Equality is equal treatment of people irrespective of social or cultural differences.
- While God created Adam, who was alone, He said, 'It is not good for man to be alone. He also created a woman, from the earth, as He had created Adam himself, and called her Lilith. Adam and Lilith immediately began to fight. She said, 'I will not lie below,' and he said, 'I will not lie beneath you, but only on top. For you are fit only to be in the bottom position, while I am to be the superior one.' Lilith responded, 'We are equal to each other inasmuch as we were both created from the earth.' But they would not listen to one another. When Lilith saw this, she pronounced the Ineffable Name and flew away into the air.
- 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.
- Susan B. Anthony, The Revolution, Women's Suffrage Newspaper (October 8, 1868)
- As political equality is the remedy for political tyranny, so is economic equality the only way of putting an end to the economic tyranny exercised by the few over the many through superiority of wealth. The industrial system of a nation, like its political system, should be a government of the people, by the people, for the people. Until economic equality shall give a basis to political equality, the latter is but a sham.
- Edward Bellamy, Masthead written for Bellamy's newpaper The New Nation. Quoted in Charles Allan Madison, Critics and Crusaders: Political Economy and the American Quest for Freedom, Transaction Publishers, 1948.
- Shariputra, the bodhisattva treats all things and beings, each one of them, with perfect equality.
- At every turn, the struggle for equality was resisted by many of the powerful... Some have said we should not judge their failures by the standards of a later time, yet in every time there were men and women who clearly saw this sin and called it by name. We can fairly judge the past... Men and women, black and white, burned with a zeal for freedom and they left behind a different and better nation. Their moral vision caused Americans to examine our hearts, to correct our Constitution and to teach our children the dignity and equality of every person of every race.
- 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
- 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.
- Winston Churchill, as cited in Churchill by Himself (2008), p. 535
- The more opportunities there are in a Society for some persons to live upon the toil of others, and the less those others may enjoy the fruits of their work themselves, the more is diligence killed, the former become insolent, the latter despairing, and both negligent.
- Anders Chydenius, The National Gain, §20, 1765.
- It is not true that equality is a law of nature. Nature has made nothing equal; her sovereign law is subordination and dependence.
- Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues, Réflexions et Maximes (1746)
- Humanity can not be made equal by declarations on paper. Unless the material conditions for equality exist, it is worse than mockery to pronounce men equal.
- Voltairine de Cleyre, "In Defense of Emma Goldman and the Right of Expropriation" (1893).
- All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent and inalienable rights, amongst which are, the enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
- "A Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the Commonwealth or State of Pennsylvania", Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (28 September 1776)
- All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing and protecting property and reputation, and of pursuing their own happiness.
- "Article 1: Declaration of Rights", Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1968)
- All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent and unalienable rights, amongst which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. Therefore, no male person, born in this country, or brought from over sea, ought to be holden by law, to serve any person, as a servant, slave or apprentice.
- "Chapter 1: A Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the State of Vermont", Constitution of the State of Vermont (8 July 1777)
- 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.
- Calvin Coolidge "Ways to Peace," Arlington (May 31, 1926) in Foundations of the Republic: Speeches and Addresses p. 436.
- 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
- James Fenimore Cooper, The American Democrat (1838).
- 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.
- Eugene V. Debs, The Negro and His Nemesis (1904).
- 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.
- 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.
- In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.
- Anatole France, Le Lys Rouge [The Red Lily] (1894), ch. 7.
- In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.
- It is a wise man who said that there is no greater inequality than the equal treatment of unequals.
- 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.
- Benjamin Franklin, "Some Good Whig Principles. Declaration of those Rights of the Community of Great Britain, without which they cannot be Free," as quoted in Memoirs of the Llife and Writings of Benjamin Franklin (1818) by Benjamin Franklin & William Temple Franklin
- I am uncompromising in the matter of woman's rights. In my opinion she should labour under no legal disability not suffered by man, I should treat the daughters and sons on a footing of perfect equality.
- ...if inequalities stare us in the face the essential equality too is not to be missed. Every man has an equal right to the necessaries of life even as birds and beasts have. And since every right carries with it a corresponding duty and the corresponding remedy for resisting any attack upon it, it is merely a matter of finding out the corresponding duties and remedies to vindicate the elementary fundamental equality.
- 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.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther
- In the good home, equality, considerateness, co-operation and helpfulness hold sway. Applied to the great people's and citizens' home this should mean the demolition of all social and economic ranks which now divide citizens into privileged and disadvantaged, into rulers and dependants, into rich and poor, propertied and miserable, plunderers and plundered.
- There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal. While the first is the condition of a free society, the second means as De Tocqueville describes it, 'a new form of servitude.'
- Friedrich Hayek, "Individualism: True and False" essay (1945); later published in Individualism and Economic Order University of Chicago Press (1948) p. 16
- The National Socialist State recognizes no ‘classes’. But, under the political aspect, it recognizes only citizens with absolutely equal rights and equal obligations corresponding thereto. And, side by side with these, it recognizes subjects of the State who have no political rights whatsoever.
- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Volume Two: The National Socialist Movement, chapter 12, published in 1926.
- ...the völkisch view recognizes the importance of the racial subdivisions of mankind. In principle, it sees in the state only a means to an end, and it considers the preservation of the racial existence of men as its end. Thus, it by no means believes in the equality of all races, but along with their differences it also recognizes their superior and inferior nature, and by this recognition it feels the obligation, in accordance with the Eternal Will that dominates this universe, to promote the victory of the better and stronger and to demand the submission of the inferior and weaker in accordance with the eternal will that dominates the universe.
- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1926. English Translation; Reynal & Hitchcock, 1939 (p. 580). Quoted in Louise Wilhelmine Holborn, Gwendolen Margaret Carter, and John H. Herz in German Constitutional Documents since 1871: Selected Texts and Commentary. Pall Mall Press, 1970 (p.223). Also quoted in Roderick Stackelberg, Sally A. Winkle, The Nazi Germany Sourcebook: An Anthology of Texts. Routledge, 2013 (p.93).
- ...(if) it is asserted – and that even by those engaged in business – that in the political sphere special abilities are not needed but that here an absolute equality in achievement reigns, then one day this same theory will be transferred from politics to economic life. But in the economic sphere communism is analogous to democracy in the political sphere. We find ourselves today in a period in which these two fundamental principles contend with each other in all contiguous spheres and are already intruding into economics.
- Adolf Hitler, Speech to the Industry Club in Düsseldorf, 27 January 1932. Quoted in Thomas Garden Barnes and Gerald D. Feldman, Breakdown and Rebirth, 1914 to the Present, University Press of America, 1972 (p.116). Quoted in Roderick Stackelberg, Sally A. Winkle, The Nazi Germany Sourcebook: An Anthology of Texts. Routledge, 2013 (p. 106).
- The so-called granting of equal rights to women, which Marxism demands, in reality does not grant equal rights but constitutes a deprivation of rights, since it draws the woman into an area in which she will necessarily be inferior. It places the woman in situations that cannot strengthen her position — vis-a-vis both man and society — but only weaken it.
- For if all things were equally in all men, nothing would be prized.
- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (1651), Part I, Chapter 8, page 32.
- 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
- I have no respect for the passion of equality, which seems to me merely idealizing envy — I don't disparage envy but I don't accept it as legitimately my master.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., Holmes-Laski Letters : The Correspondence of Mr. Justice Holmes and Harold J. Laski, 1916 - 1935 (1953), Vol. 2, p. 942
- Today, whenever women hear political leaders call their sex important, they grow suspicious. In the importance of the sex too often has lain the unimportance of the citizen, the worker and the human being. The ‘normal’ woman knows that, given freedom and equality before the law, she can be trusted to safeguard her own interests as wife, mother, daughter, or what you will.
- Winifred Holtby, "Black Words for Women Only" (1934), in Paul Berry and Alan Bishop, Testament of a Generation: The Journalism of Vera Brittain and Winifred Holtby, London : Virago, 1985. Also quoted in Patrick Deane, History in Our Hands : A Critical Anthology of Writings on Literature, Culture and Politics from the 1930s, Leicester University Press, 1998.
- 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.
- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Rev. James Madison (Oct 28, 1785) as quoted in John William Batdorf, The Geometric Tax: The Abolition of Poverty: How to Finance Politics Without Graft  pp.17-18, also see The Life and Writings of Thomas Jefferson  p.404.
- 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.
- Søren Kierkegaard Works of Love 1847, Hong 1995 p. 138-139
- 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!
Mr. Tugan repeats the old trick of the reactionaries: first to misinterpret socialism by making it out to be an absurdity, and then to triumphantly refute the absurdity! When we say that experience and reason prove that men are not equal, we mean by equality, equality in abilities or similarity in physical strength and mental ability.
It goes without saying that in this respect men are not equal. No sensible person and no socialist forgets this. But this kind of equality has nothing whatever to do with socialism. If Mr. Tugan is quite unable to think, he is at least able to read; were he to take the well-known work of one of the founders of scientific socialism, Frederick Engels, directed against Dühring, he would find there a special section explaining the absurdity of imagining that economic equality means anything else than the abolition of classes. But when professors set out to refute socialism, one never knows what to wonder at most—their stupidity, their ignorance, or their unscrupulousness.
- Vladimir Lenin, "A Liberal Professor on Equality", 1914
- By political equality Social-Democrats mean equal rights, and by economic equality, as we have already said, they mean the abolition of classes. As for establishing human equality in the sense of equality of strength and abilities (physical and mental), socialists do not even think of such things.
- Vladimir Lenin, "A Liberal Professor on Equality", 1914. Reprinted in Lenin on the United States, International Publishers, 1970, (p. 94), and in Lenin: Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1972, Moscow, Volume 20, (p.145).
- Complete equality of rights for all nations; the right of nations to self-determination; the unity of the workers of all nations — such is the national programme that Marxism, the experience of the whole world, and the experience of Russia, teach the workers.
- Vladimir Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 20, pp. 393–454. Also quoted in Robert P. Barnidge, Jr.Self-Determination, Statehood, and the Law of Negotiation: The Case of PalestineBloomsbury Publishing, 2016 (p.16).
In the United States of America, as in other advanced countries, there are no medieval privileges. All citizens, are equal in political rights. But are they equal as regards their position in social production?
No, Mr. Tugan, they are not. Some own land, factories and capital and live on the unpaid labour of the workers; these form an insignificant minority. Others, namely, the vast mass of the population, own no means of production and live only by selling their labour-power; these are proletarians.
- Vladimir Lenin, "A Liberal Professor on Equality", 1914
- 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.
- 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".
- Abraham Lincoln, Speech on Utah, Kansas, and the Dred Scott Decision, Representative's Hall, Springfield Ill. (June 26, 1857) in Political Speeches and Debates of Abraham Lincoln and S.A. Douglas, 1854-1861
- All should have an equal chance. This is the sentiment embodied in that Declaration of Independence. Now, my friends, can this country be saved upon that basis? If it can, I will consider myself one of the happiest men in the world if I can help to save it. If it can't be saved upon that principle, it will be truly awful. But, if this country cannot be saved without giving up that principle. I was about to say I would rather be assassinated on this spot than to surrender it.
- Abraham Lincoln, speech in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (22 February 1861); quoted in Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 4 (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1953), p. 204
- 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.
- Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address (November 19, 1863)
- For some must follow, and some command
Though all are made of clay!
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Kéramos (1878), line 6.
- In its proper meaning equality before the law means the right to participate in the making of the laws by which one is governed, a constitution which guarantees democratic rights to all sections of the population, the right to approach the court for protection or relief in the case of the violation of rights guaranteed in the constitution, and the right to take part in the administration of justice as judges, magistrates, attorneys-general, law advisers and similar positions.
- In the absence of these safeguards the phrase 'equality before the law', in so far as it is intended to apply to us, is meaningless and misleading. All the rights and privileges to which I have referred are monopolised by whites, and we enjoy none of them. The white man makes all the laws, he drags us before his courts and accuses us, and he sits in judgement over us.
- Among unequals what society
Can sort, what harmony, or true delight?
- Every claim of political equality in our history has been met by fierce resistance from those who relished for themselves what they would deny others. After President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation it took a century before Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965—a hundred years of Jim Crow law and Jim Crow lynchings, of forced labor and coerced segregation, of beatings and bombings, of public humiliation and degradation, of courageous but costly protests and demonstrations. Think of it: another hundred years before the freedom won on the bloody battlefields of the Civil War was finally secured in the law of the land.
And here’s something else to think about: Only one of the women present at the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls in 1848—only one, Charlotte Woodward—lived long enough to see women actually get to vote.
- Even as the fingers of the two hands are equal, so are human beings equal to one another. No one has any right, nor any preference to claim over another. You are brothers.
- Fascism denies that numbers, as such, can direct human society. It denies that numbers can govern by means of periodical consultations: It asserts the unavoidable fruitful and beneficent inequality of men who cannot be leveled by any such mechanical and extrinsic device as universal suffrage.
- 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.
- George Orwell, Animal Farm (1946), chapter 10, p. 112.
- The new regime will be a social hierarchy. It will no longer be based on the false idea of man's natural equality...
- Marshal Philippe Pétain, Speech announcing the policy of Vichy France. Quoted in Mark Mazower: Dark Continent: Europe's 20th Century Penguin books, 1998 (p. 73),. Also in Francine Muel-Dreyfus, Vichy and the Eternal Feminine: A Contribution to a Political Sociology of Gender. Duke University Press, 2001 (p.249).
- [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.
- Islam prescribes the basic principles of social justice and establishes the claim of the poor to the wealth of the rich.
- Sayyid Qutb, Social Justice in Islam (1953)
- 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.
- John Randolph of Roanoke, remarks in the Senate, Register of Debates, vol. 2, March 2, 1826, col. 126.
- 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.
- Jane Roberts, The Way Toward Health, Chapter 9.
- Ignoring the potential force possessed by a homogeneous race, bemused by the slogans of human equality, all parliaments adopted the dogma of infinite toleration.
- Alfred Rosenberg, "The Russian-Jewish Revolution", Auf Gut Deutsch magazine, February 1919. Quoted in Roderick Stackelberg, Sally A. Winkle, The Nazi Germany Sourcebook: An Anthology of Texts. Routledge, 2013 (p.50). Also in Barbara Miller Lane and Leila J. Rupp, Nazi Ideology Before 1933: A Documentation. University of Texas Press, 2014 (p.12).
- 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.
- Alibe Sachs, Ruling on the National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality v Minister of Justice case. Quoted in Andrew Clapham, Human Rights: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2007. Also quoted in Vikram David Amar and Mark V. Tushnet,Global Perspectives on Constitutional Law. New York : Oxford University Press, 2009 (p. 126). Also
- Despite the absence of physical equality in nature, political systems engage in grand endeavors to dictate perfection and equality in a universe devoid of both. In their egalitarian and quixotic quest to redistribute wealth, they rob Peter to pay Paul, which only creates a state of dependency, not of equality. Any attempt to impose equality can only bring about more inequality. Rev. William J. H. Boetcker expressed this same insight in 1916, writing, 'You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.'
- L.K. Samuels, In Defense of Chaos: The Chaology of Politics, Economics and Human Action, Cobden Press, (2013) p. 72
- The parity pushers fail to see the subtle grays of complexity in all of its tortured and messy manifestations. With swords held high, they ride forth and exploit every possible weapon in the political arsenal. Equality is to be imposed, unevenness and nonlinearity banished to the nether world. Science is politicalized for mass consumption, and natural laws are summarily supplanted by ideological 'correctness.'
- L.K. Samuels, In Defense of Chaos: The Chaology of Politics, Economics and Human Action, Cobden Press (2013) p. 301.
- Equality of two domestic powers
Breeds scrupulous faction.
- 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.
- If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 50 years ago, a liberal 25 years ago and a racist today.
- For nearly 40 years, the Supreme Court has been evading the 14th Amendment's provision of "equal protection" of the law for all, in order to let government-imposed group preferences and quotas continue, under the name of "affirmative action." Equal rights under the law have been made to vanish by saying the magic word "diversity," whose sweeping benefits are simply assumed and proclaimed endlessly, rather than demonstrated.
- Neither in nature nor among human beings are either equal or randomly distributed outcomes automatic. On the contrary, grossly unequal distributions of outcomes are common, both in nature and among people, in circumstances where neither genes nor discrimination are involved... The idea that it would be a level playing field, if it were not for either genes or discrimination, is a preconception in defiance of both logic and facts.
- Thomas Sowell, Discriminations and Disparities (2018), p. 17.
- Mere equality does not imply equal liberty, however, for slaves are equal in their slavery. Equal opportunity to rob others is not equal liberty, but its violation; it abridges ‘liberty to possess,’ and the ‘liberty to produce and to own the product.’ These liberties are implied by equality of liberty, just as equal opportunity is; equal robbery or equal slavery have no relation to equal liberty, but are its opposite.
- Charles T. Sprading, Liberty and the Great Libertarians: An Anthology of Liberty, a Handbook of Freedom, Los Angeles: CA, The Golden Press (1913) p. 13
- 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.
- Richard Steele, Tatler (1709-1711), No. 225.
- All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
- United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) Article 1 (Dec. 10, 1948). Also see Wikipedia.
- 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.
- When I have control of Native Education, I will reform it so that the Natives will be taught from childhood to realise that equality with Europeans is not for them. People who believe in equality are not desirable teachers for Natives.
- Hendrik Verwoerd, Speech, June 1954. Quoted in Phillip T. Gay, Modern South Africa, McGraw-Hill, 2001, and Baruch Hirson, Year of Fire, Year of Ash: The Soweto Schoolchildren’s Revolt that Shook Apartheid. Zed Books Ltd. 2016.
- THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.
- It is not until a community or an individual has advanced a fair distance along the path of civilisation and shows by its laws its elimination of many of its most mischievous dispositions—notably sadism—that it can bear to admit the equality of women.
- Rebecca West, "Woman as Artist and Thinker", in Woman As Artist And Thinker (2005) (p. 12), edited by Helen Atkinson.
- All Men being naturally equal, as descended from a common Parent, enbued with like Faculties and Propensities, having originally equal Rights and Properties, the Earth being given to the Children of Men in general, without any difference, distinction, natural Preheminence, or Dominion of one over another, yet Men not being equally industrious and frugal, their Properties and Enjoyments would be unequal.
- Equality before the law of all men, no matter where they were born, or from what race they sprung, is the sentiment of the people... Wherever and whenever we have the power to do it, I would give to all men, of every clime and race, of every faith and creed, freedom and equality before the law.
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.
- James Anthony Froude, Short Studies on Great Subjects, Party Politics.
- 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.
- Rudyard Kipling, Barrack Room Ballads, Introduction.
- 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 sun shines even on the wicked.
- Seneca the Younger, De Beneficiis, III. 25.
- 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.
- Edmund Clarence Stedman, A Madrigal, Stanza 3.
- The tall, the wise, the reverend head,
Must be as low as ours.
- Isaac Watts, Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Book II, Hymn 63.