Egalitarianism

trend of thought that favors equality for all people

Egalitarianism (from French égal, meaning 'equal'), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within political philosophy that prioritizes equality for all people.

QuotesEdit

  • In our egalitarian democracy, we have achieved the ultimate in making certain that all men are created equal: we have just about empowered a branch of the government, the Federal Housing Administration, to specify the size and shape of the typical American master bedroom (in which all Americans are thus created equal); to specify the size and … to specify the width, length, straightness or curvature, surface, presence or absence of trees, sidewalks, telephone poles, etc, etc, of most suburban streets (on which all American youngsters play equal) – at their considerable peril.
  • The egalitarian mania of demagogues is even more dangerous than the brutality of men in gallooned coats. Anyone who has been oppressed can get back on his feet if the oppression has not cost him his life. A man who has been equalized is physically and morally ruined. Anyone who is different is not equal; that is one of the reasons why the Jews are so often targeted. Equalization goes downward, like shaving, hedge trimming, or the pecking order of poultry. At times, the world spirit seems to change into monstrous Procrustes – a man has read Rousseau and starts practicing equality by chopping off heads or, as Mimie le Bon called it, "making the apricots roll." The guillotinings in Cambrai were an entertainment before dinner. Pygmies shortened the legs of tall Africans in order to cut them down to size; white Negroes flatten the literary languages.
  • The life of a biological scientist in the United States is a life of discussion and debate—it is the Talmudic tradition writ large. ...The egalitarian structure of American science encourages this camaraderie. ...this would not—could not—have taken place in the Austria, the Germany, the France, or perhaps even the England of 1955.
  • The demand for equality and identity arises precisely in order to avoid that fear, that feeling of inferiority. Nobody is better, nobody is superior, nobody feels challenged, everybody is "safe." Furthermore, if identity, if sameness has been achieved, then the other person's actions and reactions can be forecast. With no (disagreeable) surprises, a warm herd feeling of brotherhood emerges. These sentiments – this rejection of quality (which ineluctably differs from person to person) – explain much concerning the spirit of the mass movements of the last two hundred years. Simone Weil has told us that the "I" comes from the flesh, but "we" comes from the devil.
  • Sweden had paternity-leave policies in place for years but found that few men were taking advantage of the benefit. While women felt comfortable taking time off to be with baby, men worried that they would look less dedicated to their careers if they did the same. So the Swedish government implemented a “use it or lose it” policy, mandating that the country’s thirteen-month parental leave cannot only be used by one parent – the other parent must use at least two months of the leave, or both lose those months entirely. Today 85% of Swedish fathers take paternity leave. The policy has helped redefine notions of masculinity and femininity in the already-egalitarian country.
  • Such terms as communism, socialism, Fabianism, the welfare state, Nazism, fascism, state interventionism, egalitarianism, the planned economy, the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the New Republicanism, the New Frontier are simply different labels for much the same thing.
 
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw:Well I think in terms of corporate philosophy I've always believed that you've got to treat people in a very very egalitarian manner in the sense I like to treat people on a one-to-one basis. And I like people to take on a lot of responsibilities because I think with a sense of responsibility also comes a sense of purpose. To me that's a very important part of the corporate philosophy: we have a very flat structure,...
 
Johanna Siguroardottir:Egalitarian policies are the best way to unite and empower people, and are also a necessary counterweight to the sometimes detrimental influence of market forces.
  • Christian equality can be described as equity, or even-handedness. Egalitarianism, in contrast, demands sameness, or equality of outcome. These two visions of equality are about as comparable as dry and wet. Think of it in terms of ten teenage boys trying to dunk a basketball: equity means that they all face the same ten-foot standard, and only two them can do it — equity thus usually means differences in outcome. Egalitarianism wants equality of outcome, and there is only one way to get that — lower the net. Sameness of outcome requires differences in the standards.
  • Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions may be founded only upon the general good.
    • Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789)

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