On Liberty And Equality (V).
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|This being said, it is now possible to comment on what different authors say about liberty and equality, taking into consideration various works of Plato, Locke, Rousseau and Marx.
These four authors have one thing in common: they lived in times of turmoil. Plato saw the instability of his city, while Locke took indirect part in a revolution; Rousseau lived during the decadence of the French monarchy, pretty much feudal indeed, and Marx, during the industrial revolution, which implied major urban shifts and social injustices (See Slave Traders).
Therefore, their ideas are, in a way, a reaction to what they had experienced before and so, such ideas are presented to us as prescriptive models, and their attitude is permeated by more or less revolutionary bellicosity in order to fit reality into their respective models.
Perhaps the passage of time makes Plato's model (Kallipolis) the least apt for our times: the Greeks are the creators of many concepts that constitute now par of Western culture. Nevertheless, three kinds of factors differentiate our present values from theirs: morals, scientific and social evolution, and the expansion of population.
We have a different set of moral values: for us, liberty means something different to what the Greeks experienced or Plato expressed thorough a model where a society in which people are totally dependent from the state in what concerns their well-being. For Plato, the city-state is everything and the person is, in fact, nothing.
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