Sunday, January 19, 2020

Fairness or Freedom?

The Daily Blog links to a column published in the Guardian by Bryce Edwards. It begins:

If New Zealand had a giant monument at the entrance to Auckland or Wellington harbour it would be a “Statue of Equality” not liberty, or so said visiting American political scientist Leslie Lipson who wrote a book about our politics in the 1940s.
New Zealanders have long held dear the notion of fairness, and Lipson’s reflection remains true today. 
And concludes:

 ...if Labour and its coalition partners can keep public debate around traditional egalitarian concerns about inequality, housing, health and education, the New Zealand notion of fairness will probably also ensure her government will get another chance.
Intrigued I had a look at the Lipson book. Some further context:

'Fairness' is of course a highly subjective notion. One man's fairness is the next man's injustice. That's why politicians should not be trusted to deal in it.

Freedom on the other hand restricts the use of force by politicians to impose their particular brand of 'fairness'. I know which I rate more highly.

1 comment:

gravedodger said...

A very early discovery that "fair" may be little better than Santa, The Tooth Fairy, and Peter Pan oh and Wendy!
Bigger kids could often run faster.
Smart kids became go to for teacher.
Poor people had less than rich people.

Then College where we were all newbies except the Prep School kids, they were at home.

Then work, how come rich kids went overseas.
Next a startling discovery, the harder we worked the luckier we seemed to be.

Suddenly now long after the old man with the "The end is nigh" sign has disappeared it seems to be a whole lot nearer.