Thursday, 30 March 2006

Give it all away? To whom?

Here's the sort of view you hear quite frequently in egalitarian circles: “On pain of living a life that's seriously immoral, a typical well-off person, like you and me, must give away most of her financially valuable assets, and much of her income, directing the funds to lessen efficiently the serious suffering of others.”

How do you feel about that egalitarian notion? Think about that, then read Tibor Machan's view here. His conclusion:

What egalitarians are effectively insisting on ... is not equal distribution of resources, since that’s flat out impossible. They are insisting on doing all the wealth redistribution themselves, not those who own the resources.

So like it or not, egalitarianism is not about equal distribution but about who is to do the highly selective distribution that goes on all the time.
So egalitarianism comes down he argues, not to whether or not we should use resources according to our own judgement, but who gets to decide what happens to our resources -- with the egalitarian naturally in the way of setting him or herself up to do the deciding. As Ayn Rand used to say, when you hear someone talking about sacrifice, you can be damn sure they're expecting to be the ones picking up the sacrifices.

So then, how do you feel about those egalitarians now ?

LINKS: Impossible egalitarianism - Tibor Machan, SOLO Passion

TAGS: Politics, Ethics


  1. I thought you had given up on this blog. Running a blog is becoming rather naff these days

  2. Why would I give up? You get to meet the nicest people, especially in the comments section.

  3. About the same as I always thought about egalitarians.

    Not fit for dog tucker...


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