This is the outgrowth of an ongoing thought experiment I have while at work; I don't imagine it will end here, but I felt compelled to share it in the hope of eliciting responses. A popular notion in this country is equality; meanwhile, another popular notion in this country is that we (in the encompassing sense of this country) occupy a position of preeminence in the world. It is my general contention that these two are mutually exclusive. Consider. Let us suppose for a moment that Bob lives a privileged life, while Alice does not; in order for Alice to move towards equality, Bob must relinquish some of his privilege. This means, among other things, that Bob must give up some of what he regards as his preeminence as an entity. Likewise, and I'm sure most can see where this is going, the US as a country promotes equality (as do other countries, but the US is a convenient example in this case) both at home and abroad, but yet regards itself as holding a special position in the world - namely, that of the "flame of liberty." Not only do these ideals conflict, but a further element of friction can be identified in that a citizen living in this country can almost be encouraged as desiring military supremacy over the rest of the world. The logic in the aforementioned sentence goes, in somewhat simplified form, as follows: I want low gas prices, a vibrant economy, and high standard of living. Thus, I want plentiful oil supplies, an economy free from extreme foreign influence, and high wages. Thus, it is in my general interest for my country to have a huge military and forcibly take the resources required to provide me and mine what I think I/them deserve. To put that somewhat more succinctly, it is in the interest of the average American to wage war in the Middle East for oil; or any other region that has valuable resources. In a perhaps vain attempt to nutshell this post, because of the unequal distribution of resources in the world, the desire of the citizen of any government for equality and liberty by necessity dictates that others must suffer a disproportionate amount of inequality.