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21 July 2005 @ 04:35 pm
political question  
I once read something about there being three things an ideal government/economic system can achieve, but in reality you can only aim for a maximum of two. Does anyone have any idea what I'm talking about?
I think it was something like freedom, fairness and equality, e.g. it's fair if someone who works harder gets more money, but if they have the freedom to leave that money to their children you can't have equality, because the next generation starts off unequal.
I'd love to know what the three things are, and re-read the article (which I originally found on the web, but can't track down now).
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W. B.Samplewill_sample on July 21st, 2005 07:13 pm (UTC)
That is a highly subjective question....
...as one's perspective on the question depends entirely on what one believes to be the nature of government. Ask two different people, and one is likely to get two different answers.

The most used jargon since the French Revolution is 'Liberty, Equality, Fraternity' -- but someone who takes a Platonic approach might argue 'Liberty, Morality, Learning'. A Hobbsean thinker might argue 'Property, Defense, and Community'. I usually fall somewhere closer to Hobbes, with a smattering of Platonic thought.

Oh, by the way, I finished American Gods last night. We can arrange to meet up whenever convenient so I can drop you the copy
a very caring potatomollydot on July 22nd, 2005 11:59 am (UTC)
Re: That is a highly subjective question....
Yeah. I'm being far to vague to find that article but I can't remember any more details. And even if I'm right about equality and fairness, well, they can have different meanings.
I wonder did I bookmark it at the time.... I can't even remember what year I saw it.
It was interesting, because of the assertion that you can't have it all. It said the USA goes for items A & B and France goes for B & C. I can't remember if they had a real example for A & C.

American Gods: cool, looking forward to it. What did you think of it?
W. B.Samplewill_sample on July 22nd, 2005 01:43 pm (UTC)
Re: That is a highly subjective question....
...as mentioned before, it will vary depending on the approach of the author.

Anyways, in regards to American Gods -- I liked it better the first time I read it, as I knew less of the 'background' of the story, that one learns as one reads it the first time.