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Liberty vs Equality.docx

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CAS PH 155
James Schmidt

Research, Topics to Consider and beAware Of, Liberty v. Equality Liberty v Equality:  US government founded on principle of equality of rights (Declaration of Independence, Locke’s Two Treatises of Government)  Locke: self-preservation, liberty, and property  Jefferson: life, liberty, pursuit of happiness • Equal rights, unequal results: o Right: the authority to choose the means necessary to life and to happiness; liberty and property o Exercising liberty results in: inequalities in wealth, knowledge, status, political office o These inequalities may seem to violate the basic equality in rights, BUT if they stem from the proper use of liberty they are an outgrowth of our equal freedom to pursue happiness (different talents lead to different results when we are all equally free to use talents) • How equality may conflict with liberty: o Between equal rights and unequal results (arise from freely exercising these rights) o Comes from respect and love for equality in rights, this makes us believe that our national goal is to secure such equality, BUT to secure equality would be to DENY people the freedom to pursue their rights whenever that freedom resulted in inequality • Equal rights do not subordinate to equal results o Equal rights; naturally just, key to creating prosperity that will benefit all o When each is free to pursue his or her abilities to the fullest under a representative democracy, the intended result is an explosion of skill and ingenuity that by any Research, Topics to Consider and beAware Of, Liberty v. Equality historical standard vastly increases common wealth and
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