¿Debemos reforzar la discriminación positiva?

En un orden liberal, los derechos iguales para todos los ciudadanos son fundamentales. Esos derechos ofrecen oportunidades para la participación política, la formación de asociaciones y la expresión de ideas. Pero también abren puertas para la participación económica y para la participación en instituciones sociales como la educación. La garantía constitucional de esos derechos es el gran logro de la gran batalla por la ciudadanía que caracterizó a los dos últimos siglos.

Sin embargo, la garantía legal de los derechos es a menudo insuficiente. Incluso el derecho al voto no significa gran cosa para quienes dependen por completo de otras personas o instituciones. La igualdad ante la ley sigue siendo una promesa vacía para quienes no pueden o no saben cómo aprovecharla.

El derecho a una educación acorde con el talento requiere estímulos de muchos tipos. Así, uno de los grandes temas del progreso social durante el siglo pasado fue imbuir con sustancia social al concepto abstracto de los derechos iguales. Eso significó la promoción activa a través de la información, de la educación política, por ejemplo. En lo referente a la educación, a menudo significó dedicar recursos a la asistencia financiera para estudiantes mediante préstamos subsidiados o becas.

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