The Weekend Read
Equality and Singularity

There’s a new book out about inequality written by a Frenchman. But unlike the one that’s getting all the press, this one is more sanguine about the politics surrounding inequality.

Published on: May 10, 2014
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  • Pete

    This ‘inequality’ is the inequality within a society. Consider the mess when it is applied to humanity as a whole as I presume the pope is trying to do.

  • Joe Eagar

    You mean the recent trend of people demanding that “my opinions must be included!” is only going to get worse? That sort of thing drives me crazy. There’s no sense of proportion: you could be discussing a life-and-death issue or the morning paper, and they will react with exactly the same resentment if you don’t stroke their ego properly.

    It drives me crazy.

  • Anthony

    Sophistry! “In other words Rosenvallon wants to enlarge and transform what we mean when we speak about inequality.” Inequality can mean many things (and can describe both measures within country and measures without) but I think current discussion about inequality has more to do with its impact on democracy. That is, equality for a new age of singularity – when everyone wants to be someone – may give another dimension to issue yet suffused by right and wrong (moral aspect of inequality) while redirecting focus on inequality’s impact on social contract and socio-economic arrangements going forward.

  • Jim__L

    If everybody is somebody, you know about the right number of people.

    The problem here is overload, plain and simple. Stuffing so many people into one place, as in cities, means you don’t have enough time to do anyone justice. Add to that overloaded work environments, and the only way you matter is at your job (which to many people isn’t all that satisfying a way to matter.)

    Society needs to take a step back and remember it would be best for people to matter on a much more personal level — as husbands and wives, as fathers and mothers. We need to value egalitarian ways we matter to each other.

    Otherwise, we’re chasing superlatives — best singer (which devalues the singing of everyone who isn’t the best), best dancer, best graphic designer, best foreign policy expert — and there aren’t enough superlatives to go around. If we’re only rewarding superlatives, of course there’s going to be inequality.

    So for Mother’s Day, write your Mom a letter about how much she matters to you. This is the best kind of solution, the kind that works for the most people.

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