|Okay, I'm trying to understand this quote, but I think I must be missing something. Like, everything.|
Sociologists may contend that excessive income inequality restricts social mobility and leads to social segmentation and eventually social breakdown, but other social scientists counter this argument with examples of economically successful authoritarian or elitist societies. So... excessive income inequality presupposes an 'authoritarian or elitist' society? Where's the evidence for that? Or is the term 'elitist society' defined as "a society with excessive income inequality," regardless of how authoritarian or libertarian its political structure? That seems to be stacking the deck.
Arguments founded on moral fairness are easily disposed of in an atmosphere of moral relativism and cultural pluralism. Present-day believers in an absolute truth identified with virtue and justice are neither willing nor desirable companions for the defenders of social justice.Is this an argument for or against moral/cultural relativism? It looks like it could be intended as a condemnation of 'defenders of social justice' as much as an attack on 'believers in an absolute truth'. What is the author's position?
I don't have time to go through this whole screed right now, but a quick skim leads me to believe it's defending a conception of 'social justice' as 'distributive justice', a la a globalized version of the European Social Democrat model. Do I have that right?
On a person-to-person level, this simply isn't true, at least not in relatively free societies. In most of the Western world, the rich get richer and the poor get richer; the 'income gap' may widen when they don't improve at the same rate - but that doesn't mean that everyone isn't doing better (I've heard most people living below the poverty line in the US, for instance, have plenty of food and color televisions, to boot).
The popular contention that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer appears to be largely based on fact, particularly within the present global context.
Of course, I wouldn't be surprised if the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer in a number of third-world dictatorships - but it appears that the difference in political systems doesn't play much of a role in typical evaluations of 'social justice'.
This cracks me up:
Extreme poverty and the suffering it entails affect a large proportion of humankind, and major efforts by Governments and international organizations to reduce or eradicate poverty have thus far failed to produce the desired results.The Government(s) tried to solve a problem, and failed? The devil you say!