Cheap booze and inequality

In: Uncategorized

24 Mar 2012

The debate on cheap alcohol that has raged in Britain since the government announced it is setting a minimum price is part of the inequality discussion. Underlying all the talk is the assumption that society is fragmenting with an alcohol-fueled underclass pulling away at the bottom.

Such allegations of moral degeneracy are completely consistent with the debate about the 1% versus the 99%. Most of the contemporary critics of inequality are motivated by a fear of social disintegration. They support therapeutic measures – the authorities aggressively interfering in the lives of individuals – as well as in some cases a degree of income redistribution.

Contemporary attacks on inequality are entirely reactionary. Their perspective is elitist and authoritarian. The last thing they are motivated by is a drive to realise the full potential of humanity.