Review: Inequality and the 1%

Inequality and the 1%
Inequality and the 1% by Danny Dorling
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book is a shrill tirade against “the 1%” of wealthiest individuals, inequality in general in both the UK and US, and the impact this has on the rest of society.

I agree with the sentiment. Inequality is hugely damaging and wholly unjustified. But this book does a poor job of making the case, mixing scattergun evidence and emotional appeals. It lacks any sense of underpinning theory to drive the analysis. It also lacks any coherent call for action other than a vague request for us to “be kind” (I am reminded of “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” catch phrase – “Be excellent to each other!”) which Dorling hopes will begin a ‘slow revolution’.

To me it simply demonstrates the weakness of current thinking on the left – particularly exemplified by the Occupy movement which Dorling believes has begun this ‘slow revolution’. Without a strong theory of economy and revolution it is left with just a bland desire for everything to be a bit nicer.

Piketty makes the modern case against inequality far better, or read some Marx. I doubt very much whether anyone who is not already persuaded that inequality should be tackled will have their opinion changed by this book.

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