government edict. But governments try to pretend that they are moral agents, so they have the right to interfere in people's lives, and to levy taxes for "social engineering." Nothing could be farther from the truth.
The only job of the government is to grant some degree of liberty. Success comes from one's fellow man.
Blick, I don't think that I'm prejudiced. My opinion is based on reality. But I'm glad that you mentioned "Mob Rule." That term is a misnomer, if ever I've heard one. Some people also call it "The tyranny of the majority."
Listen: Majority rule is how democracy works. People who claim that the government must intervene to protect the rights of minorities are anti-democratic. I'll give you an example. When Obama was elected President, there was another issue on the ballot: Homosexual Marriage. The people of California voted against homosexual marriage by a wide margin. But the referendum was overturned by a Judge, who claimed that he was "protecting the rights of a minority."
In my opinion, issues should be decided by referendum.
Public opinion is the source of law: not the government.
Do you think that people would vote for reparations?
Envy is such a juvenile emotion. I remember as a kid thinking things were "not fair" but of course life isn't fair. Some people are good looking, some tall, some rich. What counts is what you do with what you have: do you squander your talents and time and end up in jail or drunk? Or do you make something of yourself? Think of Danny DeVito, one truly ugly high successful actor. Or Arnold Swarznegger who never could overcome his accent and inability to act and still became rich and governor. He was literally self-made. The lazy person prefers to just stick with the "unfair" idea.
What is lacking in such jealous attitudes is that anyone can lead a rich life full of meaning...if they choose to.
I am a "citizenist," in that those who are citizens of a place should be as equal before the law and in opportunity as possible. Those living here legally have slightly fewer permissions, but those they do have should be as strong. Those here as visitors have rights and some equalities, though lesser still, and those here without permission have few rights, though not none.
I agree that there is not merely a tension between freedom and equality, but some contradiction and competition. The linked article is quite provoking, and I think I will link to it myself. Barrister, could you write yourself a note to repost this next year? It grabs one by the shirt-collars, and is worth revisiting.
Assistant Village Idiot
The moment we have one specific/identifiable group excused from the process of law in this country is when we have lost not only equality, but safety for the individual. WE lost that many years ago.
Currently all of the special interest groups in the U.S. play a two faced game where they demand equal outcome under the guise of equal treatment. But when it suits them they demand and rely on special treatment as befitting their status as a special and more equal group. As it exists today equality in the U.S. is a farce and those most defending the status quo and making the "equality" argument are the biggest recipients of the special treatment