Redefining Freedom & Equality
How to Handle the World Revolution that has Spread from the Middle East to Wall Street

Islam Could Replace 20th Century Communism

If one had to choose between freedom and equality, choosing freedom would result in greater happiness.

Equality can mean many things. To use an extreme example, the inmates of a prison enjoy equality. But they are not happy. In prison, everybody eats the same breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They wear the same clothes, they have the same rooms to sleep in, and they work the same hours. So if we ask, is equality enough to make you happy, we need to acknowledge that obviously it is not.

The reason is that freedom is missing. The absence of freedom is even harder to bear than inequality. The inmates of a prison would give anything to leave and regain their freedom. Being denied freedom is a harsh punishment.

As long as you have your freedom, you can be prime minister, or you can be a bum. In a way, this means great inequality.
But having the freedom to become president, or a bum, gives us the chance to test ourselves. Somebody may found a company and become its CEO, save money, become a candidate in the elections, be elected as a representative, and end up a prime minister. Somebody else may found a company, but it goes bankrupt, and he ends up a bum.
Of course there are negative examples but I still believe freedom is more important than equality.

As a result of competition, some lose, and a safety net is needed. To maintain the basic necessities of life related to health and cultural factors, wealthy individuals and the government need to behave honorably and provide help, at least to a certain degree.
This does not mean that as a result everybody needs to become equal.

I personally do not believe we would be happy if we all lived in the same apartments. One person may live in a villa, another in a family house. Some people live in apartments, others in traditional tenement houses. Even in a world full of differences, it would be better to have freedom.

Once again, the “Everybody is equal” philosophy is what governs life in prison. It is a type of totalitarianism.
So if you had to choose between freedom and equality you should choose freedom.
On the other hand, I do believe somebody needs to make an effort to ensure that the minimum standards of living are provided for. Big influential businesses, people with money, and politicians should provide for poor people in need. This is my idea.

Some Muslim countries are wealthy and rich in oil reserves, but most are poor. Islam is wide spread in Africa, for example, a continent where most continue to live in poverty.
In a way, Islam has replaced Communism in the sense that in the muslim world, everybody is equally poor.

“Everything happens with Allah’s will and permission” is one of the teachings of Islam. One aspect of this teaching is that independent individual effort is rendered meaningless. This is where I believe the new idea of individual effort needs to be introduced.
I want people to think: “It is not God’s will that I’m poor. If I study a little harder, if I work a little harder, if I really try, I can find a way out of this”. (end of quote)

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Redefining Freedom & Equality
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