Social and Economic equality - is it feasible in today's world?

Essay by redmaniiUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, October 2003

download word file, 7 pages 3.2

Downloaded 163 times

"Social and economic equality is neither feasible nor desirable"

Do you agree?

The statement "Social and economic equality is neither feasible nor desirable" is one that reflects the thinking of defenders of tradition. It is believed that there is a need for a social hierarchy, that we are not fit to govern ourselves and in the word of Thomas Carlyle, "The few wise have to take command of the innumerable foolish." However, this view is seen by many as an attempt by the elite (who currently benefit from their position) to preserve the status quo. An even wider range of opinion would agree that economic equality is not feasible option for a healthy economy, and that surely those who have achieved economic wealth through hard work deserve to do so. However, the two are closely linked, and it can be argued that one is not feasible without the other.

At the very core of this debate, is the 'nature/nurture' issue. Advocates of the 'nature' view would claim that human beings are born with specific talents and traits due to biological and genetic factors, and as such we are unequal in our abilities and skills. Influenced by Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, 'On the Origin of Species', the nature view severely constricts the progress and social advancement of mankind. However, the nurture view, seeing human nature as 'plastic', allows solutions to be sought to problems which are seen as social (and as a result malleable), rather than biological and thus impossible to change (Heywood 1999:20).

Conservatives, who traditionally believe in tradition and the need of a hierarchical social and political structure, use the 'given' human nature belief to show that it is indeed in the interests of mankind to allow those born with skills of leadership should govern over...