Exploring the Connection Between Inequality and Consciousness

Lucas Charbonnier

Hatched by Lucas Charbonnier

Sep 06, 2023

4 min read


Exploring the Connection Between Inequality and Consciousness


In our quest to understand the complex nature of human existence, we often find ourselves grappling with profound questions about inequality and consciousness. Are all inequalities unjust? And what exactly is consciousness? In this article, we will delve into these two intriguing topics and explore the potential connections between them.

Part 1: Inequality as Injustice

When examining inequalities, it becomes evident that not all of them are considered injustices. Gorgias and Calliclès argue that natural inequalities are not inherently unjust. They believe that the natural order of things allows the stronger individuals to exert their dominance over the weaker ones. In this perspective, any attempt to curb these natural inequalities through laws can be seen as an infringement on the order of nature.

Part 2: The Need to Combat Inequalities

While natural inequalities may not be deemed unjust, there is still a valid argument for combating inequalities in our society. Firstly, we must question whether it is truly the forces of nature expressing themselves or if it is the structures within our political and social communities that perpetuate these inequalities. By critically examining the origins of these inequalities, we can work towards a fairer society.

Marx, for example, suggests that social inequalities do not stem from differences in merit, but rather from societal divisions. This perspective highlights the importance of addressing the root causes of inequality rather than attributing it to individual capabilities alone. By acknowledging the role of social structures, we can strive to reduce inequalities and create a more just society.

Part 3: Equity as a Just Inequality

John Rawls introduces the concept of equity, which proposes that economic and social disparities should benefit the most disadvantaged individuals in order to be considered just. This notion challenges the traditional understanding of equality as everyone receiving the same treatment. Instead, it emphasizes the need to uplift those who are most marginalized in society.

The idea of just inequality suggests that society should strive for a balance where everyone has equal opportunities to succeed, regardless of their starting point. By prioritizing the needs of the most disadvantaged, we can work towards a more equitable society that recognizes and addresses the historical disadvantages faced by certain groups.

Exploring the Connection with Consciousness:

Now that we have examined the intricacies of inequality, let us turn our attention to the concept of consciousness. Derived from the Latin word "cum-scire," meaning "to know with," consciousness is the ability to be aware of oneself and one's actions. It involves a reflective understanding of one's thoughts and the unity between one's thoughts and life experiences.

While it may seem unrelated at first, consciousness can play a crucial role in our perception and understanding of inequality. By being conscious of the existence of inequalities, we can develop a heightened sense of empathy and compassion towards those who are affected by them. Consciousness allows us to recognize the need for change and take action to address these inequalities.


In conclusion, the connection between inequality and consciousness is multifaceted. While some argue that natural inequalities are not inherently unjust, there is a strong case for combating social and economic disparities. By acknowledging the role of social structures in perpetuating inequalities and striving for equity, we can work towards a fairer society. Additionally, consciousness plays a pivotal role in our perception and understanding of inequality, as it enables us to recognize the need for change and take action.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Educate yourself: Take the time to learn about different types of inequalities and their impact on individuals and communities. This knowledge will enable you to have informed discussions and contribute to creating a more equitable society.
  • 2. Engage in dialogue: Initiate conversations about inequality with friends, family, and colleagues. By sharing perspectives and listening to others, you can broaden your understanding and promote awareness of these issues.
  • 3. Support organizations: Identify and support organizations that work towards reducing inequalities and advocating for social justice. Whether through donations or volunteering, your contribution can make a meaningful impact.

Remember, addressing inequality is a collective effort that requires ongoing commitment and action. By striving for a more just and equitable society, we can create a world that values the inherent worth and dignity of every individual.

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