By Jane Franklin
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Extra info for Equality
At issue is the question as to how far it is practical to intervene to make the start fair. And, if the start cannot be made fair, how far should the outcomes be interfered with? This can be illustrated by the debate between Roy Hattersley and Gordon Brown. Hattersley argues that: I certainly want equality of outcome ... many inequalities are not the result of genetics, even less of fate. They are the product of the way in which society is organised ... socialists want first to reduce and then eliminate the organisational, institutional and social factors which make men and women unnaturally different.
He wants to boost the non-economic sphere where money cannot talk, and hold sway. Again, reducing money inequalities is not on the agenda. It is clear from the book's preface that the author, a journalist, was responding to a dilemma faced by American liberals, and in particular Bill Clinton. Like Crosland, Kaus asks how we can "pursue the traditional liberal goal of social equality at a time when, first, differences in income and wealth seem to be ineluctably growing, and, second, this money inequality increasingly originates in differences of skill and talent".
I'll be more surprised if you're able to disagree in the second way, not, that is, by challenging the distinguishing role of the values I've identified. but by claiming that a value not identified here also enjoyed such a role. (Perhaps a third such value, as suggested to me by Danny Goldstick. is equality of power, in a political sense, as opposed to equalitv in the econom· · sense whtch · occuptes . me here. This \'alue · . tc-d'tstn'b uttve was mdeed affirmed by the Left. ) 5. Both The Justice Gap and Social Justice in a Changing World emanated from the commtsston .