What is an Egalitarian Society

Egalitarian Society: The term is derived from the French word e´gal which means equal. Egalitarianism as a political ideology can be defined as the doctrine that sees each and every person as equal in their moral status, thereby granting them equal rights and opportunities. As a social doctrine, it advocates the removal of economic inequalities among people and decentralizing power. So, an egalitarian society is one where every person is entitled to equal rights, receive equal treatment and opportunities.

These societies comprise of groups of people who agree to live together in these societies as egalitarianism as one of their core values. Two things can be considered important if they have common relevant qualities. Based on this, it cannot be denied that all men are equal. Egalitarianism is important in the sense that only through equality people can be accorded justice; justice and equality go hand in hand. A person cannot claim of being an egalitarian if he only takes into consideration his own society. Thus, it can be said that every form of egalitarianism is inclusive as it is based on a theory of universal human commonality.

The main goal of an egalitarian society is solely the reduction of discrepancies of any sort so that each and every social class gets an equal share of the resources; be it wealth or power. A uniform and equitable distribution of resources are emphasized. Different social groups (categorized on the basis of gender, age, status, etc) are sought to be given equal rights and benefits. Such societies can often be referred to as classless societies as all the people have equal access to resources and decision-making power.

In an egalitarian society, egalitarian decisions are taken where decisions are made by a group rather than a single individual. Even though this decision can be made not by the entire community but just by a committee or group, it is still rendered as an egalitarian decision. The decision is taken through consensus where each person gets a power to either agree or disagree. A society can be called an egalitarian society if the assets, valuable resources, and all the basic necessities, income, etc are accessible to all the people or are distributed equitably throughout the group. These communities are a type of commune (a group of people who choose to live together by sharing responsibilities and possessions). However, not all communal groups are egalitarian in nature.

The various areas of concern for establishing an egalitarian society are communism, legal egalitarianism, gender equality, political equality, racial equality, etc. every person residing within the society must be treated equally, should be provided with equal opportunities, rights, freedom, justice, and so on. Every individual, whether man or a woman must be equal in their rights and duties. People belonging to all the religions should also be treated equally even if that religion engulfs only a minority section of people. Many egalitarian theories have also developed at the cultural level including socialism, libertarian socialism, progressivism, economic egalitarianism, etc. The opposition to egalitarianism is referred to as Anti-egalitarianism.

References:

  1. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egalitarianism
  2. https://anthropology.iresearchnet.com/egalitarian-societies/
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