Equality and the Necessary Preconditions to Political Life

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Table of Contents

  • Equality and Inequality
  • Nature of the Human
  • Preconditions to Political Life
  • Options for Equality

By understanding and defining the conditions of equality, this will help define what are the preconditions for political life. Through the careful analyzation of equality and inequality, the nature of the human, and options for equality, we will learn how equality is a necessary precondition to political life.

Equality and Inequality

Equality: In order to answer the question, we need to first determine what we are trying to determine as equality. As Sen stated, “equality of what?”. If we don’t understand what we are comparing, we cannot determine if it isn’t needed for political life. It is clearly put by Sen as, “We cannot begin to defend or criticize equality without knowing what on earth we are talking about. ” Are we trying to determine equality of our: income, gender, race, property, achievements, education, or health? Should that be a precondition of political life? There are many issues to consider when trying to determine if equality should be a precondition for a political life.

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Conditions of Equality: When determining the conditions of equality, you need to look at the environment to determine their needs. In comparing different parts of the world, what is considered wealth and poverty are never equal to other parts of the world. You cannot compare the environment, resources, and human needs since they are all different.

Inequality: We as humans need to define and understand what is meant by inequality in order to determine if equality is a precondition of political life. But as Rousseau states, “How shall we know the source of inequality between men, if we do not begin by knowing mankind”. The way to do this is to understand what makes humans unequal. At first glance, it would be our age, body, gender, or race which are our natural inequalities. Then there are other conventional differences, such as wealth, health, education, and beliefs. But this asks the question, do these really make us unequal?

Conditions of Inequality: When determining conditions of inequality, you also need to look at the environment in which people live. You must understand the resources that are available to them to determine their actual needs. “Inequalities in different spaces can be different from each other depending on interpersonal variations in the relations between these district variables”. So, being unequal doesn’t matter is you consider these factors. If some people have less than others, that doesn’t mean we aren’t being treated unfairly or unequal. “It’s not that everyone should have the same but that each should have enough

Nature of the Human

Human Character: The only way to really determine equality is to only be concerned with the human nature of the person and nothing else. It’s the human character of the person that matters, not how much money and power they have since “our physical and social characteristics make us immensely diverse creatures. ”If we only concern ourselves with the personality traits of a person, then we will find their true character. We will never be able to equalize all human needs and wants because we are all different and “the minute we apply equality to outcomes in any way, things get complicated”. When things get complicated and people get angry, fights break out and sometimes lead to war.

Who has Right to Rule: Everyone should also have the same rights and freedom to rule if they so choose. As explained in the reading of Hume and Rousseau, if force takes over to rule then it’s an, “act of necessity, not will – at the most, an act of prudence. ” So, it is important to agree upon a government, led by a ruler that forces us all to abide by a set of rules that the majority of people, agree upon. This does not mean we are unequal if we don’t agree on all laws, but it forces us to all get along. Without an established government and rules for humans to abide by there would be absolute chaos, with no equality and war amongst everyone. The most powerful would then take over and there will be no social order. As Rousseau states, “social order is the foundation of all other rights, but it is not man’s natural condition”.

Preconditions to Political Life

Therefore, the preconditions to political life are not just a matter of equality, the human character should be considered first. We need to look at the human being not what he or she has, but what is theirs: education, experience, personality, goals, value, and expectations. What benefits can people provide to our society to bring peace, happiness, and equality? And if we can’t satisfy all human needs then we need to satisfy the majority of the population. One should agree that all men and woman are to be treated equally and fairly as stated in the Jeffersonian Equality, “everyone is equally human”. Equality does not entail how wealthy you are, what you own, or who you know. It is about valuing everyone’s opinion and being a human being who can support our country for the greater good of all human needs. The more important issues to consider as a condition of political life are education, experience, and the personal characteristics in which define the true human being.

Options for Equality

What does Equality Entail: As Nozick tells us, “there are only a few ways to attempt to provide equality: by directly worsening the situation of those more favored with opportunity, or by improving the situation of those less well-favored. ” There is no guarantee that by doing either of these things would make anyone equal. We all have different needs, wants and values. If you were to provide the same income to each person; as a result, each person’s needs, wants, and abilities would differ. Not everyone’s knowledge, lifestyle, and education are the same. Therefore, people would all end up living vastly different. There is no perfect way to live, perfection and needs are specific to each individual. So, equality really entails the ability to achieve your own happiness, goals, and dreams; despite, your age, race, gender, heritage, beliefs, values, or wealth. Of course, all this is according to how hard you work. By becoming happy and satisfied with what you have you eliminate the comparison of yourself to what others may have. Jeffersonian Equality states that “It’s not about what you have, it is about what you are. ”

We only need to be concerned about what we need for our own personal happiness and well-being to feel equal. By understanding equality and inequality, this enables us to fully understand what is necessary for the preconditions of political life. It is not about determining if a person believes in the same values of equality as each person, because equality is different for everyone. It is not about comparing and matching our possessions, wealth, or education to make us equal. As Sen states, “do not depend upon our incomes but also on the variety of physical and social characteristics that effect our lives and make us what we are. ” No matter what we do, no one will ever agree upon equality. The values, strengths, and characteristics of a human-being are the most important conditions for a position in political life. Equality is about supporting our country for the greater good of all human needs and desires.

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