Social Evils – From Unemployment to Idleness to Prejudice. Some Suggestions for Mapping the Modern Equivalents of These Old Evils onto New Injustices

  • Danny Dorling


In the midst of World War II the economist William Beveridge christened five social evils, all to be eradicated in Britain: ignorance, want, idleness, disease and squalor. Although Britain took its lead from developments elsewhere, to an extent that would have been hard to imagine in the 1930s, the very worst manifestations of each of these five evils had been overcome by the 1970s. However, from then onwards each evil transformed its appearance. In this paper I briefly argue that the new form of the five had features respectively of revised elitism, exclusion, prejudice, despair and greed.