Equality

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(From L. aequalitatem) Principle that recognizes in all citizens the capacity or possibility for the same rights. Human beings cannot be equal, because each one is a distinct person unique among its kind, unrepeatable in history, irreplaceable. However, in economic activity the worker and the manager are fully replaceable in their technological functions, social roles, etc. This alienation of the human being creates the illusion of universal e. Egalitarianism arises from such a foundation. Historically, two fundamental conceptions of egalitarianism have developed: e. of possibilities and e. of results. Very important here is the problem of the relationship between the contribution and the remuneration of the individual, between abilities and needs, as well as mechanisms for the redistribution of income. The social-democratic approach attempts to establish and bring about various forms of compromise between these two conceptions of egalitarianism. Communists affirm the e. of persons with respect to the ownership of the means of production, rejecting private property as the cause of alienation and exploitation. Conservatives reject the e. of results as a violation of the principles of freedom and human nature, as a deplorable practice that undermines the effective functioning of the social system. N.H. acknowledges the social e. of citizens before the law and nations with respect to their international rights as established in the charter of the United Nations, but does not accept egalitarianism as a social and political doctrine. At the same time, N.H. condemns the neo-conservative orientation that seeks to preserve the privileges of both the aristocracy of money and a tiny group of states at the expense of those social groups in greatest need and of developing countries.