ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Unscrupulous Inequality

Can inequality be unscrupulous? If yes, what are the conditions within which such a form could become bearable, if not absolutely justifiable? It is imperative to address the first question with reference to scrupulous forms of inequality. Arguably, scrupulous inequality becomes bearable on the grounds that they are the result of rational competition; for example, competition that happens across opportunity fields such as the job market. Competition which incentivises the participation of the working population is rational because it is organised on the basis of business ethics, rules, and norms that are transparent. The function of competition is to create equality for a few and inequality for many. Inequality also looks bearable because it is productive, in the sense that it offers opportunities for people to become equal with others; for example, Dalits can aspire to become capitalists. Put differently, the market function of such inequality is to justify equality.

However, competitive electoral politics gives rise to unscrupulous, if not, fraudulent forms of inequality. Fraudulent inequality has become a source to incentivise a significant number of young people to become active in instrumental politics. For example, one can notice some of the young activists who are instrumentally used by the caste/community leaders in order to favour the wealthy parties of which the former have been regular beneficiaries. In fact, manipulative politics operates on a conundrum. Parties with abundant resources tend to manipulate the candidate or the community/caste/identity leaders, who, in turn, manipulate cultural symbols so as to assure transfer of caste and community votes to the party that has been in the business of electoral manipulation. This mutual manipulation between the wealthy parties and the caste and community leaders who use the electoral framework to necessarily produce unscrupulous forms of inequality is the result of a crafted collaboration between the manipulator and the manipulable. In a general sense, within the framework of competitive inequality, the objective truth of inequality becomes discernible to a subjective description of affluence that can be openly ranked globally or locally. Some of those who, for the purposes of accumulation of profit and wealth, have maintained some degree of contractual transparency between the employees and the employers seem to render the inequality gap bearable. Although it may not bring ethical comfort and moral confidence to the former, it could be used to publicly display their affluence.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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