Must-Must-Read: Adam Kotsko: The Good Inequality

Must-Must-Read: Adam Kotsko: The Good Inequality: “My working theory is that virtually no one wants equality as such…

…They want inequality, but the good kind, the justified kind. Hence it is plausible that someone could rail against the power of the 1% and yet still get snippy: “They want $15 an hour for flipping burgers?!” The good inequality now would be based on getting a college education, but whether you received that education and the degree of quality would be based solely on your merits and efforts…. It’s weird the directions that meritocracy starts taking you, though. Have you ever noticed how many firm believers in meritocracy seem to assume that taking race into account automatically cuts against a merit-based approached?… Racism was once considered the good kind of inequality. The racial hierarchy… was a reflection of inherent merit. After all, how could whites be so much more powerful if they weren’t somehow better on the ontological level? Those for whom the race-based meritocracy was too crass leaned on the superiority of cultural institutions….

People demonize equality as totalitarian uniformity–hat would look different for different people, and I think it’s fair to say that such a life might contain its share of tedium and toil (rendered more bearable by its being shared and unstigmatized)…. But… it’s worth the effort of trying to figure out the elusive “what it would look like.”

April 24, 2015

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