Nic Kristof discovers equality: since Harris discovered inequality, we are all set

In todays NYT, NK, (whom I have already praised esentially as a very decent human being) comments on social equality or not, and its devastating effects on society (really). Except the whole thing is a shellacking of self evident truths and evopyscho non-arguments from ‘scientific observations”. Why do bright people like NK fail to advocate that positive social change comes about by democratic political action?; and not by arguing ‘reason’ (it helps) and not by shooting lame ducks (or is it ducks in a row?)? I find this very disturbing: many fail to acknowledge their role in change and more fail to do anything about it. NK certainly brings the issue up but fails miserably by trying to make it a “scientific issue”: weird and bad. As in Sam Harris piece at Huffpost, curiously symmetrical, there it seems to be a reach out to ‘scientific evidence” to approach the equality problem.? Maybe we could find some hard facts to support moral social change. we had really hard facts to fight slavery, and pass Civil Rights legislation, 100 years later…….

He could have summarized the entire oped with his last pararagraph:

“So as we debate national policy in 2011 — from the estate tax to unemployment insurance to early childhood education — let’s push to reduce the stunning levels of inequality in America today. These inequities seem profoundly unhealthy, for us and for our nation’s soul”

But instead we are offered:

“..There’s growing evidence that the toll of our stunning inequality is not just economic but also is a melancholy of the soul. The upshot appears to be high rates of violent crime, high narcotics use, high teenage birthrates and even high rates of heart disease…’That’s the argument of an important book by two distinguished British epidemiologists, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. They argue that gross inequality tears at the human psyche, creating anxiety, distrust and an array of mental and physical ailments — and they cite mountains of data to support their argument”

“If you fail to avoid high inequality, you will need more prisons and more police,” they assert. “You will have to deal with higher rates of mental illness, drug abuse and every other kind of problem.” They explore these issues in their book, “The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger.”

“There’s similar evidence from other primates. For example, macaque monkeys are also highly social animals, and scientists put them in cages and taught them how to push a lever so that they could get cocaine. Those at the bottom of the monkey hierarchy took much more cocaine than high-status monkeys.
And how could we leave out the stunning primate evidence
( i have met some pretty depressed chimps):
“Other experiments found that low-status monkeys suffered physical problems, including atherosclerosis in their arteries and an increase in abdominal fat. And as with monkeys, so with humans. Researchers have found that when people become unemployed or suffer economic setbacks, they gain weight. One 12-year study of American men found that when their income slipped, they gained an average of 5.5 pounds”.
This is priceleess; the fatmans’ family in MacDonalds’ is not our equal and moreover: depressed….a very long f……………………(or is it a very slow??).

Is it “bad” that NK highlighted this work? Of course not; on the contrary: I hope sparks interest in this ‘issue” (arghh). But nonetheless, the fact remains; unless we move from words to poiesis, nothing will change.

Interestingly, atheists, or so, like SH, blame the church, catholic in particular for many social evils: abortion, assisted suicide (well, kinda of assisted), “conformism” (whatever this mean).

Fools, the church is long devoid of any political power…. The targets are the laws of governments: state and federal, not the church for crissake…(pun). That faithful listen to the church, is a fallacy. In Chile everybody goes to mass but everybody supports abortion. In Mexico narcosaints comend their deeds to la Morenita (Guadalupe version of Mary). In Colombia all fornicate like bunnies, under celestial supervision. I think the church argument is a scapegoat of lost human beings. The church..ja!!


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