Egalitarianism – Definition

Cite this article as:"Egalitarianism – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated July 31, 2019, last accessed October 27, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/egalitarianism-definition/.

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Egalitarianism Definition

Egalitarianism is a philosophical belief that advocates removal of social, economic and political inequalities among human beings. This philosophy emphasizes on equal fundamental human rights, social and economic status for all people. Egalitarianism also focuses on how people can be treated equally with regard to distribution of wealth or income. Diverse philosophies emanated from egalitarianism, these include the Marxist philosophy and a theory proposed by John Locke.

A Little More on What is Egalitarianism

The belief that all humans are equal in terms of morally and fundamentally is crucial to Egalitarianism. This philosophy fights for equality in how human beings are treated across all facets without exclusong to gender, politics, economic states, religion, social status and fundamental rights. This means that bno class of individuals should be placed above another politically, economically or socially, rather, they must all have equal rights.

Basically, Egalitarianism is a philosophical perspective that seeks to reduce inequality socially and politically among diverse sets of people in diverse places in the world.

Types of Egalitarianism

Karl Marx and John Locke are examples of philosophers that used the egalitarian theory when developing their philosophical theories. Egalitarianism has been segmented into different categories by philosophers. The most common types of egalitarianism are economic egalitarianism, legal egalitarianism and material egalitarianism. Karl Marx is an example of a philosopher that used the economic egalitarianism while developing his Marxist theory and the Socialist theory.

Material egalitarianism and economic egalitarianism are similar in the sense that they both advocates of equality in the  distribution of wealth and access to wealth. Legal egalitarianism, on the other hand, emphasizes equality of all humans when it comes to the aspect of law, everyone is subject to the same laws without any preference.

Economic Egalitarianism

Wealth distribution and access to money cannot be separated from any economy, it is the major quality of all markets. Economic egalitarianism emphasizes that everyone is entitled to amass wealth and access to wealth should not be a right that is enjoyed by only a few people. This led to the creation of free markets where every person can make money based on their business skills, entrepreneurial efforts and wages or income from labour. In economic egalitarianism, anyone can be an entrepreneur, you can start a business of your own, make money for yourself and attract the category of customers you desire. Customers in a free market have equal rights to choose which company to patronize.

Based on the creation of free markets under economic egalitarianism, there are certain limitations and criticisms against it. The major limitations of the economic egalitarianism include;

  • The interference of consumer prices of the market activities which may in turn negatively affect individuals that do not have the financial capacity in the market.
  • Inflation and increase in unemployment rate.
  • Inconsistency in money supply is another limitation.

Generally, one of the downsides of egalitarianism is that people tend to migrate internationally, this has immigratin effects on certain regions. While people who immigrate to a new country tend to be at an advantage, domestic trade is grossly affected by international immigration.

Reference for “Egalitarianism”

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