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By Peter Dorey

Security of inequality has continually been a center precept of the Conservative get together in nice Britain. but the Conservatives have loved nice electoral luck in a British society marked through common inequalities of wealth and source of revenue. Peter Dorey right here examines the highbrow and political arguments which Conservatives use to justify inequality. He additionally considers debates among Conservatives over how a lot inequality is fascinating or applicable. should still inequality be limitless, to be able to advertise liberty, incentives and rewards? Or should still inequality be saved inside definite bounds to avoid social breakdown and political upheaval? ultimately, he examines why a few much less filthy rich sections of British society have still supported the Conservatives rather than political events selling equality. This ebook might be a major source for college kids and commentators of latest British politics.

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Extra info for British Conservatism: The Philosophy and Politics of Inequality (International Library of Political Studies)

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This then reinforces the Conservative argument for rejecting political attempts at determining wages and salaries on the basis of pursuing equality, and, instead, leaving employees’ remuneration to be determined by ‘the market’ or other morally neutral commercial criteria. Yet there is another important reason why Conservatives emphatically reject the notion that a government committed to egalitarianism or ‘fairness’ could itself decide what wage or salary ought to be paid to each individual 30 British Conservatism or occupational category, namely that this would create or exacerbate social resentment and threaten political authority.

In short, socialists and social democrats argue that in a capitalist society, the enormous disparities in incomes and wealth means that the freedom to do and buy certain things is also highly unequal: the rich enjoy rather more liberty than the poor, because the latter’s choices are limited by lack of material resources and ability to pay for various goods and services. This, of course, logically leads socialists and social democrats to insist that only by pursuing equality, via state intervention and redistributive policies, will the poor genuinely be able to start making the same kind of choices that the rich can already afford to make: greater equality will pari passu lead to more liberty.

Consequently, to tell the tramp that s/he is as free as the tycoon to eat at such an esteemed restaurant is both meaningless and deeply offensive. In short, socialists and social democrats argue that in a capitalist society, the enormous disparities in incomes and wealth means that the freedom to do and buy certain things is also highly unequal: the rich enjoy rather more liberty than the poor, because the latter’s choices are limited by lack of material resources and ability to pay for various goods and services.

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