All Men Are Created Equal [?]



This is not a piece talking about equality in cultural movements (modern feminism, affirmative actions etc.). That is for an entirely different day and entirely specific topics.

But we are, however, talking about a certain case of equality. Or should I say perceived equality, because that’s how the world is becoming comfortable. We often hear “everyone is equal”, “all men are created equal” or “everyone should be treated the same”. There is of course also the more practical side of that phrase: “everyone is born free and equal”. One of those phrases of course is a quote from Thomas Jefferson, declaring his rights to everyone while having slaves. It has ever since caught onto to be one of the most influential democratic idea ever to swept the Earth. Some say it is entirely what democracy is based on. After all, if everyone is not equal, how can the voice of the people matter?

Do not worry, as the voice of the people matters quite a lot, just not in the sense people would like to think it does. Simply put, having the people on their side means they can be rich and powerful, as the people dictates the market quite heavily. It is simply a matter of interests. However, if we are talking about equality in political expenditure, then there simply isn’t any. Still, this is already getting quite a bit off topic, so I’ll leave it alone for now.

Going back to the concept for a moment: ‘all men are created equal’. I’m not going to be pedantic and take these words as he only means male human beings, but instead humankind. If that is the case, then it simply does not make sense. In what possible way is everyone born equal? People have defining traits as they are born. There are so many things simply determined by what can only be defined as a simple luck of the draw. What race, ethnicity, gender, sex, or even hometown, condition, time one is born into is completely out of one’s own choices, and are certainly not equal in any way, shape or form. More so when the process of growing up is then determined largely by the parents, laws and social norm of the respective local society. None of this is like any other, nor at all the same. This isn’t even talking about genetics, or disabilities of any kind. Every person is a unique combination of all of these characteristics, and they are not the same by any stretch of the imagination. Society doesn’t treat them the same, nor does nature. So this idea of equality at birth has never been more than political propaganda. It might not be very easy to listen to, but that’s just how reality is.

So, what does this actually mean in context? Well, if everyone is not born equal, how come they are given the same rights at birth? There are arguments for this, of course, being that these basic rights are given to us simply by the fact that we were born human, and not because we are born the same. “All human beings are born free, equal in dignity and rights” said the UN. I, for one, am fine with these rights (freedom, dignity and the pursuit of happiness) being given as universal, as there simply has not been anything capable of proving that someone is inherently undeserving of these rights as they are born. However, people’s ‘rights’ often extend far beyond these basic concepts, as each country and even territory gives its own set of laws, defining more to those in their respective region. This does not make sense, as human rights cannot simply be pick and choose, but that’s essentially what everyone is used to. I believe they are nothing more than ‘temporary privileges’, to quote the late George Carlin, simply because those of authorities are so eager and ready to take them away just as soon as the opportunity presents itself. Thus, far too many rights are nothing more than a farce, given to the people to make them think they have a stretch of freedom. It is, however, excellent marketing.

This also brings us to an interesting point. If everyone is not equal as they are: they are not working the same job, knowing the same things, making the same decisions, thinking about the same problems, and striving for the better of the word, why is it so important that their votes count the same? In fact, in a perfect world of democracy, why is one with the most influence have the same influence as everyone else, flat? In such a perfect world, it is far easier and more logical to imagine that a choice voted for by the masses will not be because of its quality or virtues, but simply because of its advertising. Furthermore, in reality, the opinions, interests and choices of those with a following matters far more than a random person on the street; whether it be through actual illegal vote-rigging, bribery or just a simply Facebook post telling their followers how to vote. That’s simply how the world works, yet the illusion of a true democracy is still retained. I find this fact extremely fascinating.

It was not difficult to find a picture of a math symbol.


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