Inequality is the problem, not ‘deprivation’

I recommend Matt Sellwood’s latest post, http://anglobuddhistcombine.blogspot.com/2009/09/equality-is-must.html
Also do read Wilkinson’s previous book, ‘The impact of inequality’.
I am at present writing, using Wilkinson’s work to challenge liberal political philosophy, especially John Rawls’s disastrous ‘difference principle’, which provides a ‘justification’ for inequality.
My main focus this academic year is going to be this work. I am arguing that inequality in itself, not alleged ‘deprivation’ considered in absolute terms, is the fundamental social problem of modern society.

2 thoughts on “Inequality is the problem, not ‘deprivation’”

  1. I do agree largely, Rupert, but I take it you are talking about “modern society” in Britain, right, since there are several “modern societies”? I’m not just trying to be pedantic, and I agree that relative poverty is vastly under-emphasised, but I’m urging qualification (and for not going to the opposite extreme): there is surely also some significance in absolute poverty/ “deprivation” at some level, e.g. if you have no access to clean water, which many people still do not.

    (The further question then is; at what point do absolute levels of wealth become insignificant in terms of contribution to our well-being? And btw I’m not suggesting that relative poverty/inequality does not also play a role at the same time)

  2. Yes indeed, Ruth; absolutely. I am talking here primarily (though by NO means exclusively) about ‘developed’ societies.
    Wilkinson’s books have lots of detailed info on the questions you are asking here, btw.

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