Common Lies

Nowadays many states have written the principle of equality (e.g. that all are equal before the law) in their constitution. This principle became such an indispensable element of justice that many are taking its existence for granted. Unfortunately, it is not for granted that all men are equal before the law.

In contrast, across cultures and centuries we find the thought that some people are more valuable than others by birth in many states or societies: the caste system, class societies and monarchies with their aristocratic classes. They are all implying the idea that status, occupation and marriage are related to and limited by birth. It’s not hard to imagine that in such societies, legal systems have more difficulty implementing and enforcing justice. Relational ties are often put above the law, thus fostering corruption, nepotism and injustice. As a result of the latter, economic wealth remains unfulfilled because businesses are not flourishing under these circumstances. If we look now at those states that have not only written the principle of equality into their constitutions but have also enforced this principle in their society, we see greater economic success than in those states where this principle is not enforced.

The question remains: why is it that, as different as these cultures can be, they all follow, to some degree, an obvious lie – that some people are of more value than others? Maybe it is because there is a father of lies?