Why the world is still unequal: On the apparatuses of justification and interpassivity

Schalk Engelbrecht


Inequality 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. 


inequality; interpassivity; moral impulse; John Caputo; Slavoj Žižek

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15249/8-2-86


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