A New Language
Inequality is not a useful measure of anything and discussing it serves no purpose.
The USSR was exceptionally equal in terms of income. Especially since those in power had everything but actual cash. At the same time, the US was exceptionally unequal among developed nations. So what? Any Soviet doctor in, say 1981, would slaughter to have the lifestyle of a US supermarket cashier.
So does this mean that inequality is good? No, of course not. It’s simply not a useful category for the analysis of anything. The reason why inequality gets discussed is that there’s hope that the sense of injustice attached to it will light a fire under people’s bums and they’ll become politicized. As we have seen, it doesn’t work.
People don’t think in terms of classes. They (we) have interiorized the neoliberal mentality that is highly individualistic. You can only cure like with like. Talk to neoliberal subjects in their language. Not in the language of an extinct population of the denizens of the past.
An entirely new language of progressive activism is needed. It should be the kind of language that introduces a space to question neoliberal dogma but from a position of engaging with the future, not the past.