Equality is equal treatment of people irrespective of social or cultural differences.


  • I do not demand equal pay for any women save those who do equal work in value. Scorn to be coddled by your employers; make them understand that you are in their service as workers, not as women.
  • For we are not all equally afflicted with the same disease or all in need of the same severe cure. This is the reason why we see different persons disciplined with different crosses. The heavenly Physician takes care of the well-being of all his patients; he gives some a milder medicine and purifies others by more shocking treatments, but he omits no one; for the whole world, without exception, is ill (Deut 32:15).
    • John Calvin, pg. 55 Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life
  • It is not true that equality is a law of nature. Nature has made nothing equal; her sovereign law is subordination and dependence.
  • We all subscribe to the principle of religious liberty and toleration and equality of rights. This principle is in accordance with the fundamental law of the land. It is the very spirit of the American Constitution. We all recognize and admit that it ought to be put into practical operation. We know that every argument of right and reason requires such action. Yet in time of stress and public agitation we have too great a tendency to disregard this policy and indulge in race hatred, religious intolerance, and disregard of equal rights. Such sentiments are bound to react upon those who harbor them. Instead of being a benefit they are a positive injury.
  • Equality, in a social sense, may be divided into that of condition and that of rights. Equality of condition is incompatible with civilization, and is found only to exist in those communities that are but slightly removed from the savage state. In practice, it can only mean a common misery
  • The Elgin writer says that we shall "jeopardize the best interests of the Socialist Party" if we insist upon the political equality of the Negro. I say that the Socialist Party would be false to its historic mission, violate the fundamental principles of Socialism, deny its philosophy and repudiate its own teachings if, on account of race considerations, it sought to exclude any human being from political equality and economic freedom. Then, indeed, would it not only "jeopardize" its best interests, but forfeit its very life, for it would soon be scorned and deserted as a thing unclean, leaving but a stench in the nostrils of honest men.
  • Legislation to apply the principle of equal pay for equal work without discrimination because of sex is a matter of simple justice.
    • Dwight D. Eisenhower, annual message to the Congress on the State of the Union, January 5, 1956. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1956, p. 23. Read before a joint session of Congress by a clerk of the House of Representatives.
  • Every man of the commonalty (excepting infants, insane persons, and criminals) is, of common right, and by the laws of God, a freeman, and entitled to the free enjoyment of liberty. ...liberty or freedom consists in having an actual share in the appointment of those who are to frame the laws and who are to be the guardians of every man's life, property, and peace. For the all of one man is as dear to him as the all of another; and the poor man has an equal right, but more need to have representatives in the Legislature than the rich one. ...they who have no voice or vote in the electing of representatives, do not enjoy liberty, but are absolutely enslaved to those who have votes and their representatives; for to be enslaved is to have governors whom other men have set over us, and to be subject to laws made by the representatives of others, without having had representatives of our own to give consent in our behalf.
  • I know very well that we are not all equal, nor can be so; but it is my opinion that he who deems it important to keep aloof from the so-called rabble, in order to maintain their respect, is as much to blame as a coward who hides himself from his enemy because he fears defeat.
  • For if all things were equally in all men, nothing would be prized.
  • Those who see their lives as spoiled and wasted crave equality and fraternity more than they do freedom. If they clamor for freedom, it is but freedom to establish equality and uniformity. The passion for equality is partly a passion for anonymity: to be one thread of the many which make up a tunic; one thread not distinguishable from the others. No one can then point us out, measure us against others and expose our inferiority.
    They who clamor loudest for freedom are often the ones least likely to be happy in a free society. The frustrated, oppressed by their shortcomings, blame their failure on existing restraints. Actually, their innermost desire is for an end to the "free for all." They want to eliminate free competition and the ruthless testing to which the individual is continually subjected in a free society.
    • Eric Hoffer, The True Beliver (1951) Ch.5 The Poor, §28
  • Where freedom is real, equality is the passion of the masses. Where equality is real, freedom is the passion of a small minority.
    Equality without freedom creates a more stable social pattern than freedom without equality.
    • Eric Hoffer, The True Beliver (1951) Ch.5 The Poor, §29
  • There is a deep reassurance for the frustrated in witnessing the downfall of the fortunate and the disgrace of the righteous. They see in a general downfall an approach to the brotherhood of all. Chaos, like the grave, is a haven of equality. ...the old will have to be razed to the ground before the new can be built. Their clamor for a millennium is shot through with a hatred for all that exists, and a craving for the end of the world.
    • Eric Hoffer, The True Beliver (1951) Ch.14 Unifying Agents, §74
  • The solitude of my walk led me into a train of reflections on that unequal division of property which occasions the numberless instances of wretchedness which I had observed all over Europe. The property of this country is absolutely concentrated in a very few hands... These employ the flower of the country as servants... They employ also a great number of manufacturers and tradesmen, and lastly the class of laboring husbandmen. But after all there comes the most numerous of all classes, that is the poor who cannot find work. I asked myself what could be the reason that so many should be permitted to beg who are willing to work, in a country where there is a very considerable proportion of uncultivated lands? ...I am conscious that an equal division of property is impracticable. But the consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property, only taking care to let their subdivisions go hand in hand with the natural affections of the human mind. The descent of property of every kind therefore to all the children, or to all the brothers and sisters, or other relations in equal degree is a politic measure, and a practicable one. Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise. Whenever there is in any country uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right. The earth is given as a common stock for man to labor and live on. If for the encouragement of industry we allow it to be appropriated, we must take care that other employment be provided to those excluded from the appropriation. If we do not, the fundamental right to labor the earth returns to the unemployed. It is too soon yet in our country to say that every man who cannot find employment but who can find uncultivated land shall be at liberty to cultivate it, paying a moderate rent. But it is not too soon to provide by every possible means that as few as possible shall be without a little portion of land. The small land holders are the most precious part of a State.
  • What battles there have been to establish in a worldly way the woman in equal rights with the man – but Christianity makes only infinity’s change and therefore quietly. Outwardly the old more or less remains. The man is to be the woman’s master and she subservient to him: but inwardly everything is changed, changed by means of this little question to the woman, whether she has consulted with her conscience about having this man – as mate, for otherwise she does not get him. Yet the conscience-question about the conscience-matter makes her in inwardness before God absolutely equal with the man. What Christ said about his kingdom, that it is not of this world, holds true of everything Christian. As a higher order of things, it wants to be present everywhere but not to be seized. Just as a friendly spirit surrounds the dear ones, follows their every step but cannot be pointed to, so the essentially Christian wants to be a stranger in life because it belongs to another world. In the name of Christianity, fatuously people have fatuously been busy about making it obvious in a worldly way that the woman should be established in equal rights with the man-Christianity has never required or desired this. It has done everything for the woman, provided she Christianly will be satisfied with what is Christian; if she is unwilling, then for what she loses she gains only a mediocre compensation in the fragment of externality she can in a worldly way obtain by defiance.
  • But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal — there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is a court. It can be the Supreme Court of the United States or the humblest J.P. court in the land, or this honourable court which you serve. Our courts have their faults, as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levellers, and in our courts all men are created equal.
  • La majestueuse égalité des lois, qui interdit au riche comme au pauvre de coucher sous les ponts, de mendier dans les rues et de voler du pain.
    • The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.
    • Le Lys Rouge [The Red Lily] (1894), chapter 7. Variant: How noble the law, in its majestic equality, that both the rich and poor are equally prohibited from peeing in the streets, sleeping under bridges, and stealing bread!
  • Theirs was the task (and nobly they performed it) to possess themselves, and through themselves us, of this goodly land, and to uprear upon its hills and its valleys a political edifice of liberty and equal rights; 'tis ours only to transmit these—the former unprofaned by the foot of an invader, the latter undecayed by the lapse of time and untorn by usurpation—to the latest generation that fate shall permit the world to know.
    • Abraham Lincoln, Address before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Ill. (Jan. 27, 1837) in Abraham Lincoln: Complete Works Vol.1 Ed. John G. Nicolay & John Hay [1894]
  • When the white man governs himself, that is self-government; but when he governs himself and also governs another man, that is more than self-government — that is despotism. If the negro is a man, why then my ancient faith teaches me that "all men are created equal," and that there can be no moral right in connection with one man's making a slave of another.
    • Abraham Lincoln, Speech at Peoria, Illinois (1854)
  • Allow all the governed an equal voice in the government, and that, and that only, is self-government.
    • Abraham Lincoln, Speech at Peoria, Illinois (1854)
  • As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal except negroes." When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal except negroes and foreigners and Catholics." When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty—to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.
  • I think the authors of that notable instrument intended to include all men; but they did not intend to declare all men equal in all respects. They did not mean to say all were equal in color, size, intellect, moral developments, or social capacity. They defined with tolerable distinctness, in what respects they did consider all men created equal—equal with "certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." This they said, and this meant. They did not mean to assert the obvious untruth, that all were then actually enjoying that equality, nor yet that they were about to confer it immediately upon them. In fact, they had no power to confer such a boon. They meant simply to declare the right, so that the enforcement of it might follow as fast as circumstances should permit.
    They meant to set up a standard maxim for free society, which should be familiar to all, and revered by all; constantly looked to; constantly labored for; and even though never perfectly attained, constantly approximated; and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people of all colors everywhere. The assertion that "all men are created equal" was of no practical use in effecting our separation from Great Britain; and it was placed in the Declaration, not for that but for future use. Its authors meant it to be as, thank God, it is now proving itself, a stumbling-block to all those who, in after-times, might seek to turn a free people back into the hateful paths of despotism. They knew the proneness of prosperity to breed tyrants, and they meant when such should reappear in this fair land and commence their vocation, they should find left for them at least one hard nut to crack.
    I have now briefly expressed my view of the meaning and objects of that part of the Declaration of Independence which declares that "all men are created equal".
  • Fourscore and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
  • Among unequals what society
    Can sort, what harmony, or true delight?
  • The representatives of the people of France, formed into a National Assembly, considering that ignorance, neglect, or contempt of human rights, are the sole causes of public misfortunes and corruptions of Government, have resolved to set forth, in a solemn declaration, these natural, imprescriptible, and inalienable rights; that this declaration being constantly present to the minds of the members of the body social, they may be ever kept attentive to their rights and their duties; that the acts of the legislative and executive powers of Government, being capable of being every moment compared with the end of political institutions, may be more respected; and also, that the future claims of the citizens, being directed by simple and incontestable principles, may always tend to the maintenance of the Constitution, and the general happiness. For these reasons the National Assembly doth recognize and declare, in the presence of the Supreme Being and with the hope of his blessing and favor, the following sacred rights of men and of citizens:

    I. Men are born, and always continue, free and equal in respect of their rights. Civil distinctions, therefore, can be founded only on public utility.
  • All animals are equal
    But some animals are more equal than others
  • [E]quality is not the empirical claim that all groups of humans are interchangeable; it is the moral principle that individuals should not be judged or constrained by the average properties of their group. … If we recognize this principle, no one has to spin myths about the indistinguishability of the sexes to justify equality.
  • In regard to this principle, that all men are born free and equal, if there is an animal on earth to which it does not apply—that is not born free, it is man—he is born in a state of the most abject want, and in a state of perfect helplessness and ignorance, which is the foundation of the connubial tie…. Who should say that all the soil in the world is equally rich, the first rate land in Kentucky and the Highlands of Scotland because the superficial content of the acre is the same, would be just as right as he who should maintain the absolute equality of man in virtue of his birth. The ricketty and scrofulous little wretch who first sees the light in a work-house, or in a brothel, and who feels the effects of alcohol before the effects of vital air, is not equal in any respect to the ruddy offspring of the honest yeoman; nay, I will go further, and say that a prince, provided he is no better born than royal blood will make him, is not equal to the healthy son of a peasant.
  • In terms of earthly life as you understand it, it is overly optimistic to imagine that eventually all illnesses will be conquered, all relationships be inevitably fulfilling, or to foresee a future in which all people on earth are treated with equality and respect.
  • Equality means equal concern and respect across difference. It does not pre-suppose the elimination or suppression of difference. Respect for human rights requires the affirmation of self, not the denial of self.Equality therefore does not imply a levelling or homogenisation of behaviour or extolling one form as supreme, and another as inferior, but an acknowledgement and acceptance of difference. At the very least, it affirms that difference should not be the basis for exclusion, marginalisation and stigma. At best, it celebrates the vitality that difference brings to any society.
  • Mean and mighty, rotting
    Together, have one dust.
    • William Shakespeare, Cymbeline (1611), Act IV, scene 2, line 246.
  • Heralds, from off our towers we might behold,
    From first to last, the onset and retire
    Of both your armies; whose equality
    By our best eyes cannot be censured:
    Blood hath bought blood and blows have answer'd blows;
    Strength match'd with strength, and power confronted power:
    Both are alike; and both alike we like.
    • William Shakespeare, King John (1598), Act II, scene 1, line 325.
  • She in beauty, education, blood,
    Holds hand with any princess of the world.
  • Equality is the life of conversation; and he is as much out who assumes to himself any part above another, as he who considers himself below the rest of the society.
  • Dogs look up to you, cats look down on you. Give me a pig! He looks you in the eye and treats you as an equal.
    • As cited in Churchill by Himself (2008), ed. Langworth, PublicAffairs, p. 535 ISBN 1586486381
  • When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
  • We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable Rights; that among these, are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness; that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 235-36.
  • Men are made by nature unequal. It is vain, therefore, to treat them as if they were equal.
  • Sir, your levellers wish to level down as far as themselves: but they cannot bear levelling up to themselves.
  • For the colonel's lady an' Judy O'Grady,
    Are sisters under their skins.
  • Par in parem imperium non habet.
    • An equal has no power over an equal.
    • Law Maxim.
  • Quod ad jus naturale attinet, omnes homines æquales sunt.
    • All men are equal before the natural law.
    • Law Maxim.
  • Et sceleratis sol oritur.
  • The trickling rain doth fall
    Upon us one and all;
    The south-wind kisses
    The saucy milkmaid's cheek,
    The nun's, demure and meek,
    Nor any misses.
  • The tall, the wise, the reverend head,
    Must be as low as ours.
    • Isaac Watts, Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Book II, Hymn 63.

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