What the F is Egalitarianism

It is not an easy word to say, doesn’t roll off the tongue and does not appear in the daily 24 hour news cycle. So? What is it?

I always go to Merriam-Webster for definitions because I like them

1:  a belief in human equality especially with respect to social, political, and economic affairs
2:  a social philosophy advocating the removal of inequalities among people
This seems quite reasonable. So why is it so hard to achieve?
I don’t want to cast aspersions where they are not warranted but I should point out that religion has been in charge for over 2000 years. Perhaps we should try this without religion?
  1. Don’t think religion is to blame. Problem is, most people find concepts of egalitarianism, equality and fairness hard to distinguish.

  2. There are factions that claim to desire equality but really are out for supremacy. One such is feminism.

  3. Not to blow my own horn, but I think I recently covered the issue with people not accepting egalitarianism: https://tarnishedsophia.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/egalitarian-does-not-mean-misogynist/

    I see less of an issue with religious beliefs and more of an issue with mainstream (aka the majority of) feminists. For a group that says they want equality, they don’t typically act like it. Try mentioning anything that also affects boys/men in steadily increasing numbers (suicide, homelessness, doing poorly in school, being overmedicated, domestic violence, sexual harassment, and rape via female perpetrators) and you’ll be accused of “derailment” faster than you can blink.

    • Oh I agree with your comment on feminism but it is patriarchal religion that spawned feminism

      • True. I personally am not for a patriarchal or matriarchal structure for society. Gender roles are all well and good for people who *want* to conform to them. I’ve no issues whatsoever with a woman who desires to be a stay at home mom or a man who wants to be the working “head” of his family…if their significant other is satisfied with said arrangement, who is anyone else to judge?

        It’s when the people “in charge” (aka a majority religion or ideology) have the power to force conformity on everyone else that trouble actually starts. I have no desire to be a wife or mother any more than I want to go back to being a Christian. Of course, I choose to not embrace the stereotypical female role whereas I just can’t believe in Christianity, but I think you see what I’m getting at.

  4. Now there’s a cracking idea!

    • I didn’t think it would get antifeminist comments???

      • Huh? Where?

        • drenn and tarnished both brought the feminism issue up in comments

          • Ah, I see.

            • Sorry if that was too big a tangent, but it’s what first comes to mind. I’m not necessarily “antifeminist” myself, but I don’t appreciate when they try to use doublespeak to push their philosophy. I’ve literally had conversations with feminists where they state “Feminism helps men too” and 5 minutes later say “If feminists put time into men’s issues, it derails the point of the movement”.


              If they would just be honest and tell people that feminism is a Woman’s Movement instead of insisting it’s for all.

              • I agree strongly with that. Feminism doesn’t help men and it can be effectively argued that it currently does not help women either.

                • The sad thing is, it *could* help women if only it got rid of the constant victimhood that so many feminists talk about. In my view, there is no “Patriarchy” that has to be overthrown…no single aspect of society is completely “against” women and girls. It’s like a coin. Female roles/responsibilities/problems are on one side, male roles/responsibilities/problems are on the other. Feminists, for whatever reason, only seem capable of talking about the half involving the female sex. That this leads to inequality should surprise no one.

                  I see so many similarities between hardcore Christians and mainstream Feminists during discussions of accepting other religions/ideologies…
                  “You might be a moral person, but you’re not a Christian so the devil still has you in his clutches!”
                  “You might be for equality between the sexes, but you reject parts of feminism so you still have internalized misogyny to work through!”

                  Give me a break. I can be a good person without swallowing your koolaid.

                  • I hold that any movement for equality that has divisive words in its title is not for equality. As long as it is called feminism it will never be about or for the support of anyone but women. As such it literally cannot be about equality.

                    • Correct, which is why I identify as an egalitarian instead of a MRA or a feminist. Both factions have good ideas and valid points, but since they concentrate on only “their” side it’s not truly about equality. However, I do write more about men’s issues on my blog because they often get overlooked, buried, or pushed aside in the mainstream media.

                    • in the grand struggle, society has room for people to discuss all issues seen from all points of view. This helps us to make the right decisions.

                      The struggle is not one for only this group or that but for the group called humanity. Those that cannot see the struggle as a ‘human’ struggle are lost in the minutiae and cannot help themselves let alone others. We, as a group, need to frame the understanding of currently perceived problems against the over-all struggle of humanity to be , well, human toward one another. If that’s not too ironic-al.

                    • Not at all. That’s what real humanitarianism should entail…One can see that numerous groups require assistance and that equal treatment has to be equal all around. We can’t lift one group up above the other, nor can we assume that “power” in one area of life means automatic “privilege” in any other.

                      Unless we just want to get into the Oppression Olympics again…

                    • I’d like to see politicians being egalitarian. Hey, I can hope, right?

            • @JZ

              It’s always fun to watch people take a definition of feminism and decry all the evilz it does to society (the menz).

              Here is one – Feminism is the movement to liberate women from and dismantle the patriarchal structures of society.

              Wow, not even a mention of even a teensy-weensy bit of egalitarianism – the true pipe dream – as you would be the grand MENSA winner everything if you can describe how one can create a egalitarian society within a society that is systematically and structurally biased. (Handy “picture from my blog.)

  5. As an ideal or philosophy, it is difficult to achieve.

    • I have come to the conclusion that the egalitarian society will not happen as long as people can be rich

      • In the days of Lycurgus, Athens was almost egalitarian.

        • If I remember right, there have been three or so claimed egalitarian societies, all of which have been washed away by nature or greed.

          Greed and fear are the two basal motivators for humans. Human animals exchanged hunger for greed and in that moment the ability to be rich was born.

          • Greed has been our down fall. That we think to acquire so much will give us safety

            • Individual greed for safety is a failed method. Safety can only be achieved as a societal means of survival where the society in question is all of humanity.

    • All evidence at this site shows that the people living here for a few thousand years were egalitarian. However; we do not know why the site was abandoned. What is known is that during the Iron Age, everyone in Turkey stopped farming and became herders. Why? It’s a mystery that has yet to be unraveled.

  6. I think you’ll find this video about egalitarianism, equality and inequality interesting: Is Inequality Fair?

    • Thanks for commenting. I made it to the third time he mentioned the agenda of the left before concluding he should not be talking about egalitarianism and stopped watching. What did he say that impressed you?

      • What’s your problem with his discussion of “the agenda of the left”? Has there not been a movement in the US toward the left during the 20th and 21st Centuries, advocating a basic agenda–a basic set of ideas they’d like to see implemented, such as universal public healthcare, higher minimum wages, greater welfare spending, greater regulations on business, etc.? The “Progressive Movement”?

        • Reagan was further left than Obama. That puts an end to your agenda of the left. You appear to be regurgitating republican talking points rather than studying the facts and presenting your own conclusions. Anyone that can claim there is an agenda of the left or the right has clearly not studied the historical facts.

          • Reagan was further left than Obama. That puts an end to your agenda of the left.

            1) How does saying that Reagan was further left (more “Progressive”?) than Obama negate any possibility of an agenda for the left?

            2) By what measure was Reagan further left than Obama? How does this measure represent what people should mean when they talk about “the Left?”

            • Please do not pretend that you’ve never heard that statement or that you don’t know how to search the internet.


              The reason that your agenda of the left bit is bogus is because it looks like their agenda was to become more right leaning. That’s self defeating for an agenda of the left.

              Next question.

              • First, you’re treating one individual’s highly controversial theory as something that’s self-evident and widely known.

                Second, I don’t think your link shows what it purports to show, because the facts Uygur cites are incidental and don’t actually cut to the essential issue of the “left/right” distinction. (“Left,” for example, does not generally mean pacifist in foreign policy. Just look at Lenin and Roosevelt.)

                Third, the terms “left” and “right,” while common today, are not the most precise or helpful terms. I recommend giving the video a second shot, and this time, taking “left” to mean “those who want government to more heavily regulate people’s economic interactions.” Because that’s essentially what Yaron Brook means by “the left.”

                • Well, it sure is a shame that he didn’t say it that way, preferring instead to create and attack a straw man. He did this at the very beginning of his talk and even said that empirical evidence doesn’t matter. He’s arguing ideologies by attacking a strawman. No, I don’t need to give it another view.

                  You cannot reasonably redefine ‘equality’ by divisively attacking one group or the other.

                  Egalitarian solutions need to see all sides of the problem rather than dismiss whole groups based on straw man attacks.

  7. You took the words out of my mouth– Ramen!

  8. I think by nature most people are selfish to some extent. Society has instilled the more the better, no matter how you get it. With that mentality Egalitarianism is nearly impossible to achieve. Teaching our children differently than what we were thought could help, but society is not built to accommodate them in this world if that is their only way of thinking. I find it quite an impossible thing to ever reach. Unfortunately.

    • First get a system where each voter counts then change public opinion then wait 2 generations

      • :)….those are the steps…now, tell me now is how do we get that accomplished? That seems quite the impossible task…there are plenty who would never want that to happen, equality for all is something that not nearly enough want it. For those who say they do, they fear what that could mean. Education on it, maybe, to change the public opinion…but that’s pretty hard to achieve, I would say impossible.

  9. I haven’t heard that word since college days. I certainly cannot remember in what context it was used.

    Removing religious perspectives from being in control would be fantastic. The perspective of a “god” being great, while humanity is inherently lesser, does detract from wanting to unify our species. Aside from everything else religion brings.

    • Thanks for commenting. Religion is inherently bad as you have pointed out 😉

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