Tuesday, 18 October 2011
Food as Wealth
However inspiring Ruskin's definition is -- however metaphysically and ethically resounding (for there is no wealth but life) -- it does not provide us with the means to discriminate between different degrees of wealth. And inequalities in wealth is the most pressing point, of course. 'Money' is a way of doing this, but the problem with it is that it is too discriminating -- infinitely gradable. Food is a better index: because it acknowledges the truth that most people are variously richer or poorer, but others (rich Westerners) are absolutely wealthy. That crucial concept (absolute wealth) is what 'money' lacks as a quantifier.