So, what's the problem with champagne socialism?
Are well-off advocates of left-wing positions hypocrites? How does one square egalitarian convictions with personal affluence?
“The prevailing attitude seems to be that issues of politics and morality—the sort of issues that most people can perceive clearly in connection with, say, corporate glass ceilings or the patronage of lunch counters—are suddenly off limits where music is concerned.” [more inside]
“There’s a tremendous amount of anxiety among religious traditionalists that when you take one step toward egalitarianism, the floodgates are open and everything that seemed self-evident will no longer be. Men go to work, and women raise children. If you undermine that, you have lost your whole universe.”
The Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements of Judaism have been ordaining women as rabbis for decades, but the religion's most traditional sect, the Orthodox, remains a lone, minority holdout against egalitarianism. Last year, Orthodox Rabbi Avraham "Avi" Weiss (political activist
and founder of the controversial
, liberal, "Open Orthodox" Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
Yeshiva in New York) tried to shake things up by ordaining the first female American Orthodox rabbi
. [more inside]
Class Mobility within America
- The mythology surrounding Horatio Alger
is a powerful force within American culture: the idea that anyone can pull oneself up by the bootstraps to become financially successful. Surprising research
by statistician Miles Corak
shows that Americans have no more income mobility than Europeans — contradicting cultural presumptions of egalitarianism — and even less than Scandinavian countries, despite their heavy taxation. Marketing slowly meets reality
in the American Dream...
The Law of Jante
) was codified by the Danish-born novelist Aksel Sandemose
while he was living in Norway. The Law
comprises ten 'commandments', and describes an unspoken code of conformity
that Sandemose felt as a stifling inhibitive influence in the town where he grew up. Later commentators have used the term more generally to refer to the anti-individualist tendencies that have traditionally pervaded Scandinavian culture, and to denote 'the dark side of egalitarianism'. Of course, the Law needn't be interpreted
in such a negative light, and egalitarianism has its good side too, the difficult question being: do the benefits of equality make it worthwhile suffering
the strictures of Janteloven?