The moot in a debate organised and run by VILP (Victoria International Leadership Programme) students on 15 October 2013 was: “Is inequality natural?”
I was on the affirmative team with Harry Berger and Even Bain, two smart and articulate Victoria students.
We won the debate 49-43. Once you adjust for the home ground advantage to the negative side (organised following the inequality symposium in Victoria earlier in the year, and debate opened by Max Rashbrooke, author of Inequality: A NZ Crisis - link to book here!), I reckon that pretty much counts as a land-slide victory
Natural versus equitable
Our argument was very simple. Inequality is natural – as in it is in nature. We appealed to biology, evolution and human behaviour. But that it does not make it fair or equitable. We have to appeal to our humanity and empathy to deal with negatives of inequality – but those are defined in many cases by normative judgements that society has to agree on. Read more