The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice

scales.By Stephen Leacock.

New York, John Lane Co., 1920.

“Few persons can attain to adult life without being profoundly impressed by the appalling inequalities of our human lot. Riches and poverty jostle one another upon our streets. The tattered outcast dozes on his bench while the chariot of the wealthy is drawn by. The palace is the neighbor of the slum. We are, in modern life, so used to this that we no longer see it.

Inequality begins from the very cradle. Some are born into an easy and sheltered affluence. Others are the children of mean and sordid want. For some the long toil of life begins in the very bloom time of childhood and ends only when the broken and exhausted body sinks into a penurious old age. For others life is but a foolish leisure with mock activities and mimic avocations to mask its uselessness. And as the circumstances vary so too does the native endowment of the body and the mind. Some born in poverty rise to wealth. An inborn energy and capacity bid defiance to the ill-will of fate. Others sink. The careless hand lets fall the cradle gift of wealth.

Thus all about us is the moving and shifting spectacle of riches and poverty, side by side, inextricable.”

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