Equalities of the People - Aristotle vs.
Aristotle and Thomas Jefferson both have visions of equality among the masses. Yet in their respective centuries, there is no such thing as equality within the masses. Both have distinct exclusions. .
Aristotle discusses oligarchy and democracy. In an oligarchy, government by the few is prevalent. Only the upper echelon is equal. Yet, even within these few, there is inequality. No one person can have all the knowledge, talent, or money. Depending on the criteria for judgment, each could have more or less influence than the others. In a democracy, government is by the many. There again, within the "many" there is inequality. The people may elect a representative, but not all the people have an equal vote. Some do not even have a vote. Women and slaves were not considered equal. Nor was there equality among all men.
In Thomas Jefferson's "The Declaration of Independence", he begins the second paragraph with " that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." How can Jefferson state that all men are created equal, when he himself is a slave owner? Slaves did not have any rights. They did as they were told. They were held against their will and often beaten. Is this the pursuit of Happiness he is referring too? Slaves were considered property, not people. They were sold and traded as if they were livestock. How can this be considered the right of Life, Liberty or the pursuit of Happiness? Women were not considered equal either. Women did not have any rights. In the United States, blacks and women did not gain the right to vote until the 1900's. Blacks gained those rights before women. How could Jefferson speak of equality in 1776, when blacks and women did not even gain the right to vote until over 150 years later?.