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In fact, it’s not obvious what doing so would even mean, since people are not all the same and nobody would particularly want them to be.
‘Inequality’ is a way of framing social problems appropriate to technocratic reformers, the kind of people who assume from the outset that any real vision of social transformation has long since been taken off the political table.
Almost everyone knows this story in its broadest outlines.
Since at least the days of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, it has framed what we think the overall shape and direction of human history to be.
This is important because the narrative also defines our sense of political possibility.
Most see civilization, hence inequality, as a tragic necessity.
Unlike terms such as ‘capital’ or ‘class power’, the word ‘equality’ is practically designed to lead to half-measures and compromise.
One can imagine overthrowing capitalism or breaking the power of the state, but it’s very difficult to imagine eliminating ‘inequality’.If resources become scarce, or social tensions arise, they respond by moving on, and going someplace else.Life for these early humans – we can think of it as humanity’s childhood – is full of dangers, but also possibilities.It allows one to tinker with the numbers, argue about Gini coefficients and thresholds of dysfunction, readjust tax regimes or social welfare mechanisms, even shock the public with figures showing just how bad things have become (‘can you imagine?0.1% of the world’s population controls over 50% of the wealth!Material possessions are few, but the world is an unspoiled and inviting place.