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There seems to be a consensus, among the intellectual and political classes, that levels of social inequality have spiralled out of control, and that most of the world’s problems result from this, in one way or another.Pointing this out is seen as a challenge to global power structures, but compare this to the way similar issues might have been discussed a generation earlier.
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.
These hunt stories are told mainly through pictures, with lots of fascinating and unusual details.
For centuries, we have been telling ourselves a simple story about the origins of social inequality.
”), all without addressing any of the factors that people actually object to about such “unequal” social arrangements.
For instance, that some manage to turn their wealth into power over others; or that other people end up being told their needs are not important, and their lives have no intrinsic worth.Otherwise, the best we can hope for is to adjust the size of the boot that will be stomping on our faces, for ever, or perhaps to wrangle a bit more wiggle room in which some of us can at least temporarily duck out of its way.Mainstream social science now seems mobilised to reinforce this sense of hopelessness.First, that there is a thing called “inequality”; second, that it is a problem; and third, that there was a time it did not exist.Since the financial crash of 2008 and the upheavals that followed, the “problem of social inequality” has been at the centre of political debate.”) as their starting point, and assume the larger story will begin with some kind of fall from primordial innocence.Simply framing the question this way means making a series of assumptions.But our latest Narratively story isn't available online.Instead, we printed the entire thing on a tote bag, and it's available only to Narratively Patrons.Most see civilisation, hence inequality, as a tragic necessity.Some dream of returning to a past utopia, of finding an industrial equivalent to “primitive communism”, or even, in extreme cases, of destroying everything, and going back to being foragers again.