When asking whether inequality is unfair, we have perhaps too often made the mistake of asking whether it is unfair in and of itself. A better question is to ask whether the inequality we see is the inevitable result of a fair economic and political system. The answer to that appears to be no. But even if it were, we have more good reasons than ever to see rising inequality as representing a grave threat to our health and to the legitimacy of capitalist democracies.
The idea that unconscious biological forces drive our beliefs and actions would seem to pose a real threat to our free will. We like to think that we make choices on the basis of our own conscious deliberations. But isn’t all that thinking things over irrelevant if our final decision was already written in our genetic code? And doesn’t the whole edifice of personal responsibility collapse if we accept that “my genes made me do it”?
Small thoughts about big subjects; big thoughts about small things; seeds of thought, scatttered to either take root or not; plus short links to longer work. Microphilosophy is the website of the writer Julian Baggini.