Hunting Narrative Essay

”), all without addressing any of the factors that people actually object to about such “unequal” social arrangements.

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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.

Unlike terms such as “capital” or “class power”, the word “equality” is practically designed to lead to half-measures and compromise.

One can imagine overthrowing capitalism or breaking the power of the state, but it’s very difficult to imagine eliminating “inequality”.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.Still, even as researchers have gradually come to a consensus on such questions, they remain strangely reluctant to announce their findings to the public – or even scholars in other disciplines – let alone reflect on the larger political implications.As a result, those writers who are reflecting on the “big questions” of human history – Jared Diamond, Francis Fukuyama, Ian Morris and others – still take Rousseau’s question (“what is the origin of social inequality?It allows one to tinker with the numbers, argue about Gini coefficients and thresholds of dysfunction, readjust tax regimes or social welfare mechanisms, even shock the public with figures showing just how bad things have become (“can you imagine?0.1 per cent of the world’s population controls over 50 per cent of the wealth!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.The latter, we are supposed to believe, is just the inevitable effect of inequality, and inequality, the inevitable result of living in any large, complex, urban, technologically sophisticated society.That is the real political message conveyed by endless invocations of an imaginary age of innocence, before the invention of inequality that if we want to get rid of such problems entirely, we’d have to somehow get rid of 99.9 per cent of the Earth’s population and go back to being tiny bands of foragers again.


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