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EARTH HUNGER AND OTHER ESSAYS

exhausted, and it was turned into a dogma of absolute validity and universal application.

The assertion that all men are equal is perhaps the purest falsehood in dogma that was ever put into human language; five minutes' observation of facts will show that men are unequal through a very wide range of variation. Men are not simple units; they are very complex; there is no such thing as a unit man. Therefore we cannot measure men. If we take any element of man and measure men for it, they always fall under a curve of probable error. When we say "man" for human being, we overlook distinctions of age and sex. Males of different ages are not equal; men and women are not equal in the struggle for existence. Women are handicapped by a function which causes disabilities in the struggle for existence, and this difference produces immense disparity in the sexes as to all interests through all human life.

The ground is then shifted to say that all men should be equal before the law, as an ideal of political institutions. They never have been so yet in any state; practically it seems impossible to realize such a state of things. It is an ideal. If this doctrine is a fighting doctrine, if it means that the law should create no privileges for one, or some, which others do not obtain under the same legal conditions, we should all take sides with it for the purposes of the fight. Even this, however, would remain an ideal, an object of hope and effort, not a truth.

When we come nearer to the real thing which men have in mind we find that they actually complain of inequality of fortune, of realization, of earthly lot, of luxury and comfort, of power and satisfaction. This is what they want and this craving is what is in the mores. Nearly all, when they say that they want equality, only use another form of expression to say that they want more