Piketty, Rousseau and the desire for inequality

by Chris Bertram on December 9, 2015

Thomas Piketty’s *Capital in the 21st Century* tells us a great deal about the evolution of inequality in wealth and income over a long period and how that distribution is likely to evolve unless we intervene. What Piketty does not do is to tell us why inequality is bad or why people care about inequality, although we can glean some knowledge of his personal beliefs here and there. In what follows I draw on some aspects of Rousseauvian moral psychology to suggest that the reasons people care about inequality matter enormously and that because some people value inequality for its own sake, it will be harder (even harder than Piketty thinks) to steer our societies away from the whirlpool of inequality. [click to continue…]

Sir Henry at Rawlinson End

by Harry on December 9, 2015

Here. You have a few weeks to listen. You can celebrate Viv Stanshall day every day for a while.