In this article, we are going to analyze and evaluate the current validity of the revolution slogan that boosted, at a worldwide level, the substitution of the monarchies for the democracies of nowadays, the French Revolution slogan, which included: Liberty, Equality and, Fraternity.
Revolution. It is a fundamental change in the power structure or in the social organization, performed by a majority against a minority that boasts about the power.
This article provides a new vision to the important debate about the concepts:
- Equality and,
It is a task that has centuries without being solved, such as it is expressed here: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36775634
This is not going to be a theoretical analysis, of valid ideas by its own, of a philosophy floating in an imaginary space without any connection with the real world. But the analysis of the experience in the human relations. In this way, we cannot tell if an individual is good or bad, but as per the benefit or damage, that person makes in the society with which he/she interacts with. That is why these ideas are going to be analyzed under a scientific and experimental basis, of the positive or negative effects in the society.
-taken verbatim from the French Wikipedia.
“Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” is a contribution to the humanity done by the French revolution at the end of the century XVIII (1790). The words “Unity”, “Solidarity” and “Mercy” were also used instead of the “Fraternity” and, in the moments of the most politics dynamicity in France, the words “Or Death” “Or Death” were added, which then was taken away due to its obviously violent connotation. In 1848 due to the influence of the Christian thought, the word “Fraternity” was consolidated as the official slogan of the French Republic, accepting officially the following meaning:
- Liberty. It consists of being able to do anything that doesn’t harm others. Hence, the exercise of the natural rights of each man or woman who doesn’t have other limits than the same ones guaranteeing the enjoyment of those rights.
- Equality. The law must be the same for everyone, whether it protects or punishes. All the citizens, without any distinction, will be likewise eligible for all the high positions, public positions, and employments, as per their capacity, virtues and, talents. It can be summed up like:
“The judicial equality and the entry to the government based on the personal merits”.
- Fraternity. It doesn’t have any specific definition. It is said that:
- “It belongs to another dimension, the moral obligations more than the rights, the links more than the statutes, the harmony more than the contract, and the community more than the individuality”.
Some define it as:
- “The union to fight against or for a common cause”.
Others define it as:
- The realization of a happy community, devoid of any conflict.
Many interpretations are given about the whole meaning of these three words, some group says that “liberty” and “equality” are rights and, “fraternity” is a must. Another interpretation expresses that the order of the words indicates an importance, so the “liberty” would be the objective, “Equality” would be the ideological principle and “Fraternity” would be the way to achieve it.
Is it worth to update this slogan or is it something that doesn’t matter any longer?
The slogans are important because they are a short summary of the objective to achieve, they indicate the ideological direction of the persons that express it. Hence, the political parties tend to put in their names their political ideology. For instance, the PSOE means:
- Spain’s Socialist Worker’s Party.
Indeed, a politician may be from a socialist ideology party. And in the practice, it is completely capitalist and anti-worker. The politics may be totally hypocritical.
Analysing the Traditional Definitions
- Liberty. In its traditional definition, it refers to the justice, since the limitations of what some citizen can and cannot do, his/her rights and duties, are expressed in the laws and are supervised by the judicial system.
It is interesting that the human beings believe that our decisions are taken freely, and this is known in the social psychology as:
- The fundamental attribution error. Just as the professor Philip Zimbardo defines it, he is the maker of the famous experiment of the Stanford Prison. The truth is that we are not conscious of what we are influenced and limited by our mental and physical surroundings.
We cannot jump from the fifth floor of a building because we would suffer severe injuries when touching the ground. But what we can do, based on the physical laws, thinking the way to jump without harming ourselves, whether by using a parachute, trampoline on the floor, a string, and so on. Hence, when we develop the concept “Liberty” in the social aspect, we refer to the limitations we have in the interaction with the society.
- Equality. Its traditional definition refers to the justice and the judicial system. And the meritocracy is also justice. Because it is unfair having incapable people to perform a public position.
That is, both the definition of “liberty” accepted as of “Equality” is developed in the justice field:
- Why did they develop the topic of the justice with different words in 1800?
If we go back to that era, we see the huge inequality among the social groups that boasted about the power and the common citizen. The common citizens (the majority) dressed in rags, the food was barely enough, the hope of life was until the 40 years old, the child mortality was so common and a harsh winter could mean the death. Instead, the high class (a minority of courtiers and bourgeois) had food, clothing, good housing, heating system, water in their homes and access to education and medicines. Thus, for that era, the fight for justice was a priority:
Is the same priority two centuries afterward?
- Fraternity. Indeed, it belongs to a different level than the two words mentioned before. And we can reconcile, unify the two traditional definitions of “fraternity”, making the “selfishness” the enemy for which we must unite to fight against.
How Can We Update The Definitions of “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” to the XXI Century?
- Liberty. “Do not do to another what you wouldn’t do to you”
This definition is the famous Golden rule, that millions of years ago was claimed by the Kabbalists and other millennial wisdom men, gathered in the Jewish Talmud, in the Hiller history and, the convert, and 200 years afterward it was also written in the new Christian testament in Matthew 7:12. A very clear definition, and well expressed, that makes totally useless even the declaration of the human rights. And indeed, as the traditional definition, it talks about the justice.
Why didn’t the French revolutionaries accept this definition, trying to give a similar one and hiding its origin? Indeed, not accepting it means an ideological plagiarism act of the French revolution. The answer is that the French revolutionaries were fighting against a minority in the power, among which there was the Catholic church (the religions were part of the mass control mechanisms), accepting a definition that is also used by an enemy, it doesn’t motivate the followers. Hence, they had to make up an alike definition, that, for being deficient, led them to express the declaration of the human rights afterward.
If you wonder, since we are in the ecological trend, shouldn’t we include the nature to it? And write something like this:
- “Do not do to another nor nature, what you wouldn’t do to you”
The answer is that when someone thinks of the consequence of his/her actions to not harm another human being, this person automatically would have reached a sufficient conscious level, to also think of not damaging the nature. The human being is part of nature. Hence, it is not necessary to add anything.
- Equality. “All the human beings are equally important, so as naturally different in abilities and needs”.
This new definition about the equality is totally different to its traditional definition. It talks about the social context truth, not about the justice. The purpose of this new definition is reaching the peace, not standardizing the human being just as it was the old definition. This fact is that each human being is different regarding their needs and abilities. The truth in the social context is one of the most difficult topics. Since there is not a precise way to measure the needs and abilities of a person.
For sure, we can talk about the generalities, the average and measure certain parameters of the needs and individual abilities, but we cannot have any precision. An example of this lack of precision is the pain, there is not any mechanism to measure the pain degree that someone experiences, and we can only make subjective evaluations about it, based on the self-evaluation of the person experiencing that.
The importance equality is implemented in certain contexts as the opportunities equality which is the elimination of barriers without eliminating the need for the ability evaluation. For instance, if I need an economist, there must be the opportunity of work to whoever is able to make the requested economic task, without putting obstacles like asking for a university title. But instead, there must be some demonstration of the ability to make the work. Hence, an economist title is a way to demonstrate the ability to make the work, but it cannot be the only one. Because if it is the only one, then there is no equality in the opportunities.
Since the truth about the needs and abilities of each person are totally hidden from the society, the only thing that we can make is knowing it is a reality, without saying anything else about it.
Instead, we can talk about the importance equality. Since in nature, there are examples from which we can learn:
- What is more important the thumb toe or the thumb?
Both have needs and different abilities, we protect both, to the foot with socks and shoes, and the hands with gloves. We treat them differently because they are diverse. Without the thumb toe, we can lose the balance when walking, and without the thumb, we lose the ability to grip. But regarding the importance, they are both important.
The old definition of the equality, as the equality of rights, it was valid 200 years ago, when it was urgent the need for justice. Nowadays, thanks to the development of the science, the common citizen has water in their housing, can eat, have a house, heating system, and the hope of life is of 80 years, there is access to health, and multiple of electric devices to help perform the daily tasks and it even provides entertainment and information. For sure, the justice is still not perfect, and there is a great space to improve it, but it is not the urgent slogan.
The most urgent topic nowadays is the Peace.
- Peace. The harmonious coexistence of the diverse social actors.
The new definition of the “Equality” guides us to how to achieve the Peace, by leveling the human beings in importance, not trying to standardize the human being, but recognizing that each person is different.
- Fraternity. “Love your neighbor as yourself”, your neighbor is each citizen that has signed a reciprocal love pact.
This fraternity definition is the Golden rule, and it goes in the same line that its traditional definition because its purpose is achieving:
- The realization of a happy community, devoid of any conflict and opposed to any form of selfishness.
As we can see, it is again the peace topic, specifically that the peace is reached through the love.
A country is defined by the pact that the citizens of that country have decided to celebrate, this social pact is known as:
- The Constitution.
For a country to be consolidated effectively as “a country”, this pact must be a mutual compromise between its citizens, a love pact, a fraternity pact. Hence, when we see the territorial divisions and extremism in a country, it is a clear sign that the love pact among these citizens is broken. But:
- Can a pact, that hasn’t been signed, be broken and of which someone was never conscious of?
This new fraternity separates the human beings into two groups. On one side, there are the citizens compromised in loving and supporting between them, expressed through the sign of the Constitution, these human beings are the citizens. On the other side, there are the people who haven’t signed the constitutional pact, and with them we must behave just as it is expressed in the liberty:
- “Do not do to another what you wouldn’t do to you”.
That is, they are the guests of the citizens.
The ideological concept of “fraternity” as it was expressed by the French people, it belongs to a different sphere than the liberty, because it implies a social commitment, and besides, its origin is in the millennial wisdom.
The Mistake of Applying Definitions of an Old Era to the Current Reality
The world is in a constant change and development process, thus, our understanding of the society must also be in a constant development, we must make ourselves questions about the validity of our paradigms, what was valid in 1800 cannot be the same in 2000, the humanity has seen more changes in the last 200 years, than in all the 5000 years of written history. Hence, our paradigms must be re-evaluated, we are not saying that they need to be discarded, but questioning the validity of the paradigms that we have inherited from our past generations, in the light of the new reality.
Is the educational paradigm of 1850 valid in 2017? If in the society, each one of us makes different tasks:
- Why should we teach the same to the children?
- Why should we nurture them all likewise?
If we are in the knowledge era:
- Shall we transmit the knowledge or teach to learn the knowledge?
The traditional educational system was developed to quickly convert the peasants into workers. One of the mental blocks for the change in the educational model, and we all know that it doesn’t work anymore, is the old definition of equality, that as we wrote it, it tends to standardize the human being, rejecting the reality that each one of us is different. For reading more about this educational paradigm you can click this link:
The old definition of “equality” leads us to try to standardize the individual, since we all must be the same, being the standardized model that is applied to all the citizens, generally an imposition made from the economic or political power. It implies the elimination of the differences. That is why we see that the liberalism is transformed into fascism, as well as the communism is also transformed into fascism.
That is why we see there is no liberty of expression, but a biased and standardized vision of what can be expressed and what cannot. Because as we said it, it tries to eliminate the individual expression. And the official or citizen who tries to keep an individual expression is submitted to the risk of losing the job and to the economic slavery due to a strong fine.
Liberty. “Do not do to another what you wouldn’t do to you”.
Equality. “All the human beings are equally important but naturally different in needs and abilities”
Fraternity. “The realization of a happy community, devoid of any conflict and opposing to any form of selfishness”. It is made through the slogan “love your neighbor as yourself”, being your neighbor each citizen that has signed a social coexistence pact known as “The Constitution”.
The definitions of 1800 were correspondent to a society that claimed for Justice. 200 hundred years later, the society claims for peace now. This peace will not ever come if trying to standardize the human being, instead, when trying to standardize the human being it will lead us to the war. The peace will come from recognizing our differences, our importance equality, and going up to the next level of human development , by unifying with love our different and enriched opinions.
- Liberty. It is the minimum basis of the human relations, “equality” is in the middle to achieve the social peace, and “fraternity” is the last goal of the society, of a country and, the world.
The old continent, Europe, a region which is highly influenced by the Jewish and Christian ideology, have been for many centuries the bastion of the western culture, some sort of a big brother for many countries, and in the last century it has tried to detach from its Jewish and Christian heritage. And hence, it is in an identity crisis, which was showed in 2017 as it was expressed by the French candidate Emmanuel Macron when saying:
Of course, there is a French culture, and it is also true that there is a France that wants to disregard its origins and a France that has forgotten its identity, and it is trying to make up an alternative identity, disregarding its rich ideological Christian tradition, that definitely it has its failures and must be thought, keeping the good and throwing out the bad, but it cannot simply dismiss its basis.
And when you forget your identity, forgetting where you come from, and your origins. You cannot teach others what you are made of, because you don’t even know it consciously. You cannot teach your identity to the new members of your society, nor your values nor history, because you have already forgotten it. The multiculturalism known as an enrichment of the local culture is beneficial. Receiving people from other cultures, it is not just acceptable, but it is important for the cultural advance of a country, because the immigrants enrich a country. But:
- Under which conditions?
Instead, a multiculturalism known as the disorganized mix or, even worst the absorption of a culture without the due analysis of its social benefit, it leads to the cultural suicide.
We are not talking about going back to the Catholic Church and its ideology, but reconsidering its ideological origins, taking the good and discarding the bad, with an open mind, very close to the scientific method with love. A sincere approach to our millennial origins, our identity, that will enable us to build a glorious future on strong foundations.
- Justice. It is giving compensations correspondent to the size of the benefit, or damage caused. It is also known as “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth”, which expresses doing justice, even though many misunderstand it thinking that it talks about pulling eyes and teeth out. It is comprehended when analyzing that you cannot take an eye to a tort because that person would remain blind, but you can compensate the value of an eye lost. This is a topic for another article.