By James Hanley
You (yes, you) are invited to submit a post for the Ordinary Gentlemen’s Inequality Symposium. The question to be addressed is: What, if anything, is wrong with inequality?
Anyone may participate, including official League contributors, unofficial League commenters, those quiet readers who too rarely share their thoughts with the rest of us, and folks from other blogs who want to share their perspective with us.
The stimulus for this symposium is two-fold. One is an intermittently recurring debate (sometimes verging on steel cage death match) between liberals and libertarians on the subject of inequality, and the other is a recent recurrence of the suggestion that the League ought to occasionally choose a particular topic for its many authors to all write about (like the great Opposite Day idea (hat tip to Murali), but about a specific topic. I think this may also hearken back to some approaches from the early days of the League.
In the best tradition of the League, we’d like to have a variety of positions represented. So far Roger and Jason K. are (at least tentatively) planning to write, but other libertarians shouldn’t let that deter them. We want liberals of course, since in various comment threads they’ve demonstrated that they have at least some passing interest in the topic (Jesse, Elias, I’d really like your contributions here), and if you don’t like the appellation liberal but you’re somewhere left of center, I mean to include you, too, whether you’re a socialist, a progressive, or just the classic commie-dem. And although there seem to be few true
Scotsmen conservatives hereabouts, I beg some of those few to contribute as well. And of course that still leaves room for principled pragmatists as well.
I’d like to suggest but one rule: Write about your own perspective rather than focusing on a critique of another perspective. Obviously there’s going to be some comparison going on, but don’t go into this with the decided purpose o eviscerating the libertarian/liberal/conservative/principled pragmatist…
We’d like to start putting these up within the next two weeks, so I’d imposing a tentative quasi-deadline of June 13 for submissions. Of course I have no real power here–I’m just facilitating and making suggestions to get the ball rolling–Erik will ultimately decide if you’ve submitted too late, or if he wants to keep accepting submissions long after my not-really-real deadline. But the idea of a symposium is to be able to get posts on a similar topic clustered together, not strung out over a period of too many weeks. So get cracking!
Posts can be submitted directly to Erik, of course, but if you want to use me as an intermediary feel free to do so. At all events, if you’re planning to participate, please shoot me an email so that I have a sense of how many posts we’re looking at having, and how many from what various perspectives, so that I can try to make sure no side is under-represented. My email is jhanley then the classic “at” sign and the domain is adrian.edu.
[Editors note: If you know of non-League bloggers/writers who might be interested in participating, please invite them to submit posts or pitches to edkainblog at gmail.com. I’ve created a new post category for these posts: Inequality Symposium. Authors should use this if they plan to contribute to the series; readers can click on the category link to see a list of all posts.]