Sunday, February 23, 2014
Inequality in Civilization (2 Declarations)
Our topic for this section is, "Is inequality incompatible with civilization?" Reading the "Declaration of Human and Civil Rights" makes the answer to that question a definite no. If this is a guideline on how society and government should be conducted, then that means inequality is inherent in society and government. "Human" is in the title, but "men" is used in its place throughout the document. This blatant exclusion of women is something Olympe De Gouges directly addresses in her "Declaration of the Rights of Woman". Not only is inequality made compatible with civilization in the former document; the inequality isn't even mentioned. It's automatically assumed that women don't qualify as "all citizens" because they are never mentioned and are therefore not free to claim these rights. This imbalance between men and women reminds me of the imbalance that immediately forms out of private property (and thus civil society) that Rousseau talks about, an inequality that cannot exist outside of society. It seems that inequality is not only compatible with civilization but also automatic and unavoidable.