According to Chomsky, Adam Smith distingushes between equality of opportunity and equality of condition and that he supported the latter over the former.

Although I have come across the former term and have some appreciation of what it means, I have not come across the latter term. What does Adam Smith mean by it?


1 Answer 1


The term "equality of condition" can also be thought of as "equality of outcome."

In this context, it refers to the idea that people in a society/state have approximately the same overall quality of life, regardless of opportunity, socioeconomic circumstances, prejudicial treatment, advantages/disadvantages, etc.

This is an oversimplification but, to put it another way, you could think of equality of opportunity (in regards to material wealth, access to luxuries, health and quality of life, etc.) as "equalizing how people start" and equality of condition as "equalizing how people finish."


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