3 thoughts on “Nick Clegg, equality of opportunity and totalitarianism”

  1. Posted 03/09/2014 at 21:55 | Permalink

    Philip, as always, I enjoy your thoughtful pieces. However, I challenge this statement “In short, there is a straightforward choice between family autonomy and social and economic liberty on the one hand and equality of opportunity on the other.” I agree that there sometimes is, but it is far from universally true, for example in the case of rent seeking and government-granted privileges for certain closed shop occupations. How does removing such privileges (which would increase equality of opportunity) mean that you have less social and economic liberty?

  2. Posted 03/09/2014 at 22:37 | Permalink

    HJ – I agree with that comment entirely and I think the first two sentences of the last paragraph are trying to say something similar. But, what i am saying is that if we are going to pursue equality of opportunity as an end in itself to the bitter end, the consequences will be not ones we would like. When it comes to individual decisions, you are potentially right in many cases.

  3. Posted 04/09/2014 at 12:53 | Permalink

    “Her Majesty the Queen merits her wealth (ignoring disputes about whether it was obtained justly in earlier generations) no less than the mathematical genius who earns millions developing new option pricing theories.”

    If you create and sustain the value of your wealth it is merited. If not, it is merely a claim on other peoples work, effort and enterprise.

    Any “wealth” derived from land cannot therefore be merited.

    As the top 1% own around 50% of land by value, we cannot, by definition ever have a meritocracy.

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