Plato and Equality

Plato-raphaelI was reading Plato’s The Laws (again) and I noticed how certain concepts will impact me while others are read but no real internalization takes place at that time.  Recently I took notice to Plato’s critique-if you will- of equality in Athenian democracy.  Plato writes, “Indiscriminate equality for all amounts to inequality, and both fill a state with quarrels between its citizens.”

That’s fascinating especially when you think of democracy today in America.  We champion equality but no one feels like they are being treated fairly or equally.  Individuals with the drive to prosper feel as if the efforts are in vain because of government mandates and excessive taxation causing their efforts to be non-profitable.  Conversely those less fortunate blame the successful for their lack of profitability.  The result is a vicious cycle of various groups all claiming inequality.

What’s the answer?  Well for Plato it is an order that follows from a natural law theory but that’s a story for another blog post.