“Equality is a myth” - Thor 21 May 2017
1. In the phrase "equality is a myth", what does 'equality' actually refer to?
2. What could it mean to say that your younger self is not equal to your older self?
3. When we talk about equality, would it make more sense to ask equality for whom, when, where, and under what conditions?
4. Equality of opportunity is a popular concept. How can we make our meaning more precise? (e.g. What exactly is meant by opportunity? For whom, when, where and under what conditions? )
5. What are some known consequences of inequality for the losers?
6. What are some known consequences of inequality for the winners?
7. Nation states are often compared by saying that some have more equality of income and/or opportunity than others. What are some of the difficulties in making these kinds of comparisons?
8. The Australian cultural self-image is one of a highly egalitarian society. How is this egalitarianism expressed and displayed?
9. To what extent are Australian egalitarian ideals reflected in real life living and working conditions?
10. There are both societies and employing organizations where ascribed and earned hierarchies are felt to be the proper order of things and claims for equal opportunity are seen as subversive. Can you identify some of these societies and organizations? Do you agree with their values? Why/why not?
11. If inequality is a permanent condition in one form or another, should the real question be not how to eliminate it, but how to manage it? [That is, how do we manage difference - between men and women, between young and old, between rich and poor, between the powerful and the weak, between leaders and followers, between creators and users, between the intelligent and the stupid ... and so on]
12. a) Should the way of managing inequalities deriving from IMAGINED-to-be-important differences such as race, nationality, tribe, religious superiority beliefs etc differ from b) the way of managing REAL but ACQUIRED inequalities deriving from the effects of power, wealth, education, freedom of movement, language mastery, experience, occupation, connections, legal status etc, and c) differ again from the way of managing INHERENT inequalities deriving from physiology (e.g strength, gender etc), various kinds of intelligence or aptitude, age etc
Equality is a Mythl Discussion Questions ©Thor May 2018
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