Is equality the highest social value?
First of all, let’s give you the meaning of equality and egalitarianism. The dictionary says ‘equality’ is: The state or quality of being equal. Whereas, the dictionary says ‘of egalitarianism’: a social and political philosophy asserting the equality of all men, especially in their access to the rights and privileges of their society.
Can you think of any English premier league footballer and their salary?
Can you think of another occupation and their salary?
Who did you think of?
So, maybe you knew the first one and thought it was a high salary, but the second one not straight away and certainly not the same salary. The first footballer I thought of was Mohamad Salah. He is a premiership football player in England playing for Liverpool. My other thought was as a teacher. My first question to you would be about Salah’s salary? The second, how about a teacher?
How much do you think Salah earns?……
How much does a teacher earn?….
Well, it is reported Mohammad Salah’s salary is at 200,000 pounds a week. If I were to make a comparison with salaries, an example would be a starting salary of a teacher in England. This is between £25714 and £32157 a year. So, we see that Salah earns 7 or 8 times more a week than a new teacher in England does in a year. My question would be is this equality?
So, what is a teacher’s value to society compared with a football player? Does the football player deserve to be put up in front of us as this idol and for kids to want to be like them? And, isn’t the teacher someone who bores us and keeps us from having fun all day? That may not be the case but I’m sure not many children enjoy going to school. Why do we not hold teachers up as idols?
Okay, another question for you.
What do you think of when I say the words Sydney, Australia?
Sun, beaches, sport, and shrimps on the barbies!
Now, if I said the newspaper headline “children found starving in Australia’” would you believe me? Many wouldn’t. The fact is there are children in remote indigenous communities who are starving.
Kathy Marks’ report in the Independent newspaper talks about rural Aborigines (the indigenous people) in Australia. The parents don’t work. Children hardly go to school. Children are left to wander at nighttime while their parents go and get drunk. In a situation so bad, a Red Cross style relief was needed. These are forgotten people. The Australian government spent more money on benefits, and so on, per aboriginal person than it did per non-aboriginal, but even so, there was still a huge amount of poverty and associated problems in aboriginal communities. A lot of aboriginal citizens still could not get the benefits they really need. Their trust in the Government and belief in getting out of their situation diminished leaving their children starving. We see the gap between Australians and the Aborigines as massive.
The point to these aspects of society I have just written about is to highlight inequality and the rights of people. Has the kind of society we live in now lost its values?
10 of each:
I could ask to you name 10 modern-day football players, pop stars, or movie stars. Then ask you to think of 10 well-known modern-day writers, world renowned teachers, or philosophers. I am sure the former question would be easier.
It could be said that in most countries our value system these days sees aspects like wealth, power, and fame as number one, and real values like equal rights, peace, freedom and self-expression, and recognition of others pushed further down the ladder for progress.
So, will we all ever be considered equal?