Are all of Jack’s arguments realistic?
This blog post is written chiefly about “Village Politics” that we had to read last week. The majority of Jack’s arguments I think do make sense; some of his lines are eloquently written as well. One in particular that I liked was “They are so free, that there’s nobody safe”.
I do have one major problems with his arguments:
Jack’s opinion on equality
I feel his version of equality is not realistic at all. If everyone was given equal land certainly not everyone would go about farming and growing potatoes. Like we just read in the Federalist, everyone has different tastes and interests, so assuming that everyone would react in the same way would be unreasonable. Some would probably sell the land and start a business, or they may move to other trades. This may be difficult at first and the early trades set up may not be very sophisticated but as more and more services become available, better businesses would form. Eventually inequality would come about again (beyond the natural inequality that Jack thinks exists in any society). Also the passage where he mentions natural inequality directly detracts from his previous argument about equality. The simple fact that he mentions that some people might steal shows that not everyone would be confined to merely farming. It also shows that different people have different skills which, as I mentioned before, would mean that his version of equality could not last for long.
Jack later defines equality as “For every man to pull down every one that is above him till they are as low as the lowest”. Agreed that some people would lose a significant portion of their wealth if everyone is to be equal. However, all the rich people owned, at least in part, would be appropriated to the extreme poor. Even using Jack’s own example of everyone being given a piece of land, one can see that some people would be better off because not everyone might have even that much to begin with.
What are your opinions on Jack’s definition of equality?