Inequality James KA Smith


On the other hand, it’s very easy to be “against” inequality in ways that are simplistic, naïve, and self-congratulatory. Many who decry inequality in one sphere relish its benefits in another sphere. Some who seem bent on leveling all differences tenaciously cling to those that give them the opportunity to announce their opposition. Having a Twitter feed to proudly display your disgust with the villainous 1% is really its own sort of luxury. As Gideon Strauss reminds us in this issue, the disadvantages we (rightly) protest look like distinct advantages from other corners of the world.

There are “particular forms” of elitism that are goods for society. “Universities areelitist,” Judt continues, “They are about selecting the most able cohort of a generation and educating them to their ability—breaking open the elite and making it consistently anew. Equality of opportunity and equality of outcome are not the same thing. A society divided by wealth and inheritance cannot redress this injustice by camouflaging it in educational institutions—by denying distinctions of ability or by restricting selective opportunity.” We’ve thrown out the meritocratic baby with the aristocratic bathwater.

About PaulVK

Husband, Father of 5, Pastor
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