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The alternative to this is that, as Toynbee suggests, we must all be re-educated in order to hate inequality. Then we would ask for, and would get, greater action to reduce it. Democracy would indeed produce what we want but only after we’ve elected another electorate to accord with a Guardian columnist’s ideal society. That seems rather against the spirit of democracy, even it was Brecht’s solution to the same problem.

Attitudes toward inequality do differ across societies, it’s no great surprise that their levels of inequality differ as well.

16 thoughts on “Elsewhere”

  1. Haven’t previous socialist regimes tried that, with various Summer camps in remote and exciting places? How did it work out?

  2. It’s the timeless struggle between the concepts of inequality of opportunity and inequality of outcome. I suggest that most in the UK dislike inequality of opportunity. We think that state sector schools should provide the same opportunities as private schools, and that advancement should be based on merit, not class or nepotism. Inequality of outcome, however is dependent largely on personal qualities and the will to work and study. While provision should always be made for the unfortunate, there is no justification in expecting a person with skills and knowledge required by society, whether that be a doctor, an electrician or a plumber or even an economist, to be denied the rewards of their labour to the benefit of those less able or unwilling to work as hard.

  3. I would like equality of opportunity. I would like single mums on benefits to have to pay the same amount to live in London as I do. That would be more equal.
    If they can’t afford it, they can move.
    Equality of course means different things to different people.

  4. History shows us that the more extreme the efforts to enforce equality, the more violently extreme the inequality becomes.

    These efforts mostly concentrate on impoverishing and in some cases, murdering the middle classes.

    It is ironic that most of the commentators calling for more equality hail from these self same middle classes (albeit the high reaches, state funded parts). Looking to make the leap to Nomenklatura and pull the drawbridge up after themselves.

  5. It’s true what you say there about the Scandi’s. It’s more the Finns I have to deal with because we’ve a big community of them here. Naming one of the streets Avenida Finlandia gives a clue how many. Nice enough people to get on with but they don’t seem to be that keen on diversity of anything, much. Couple of times I’ve copped myself a lecture on some aspect they’ve disapproved of & I’m thinking WTF’s it got to do with you?
    I do wonder how this repopulation of their cities by the enrichments is going to work out for them. The intolerance of intolerance thing’s sort of part of the culture. They’re very conformist at being unconformist. They’ve gone along with mass immigration because it’s been expected of them. But I suspect they could easily turn 180 degrees & get very nasty.

  6. Since poverty disappeared, SJWs lacked a war, so they invented a new enemy based on envy. Polly thinks that we should all be coonsumed by envy. She thinks that would be a good thing as it would give her a battle to fight. The very last thing that people like Polly want is equality of outcomes.

    If 10,000 working class people from Essex invaded “Tuscany” or wherever Polly’s villa is, she’d be off like a shot, moaning that the tone of the area had gone down. The only Gurundain reader I know went potty when the local council created a “social house” in his village and shipped in a working class family. He even tried to get them barred from his local pub!

  7. As a gullible older ex-Tory voter in the shires who is often misled by privileged ideologues, I remain intensely relaxed about my stinking rich neighbours and the inequality between us, and have no intention of rising up and engaging in ‘physical acts of protest’. Inequality, as with climate change, divides: I read just as many reports that claim inequality is in decline as those that say it is growing. We tend to believe those that side with our worldview. I recall enjoying a lunch with Polly’s nemesis Cedric Brown many years ago. Seemed a nice enough lad.

  8. It is quite ironic that Toynbee a person whose whole career was due to Nepotism (how many 20 year old uni drop outs with no experience got a job at her Uncle’s paper?).
    Talks about inequality, is it because of guilt?

  9. It’s not about equality at all. They speak of it because YOU care; they are using your mores against YOU. They want you to give up your freedom and liberty FOR A WORD.

    And they are wrong, anyway. Inequality is GOOD. You better HOPE FOR IT.

    “All men are born with different capabilities; if they are free, they are not equal; if they are equal, they are not free.” – Solzhenitsyn

  10. ‘… we must all be re-educated in order to hate inequality.’

    That is incitement to hatred and violence, because hatred of inequality means hatred of those who are ‘more equal’, which means they must be plundered and if they resist, brutalised or killed.

    See: Socialist revolutions everywhere throughout the past.

  11. “we must all be re-educated in order to hate inequality. Then we would ask for, and would get, greater action to reduce it.”

    The right way to reduce inequality is for all the poorly-paid people to stop doing those jobs and instead do the jobs that the highly-paid people do, for slightly less money. Re-educate the unskilled to give them skills.

    Some kids in school score lots more than others. Do you take some of the points and high exam grades off the clever kids and give them to the poor students? Or do you teach the poor students how to become clever kids? And if you object to the first solution, does that mean you think it’s a good thing to turn out half the class unable to read and write?

  12. NiV, but isn’t that the fault of the education system whose motto appears to be “expectation of mediocrity”. We have a system where no one is allowed to fail for fear of them feeling inadequate. I was educated abroad where, if you didn’t obtain the required pass marks in 2 major subjects you repeated the year. It is shameful that students are allowed to leave school without the requisite standards of literacy and numeracy.

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