The Only Thing, Historically, That’s Curbed Inequality: Catastrophe

By Walter Scheidel

Feb 21, 2017


Let’s get familiar with the vocabulary. It would be very beneficial before reading.

How economic Inequality harms society

Income and Wealth Inequality: Crash Course Economics


  1. Read the first two paragraphs of the text. What does the author claim about equality? Skim the text. This is an advantages and disadvantages essay/ a comparison and contrast essay/ an argumentative essay/ a cause and effect essay. Could you explain?
  2. Shocking events such as world wars, plagues, revolutions lead to………
  3. Which subtitle is suitable for the paragraph beginning “This equalizing”
  • The types of catastrophe
  • How disparities in income and wealth can be reduced
  • The relationship between inequality and human settlement
  • The outcomes of inequality
  1. The French revolution is not the same as the Russian revolution and the Chinese revolution in terms of ………………. As a result they succeeded in ……………….
  2. We can draw the conclusion that it will keep getting harder and harder to tackle income disparity because ……………………
  3. Why is it unlikely to experience reductions in inequality in modern times? Answer in your own words.
  4. What is the main idea of this text?

Post-reading Task:

Watch the video and think about the solutions which might reduce inequality.

Bill Gates: How to Narrow the Gap of Inequality

Obama on why income inequality has skyrocketed


Writing Task:

Do you agree with the author? Write an essay in which you discuss whether it is possible to reduce inequality without bloody events or not? Offer possible solutions to the problem of inequality all around the world.


  1. Equality stems from the cataclysm of the World wars. It’s an argumentative essay: the thesis statement provides the writers view, which is then supported. The counter arguments are given and refuted and the concluding statement is a rephrasing of the thesis statement.
  2. They lead to flatten disparities in income and wealth.
  3. The second
  4. Scale/ transforming societies.
  5. Rich countries are aging, immigration will put pressure on social solidarity and technological change might boost inequality
  6. Because technology has made mass warfare obsolete; violent, redistributive revolution has lost its appeal; most states are more resilient then they used to be; and advances in genetics will help humanity ward off novel germs.
  7. With the rarest of exceptions, great reductions in inequality were only ever brought forth in sorrow.

Yadyok Assistant,

Ş. Müge Uysal