Liberty, equality, fraternity

Darren, you asked what happened to that tripartite motto of the French revolution, Liberte, Egailite, Fraternite. (Please forgive an old man of but slight computer-literacy the absence of the correct accents.)

Allow me to correct you and to contradict M Robespierre. There were not, are not now and are unklikely ever to be any such qualities of human existence as Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.

'Liberty' consists of being able to do anything that does not harm others. The exercise of the natural rights of every man or woman has no bounds other than those that guarantee other members of society the enjoyment of these same rights. Nonsense. When (if) I exercise my religion I, by definition insult that of others. You don't have to travel nearly as far as the desert sands of the Middle East to know the truth of that. Harm? When my bank hands me a million pound bonus that money comes not from fresh air. It is a part of the national cash pot. When I take from it a pound someone somewhere loses one, is therefore 'harmed'. Etcetera ...

I am not and you are not at liberty to do as you please, whether or not your action 'harms others'. Big brother dictates what harms others when it really means that which harms itself, Big Brother, the system that forgot its origins in the Magna Carta. That is why there are damn near as many spy cameras as people. That is why we are all so encased within rules, regulations, papers, cyber identifications etc etc. There is no liberty.
'Equality' was defined by the 1789 French Declaration as: The law "must be the same for all, whether it protects or punishes. All citizens, being equal in its eyes, shall be equally eligible to all high offices, public positions and employments, according to their ability, and without other distinction than that of their virtues and talents."  Ridiculous, Darren. Each of us is defined by our virtue and talent, the whole bundle of them being unique and different and therefore as unequal as is our physical appearance. Furthermore I recognise you because you look different to others and to me and are thereby unequal. In any case this legal definition is much, much too narrow.

On the other hand Thomas Jefferson's is much, much too broad: "All men are created equal" (American Declaration of Independence) No two members of the same species are born equal, even leaving out the obvious differences of gender. Was Einstein equal to Adoplh Hitler? Me to the genuine Socrates or to Usain Bolt? Jefferson's lovely phrase was and remains just a classic piece of crooked thinking. One in which he could not possibly have believed, himself.

'Equality of opportunity' is the latest political qualification of that 'equality' word. Realistically there can be no such thing. I won't be insulting you by explaining why. You know why. 

'Fraternity'. Lovely idea, Darren, but completely foreign to the human experience. Brother loves not brother nor sister, sister outside of the family context. We are regettably all much better at hating than loving, much happier to take up arms than to smoke the pipe of peace. Take a look at the jolly faces of those men in the trenches of WW1. Take a look at the satisfaction on the face of The Dear Leader, having just exploded his latest 'Weapon of Mass Destruction'. i.e. Device intended to bring about the deaths of many, many of your (so-called) 'brothers,'  perhaps including you and me. Fraternity?

Footnote: that real Democates of ancient times was purported (by these latter generations) to have conceived the 'democracy' under which we live and under which our governments invariably take shelter when setting out to kill or imprison thoser who disagree with them. 'One person one vote' etc. That real Democrates would have been most puzzled. The democracy that he suggested and that was adopted by his Grecian State was only equal amongst the ruling elite - the patricians. The majority of the populace, the so-called plebeians, had no vote and no status whatsoever. Just as, today, our votes are illusory, without meaning other than to keep us nice and quiet. Just as the vast majority has no real status, which may be just as well. So it would seem to me that the purpose of the French Revolution back in 1793 was also illusory.


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