What’s More Important:Liberty or Equality?

What’s More Important: Liberty or Equality?

The following response was written by Brice Petgen, a outstanding former student, now in graduate school. He was responding to my post, “Are You a Ant or a Grasshopper”.

I judge that his thoughts are worthy of  your consideration.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 2/2/2010

The following are Mr. Petgen’s words:

As I read the new parable I see it as so true.  But I find myself asking a question.  Which does our current society value more, liberty or equality?  Do not misunderstand, I agree with EQUAL OPPORTUNITY with ever fiber of my being.  But what I see occurring is the focus, in academia and in society as a whole, is there is now a focus on equal outcome.  But I seem to remember learning in a history class long ago that the American Ideal is centered on liberty.
You see a free society is by definition unequal in outcomes.  I work on a PhD in Counseling and another person sits around the house glued to the T.V. when not at work.  I am free to work harder and make more than the couch potato.  Hence inequality of outcome.
An equal outcome society by definition cannot be free.  As I work harder to make more, more is taken from me and given to the couch potato.  Hence I am not free to enjoy the fruits of my labor, essential in liberty.
So now I ask again, especially to all those “social justice” disciples, what is more important, liberty or equality?

As I compose my diatribe I am waiting for Bruno’s pizza and having fond memories of my classes and discussions with Dr. M.  And if any IUSB faculty read this, thanks. You guys did a great job of educating and preparing me for Grad school.

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