The title of this article comes, of course, from Orwell’s Animal Farm. Originally, all animals were declared equal, once the humans were expelled, but as time passed and the veneer wore off, the pigs took on greater privileges. What has me thinking about this is a picture that I saw on the Internet a while back:
But let’s consider a number of points:
1. It appears that those children didn’t buy tickets to the game. But someone is paying for it. And someone probably spent money for those boxes, at least in the making of them.
2. In the real world, unless the two smaller children have some means of compelling cooperation of the largest one, he likely takes all three boxes and gets to sit down while the other two get nothing.
3. The image of justice here presumes that all three children wish to watch the game. What if a child prefers soccer or fishing or reading a book?
4. And what if the desire to see the game leads a child to devise a crane or a balloon or something even better to rise above the fence?
The point here is that justice is too often seen as making sure everyone gets to the same result. But as we’ve seen many times in history, that ends up being a society in which most people struggle along at a low level, while a few enjoy the blessings of power.
Now I’ve addressed before the idea of how government should create opportunity for all. In summary, my idea is that in some things–healthcare, for example–equality does mean justice. We’re all human, and so we have basically the same needs in a few areas. But in so much, we are individuals and must be free to develop as we are able and choose to grow.