Some contractualist egalitarians try to accommodate a concern for numbers by embracing a pluralist strategy. They incorporate the belief that the number of people affected matters for what distribution one ought to bring about by arguing that their primary contractualist concern for justifiability to each may be outweighed by aggregative considerations. The present contribution offers two arguments against such a pluralist strategy. First, I argue that advo- cates of the pluralist strategy are forced to abandon the rationale behind the criterion (...) of universal acceptability. Second, I show that pluralist contractualists will be unable to avoid the dreaded conclusion that originally motivated their contractualism. Ultimately, these arguments matter for the nature of egalitarian- ism. They should give those in search of sound distributive principles a reason to make sense of their egalitarian commitment in a non-contractualist way. If a sound set of distributive principles includes comparative and relational princi- ples, while contractualist egalitarianism does not lend itself to being pluralistically combined with non-individualist principles, telic egalitarianism may after all be part of the truth in distributive ethics. (shrink)
Pragmatist Egalitarianism argues that a deep impasse plagues philosophical egalitarianism. It sets forth a conception of equality rooted in American pragmatist thought--specifically William James, John Dewey, and Richard Rorty--that successfully mediates that impasse.
Luck egalitarianism is a family of egalitarian theories of distributive justice that give a special place to luck, choice, and responsibility. These theories can be understood as responding to perceived weaknesses in influential earlier theories of both the left – in particular Rawls’ liberal egalitarianism (1971) – and the right – Nozick’s libertarianism (1974) stands out here. Rawls put great emphasis on the continuity of his theory with the great social contract theories of modern political thought, particularly emphasising (...) its Kantian character, while Nozick overtly develops his theory as an elaboration of John Locke’s account of property. By contrast, how luck egalitarianism is related to the history of political thought or philosophy more generally has been left unexplored by its proponents. Perhaps this is because they see luck egalitarianism, with its focus on individual choice and association with such contemporary concerns as equality of opportunity, as without significant predecessors in the canon. My purpose in this chapter is to make the tentative first steps towards identifying some historical antecedents of luck egalitarianism among the main works of Western political thought, in particular Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Locke. (shrink)
Relational egalitarianism is a theory of justice according to which people must relate as equals. However, not any inegalitarian relation is unjust, i.e., the fact that parents do not relate as equals to their children is not unjust. Whereas an adult treating another adult paternalistically is objectionable from the point of view of relational egalitarianism, parent-child paternalism is not. What may explain this difference in judgment? I refer to this as the Puzzle. I discuss four justifications of the (...) Puzzle and argue that none of them is satisfactory. In the final part of the paper, I discuss where this leaves relational egalitarianism as a theory of justice. (shrink)
Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen tackles all the major questions concerning luck egalitarianism, providing deep, penetrating and original discussion of recent academic discourses on distributive justice as well as responses to some of the main objections in the literature. It offers a new answer to the “Why equality?” and “Equality of what?” questions, and provides a robust luck egalitarian response to the recent criticisms of luck egalitarianism by social relations egalitarians. This systematic, theoretical introduction illustrates the broader picture of distributive justice (...) and enables the reader to understand the core intuitions underlying, or conflicting with, luck egalitarianism. (shrink)
This brilliant and challenging book provides an overview and defence of 'luck egalitarianism', one that helpfully connects debates on luck egalitarianism to debates on what aspects of our lives egalitarians should try equalise (the 'equality of what?' debate/the debate on the 'metric' of equality) and on what respect, if any, it makes sense to see each other as equals. The book illuminates different conceptions of luck, as found in the philosophical literature, clarifies the difference between telic and deontic (...) equality, and explains the 'levelling down' problem and the way that this affects luck egalitarians, and egalitarians more generally. For these reasons, the book provides a handy introduction to a range of philosophical debates about equality amongst analytic philosophers, whether or not one is particularly interested in luck egalitarianism. However, this is not an easy book to read, and while it is advertised as suitable for advanced undergraduates, I find it hard to imagine using it in any undergraduate course I have taught in the United States, England, France or Switzerland. But this is definitely a book that masters and doctoral students should be able to read by themselves and that will be helpful for teachers preparing classes on luck egalitarianism or on equality more generally. (shrink)
Lucia Schwarz urges a reconsideration of the implications of species egalitarianism, which is an essential element of the position in environmental ethics that Paul Taylor calls “respect for nature.” Species egalitarianism’s claim that every living thing has equal inherent worth appears to lead to counterintuitive conclusions, such as that killing a human being is no worse than killing a dandelion. Species egalitarians have generally responded by explaining that species egalitarianism is compatible with recognizing moral differences between killing (...) different types of living things, and that some killing is morally permissible. Schwarz raises doubts about whether this deflationary defensive strategy is philosophically justified, and suggests that taking seriously the supposedly repugnant implications of species egalitarianism may have a salutary effect on the overall debate. (shrink)
Equality as a bare concept refers to two or more distinct things or people being the same in some dimension. Different forms of equality are distinguished by the dimension that is held to be the same. Within political theory, three main forms of equality can be distinguished: moral equality, political equality, and substantive equality. “Moral equality” refers to each individual having the same inherent dignity as a human being, and therefore being worthy of respect. “Political equality,” by contrast, refers to (...) each individual having the same basic rights of involvement in political processes, e.g., by voting or running for office. Modern political theories generally accept that each individual has moral and political equality. The distinguishing feature of egalitarianism is its interpretation of this equal status as requiring substantive equality, i.e., that each individual be placed in the same social or economic conditions. Egalitarianism is an inherently normative view, and more specifically, a view about distributive justice—that is, about the appropriate distribution of benefits and burdens. The account of these benefits and burdens varies from one egalitarian theory to another. For instance, some egalitarians believe that levels of benefit should be measured in terms of resources, others in terms of well-being, and still others in terms of basic capabilities. Egalitarians also disagree on whether benefits should be distributed equally or whether equality of substantive condition in some other sense (i.e., equal opportunity or equal social standing) might be sufficient. Accordingly, each egalitarian theory has its own account of equality. These theories as a whole contrast with non-egalitarian theories, such as right libertarianism or conservativism, which deny that people’s condition should be made equal in any substantive sense. In practical terms, egalitarianism is strongly associated with the political left, but different brands of egalitarianism are associated with different brands of left-wing politics, from traditional socialism or social democracy to a less distribution-focused politics of identity. This article provides an overview of egalitarianism, primarily focusing on its development in contemporary political theory. (shrink)
How should we decide which inequalities between people are justified, and which are unjustified? One answer is that such inequalities are only justified where there is a corresponding variation in responsible action or choice on the part of the persons concerned. This view, which has become known as 'luck egalitarianism', has come to occupy a central place in recent debates about distributive justice. This book is the first full length treatment of this significant development in contemporary political philosophy. Each (...) of its three parts addresses a key question concerning the theory. Which version of luck egalitarian comes closest to realizing luck egalitarian objectives? Does luck egalitarianism succeed as a view of egalitarian justice? And is it sound as an account of distributive justice in general? The book provides a distinctive answer to each of these questions, along the way engaging with the leading theorists identified in the literature as luck egalitarians, such as Richard Arneson, G. A. Cohen, and Ronald Dworkin, as well as the most influential critics, including Elizabeth Anderson, Marc Fleurbaey, Susan Hurley, Samuel Scheffler, and Jonathan Wolff. (shrink)
In this thesis I defend the principle of global egalitarianism. According to this idea most of the existing detrimental inequalities in this world are morally objectionable. As detrimental inequalities I understand those that are not to the benefit of the worst off people and that can be non-wastefully removed. To begin with, I consider various justifications of the idea that only those detrimental inequalities that occur within one and the same state are morally objectionable. I identify Thomas Nagel’s approach (...) as the most promising defence of this traditional position. However, I also show that Nagel’s argument does not even justify the elimination of detrimental inequalities within states. A discussion of the concept of political legitimacy rather shows that egalitarian justice is not a necessary condition of the justifiability of the exercise of coercive political power. I, then, consider other, more Rawlsian approaches to the question of detrimental inequalities. These views appear more plausible than Nagel’s position and argue that egalitarian duties also arise in certain international contexts. But also these more global theories of distributive justice suffer from shortcomings. Since they make the application of duties of justice dependent on the existence of social practices they cannot adequately account for the justified interests of non-participants that are affected by these practices. The counter-intuitive implications of practice-dependent theories lead me to investigate the plausibility of a theory that does not limit justice to existing practices and that argues for the inherent value of equality. This theory is global egalitarianism. I defend global egalitarianism by debilitating three objections that opponents of this idea frequently present in the relevant literature. Finally I also address two particular objections to the idea that global egalitarian duties are institutionalizable with the help of coercive global authorities. (shrink)
Egalitarianism Are all persons of equal moral worth? Is variation in income and wealth just? Does it matter that the allocation of income and wealth is shaped by undeserved luck? No one deserves the family into which they are born, their innate abilities, or their starting place in society, yet these have a dramatic impact … Continue reading Egalitarianism →.
Egalitarianism is a major contemporary position on issues of distributive justice and related public policy. Its major strand can be called “choice-egalitarianism”, broadly, the claim that inequality can be morally justified only when it follows from people’s choices.1 I claim that the choice-egalitarians have failed to recognize a deep sense of injustice, which I call Ultimate Injustice. This form of injustice follows from the implications of the free will problem. Part I of this paper explains what Ultimate Injustice (...) is, explicates egalitarian aims and assumptions, and notes why free will can be particularly relevant for egalitarians. Part II briefly presents the choice-egalitarian position, in a way that emphasizes it’s free will-related aspects. Part III makes a quick survey of the free will problem and of the major alternatives on it, emphasizing the relation to distributive justice. Part IV presents my arguments for the claim that the choice-egalitarian social order is deeply unjust in terms of Ultimate Injustice. Part V briefly reflects upon some theoretical and practical implications that may follow if I am right. (shrink)
Achieving social equality has been an important aim of modern democratic societies. Yet the process has engendered debate about the nature of equality and the consequences of its application. Why is equality valuable? What kind of equality should be aimed for? When is inequality justified? Should a principle of equality apply globally? The book assesses and links the different dimensions of equality and asks whether recent writing on the topic has the philosophical substance and political force traditionally associated with egalitarian (...) thought. (shrink)
Some people are worse off than others. Does this fact give rise to moral concern? Egalitarianism claims that it does, for a wide array of reasons. It is one of the most important and hotly debated problems in moral and political philosophy, occupying a central place in the work of John Rawls, Thomas Nagel, G. A. Cohen and Derek Parfit. It also plays an important role in practical contexts such as the allocation of health care resources, the design of (...) education and tax systems, and the pursuit of global justice. Egalitarianism is a superb introduction to the problem of contemporary egalitarian theories. It explains how rival theories of egalitarianism evaluate distributions of people’s well-being, and carefully assesses the theoretical structure of each theory. It also examines how egalitarian theories are applied to the distribution of health and health care, thus bringing a deceptively complex philosophical debate into clear focus. Beginning with a brief introduction to basic terminology, Iwao Hirose examines the following topics: Rawlsian egalitarianism luck egalitarianism telic egalitarianism prioritarianism sufficientarianism equality and time equality in health and health care. Including chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary, this is an ideal starting point for anyone studying distributive justice for the first time, and will also be of interest to more advanced students and researchers in philosophy, economics, political theory, public policy, and public health. (shrink)
The moral consideration of nonhuman animals and the critique of speciesism have been defended by appeal to a variety of ethical theories. One of the main approaches in moral and political philosophy today from which to launch such a defense is egalitarianism, which is the view that we should aim at favoring the worse off by reducing inequality. This paper explains what egalitarianism is and shows the important practical consequences it has for nonhuman animals, both those that are (...) exploited by humans and those in need of aid in the wild. Egalitarianism implies rejecting speciesism, and in practice it prescribes ceasing to exploit nonhuman animals as well as assisting them. Moreover, because they are worse off in comparison to humans, egalitarianism prescribes giving priority to the interests nonhuman animals. Due to this, egalitarianism gives us extra reasons to defend them beyond those entailed by other nonspeciesist approaches. (shrink)
This paper argues that egalitarian theories should be judged by the degree to which they meet four different challenges. Fundamentalist egalitarianism, which contends that certain inequalities are intrinsically bad or unjust regardless of their consequences, fails to meet these challenges. Building on discussions by T.M. Scanlon and David Miller, we argue that egalitarianism is better understood in terms of commitments to six egalitarian objectives. A consequence of our view, in contrast to Martin O'Neill's “non-intrinsic egalitarianism,“ is that (...)egalitarianism is better understood as a family of views than as a single ethical position. (shrink)
Relational Egalitarianism focuses on the construction of equal social relationships between persons. It strongly opposes luck egalitarianism, which understands equality as a distributive ideal. In Cohen’s theory of justice, luck egalitarianism and relational egalitarianism simultaneously exist, and Cohen provides arguments corresponding to each. In this paper, we explore the manifestation of tension between these two forms of egalitarianism in his theory. In addition, we also reconstruct some possible solutions provided by Cohen to soften this tension, (...) including the three approaches of market mechanism, egalitarian ethos and value pluralism, and find them to be unsuccessful. This tension is a serious challenge that needs to be addressed in Cohen’s theory of justice. (shrink)
Luck egalitarians argue that distributive justice should be understood in terms of our capacity to be responsible for our choices. Both proponents and critics assume that the theory must rely on a comprehensive conception of responsibility. I respond to luck egalitarianism’s critics by developing a political conception of responsibility that remains agnostic on the metaphysics of free choice. I construct this political conception by developing a novel reading of John Rawls’ distinction between the political and the comprehensive. A surprising (...) consequence is that many responsibility-based objections to luck egalitarianism turn out to be objections to Rawls’ political liberalism as well. (shrink)
In "Egalitarianism Defended," Larry Temkin attempted to rebut criticisms of egalitarianism I had made in my article, "Equality, Priority, and Compassion." Temkin's response is interesting and illuminating, but, in this article, I shall claim that his arguments miss their target and that the failure of egalitarianism may have implications more serious than some have thought.
In recent literature, there has been much debate about whether and how luck egalitarianism, given its focus on personal responsibility, can justify universal health care. In this paper we argue that, whether or not this is so, and in fact whether or not egalitarianism should be sensitive to responsibility at all, the question of personal responsibilization for health is not settled. This is the case because whether or not individuals are responsible for their own health condition is not (...) all that is relevant when considering whether we should somehow hold them responsible for their own health condition, e.g. cost-wise. There may also be efficiency-based reasons to hold them responsible, and there may even be egalitarian reasons. Defining universal health care as an insurance system where everyone’s deductible and premium is 0, we will argue that efficiency-based reasons for cost-responsibilization are not convincing, but that there are egalitarian reasons for cost-responsibilization. Luck egalitarianism, therefore, cannot, at least not on its own term, justify universal health care. (shrink)
In this article, I appeal to the phenomenon of moral hazard in order to explain how at least some of the inequalities permitted by Luck Egalitarianism can be given an alternative, more plausible grounding than that which is supplied by Luck Egalitarianism. This alternative grounding robs Luck Egalitarianism of a potentially significant source of intuitive support whilst enabling conditional welfare policies to survive the attacks on them made by Elizabeth Anderson, Jonathan Wolff, and others.
Most philosophers discuss the Repugnant Conclusion as an objection to total utilitarianism. But this focus on total utilitarianism seems to be one-sided. It conceals the important fact that other competing moral theories are also subject to the Repugnant Conclusion. The primary aim of this paper is to demonstrate that versions of egalitarianism are subject to the Repugnant Conclusion and other repugnant conclusions.
The paper extends a result in Dutta and Ray's (1989) theory of constrained egalitarianism initiated by relying on the concept of proportionate rather than absolute equality. We apply this framework to redistributive systems in which what the individuals get depends on what they receive or pay qua members of generally overlapping groups. We solve the constrained equalization problem for this class of models. The paper ends up comparing our solution with the alternative solution based on the Shapley value, which (...) has been recommended in some distributive applications. (shrink)
Over the last twenty years, many political philosophers have rejected the idea that justice is fundamentally about distribution. Rather, justice is about social relations, and the so-called distributive paradigm should be replaced by a new relational paradigm. Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen seeks to describe, refine, and assess these thoughts and to propose a comprehensive form of egalitarianism which includes central elements from both relational and distributive paradigms. He shows why many of the challenges that luck egalitarianism faces reappear, once we (...) try to specify relational egalitarianism more fully. His discussion advances understanding of the nature of the relational ideal, and introduces new conceptual tools for understanding it and for exploring the important question of why it is desirable in the first place to relate as equals. Even severe critics of the distributive understanding of justice will find that this book casts important new light on the ideal to which they subscribe. (shrink)
The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in school closures around the world, leaving lasting negative impacts on many children. Given that such closures are justified public health measures, this raises the question of compensating children for school closures. In this article I address the question of compensation from the perspective of a popular theory of justice: luck egalitarianism. In doing so, I examine a problem with applying luck egalitarianism to children, called the agency assumption. I then argue this assumption results (...) in a dilemma for luck egalitarianism and suggest how this dilemma can be overcome. I argue that the resulting form of luck egalitarianism reveals something interesting about compensating children for school closures: luck egalitarianism requires us to address all bases of justice-relevant inequality among children—Covid-19-related and beyond. Although much of the current discussion of compensating children for such closures has focused narrowly on the need to make up for lost instruction time or to prevent reductions in educational achievement, I argue that a luck egalitarian conception of justice requires us to go beyond merely compensating children for educational losses and instead aim for radical equality in education. (shrink)
The term “political” egalitarianism is used here, not to refer to equality within the political sphere, but rather in John Rawls’s sense, to refer to a conception of egalitarian distributive justice that is capable of serving as the object of an overlapping consensus in a pluralistic society.1 Thus “political” egalitarianism is political in the same way that Rawls’s “political” liberalism is political. The central task when it comes to developing such a conception of equality is to determine what (...) constraints a principle of equality must satisfy in order to qualify as “freestanding,” or to be justifiable in a way that does not presuppose the correctness of any one member of the set of reasonable yet incompatible “religious, philosophical and moral” doctrines that attract large numbers of adherents in our world.2 (Rawls uses the analogy of a “module” in order to describe the way that a properly political conception of justice “fits into and can be supported by various reasonable comprehensive doctrines that endure in the society regulated by it.”3 Political egalitarianism would be “modular” in this sense.) Rather than getting embroiled in the controversies that have arisen over Rawls’s formulation of this idea, I would like simply to accept the intuition, widespread among political philosophers, that equality is the sort of principle that – if given a proper formulation – could satisfy the requirements of a political conception of justice. After all, regardless of what peoples’ projects, values, or conceptions of the good life may be, it should be possible to design a set of arrangements that would provide equal opportunity to pursue these goals, or that would treat each conception of the good with equal respect, etc. From this perspective, the principle of equality resembles the principle of Pareto-efficiency, or certain formulations of the principle of liberty – it is one that everyone should be able to endorse, insofar as it does not privilege, or presuppose the correctness of, any particular set of projects, values.. (shrink)
In recent years, a number of philosophers have argued that much theorizing about the value of equality, and about justice more generally, has focused unduly on distributive issues and neglected the importance of egalitarian social relationships. As a result, relational egalitarian views, according to which the value of egalitarian social relations provides the grounds of the commitment that we ought to have to equality, have gained prominence as alternatives to more fundamentally distributive accounts of the basis of egalitarianism, and (...) of justice-based entitlements. In this paper, I will suggest that reflecting on the kind of explanation of a certain class of our justice-based entitlements that relational egalitarian considerations can offer raises doubts about the project, endorsed by at least some relational egalitarians, of attempting to ground all entitlements of justice in the value of egalitarian social relationships. I will use the entitlement to healthcare provision as my central example. The central claim that I will defend is that even if relational egalitarian accounts can avoid implausible implications regarding the extension of justice-based entitlements to health care, it is more difficult to see how they can avoid what seem to me to be implausible explanations of why individuals have the justice-based entitlements that they do. To the extent that I am correct that relational egalitarian views are committed to offering implausible explanations of the grounds of justice-based entitlements to healthcare, this seems to me to provide at least some support for a more fundamentally distributive approach to thinking about justice in healthcare provision. (shrink)
Drawing on social psychological evidence showing that the perspective from which the economically advantaged and disadvantaged view economic inequalities matters a great deal for how they are appraised, for when they are considered unfair, and for what evidentiary standards individuals rely upon to reach their conclusions, we argue that choice egalitarianism is unsuitable for articulating the demands of justice when people not only disagree about the causes of inequality but also have motivated reasons to adopt different standards for appraising (...) its fairness. Because choice egalitarianism requires us to take a stand on the causes of inequality it is an unsuitable ideal. This is a serious shortcoming when we are interested in getting people to assume collective responsibility for doing something about inequality in the real world. (shrink)
This volume explores the relationship between experience and theory in Indian social sciences in the form of a dialogue. It focuses on questions of Dalit experience and untouchability. While Gopal Guru argues that only those who have lived lives as subalterns can represent them accurately, Sundar Sarukkai feels that people located outside the community can also represent them. Thematically divided into five sections, the first discusses the problems associated with theory in the social sciences in the Indian context. The next (...) makes inquiries into the nature of personal and collective experience. The third explores the larger connection between ethics and theory in India, both in the natural and social sciences. The fourth examines the ontological and epistemological nature of experience itself and the politics of experience, and the last focuses on the experience and theory of experience in India. The authors invoke the image of a cracked mirror to suggest a more complex and distorted relation between experience and theory. This book will interest scholars, researchers, and students of Dalit studies, subaltern studies, and politics. (shrink)
This paper provides a systematic statement of Ronald Dworkin’s political philosophy. Dworkin’s defence of democratic institutions constrained by civil rights is shown to be linked to his defence of the economic market constrained by economic welfare rights. The theory is defended against attacks from H.L.A. Hart and L. Haworth. The possibility that the theory can be given a Kantian grounding is explored.
Topics of equality and justice have been a part of pragmatist discussions from early on. Rondel's Pragmatist Egalitarianism is an important contribution to these discussions. In the book, Rondel reflects on former pragmatists' work, continues ongoing discussions, and provides a new conceptualization of a political-philosophical field called pragmatist egalitarianism. It is a reconciliatory project with a historicist approach to pragmatism, forming a picture of a clear political-philosophical pragmatist tradition. It rejects arguments based on "ideal-theoretical" first principles and questions (...) the value of traditional conceptual analysis. In the course of forming pragmatist egalitarianism, Rondel brings forth claims... (shrink)
In the past few decades, there has been a growing literature on relational egalitarianism. Relational egalitarianism is a view on the nature and value of equality. In contrast to the dominant view in recent debates on equality—distributive egalitarianism, on which equality is about ensuring people have or fare the same in some respect—on the relational view, equality is a matter of the terms on which relationships are structured. But what exactly does it mean for people to relate (...) as equals? And why are relations of equality valuable? Relational egalitarians have offered quite different answers to each of these questions. In this article, I draw attention to some key issues that underlie these disagree- ments, and I offer a taxonomy of different viewpoints that have emerged in the recent literature on these matters. (shrink)
‘Egalitarian' views of consciousness treat my stream of consciousness and yours as on a par ontologically. A range of worries about Chalmers's philosophical system are traced to a background presupposition of egalitarianism: Chalmers is apparently committed to ‘soul pellets'; the ‘phenomenal properties' at the core of the system are obscure; a ‘vertiginous question' about my identity is raised but not adequately answered; the theory of phenomenal concepts conflicts with the ‘transparency of experience'; the epistemology of other minds verges very (...) close to a priori physicalism; the system predicts that dualism is alluring, when it is not. (shrink)
Luck egalitarianism is an approach within current distributive justice theory which aims to focus redistributive efforts solely upon disadvantages that ensue from bad luck. This article considers how central assumptions and themes of both luck egalitarianism and its critics parallel those of providence theology and share some of their concerns. These relate to problems such as the basis of equality, the extent and nature of our knowledge, and of course, the paternalism that assessing people’s responsibility over their own (...) disadvantages involves. I highlight the similarity of luck egalitarianism to the role of providence and providence theory thinking, and particularly the tension between egalitarianism as a theological concept and the condescension inherent to imitatio Dei ethics. I approach these issues by analyzing standard criticisms of the luck egalitarian project, espoused by Susan Hurley and Elizabeth Anderson. I then proceed to assess the values of luck egalitarianism itself and consider different models of providence, and the meaning of this analysis for normative ethics. The subject matter of this article is part of a wider comparison of distributive justice and providence theory, within which luck egalitarianism affords a very fruitful and highly relevant case study. (shrink)
It is possible that the fame of the Texas Rose Rustlers Society has not yet reached readers of these words. They may want to know then that its members prize roses that survive unattended in the wilds of Texas, having eluded the benevolent attention of gardeners. These unattended roses are not too distantly related to the ‘unofficial English rose’ that the poet says ‘Unkempt about those hedges blows’ in the proximity of The Old Vicarage at Grantchester. As all respectable societies, (...) the Texas Rose Rustlers has by-laws stating the principles that unite its members. Here are some of them: there is more than one way of being beautiful; good climates are in the eye of the beholder; if you are attacked by disease, abandonment, or a bad chain of events, do not despair, there is always the chance that you were bred to be tough; and everyone should not smell the same. I mention these admirable principles because they offend profoundly against egalitarianism, which happens to be my target on this occasion. (shrink)