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Equality and liberty (Essay Sample)

Equality and Liberty: Discuss the philosophical debate between the ideas of equality and liberty that took place throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, detailing at least one thinker from each side. source..
The philosophical debate between the ideas of equality and liberty that took place throughout the 19th and 20th centuries
Introduction: Equality and liberty
Liberty can be referred to as the innate capability of an individual to choose his destiny. Declaration of independence emphasizes on life, pursuit of happiness and liberty but it does not advocate for equality (King 11). For instance, America was founded on liberty not equality and the difference between equality and liberty is huge. However, it is a matter of fact that all men were created equal but what they practice in their lives after creation is the one that makes them look less equal. In great details, liberty is a political and moral principle that distinguishes the condition by which individuals are capable of governing themselves, are able to behave according to the way they feel and are able to be responsible for their actions.
On the other hand, equality means that all individuals should be treated equally. Equality ensures that all opportunities should be accessible to all participants and that even the disadvantaged groups should not be discriminated. All individuals should be given an equal opportunity regardless of gender, race, religion or ethnicity. In addition, vacancies for advancements should be open to all people who are interested and all people should have equal chances to compete in whichever field they are in or which they want to compete and participate. However, all people are equal before the law and they should be judged equally and fair judgment should be enhanced. However, during the 19th and 20th century, there were those who were for equality and others were for liberty and this attracted heated debates among many scholars who tried to support their point of view (Waldron 16).
Proponents of equality and liberty: socialists
During 19th and 20th century, there was great struggle for equality in the sense that the propagators of this view felt that all individuals were created equally and hence should have equal rights. According to sociologist Rousseau in his social contract theory, he argued that there can not be democracy in a society where there were great intense of poverty and wealth meaning that some people lived with great wealth whereas other were languishing in poverty (Waldron 187). During the 19th century, workers in farms of the nobles were exploited and their incomes were meager when compare to the value of work they did. The working conditions were inhuman in that they were over populated in the factories and this led to spread of diseases which could even lead to deaths in the long run.
In addition, there was pollution from industries and they received little portions of food when they worked in factories which were of low quality. Those who were advocating for equality tried to negotiate for maximum wages and requested for a ban on trade unions which were also a hindrance to t...
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