It seems potentially helpful to distinguish among three major psycho-social paradigms, and to assign a familiar mathematical symbol as a label for each.
Let's try to imagine a relatively simple form of self-reflecting consciousness -- a very basic awareness of self and others as such. We might associate this with animals, who generally don't seem to invent, memorize, and deploy elaborate symbolic ontologies the way we do, and from/with whom we've been posited to have evolved. But for present purposes it seems immaterial whether you think we evolved from slightly less sophisticated beings, devolved from slightly more sophisticated beings, are molded by an omnipotent being, are running on the computers of aliens in their parents' basements, etc. We've all probably had the experience of feeling "half awake." Groggy. In a rudimentary sort of state of mind. Operating largely "on autopilot."
Our priorities under these circumstances are necessarily fairly simple, straightforward, and have often tended strongly toward matters of immediate personal comfort, self-preservation, finding safety, security. As we learn and change more about ourselves, we can improve the instincts that guide us when we're groggy. But over the years and centuries, in various types of stupors, we've often perceived others as possible threats or impediments to our own comfort, security, etc., or merely as exploitable means to our own ends. In our relatively single-minded drive to reach our goals, we've sometimes stepped on others. The impulse to get out-from-under, to climb up to safety, to success, has entailed a lot of what we've come to label inconsiderateness, predation, aggression, violence, victimization, domination, subjugation, etc.
And these sorts of behaviors have comprised a significant part of our story on this planet. We speak of the war of all against all. The dog-eat-dog world. Might makes right. And so on.
The '>' sign, resembling to an arrow pointing to the right (the direction we go when we read and write) can represent a simple movement in a definite direction motivated by any felt imperative or goal. It can also represent the impulse to come out on top in a struggle for survival and/or resources, to be "more than" or "greater than."
Unsatisfied with the prevailing levels of sin and strife, we've attempted over the centuries to find a better way. We've noticed the impulse to be "greater than," and we've identified it as a major problem to be remedied. Sometimes there's been the impulse to go in the opposite direction, to try to achieve righteousness by being "less than," through self-sacrifice, submission, self-denial or asceticism, etc. But the attempt to achieve various types of equality, as a solution for our psycho-social ills, has been adopted in very large-scale, systemic ways.
Love thy neighbor as thyself. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We speak of being created equal, equal rights, equal representation, equality before the law, equality of opportunity, etc. By considering both ourselves and others, in equal measure (of various sorts), we found a strategy that worked more nicely and more effectively on large scales, compared to raw, vicious power struggles.
One of our most widespread economic customs is the exchange of value for value, the two parties of a transaction giving each other items of roughly equal worth. This way, neither side seems to be taking undue advantage of the other. Things balance out. Even-steven. Fair and square. The centrality of equality in our transactional economics is reflected in the two parallel lines, of equal length, that appear within the symbols of some currencies (₴, ₦, ₽, ₮, ₩, ¥, etc.).
Moving from half-awake, tunnel-vision, and paranoid '>' orientations to '=' orientations has helped us get along and work together much more harmoniously and effectively, and has helped great masses of people to flourish much more fully.