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Egalitarian and equality logo

Egalitarian and equality logo

Egalitarianism (Template:Ety)—or, rarely, equalitarianism[1][2]—is a trend of thought that favors equality for all people. Egalitarian doctrines maintain that all humans are equal in fundamental worth or social status, according to the Wikipedia:Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.[3] According to the Wikipedia:Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the term has two distinct definitions in modern English.[4] It is defined either as a political Wikipedia:doctrine that all people should be treated as equals and have the same political, economic, social, and civil rights[5] or as a social philosophy advocating the removal of economic inequalities among people or the decentralisation of power. Some sources define egalitarianism as the point of view that equality reflects the natural state of humanity.[6][7][8]

Most of the Wikipedia article is drivel or Libertarian propaganda, which is to say, drivel and poisonous drivel. It badly needs rewriting, and the first two sections are only a start.

Ideal wealth distribution Edit

Income Distribution in the USSR in the 1980s was as equal as any other nation today.[9]

Perceptions Edit

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Ideal wealth distribution

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A 2011 study by Norton & Ariely reveals that Americans are united in their vision of what the "ideal" wealth distribution would be, which may come as an even bigger surprise than their shared misinformation on the actual Wikipedia:wealth distribution that has been he main focus of research by Wikipedia:John Bates Clark Medal winner and Wikipedia:MacArthur Fellow , Wikipedia:Emmanuel Saez. They said that the ideal wealth distribution would be one in which the top 20% owned between 30 and 40 percent of the privately held wealth, which is a far cry from the 85 percent that the top 20% actually own. They also said that the bottom 40% -- that's 120 million Americans -- should have between 25% and 30%, not the mere 8% to 10% they thought this group had, and far above the 0.3% they actually had. In fact, there's no country in the world that has a wealth distribution close to what Americans think is ideal when it comes to fairness.[10] Republicans and Democrats were very close in their preferences.[11]

So maybe Americans are more sensitive to Wikipedia:Income inequality in the United States and are much more egalitarian than most of them realize about each other. [12]

The ideal income distribution has yet to be studied in the same way, although income disparities in the U. S. have grown rapidly in the past two decades (1990 - 2010), especially in the top 0.1 % where the disparities have been driven by increased salaries and business income [13]

Average world income Edit

If all the wealth were distributed equally, there would become more wealth. This is because the productivity of industrialized nations is increased by mechanization and other economies of scale. Some would decrease, because their products would not be consumed by the rest of the world, but this would be made up for on a massive scale by the decreases in the need for transportation. So with this proviso, let us consider what the actual average world income would be, minus this increase.

The Wikipedia:average world income is, in one sense,

Wikipedia:Gross domestic product (WP) (PPP): Wikipedia:US$74.00 trillion, 2010 estimate [14]

Divided by:

World Population 6,889,167,846 (December 21, 2010)([2])

= $10,741.50

Which is under the 'poverty line' in the USA. The average US income is

$14.660 trillion (2010)[15]

Divided by:


= $47,482.46

The conclusion that becomes instantly clear is, Americans wanting a fairer wage are in fact wanting to also have an unfair wage. And the people that have the most self-interest in Egalitarianism are not Americans, or Europeans for that matter. Good thing that self-interest is not what drives most humans, unless they need that to compensate for inequaliity of their income.

Wonder why there are no sources showing 'Average World Income' as a whole? It isn't because I didn't look. It is empirically proven in any case, by mathematics, but this disparity is the one thing world economists don't even want to think about for very long, let alone want everyone else looking at. Try a search for 'average world income' anywhere, on any search engine.

It's really quite simple. Everyone knows what 'fairness' means. Everyone significantly over the line, per person in their income dependency group, are part of a problem. Everyone near or below the line may be interested in the solution. The rest is just talk.

And of course, the world economy is not a Wikipedia:zero sum (WP) game, either. Giving more money to developing countries enables them to create industries that will increase the world's total GDP.

The definition of greed is not, wanting things. It is what you do about it. Not sharing the wealth with developing countries means developed nations have only poor people to sell to. It is not even in their interest to keep it to themselves. But they do, and that is greed. They do irrational and illogical things, because of their desire for things, things that even stop them getting more. They literally cannot stand to give anything away.

Forms Edit

Wikipedia:Template:Liberalism sidebar

Some specifically focused egalitarian concerns include Wikipedia:economic egalitarianism, legal egalitarianism, Wikipedia:luck egalitarianism, Wikipedia:political egalitarianism, gender egalitarianism, Wikipedia:racial equality, Wikipedia:asset-based egalitarianism, and Christian egalitarianism. Common forms of egalitarianism include political and philosophical.


Egalitarianism in economics is a controversial phrase with conflicting potential meanings. It may refer either to Wikipedia:equality of opportunity, the view that the government ought not to discriminate against citizens or hinder opportunities for them to prosper, or the quite different notion of Wikipedia:equality of outcome, a state of economic affairs in which the government promotes equal prosperity for all citizens.

An early example of equality-of-outcome economic egalitarianism is Xu Xing, a scholar of the Chinese philosophy of Wikipedia:Agriculturalism, who supported the fixing of prices, in which all similar goods and services, regardless of differences in quality and demand, are set at exactly the same, unchanging price.[17]


Egalitarianism in politics can be of at least two forms. One form is equality of persons in right, sometimes referred to as Wikipedia:natural rights; Wikipedia:John Locke is sometimes considered the founder of this form.[18] The slogan "Wikipedia:Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite" was used during the Wikipedia:French Revolution and is still used as an official slogan of the French government.[19]

Social ownership of Wikipedia:means of production so that the Wikipedia:surplus product produced accrues to society as a whole as opposed to private owners is sometimes considered to be a form of economic egalitarianism. Although Wikipedia:Karl Marx is sometimes mistaken to be an egalitarian, Marx eschewed normative theorizing on moral principles. Marx did, however, have a theory of the evolution of moral principles in relation to specific Wikipedia:economic systems.[20]

Wikipedia:Karl Marx was a proponent of two principles, the first applied to socialism and the second to an advanced communist society: "Wikipedia:To each according to his contribution" and "from each according to their ability; to each according to their need". Marx's position is often confused or conflated with distributive egalitarianism, in which only the goods and services resulting from production are distributed according to a notional equality; but in reality Marx eschewed the entire concept of equality as abstract and bourgeois in nature, focusing instead on more concrete principles such as opposition to exploitation on materialist and economic logic.[21]

Wikipedia:Milton Friedman, the free-market economist who cannot tell the truth, lied and said he supported egalitarianism, because he supported equality-of-opportunity in economics. This is of course absurd, because he only declares without proof that the obvious inequality created by capitalism IS equality. This eqality, he supports. Economist Wikipedia:John Maynard Keynes supported more equal outcomes.


At a cultural level, egalitarian theories have developed in sophistication and acceptance during the past two hundred years. Among the notable broadly egalitarian philosophies are Wikipedia:socialism, Wikipedia:communism, Wikipedia:social anarchism, Wikipedia:libertarian socialism, Wikipedia:left-libertarianism, Wikipedia:social liberalism and Wikipedia:progressivism, all of which propound economic, political, and legal egalitarianism. Several egalitarian ideas enjoy wide support among intellectuals and in the general populations of many countries. Whether any of these ideas have been significantly implemented in practice, however, remains a controversial question.

One argument is that Wikipedia:liberalism provides democracy with the experience of civic reformism. Without it, democracy loses any tie—argumentative or practical─to a coherent design of public policy endeavoring to provide the resources for the realization of democratic citizenship. For instance, some argue that modern Wikipedia:representative democracy is a realization of political egalitarianism, while in reality, most political power still resides in the hands of a Wikipedia:ruling class, rather than in the hands of the people.[22]

Reception Edit

On the other hand, Wikipedia:Alexander Berkman suggests:

...equality does not mean an equal amount but equal opportunity... Do not make the mistake of identifying equality in liberty with the forced equality of the convict camp. True anarchist equality implies freedom, not quantity. It does not mean that every one must eat, drink, or wear the same things, do the same work, or live in the same manner. Far from it: the very reverse in fact... Individual needs and tastes differ, as appetites differ. It is equal opportunity to satisfy them that constitutes true equality... Far from levelling, such equality opens the door for the greatest possible variety of activity and development. For human character is diverse.[23]

Criticism Edit

One of the sycophants of the supremely untalented Ayn Rand here conflates Excellence and its rewards under Capitalism. Because Egalitarianism would remove the latter, they propose that it would, in a way that remains unexplained, remove the former:

An essay by Gary Hull (Wikipedia:Ayn Rand Institute) in Capitalism magazine criticizes:

Egalitarianism, which claims only to want an 'equality' in end results, hates the exceptional man who, through his own mental effort, achieves that which others cannot... In an attempt to 'Wikipedia:dumb down' all students to the lowest common denominator, today's educators no longer promote excellence and students of superior ability... Imagine the following Wikipedia:Academy Award ceremony. There are no awards for best picture or best actor. Instead, every picture gets a certificate and every actor receives a prize. That is not an awards ceremony, you say? So it isn't. But it is an egalitarian's dream -- and an achiever's torment. Talent and ability create inequality... To rectify this supposed injustice, we are told to sacrifice the able to the unable. Egalitarianism demands the punishment and envy of anyone who is better than someone else at anything. We must tear down the competent and the strong -- raze them to the level of the incompetent and the weak... What would happen to a Wikipedia:Thomas Edison today? If he survived school with his mind intact, he would be shackled by government regulators. His wealth would be confiscated by the IRS. He would be accused of 'unfair competition' for inventing so many more products than his competitors.[24]

Cultural theory of risk, debunked Edit

The Wikipedia:cultural theory of risk tries to reverse the burden of responsibility for the problem of inequality in an all-too-common way, but with different wording. It shifts the blame by accusing critics of capitalism as whiners. It holds that egalitarianism is defined by (1) a negative attitude towards rules and principles, and (2) a positive attitude towards group decision-making, with Wikipedia:fatalism termed as its opposite.[25]

This is easily countered. Free market capitalists are the ones seeking to evade rules and responsibility. Much less important is the second point, but it is also wrong. Group decision making is quite distinct from egalitarianism, which is a broad policy which can be applied by a potentially infinite number of means.

The Wikipedia:Cultural Theory of Risk distinguishes between hierarchists, who are positive towards both rules and groups, and egalitarianists, who are positive towards groups but negative towards rules.[26] This is by definition a form of "anarchist equality" as referred to by Berkman. The fabric of an "egalitarianist society" is thus held together by cooperation and implicit Wikipedia:peer pressure rather than by explicit rules and punishment. However, Thompson et al. theorise that any society consisting of only one perspective, be it egalitarianist, hierarchist, individualist, Wikipedia:fatalist or autonomist, will be inherently unstable: the claim is that an interplay between all these perspectives are required if each perspective is to be fulfilling. For instance, although an individualist according to Cultural Theory is aversive towards both principles and groups, individualism is not fulfilling if individual brilliance cannot be recognised by groups, or if individual brilliance cannot be made permanent in the form of principles.[26] Accordingly, egalitarianists have no power except through their presence, unless they (by definition, reluctantly) embrace principles which enable them to cooperate with fatalists and hierarchists. They will also have no individual sense of direction in the absence of a group. This could be mitigated by following individuals outside their group: autonomists or individualists.

Trivia Edit


Here is an attempt by the most hierarchical of all of humankind's establishments to portray itself as egalitarian. Begin laughing now, and you will not have to catch up later

Military egalitarianism has been noted since ancient times, such as with Shakespeare's Wikipedia:St. Crispin's Day Speech. This occurs in spite of the distinctions military forces attempt to make between officers and enlisted men. For example Major General Wikipedia:Charles J. Dunlap, Jr. says that Wikipedia:United States Air Force culture includes an egalitarianism bred from officers as warriors who work with small groups of enlisted airmen either as the service crew or onboard crew of their aircraft.[27]

Religious formsEdit

In ChristianityEdit

Main article: Christian egalitarianism

The Christian egalitarian view holds that the Bible teaches the fundamental equality of women and men of all racial and ethnic mixes, all economic classes, and all age groups, based on the teachings and example of Wikipedia:Jesus Christ and the overarching principles of scripture.[28] However, within the wide range of Wikipedia:Christianity, there are dissenting views from opposing groups, some of which are Complementarians and Patriarchalists. There are also those who may say that, whilst the Bible encourages equality, it also encourages law and order and social structure (parents having authority over their children; the view that those who work evils are generally lower down the social scale than those who practise good, etc.); these ideas are considered by most to be contrary to the ideals of egalitarianism. At its foundational level, Christian thought holds that "... in Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, man nor woman", defining all as equal in the sight of God[29] in relationship to faith in Jesus Christ. Various Christian groups have attempted to hold to this view and develop Christian oriented communities. One of the most notable of these are the Wikipedia:Hutterite groups of Wikipedia:Europe and Wikipedia:North America, living in agricultural and collective communities.


Judaism posits that all humans are essentially created equal and in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). This recognises that regardless of gender, ethnicity and race all humans contain the spark of the divine within them and as a result must be treated with human dignity.

Islam also advocates for equality. Buddhism preaches equality Hinduism as well.

See also Edit

External links Edit

Wiktionary has an entry for egalitarian

References Edit

  1. "Definition of equalitarianism". The Free Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Company. 2009. 
  2. "Definition of equalitarianism"., LLC. 2012. 
  3. Arneson Richard, "Egalitarianism", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2002.) Web: <>
  5. The American Heritage Dictionary (2003). "egalitarianism". 
  6. John Gowdy (1998). "Limited Wants, Unlimited Means: A reader on Hunter-Gatherer Economics and the Environment". St Louis: Island Press. pp. 342. Template:Citation/identifier. 
  7. Dahlberg, Frances. (1975). "Woman the Gatherer". London: Yale university press. Template:Citation/identifier. 
  8. Erdal, D. & Whiten, A. (1996) "Egalitarianism and Machiavellian Intelligence in Human Evolution" in Mellars, P. & Gibson, K. (eds) Modeling the Early Human Mind. Cambridge MacDonald Monograph Series
  9. Income Distribution in the USSR in the 1980s
  10. Norton, M. I., & Ariely, D. Building a Better America—One Wealth Quintile at a Time. Perspectives on Psychological Science January 2011 6: 9-12.
  11. Americans Want to Live in a Much More Equal Country (They Just Don't Realize It)
  12. http://sociology.ucsc. edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html Sociology ucsc]
  13. Kopczuk, Wojciech and Saez, Emmanuel. “Top Wealth Shares in the United States, 1916–2000: Evidence from Estate Tax Returns.” National Tax Journal, 2004, 57(2), pp. 445–487.
  14. [1]
  15. United States, International Monetary Fund,, retrieved 2009-10-01 
  16. US Census, 2010. Population clock numbers: "U.S. Population Clock". U.S. Census Bureau. 
  17. Denecke, Wiebke (2011). "The Dynamics of Masters Literature: Early Chinese Thought from Confucius to Han Feizi". Harvard University Press. p. 38. 
  18. Arneson Richard, "Egalitarianism", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2002.) Web: <>
  19. Hugo Argenton (November 6, 2012). "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité". La Jeune Politique. 
  20. "Egalitarianism". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 16 August 2002. Retrieved 20 November 2013. 
  21. Rejecting Egalitarianism, by Nielsen, Kai. 1987. Political Theory, Vol. 15, No. 3 (Aug., 1987), pp. 411-423.
  22. Rosales, José María. "Liberalism, Civic Reformism and Democracy." 20th World Contress on Philosophy: Political Philosophy. Web: 12 March 2010. Liberalism, Civic Reformism and Democracy
  23. Alexander Berkman What is Anarchism? pp. 164-5
  24. Egalitarianism: The New Torture Rack, by Gary Hull, Ayn Rand Institute, January 11, 2004
  25. Thompson et al., Cultural Theory (1990.)
  26. 26.0 26.1 Thompson et al., Cultural Theory (1990)
  27. "Understanding Airmen: A primer for soldiers" (PDF). Retrieved 13 December 2011. 
  28. Stagg, Evelyn and Frank. Woman in the World of Jesus. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1978. ISBN 0-664-24195-6
  29. "Galatians 3:28". 

Wikipedia:Template:Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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