Liberty And Equality

2162 Words 9 Pages
Liberty and equality are two of the most important principles in politics, as they are part of the foundation of our society. Equality and freedom have generally been portrayed as two conflicting concepts, mainly because in order to achieve equality redistribution of resources is necessary and this would inevitably interfere with the liberty of those who have an abundance of resources and wealth. However, after a closer examination we can see that in many cases an increase in equality results in an increase in freedom as well. The negative and positive explanations of freedom imply that inequality can actually be a restraint of freedom because it limits one 's autonomy. In addition, the distinction between individual and social liberty can …show more content…
The word equality possesses more than one meaning and some of the discussions and controversies around it arise mainly because the term is used with different connotations. According to Williams, all people are human beings and equal in that they belong to the species of homo sapiens, can speak a language, live in societies, use tools and so on. This serves as a reminder that people are also alike in other aspects that are more likely to be forgotten, like the ability to feel pain or affection for others. However, in some societies these characteristics are neglected in the case of some, treating them as though they do not possess these characteristics and neglect the moral claims that arise from them. Tawney, on the other hand, also emphasizes the importance of economic equality. In his view a community requires a common culture, which must rest upon practical foundations of social organization. Sharp contrasts between the economic standards and educational opportunities of different classes lead to resentment, on one hand ,and arrogance, on the other, rather than to a common culture. Therefore, a community requires a large measure of economic equality. This does not refer to an identical income but to equality of environment, access to education and the means of civilization, security and …show more content…
They argue in favour of the right to life and the right to property. However, in the libertarian view the right to life does not refer to a right to receive goods and resources from others in order to preserve one 's live, but simply the right not to have one 's live interfered with or ended by other individual. The same applies to the libertarian 's right to property. It is the right not to be interfered with regarding goods and resources acquired legitimately, and not the right to receive goods and resources necessary for one 's welfare. Therefore, in a condition of economic inequality, where the rich have more than enough to satisfy their basic needs and the poor lack the resources necessary to meet their basic needs, libertarians argue that the rich have the liberty to use their resources to satisfy their luxury needs, with the consequence that the basic needs of the poor will not be met. They believe that in this case the liberty of the poor is not at stake and so the rich should not be required to sacrifice their liberty. When the conflict between the rich and the poor is viewed as a conflict of liberties, we must determine which liberty is morally enforceable, that of the poor or that of the rich. The “ought” implies “can” principle claims that the liberty of the poor, which is the liberty not to be

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