by Grace Garland | Published on 25 September 2018 for The Ethics Institute monthly newsletter
In South Africa, and indeed probably any democracy around the world, the idea of ‘equality’ is held up as a core goal for society. This is not new. The ancient Greek philosopher Plato thought that justice was the highest virtue, and that anything inequitable is unjust and anything equitable is just. Revolutionaries in France in 1789 thought that equality belonged with liberty and fraternity as the founding principles of their envisioned post-monarchist society. And here, equality is enshrined in the Bill of Rights. But do we know what we mean when we use the word today? There is a case to be made that we do not, and so expose ourselves to a danger of sorts.