Global inequality is getting worse – more Jean Valjean’s will pick up AK47’s

Friday’s Last Word: Pull Pin, Throw Grenade, Run Away: A provocative thought to kick off the weekend…

By Major Matthew Cavanaugh

Many know Victor Hugo’s 1862 story, Les Miserables, particularly the tortured existence of the protagonist, Jean Valjean (depicted on screen by Hugh Jackman).  Valjean spends years in a French prison for stealing bread for his sister’s starving children.  The moral dilemma presented is an easy one to empathize with – taking some food from another, causing minimal harm – to feed several very hungry children, enabling maximum human benefit.  I don’t know of anyone that would disagree with such an action done in the spirit of the “greater good.” So why does Jean Valjean matter?

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