Hello and happy birthday my 50 year old self,
First and foremost I would like to commend you on how proud you have made me by achieving your long awaited goal by becoming the first female president of Nigeria. You have kept your promise not to run off to another country. Also, I will like to commend you for being patient and not opening this letter before your 50th birthday. You have certainly grown up and are more mature. Although I know that you already know the contents of this letter, I will still go on as I am sure that this old memory of yours needs some refreshment. I also hope you would use this opportunity to check your progress so far in ruling Nigeria. Even though I have a feeling ...view middle of the document...
This belief is referred to as individualism. In this case, you see yourself as a modern liberal because unlike classical liberals who believe in minimal state intervention, you believed in the intervention of the state in the development of the individual. In the case of Nigeria which is a very capitalist state, where equal opportunities are not available for all, the intervention of the state can be seen to benefit certain less fortunate individuals.
As observed already from your previous statement, it is easy to understand that equality is one concept dear to you. As a result of individualism, liberals subscribe to foundational equality. Foundational equality in the sense that all human beings are born equal and therefore possess equal legal and political rights. Liberals also belief in formal equality whereby no individual is denied benefits or privileges some others enjoy on the basis of irrational factors such as race, religion or wealth. Although liberals subscribe to a belief in equality of opportunity, they reject the assumption that there should be equality of reward. This stems from the belief in meritocracy is simply reward based on merit, merit being intelligence and hard work. Liberals also reject social equality because human beings are not born with equal talents and skills therefore equality can be seen as equal opportunities to develop their unequal talents (Heywood, 2012).
However, conservatives feel differently on the topic of equality. Conservatism is the resistance to, or at least a suspicion of, change. Conservatives strongly believe in the desire to conserve especially institutions such as tradition, history, property and culture. Institutions which have been tried and tested and found worthy. Unlike liberals who believe in individualism, conservatives believe that the individual cannot be separate from the society. The society defines who they are not necessarily the individual’s abilities. In the case of equality, conservatives do not uphold the belief that all human beings are born equal but rather view society as naturally hierarchical thus reject equality as an unattainable goal.
Another perspective presents equality, especially social equality, as the defining theme of socialism. Although liberalism and socialism share common interests in principles such as reason and development of the individual, socialism has traditionally been defined as an opposition towards liberalism’s capitalism (Heywood, 2012). Unlike liberals who view competition among individuals and institutions as a means to develop themselves and reach maximum potential, socialists prefer cooperation among human beings. Like conservatives, socialists also do not subscribe to individualism rather, believe individual identity is defined through social interaction. Therefore, through social interaction and cooperation, social equality can be achieved.
Although I understand that it has been 33 years now, I can safely bet that you have not forgotten...