It’s interesting getting out. Tonight our hosts played a video by the authors of the latest political fad [asin id=”1608190366″ title=”The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger”]. Their thesis, and they have a whole bunch of very straight forward data to prove it, is that all social ills correlate with economic inequality. Interesting in itself, but what does it mean. One critic says that they provide no way out. Wilkinson & Pickett suggest it’s causal. Their specialty though is not political science and neither is mine.
If I could put forward an interpretation it would go something like this. One of the ways we get social worth is through economic wealth. As a result in a highly stratified society there are a whole bunch of people running around with low self-esteem. Coupled with consumerism which preys on self-worth, it’s a recipe for disaster. You can’t love others if you don’t love yourself.
The other psychological phenomenon this creates is isolation. People feel economically isolated and unable to contribute in the way that society informs us is the most important, which of course is economic contribution. This creates masses of stressed individuals. And we know what stress does.
Anyway, you might want to take a look at the video I found and see what you think.
It strikes me that it all comes down to identification. Wrong identification leads to isolation. The answer it strikes me is not to flatten society, but to know who we really are. I guess that’s just me.