- An Imagined Discourse in a Democracy -
Socrates – You say 'the world is not fair'. How is the world not fair?
Citizen – There is inequality in so many facets of our lives.
Socrates – Why do you think that is so?
Citizen – Because the wealthy control our lives.
Socrates – Do the wealthy not create businesses and pay wages to workers?
Citizen – Yes, of course.
Socrates – Why do you not create your own business?
Citizen – Because I'm not wealthy, old man!
Socrates – Why are you not wealthy?
Citizen – Because I had not the money to go to college for higher education.
Socrates – Are there not business owners without college educations?
Citizen – Well, yes, I'm sure there are.
Socrates – So, why do you not create your own business?
Citizen – I have not the knowledge nor the money to create my own business.
Socrates – So, can you not study and get the knowledge to create your own business?
Citizen – I don't understand the development and marketing aspects of business.
Socrates – Do you believe then that intelligence can be a factor in business?
Citizen – Yes, of course, I believe that.
Socrates – Then, can we say that people have different learning abilities, that some people are more intelligent than others?
Citizen – Sure, I believe that is obvious.
Socrates – Would it not be reasonable to assume then that not all people are created equal in terms of intelligence and ability?
Citizen – Yes, that would be reasonable to assume.
Socrates – Could we not further assume that 'equality' is an unattainable goal?
Citizen – Sure sounds that way... But there are people who are poor and without these abilities. Some are infirm and cannot work at all. What about these people?
Socrates – An excellent question. What, indeed, about these people?
Citizen – It seems to me a civilized world needs to recognize the needs of these people and care for them.
Socrates – A noble sentiment! And, what about the group among the needy who would take advantage through fraud of this largesse?
Citizen – There most certainly would need to be a 'fail safe system' built into any program that addressed this issue.
Socrates – So, it would seem in many areas of a democracy that 'equality' is a noble thought but not an attainable goal. Our dialogue further implies that hard work and effort can lead one to her/his success in life...
Billy Ray Chitwood – December 7, 2016
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