Henry Becque and the Hypocrisy of Equality

"The defect of equality," wrote the bombastic French dramatist, "is that we only desire it with our superiors."

Henry Becque (1837-1899) was a French playwright and one of the early pioneers of dramatic realism and French naturalism. Staunchly unsentimental, Becque's plays were notable for their relative brutality and his emphasis on portraying realistic characters with familiar struggles. His later devotion to investigating social ills through his work made him a forebear to the genre's more famous stalwarts: Ibsen, Shaw, and Strindberg. 


"The defect of equality is that we only desire it with our superiors."

Source: Querelles littéraires (1890)

(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The minimum wage debate rages on
  • The same study authors in 2017 famously argued that raising the wage to $15/hr. in Seattle and Tacoma actually cost jobs
  • This study says something else, though study authors are quick to say they don't necessarily contradict each other. Ummm ...
Keep reading Show less

Take the Big Think survey for a chance to win :)

Calling all big thinkers!

  • Tell us a little bit about where you find Big Think's videos, articles, and podcasts.
  • Be entered for a chance to win 1 of 3 Amazon gift cards each worth $100.
  • All survey information is anonymous and will be used only for this survey.
Keep reading Show less

White House slams socialism in new report

The 72-page report makes a case against modern policy proposals like "Medicare for All" and free college tuition.

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The report comes from the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), which is run by professional economists.
  • It attempts to make direct connections between modern-day progressives and past socialist figures like Stalin and Mao.
  • The report comes in the wake of other explicitly anti-socialist sentiments expressed by the Trump administration.
Keep reading Show less