Ragged Clown

It's just a shadow you're seeing that he's chasing…


Who should have the best flutes?

Aristotle asked this famous in his exploration of justice. I brainstormed a few different answers. Can you think of others?

The Best Flute Players
The purpose of a flute is to make beautiful music. For a flute to fulfil its purpose, it should be owned by the best flute player.

Best Flute Player
Pretty good flutes

Rich People
Flute prices are set by the market. The best flutes are expensive and the only people who can afford them are rich people. Perhaps the rich people with the best flutes will hire the best flute players or perhaps they’ll lend them a flute occasionally. Or perhaps they won’t. Perhaps they’ll keep the best flute in a safe place to sell for a great price later. They can do what they like because they are rich.

The State
We can’t trust capitalism to distribute flutes efficiently. It would be better if all the flutes were owned by the state which could distribute flutes according to need. Perhaps we could establish a National Flute Academy to nurture and reward the best flute players.

National Flute Academy

Poor People
It’s not fair that either the rich people get all the best flutes or the best flute players get all the best flutes. We should distribute flutes to the least well-off in society.

The Worst Flute Players
It’s not fair that the best flute players just get better and better. It’s because they have access to the best flutes. If the worst flute players had better flutes, they could be great flute players too.

Equity for Flute Players!

The Children of Rich People
This flute has been in my family for four generations. I’ve been meaning to learn to play it but I’ve been busy you know. But my flute is my property and I am entitled to do what I want with it. I choose to give it to my eldest son.

The oldest flutes were discovered in Slovenia. The flutes were 45,000 years old. Flutes are part of Slovenian culture. For anyone else to play a flute… that would be cultural appropriation.

Never take a Chinese Flute to the prom.

Ethnic Minorities
Flute playing is a white European thing and ethnic minorities have been excluded for too long. We should decolonise flute playing and give the best flutes to ethnic minorities.

The Best Flute Players
For any decision, we should consider which choice will result in the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. If the best flute players have the best flutes, they will be happy and the rest of us will be happy to hear them play.


Another clown pointed out that it wasn’t obvious that the flutes were just placeholders for some limited resource. I wrote a follow up post to explore this a bit further.