Why the world is still unequal: On the apparatuses of justification and interpassivity
AbstractInequality offends our moral sensibilities, yet there is no urgency to address it. This article explains the lack of an adequate response to inequality by outlining two apparatuses conspiring to perpetuate inequality – rational justification and interpassivity. The current state of inequality is bolstered by a variety of philosophical and economic rationalisations. However, even when these justifications fail, a system that maintains inequality survives through an ideological mechanism that allows collective delusions to be sustained without owners. Put differently, because others believe on our behalf, we can act in accordance with failed assumptions. To address inequality requires addressing these apparatuses.
Bowman, A. & Isaacs, G. 2014. Demanding the impossible: Platinum mining profits and wage demands in context. Research report by Wits Society, Work and Development Institute. [Online] Available: http:// www.wits.ac.za/swop [Accessed 26 September 2014].
Caputo, J. 1993. Against ethics: Contributions to a poetics of obligation with constant reference to deconstruction. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Deresiewicz, W. 2014. Don’t send your kids to the Ivy League. New Republic, 21 July 2014.
Friedman, M. 1970. The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits. New York Times, 13 September 1970.
Galbraith, J. K. 2004. The economics of innocent fraud. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Haslett, D. W. 2004. Is inheritance justified? In W. Shaw & V. Barry (Eds.), Moral Issues in Business, pp. 140-147. USA: Wadsworth.
Keynes, J.M. 1973. The general theory of employment, interest and money. The collected writings of John Maynard Keynes, Vol. 7. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Levinas, E. 1985. Ethics and infinity – Conversations with Philippe Nemo. Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press.
Marcuse, H. 1968. One-dimensional man. Boston: Beacon Press.
Monbiot, G. 2014. The rich want us to believe their wealth is good for us. The Guardian, 29 July 2014.
Nozick, R. 1974. Anarchy, State, and Utopia. New York: Basic Books.
Pikkety, T. 2014. Capital in the twenty-first century. Translated by Arthur Goldhammer. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University press.
Pfaller, R. 2014. On the pleasure principle in culture: Illusions without owners. New York: Verso.
Romney, M. 2012. TRANSCRIPT: Mitt Romney delivers speech on the economy. [Online] Available: http://foxnewsinsider. com/2012/10/26/transcript-mitt-romney- delivers-speech-on-the-economy. [Accessed 13 August 2014].
Rorty, R. 1998. Human rights, rationality and sentimentality. In Truth and progress, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 167-185.
Rothman, J. 2014. What college can’t do. The New Yorker, 5 August 2014. [Online] Available: http://www.newyorker.com/ books/joshua-rothman/what-college- cant-do [Accessed: 26 September 2014].
Sandel. M. 2010. Justice. England: Penguin Books. Skidelsky, R. & Skidelsky, E. 2013. How much is enough? Great Britain: Penguin Books.
Smith, A. 1976. An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Taylor, T. 2012. The instant economist. USA: Plume.
Wilde, O. 1891. The soul of man under socialism. [Online] Available: http://www.marxists. org [Accessed: 18 September 2012].
Žižek, S. 1989. The sublime object of ideology. New York: Verso.
Žižek, S. 2009. First as tragedy, then as farce. New York: Verso.
Žižek, S. 2012. Revolt of the salaried bourgeoisie. The New Proletariat, 34(20):9-10.
This journal is an open access journal, and the authors and journal should be properly acknowledged, when works are cited.
Authors may use the publisher's version for teaching purposes, in books, theses, dissertations, conferences and conference papers.
A copy of the authors’ publisher's version may also be hosted on the following websites:
- Non-commercial personal homepage or blog.
- Institutional webpage.
- Authors Institutional Repository.
The following notice should accompany such a posting on the website: “This is an electronic version of an article published in AJOBE, Volume XXX, number XXX, pages XXX–XXX”, DOI. Authors should also supply a hyperlink to the original paper or indicate where the original paper (http://ajobe.journals.ac.za/pub) may be found.
Authors publisher's version, affiliated with the Stellenbosch University will be automatically deposited in the University’s’ Institutional Repository SUNScholar.
The following license applies:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.