AristotleAristotle, (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher

Aristotle Quote

β€œIt is the greatest inequality to try to make unequal things equal.”

~ Aristotle

Ratings and Comments

Judith, New Mexico

It depends on what you are placing on the scales, doesn't it. Let the smallest pup in the litter starve when the largest hogs all the milk. It is survival of the strongest, biggest, loudest, etc. Right.

Justin, Elkland

Apparently social justice is not a new idea, just an old tyrrany in a new wrapper.

jim k, Austin

Justin, excellent point.

Waffler, Smith

Inalienable righrts, human rights, by agreement of many at least, are among some the things Americans hold as self-evident items subject to the equality standard. Justin is your usage "social justice" anything like "fairness".

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Ken-OH    5/14/10
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Anon    5/14/10

I disagree, If the quote had said it is the greatest "difficulty" to try to make unequal things equal such as equality under the laws that bind us together under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights up through the 12 Amendment as these documents are written first to limit the power of the federal government and secondly to name some of the greatest of all individual rights and then again to limit the feds in exactly what they couldn't touch at all. The problem we suffer today is that anything and everything under the sun is for sale and because we who were to watch for corruption as responsible members of our Constitutional agreement didn't. We were not taught this very first responsibility by our parents and our schools never taught it to us either. It is the greatest inequality to try to make some things equal but definitely not all things.

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    Anon    5/14/10

    Social justice is not the same as justice derived from equality under the blind eyes of Lady Liberty.-------------Fairness or what might be the desires of a certain individual or individuals have no power over Lady Liberty as nothing takes preminence over the rights of the individual protected by the Constitution. Though it no longer works this way it is how it should be.

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    RBESRQ    5/14/10

    Anon, makes a good point. A perfect quote for this blog, though I must question the context in which this quote was delivered (probably out of "Politics") Editor, do you have the source? Perhaps someone can pull the actual page reference. Aristotle's dream of the Athens Academy was thwarted when Plato decided to hand over his 40 year academy to a younger student hence his trip to Macedonia on the behest of King Philip whose infamous son was Alexander the Great. His writing was, for the most part, compassionate of those who were unequal, hence his other quotes: "The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law". And, "If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost" and "It is clearly better that property should be private, but the use of it common; and the special business of the legislator is to create in men this benevolent disposition". So, the above quote is some what of a change to his core philosophy.

    Abigail, Newport

    Social justice is impossible unless we become robots. There are too many drones and not enuff worker bees. I will work for what I can earn and share my excesses as I see fit. Anything less and we are not a free people.

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      RBESRQ    5/15/10

      Abigail, If everyone was like you it would be OK but they are not. Most are selfish, and intolerant of difference.

      Mike, Norwalk

      'unequal things' would have to be defined. Social justice is an abstract fiction that promotes injustice and individual inequality. Natural law as an unwavering absolute is the great equalizer.

      E Archer, NYC

      The premise that most people are selfish and intolerant is an absolute insult, RBE, and describes the liberal progressive philosophy to a tee. It is the self-righteous, elitist, and narcissitic idea that with YOU (the progressive) somehow selfishness and greed have been filtered out of your group. It is this very premise that the masses are rounded up and exploited -- because that is what they deserve. Such false compassion is but an excuse to declare war upon those with something you want, whether it is GWB going after oil and pipelines in foreign lands or Obama going after the labors and property of those that still have something to take. Progressives' idea of equality is that all of us should be pulled down and lorded over by the likes of RBE who somehow managed to evade selfishness and intolerance. ;-) Such arrogance is the very face of the progressive liberal parties -- "WE care about you, the other guys only care about themselves." Pure BS.

      Dave 10s, Hamilton, NJ

      Experience shows that most people are NEITHER selfish and intolerant NOR helpless children. That is a perception exploited by libertine socialists for an illiberal purpose. Democrats hijacked liberalism, first voiced by Republican Theodore Roosevelt in the 1904 election, and have entered into a larcenous covenant with their clientele of dependents. Liberalism is not supposed to be socialism, but the liberalism of the Democratic Party has morphed into socialism, which anoints superior people to minister to lesser people. Eighty years of liberal policies have gained us only a growing population of dependents, and increasing abuse by both benefactor and beneficiary. Such a covenant demonstrates that the Party's claim to liberalism is false, destructive of both citizen and nation. It demonstrates the truth of Aristotle's observation that inequality results when trying to "make things equal".

      Jeff, Verden

      This quote is in reference to a fable, the fable of Antisthenes, where a council of hares tried to force equality among all animals. This obviously didn't work because the lions would essential laugh at the hares and stomp them out. The same goes for many things trying to be equalized today, women can never be equal with men for obvious reasons and vise versa. We are designed for two completely different purposes.

      Robert, Salem OR

      This is so very true. It seems like common sense, but unfortunately that seems to be a rare quality in today's world.

      Anon, Birmingham

      Jeff, I agree with the first half of your comment. But equality of the sexes is another thing entirely. Which gender are the lions, and who are the hares? Using your line of reasoning, men would be lions and women hares. So the men are laughing at women and stomping them out.... except, well the difference between men and women is not the same as the difference between lions and hares. Men and women are the same species. We are all humans. Men have no right to stomp all over women, and women have no right to stomp all over men.

      Just because men and women are different does not mean they are not 'equal' in value and equally deserving of respect. That's the problem with this quote - what does 'equal' really mean? Are we looking for equality of outcomes? Opportunity? Respect?

      Yaya, Lagos

      The quote makes a lot of sense in all ramification. 5 and 9 are not equal. Trying to make them equal by adding 4 to left hand side absolutely makes it even more unequal because you now have two numbers on the left and just one number on the right (ie 5+4 = 9), which is another inequality. Same goes for men and women. They're never equal. Trying to make women equal to men by giving them leverage on some things over men, makes it even more unequal. Men and women are made differently and are specialized for different things. It doesn't mean that men shouldn't respect women or that women should respect men more. The respect for a man and the respect for a woman are not the same. Men should be treated and as men and women should be as women. Trying to treat a woman as a man because you feel men and women are equal is a great inequality.

      Yaya, Lagos, Nigeria

      What this quote really means is that, everything and everyone is relevant and important in their various statuses. Without the word 'small' the word 'big' makes no sense. So without a small thing, there'll be no big thing. Without a woman, there'll be no man and vice versa. Everyone should be respected for whom they are.

      Robert Edward, Vero Beach

      RBE is spot on, though perhaps a little heavy on the "Most". As far as government is concerned "most" does apply. And, as we are responsible for electing those in government, the people are complicit by association. I would rather say most people are ignorant of the truth, ignorant of current affairs, ignorant of many other important elements of life; this is the root of the current problem that faces America. Just look at the recent News report that a massacre took place in Jewish synagogue in the city of Pittsburgh and the outrage by the media and social media yet 11 palestinian are killed daily by Israel forces and not a peep out of MSM and the social networks. 1400 children have been killed in Palestine since 2000. The list of Israeli atrocities continues today, So, where is our outrage over these poor souls. I'm tied of people just going about their daily lives without giving frig about the lives of those being killed in the GAZA, West Bank, and Syria. As far as Aristotle is concerned, this quote is way to broad for any reaction. All I can do is warn you all to be prepared... you will need at least 150 liters of drinking water and six months supply of food.

      E Archer, NYC
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      E Archer, NYC Robert Edward, Vero Beach 11/1/18

      Good luck with all that, Robert.  "I'm tired of people just going about their daily lives without giving frig about [enter your favorite political cause here]."  This is 'progressive' liberal-speak, virtue-signaling, blame-game, rhetoric.  You are 'tired of' a whole lot of other people whom you judge and attempt to shame who are merely living their own lives in their own country.  Textbook ;-)  Thanks for the invitation, but I have my own causes for which to fight for which I am taking responsibility β€” I don't blame you for not knowing or caring about them.  Your post is more of the 'sky is falling' approach that is the stock-and-trade of every con foisted upon the people of the world.  I do not take responsibility for war in Israel/Palestine β€” if you want to own it, go for it.

      Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

      No, it is the greatest inequality to make equal unequal. In the justice of Socialism all are regarded as equal.


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