Is inequality bad for society as a whole?

  • News
  • Thread starter P-Jay1
  • Start date
  • #26
russ_watters
Mentor
19,949
6,440


Do you think you are biased in saying that? Would someone on the "losing" end make that statement?
A great philosopher once said, "There's always a bigger fish."
 
  • #27
Office_Shredder
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,019
229


That doesn't change the fact that being a big fish is awesome
 
  • #28
russ_watters
Mentor
19,949
6,440


Could Marx have ever predicted that socialist propaganda could be so remarkably effective?
The devil's greatest trick is convincing the world he doesn't exist.

I have a rant I've been meaning to post in another open thread on a similar subject, but the thesis is this: Western political philosophy was developed academically for hundreds of years before being successfully implimented in the US and then the rest of the world. It then operated for 150 years before an idea was proposed to modify the concept of "rights" to be things granted/provided by the government instead of just things the government couldn't take from you (or let others take from you). Near as I can tell, this idea came from FDR with his "second bill of rights" speech. This idea was not vetted by academic discourse but instead was proposed by a politician who stood to gain personally in proposing it. Thus, today's move toward implimenting his concept, in particular with the recent 'government sourced healthcare is a right' is seriously misguided.

The one caveat to the "not vetted by academic discourse" is that the nearest relation to a developed political theory that FDR's idea could come from is Marxism. Marxism was discussed in depth by Marx and argued and debated for decades, then multiple attempts were made to impliment it in a relatively pure form on a national level, all of which failed. So it may be more accurate to say it was vetted -- just with a negative result (if that's the right usage of that word...). Today's liberals bristle at hearing it, but the reality is that they are pulling the western world toward the failed theory of Marx. The financial and related social problems of the west today are a manifestation of the same sort of failure that brought down the USSR.

[edit] Er, ok - that was basically the whole rant.
 
  • #29
100
1


In terms of inequality of society there are now claims that an unequal society creates health problems and social problems for every class, including the rich. It has been said that a country with a bigger gap between the rich and poor is a country with bigger health and social problems.

For instance countries like the USA and the Uk do worse than there equaivalents in more equal countries like Sweden or Japan. Unequal countries like the USA have a lot higher homicides per 100,000 than say Sweden. Unequal countries have higher teen birth rates, more violence, more obesity, more people in prison, and lower levels of child welfare. For e.g. If we were to plot a graph with the equality of countries on the x-axis and the amount of homicides on the y-axis, then we would see diagonal line rising as the equality lessens.

It it said that these social problems arise because countries like the USA and UK are more socially competitive places to live. This can give pose "physco social" factors- like social anxiety. Peoples feelings have a lot to do with their overall health apparently.

I myself am pretty sceptical about this as not sure the figures add up. A correlation between inequality and teen birth rate is just the same as a correlation between the number of birds migrating and the amount of homicides. I think more variables shold be taken into to consideration.
i think japan and the scandinavian countries are quite a bit more homogeneous in their populations than we are. and that being mostly all one tribe makes those types of social policies easier to implement. here, there is always the feeling that some other group is trying to take something away from you, cries of fairness are aired, and fighting results.
 
Last edited:
  • #30
russ_watters
Mentor
19,949
6,440


That doesn't change the fact that being a big fish is awesome
Until you're eaten by a bigger fish.
 
  • #31
106
1


Today's liberals bristle at hearing it, but the reality is that they are pulling the western world toward the failed theory of Marx. The financial and related social problems of the west today are a manifestation of the same sort of failure that brought down the USSR.

[edit] Er, ok - that was basically the whole rant.
It depends what your understanding of liberalism is. Frankly, I dont believe that sharing a belief that humans should enjoy the same set of rights guaranteed by the state , and being equals before the law it's such a bad idea.

To rant myself, I dont believe that fighting to the pathetic attachment of conservative right to church and religion and all the impingement this cause on rights of other humans, has anything to do with Marxism. This relentless tendency of religious conservatives is a threat to this world as big as Marxism is.

Goldwater had a point...

A lot of so-called conservatives don't know what the word means. They think I've turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That's a decision that's up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right."
 
  • #32
106
1
  • #33
180
1


Until you're eaten by a bigger fish.
Lol, http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Quote:Qui-Gon_Jinn" [Broken], didn't he? :) Well, at least George Lucas did.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #34


Nope. It's not very constructive to repeatedly misrepresent the posts you respond to.

I was obviously referring to people who do share Marx's philosophy. But you knew that.

Edit: Not all people who share that philosophy object to the word socialist. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernie_Sanders" [Broken], for example, refers to himself as a socialist. As much as I disagree with him, at least he's not ashamed of who he is, and knows what the word socialist means.

The word socialist is not a personal insult, or a reference to madmen (Mao, Stalin, Hitler, etc) who happened to be socialist, as so many apparently believe.
My bold: How did they come to believe such a thing anyway? *scratches head*. Ahhh, me no know... me stupid and forget recent history. :rofl:
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #35


The devil's greatest trick is convincing the world he doesn't exist.

I have a rant I've been meaning to post in another open thread on a similar subject, but the thesis is this: Western political philosophy was developed academically for hundreds of years before being successfully implimented in the US and then the rest of the world. It then operated for 150 years before an idea was proposed to modify the concept of "rights" to be things granted/provided by the government instead of just things the government couldn't take from you (or let others take from you). Near as I can tell, this idea came from FDR with his "second bill of rights" speech. This idea was not vetted by academic discourse but instead was proposed by a politician who stood to gain personally in proposing it. Thus, today's move toward implimenting his concept, in particular with the recent 'government sourced healthcare is a right' is seriously misguided.

The one caveat to the "not vetted by academic discourse" is that the nearest relation to a developed political theory that FDR's idea could come from is Marxism. Marxism was discussed in depth by Marx and argued and debated for decades, then multiple attempts were made to impliment it in a relatively pure form on a national level, all of which failed. So it may be more accurate to say it was vetted -- just with a negative result (if that's the right usage of that word...). Today's liberals bristle at hearing it, but the reality is that they are pulling the western world toward the failed theory of Marx. The financial and related social problems of the west today are a manifestation of the same sort of failure that brought down the USSR.

[edit] Er, ok - that was basically the whole rant.

Russ: Star Wars? (THE NEW ONES), and unless you're a fan of Baudelaire, 'The Usual Suspects'? If the latter, the only thing that really merits a response would be to correct you:

You quoted the form of Baudelaire, "Mes chers frères, n'oubliez jamais, quand vous entendrez vanter le progrès des lumières, que la plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu'il n'existe pas!"

but with a bastardized content of the Hungarian adaptation of the phrase used in TUS: "Az Ördög legnagyobb ámítása, hogy meggyozte a világot, nem létezik." (which is closest to: "The Ördög (demonic creature) pulled (vernacular) the greatest deception convincing the world it doesn't it exist."

You like movies right?... so now, context! :smile:
 
Last edited:
  • #37
CAC1001


Russ: Star Wars? (THE NEW ONES), and unless you're a fan of Baudelaire, 'The Usual Suspects'? If the latter, the only thing that really merits a response would be to correct you:

You quoted the form of Baudelaire, "Mes chers frères, n'oubliez jamais, quand vous entendrez vanter le progrès des lumières, que la plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu'il n'existe pas!"

but with a bastardized content of the Hungarian adaptation of the phrase used in TUS: "Az Ördög legnagyobb ámítása, hogy meggyozte a világot, nem létezik." (which is closest to: "The Ördög (demonic creature) pulled (vernacular) the greatest deception convincing the world it doesn't it exist."

You like movies right?... so now, context! :smile:
I am confused here, which part of Russ's post was he making a quote...?
 
  • #38
CAC1001


To rant myself, I dont believe that fighting to the pathetic attachment of conservative right to church and religion and all the impingement this cause on rights of other humans, has anything to do with Marxism. This relentless tendency of religious conservatives is a threat to this world as big as Marxism is.
Technically, Marxism is a religion. It is just an atheist religion. As opposed to a glorious paradise you experience in an afterlife with a god, Marxism promises this glorious paradise on Earth. The State is the god in Marxism.

Goldwater had a point...
I would say Goldwater lacked understanding of much of the pro-life point-of-view (IMO both the pro-life and pro-choice sides make good points, and the extremists on both sides are religious in their points of view).
 
  • #39


"Guns, Germs, and Steel' was actually a book that came out a while ago: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0393317552/?tag=pfamazon01-20&tag=pfamazon01-20
Yeah, that was a good examination... I read it, then listened to it on an audio book format on a drive. Thoughtful... I didn't realize it was one and the same, thanks!

CAC1001: "The devil's greatest trick is convincing the world he doesn't exist." and, arguably the fish quote (I'm not sure about that one). As I said, either he's a fan of the French poet Baudelaire, who's quote isn't a good match, or 'The Usual Suspects'... which is.

As for Marxism, and atheism (in the form of "I'm SURE" as opposed to, "I have no belief"), yeah... good point. Abortion... that's just a thread-locker, no touchie! :wink:
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #40
mheslep
Gold Member
311
728


In terms of inequality of society there are now claims that an unequal society creates health problems and social problems for every class, including the rich. It has been said that a country with a bigger gap between the rich and poor is a country with bigger health and social problems.

For instance countries like the USA and the Uk do worse than there equaivalents in more equal countries like Sweden or Japan. Unequal countries like the USA have a lot higher homicides per 100,000 than say Sweden. Unequal countries have higher teen birth rates, more violence, more obesity, more people in prison, and lower levels of child welfare.
Yes countries like Japan, birthrate 1.34, are so content with their equality that they are happily on trend to disappear in a couple generations.
http://www.google.com/publicdata/ex...ry:DEU:ITA:JPN:HUN:PRT:ROM:POL&hl=en&dl=en_US
 
  • #44
mheslep
Gold Member
311
728


That is a GROTESQUE oversimplification of hundreds of years of what amounted to regional warfare and attrition. I'm sorry, I realize that there are cultural elements that resemble your point, but they're out of any kind of context.
Stop for a moment, slow down. You missed the point. I gave you an example of a society from the ancient world. Every society in the ancient world had regional warfare, but not everyone declined and disappeared as did Sparta. We know that in part the insular behavior of the Spartans led to its own demise, via resistance to change and a notoriously exclusive warrior class. There are some parallels to some of today's societies, not an exact match. If you're not interested exploring the parallels, fine, move on. And please don't say you're 'sorry' when you mean something else entirely.
 
  • #45


Stop for a moment, slow down. You missed the point. I gave you an example of a society from the ancient world. Every society in the ancient world had regional warfare, but not everyone declined and disappeared as did Sparta. We know that in part the insular behavior of the Spartans led to its own demise, via resistance to change and a notoriously exclusive warrior class. There are some parallels to some of today's societies, not an exact match. If you're not interested exploring the parallels, fine, move on. And please don't say you're 'sorry' when you mean something else entirely.
I think there's a bit of a difference between an ancient group of what we'd probably call warrior-priests... and a HUGELY populous modern nation. Yes, the Japanese could once have fallen into that category, but that was over as of the Meiji Revolution. I'm not sure what there is to discuss when the best parallels to be drawn is with one of the most singularly militant nation-states that has ever existed, if not the most.
 
  • #46
918
16


I believe he was drawing our attention to the similarities, not the differences.
 
  • #47


I believe he was drawing our attention to the similarities, not the differences.
Yes, but they're superficial in my view if you don't take them in context. When taken in context they're no longer similar.
 
  • #48
Al68


It depends what your understanding of liberalism is. Frankly, I dont believe that sharing a belief that humans should enjoy the same set of rights guaranteed by the state , and being equals before the law it's such a bad idea.
Yes, but that's classical liberalism. I think it's a shame that the word "liberalism" is used in the U.S. today to refer to economic authoritarianism.

It's been pointed out in this forum that the word "liberal" is not used that way in Europe, a European "liberal" is what we Americans call "right wing" on economic issues. How in the world did it get so twisted here in the U.S.?
 
  • #49
918
16


My question then is, do you believe that trend will continue until they "happily disappear"? If so... what culture has done this... ever?
Another superficial example is the Shaker community. They haven't completely happily disappeared yet, but this ultimate joy seems not far away. As a part of their practice, they don't have children. They were able to maintain their numbers by adopting orphans but the practice was made illegal for them and that tied their tubes so to speak.
 
  • #50


Another superficial example is the Shaker community. They haven't completely happily disappeared yet, but this ultimate joy seems not far away. As a part of their practice, they don't have children. They were able to maintain their numbers by adopting orphans but the practice was made illegal for them and that tied their tubes so to speak.
Well I'll be... Yeah, that fits as well as ANYTHING could! I remember the name, but I didn't realize they were so... interesting. It's not a country, but it's pretty modern, and the result is clear as you say.

mheslep: It wasn't your example, but this still makes your point, if on a small community scale... it could be scaled up.


Are there any books specifically about cultures with these odd kinds of... I don't know what to call it except a generational-cultural suicide pact?
 

Related Threads on Is inequality bad for society as a whole?

Replies
67
Views
24K
  • Last Post
6
Replies
144
Views
16K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
1K
Replies
47
Views
7K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
31
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
Replies
4
Views
1K
Replies
173
Views
18K
Replies
22
Views
9K
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
2K
Top