6 thoughts on “Standard socialist fallacies #2: “Ability is power””

  1. Posted 11/12/2017 at 11:12 | Permalink

    Read Kurt Vonnegut’s short story ‘Harrison Bergeron’ for a futuristic attempt to equalize all possible sources of advantage.

  2. Posted 12/12/2017 at 09:00 | Permalink

    The reason is that the left have been corrupted by a Marxist version of power, where inequalities are always to be explained by economic, class based differences. Max Weber, some 140 years ago, argued that in addition to ‘class’, inequalities in life chances come about through social ‘status’ inequalities and also state use of power. What you are talking about is inequalities that arise through social status (social approval). The witty man is able to gain better life chances through his wit to gain social status in the eyes of the beautiful women. You have given just one small example of the important effect of social status on life chances. The left’s one trick pony of income/class can’t hope to gain insight into the true complexity of inequality in life chances.

  3. Posted 13/12/2017 at 03:43 | Permalink


    L.P Hartley’s novel Facial Justice

  4. Posted 13/12/2017 at 03:56 | Permalink

    J S Mill

    It was the Classical Liberals, decades before Marx, who explained that inequality resulted mainly from state exploitation and who had a much superior analysis of class than Marx, who got his version of it in a confused form from Saint-Simon and muddled it up with capitalism and wealth inequality


  5. Posted 14/12/2017 at 21:30 | Permalink

    As Chris Dillow explains, 1. egalitarians can quite consistently believe in the redistribution of wealth and at he same time be perfectly comfortable with inequalities of wit. 2. rthe author of this post must know this… http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/

  6. Posted 16/12/2017 at 14:55 | Permalink

    I do know that egaliarians can believe that some inequalities matter and others don’t. It depends on WHY they think the inequalities they are concerned about matter. The head of the Fabian’s claimed that inequalities of wealth matter because they are inequalities of power, and power should always be equal. But wealth is power in the same way that wit is. So he is committed to the view that inequalities of wit are unjust. Of course, if you had a different reason for objecting to inequalities of wealth, then you might avoid this reductio ad absurdum. But that is irrelevant. He didn’t give one of those different reasons. He gave the one I have mentioned. Dillow’s post, which goes through many of those different possible reasons, is thus irrelevant.

    @DBB … see my reply to Dillow on his site.

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