Hi all, I hope your all keeping well. Iv been doing good of late, things are progressing well for me. CCTV training is complete and passed, interviews lined up. I’m ready to go. I’m managing to hold on to my sanity too in these hard times, these time of economic and social collapse. That to me must be good a thing. My mind is calm and has clarity am gradually working through my beliefs, working out just what I believe. I been thinking about a political belief iv held for a while that being, more of a political philosophy– Egalitarianism. So, I thought I’d sit and work through it. Sorry I haven’t posted for a while, I noticed a few of you had been going through my older blogs in loo of a new one. I appreciate that, so lest get to it.
Egalitarianism is social and economic doctrine that promotes equality among all people, that all people in society should have equal rights from birth. In short it promotes the equality of mankind. It’s a sound thing to get behind I think, but what does any of that mean? Can it be taken to extremes with disastrous results? Equality is described as the sate of being equal, in this since we are talking about; under the law and in terms of the rights and reasonability’s each person has. It occurred first in the 17th century and has been used by many individuals as an underpinning for their pollical and social leaning, like many things Karl Marx usurped and bacterised this is one of them. Leaning more towards equality of outcome rather than the equality of opportunity, it is in the former the equality of outcome that egalitarianism becomes a monster. Though too John Locke used it to propose that individuals had natural rights, namely that all people are equal and deserve equal treatment, this is a sound proposition and embodies the idea of equal treatment and opportunities. As equal treatment under the law and in the social sphere leads naturally to equal opportunities.
John Locke was very outspoken about equal rights and talked about natural rights terming this kind of philosophy as egalitarian, namely the right to life, liberty and property. He was a social contract theorist, that is the belief that the legitimacy of government relies on the consent of the people. This I think translates to belief that it is the individual people that are sovereign, not government or a ruler. Locke’s belief wasn’t relegated to the political he also believed in equality for religious beliefs, namely the tolerance of beliefs which can translate to the tolerance of other ideas. He made one exception for this sadly that being atheism, he believed in the excommunication of people that did not believe. The fundamental premise of this idea of natural rights was that man lives in a state of nature and enters into society, this is where the social contract come into play. Man agrees to live by a set of rules lade out by a government at the consent of the people, socially all participates in society agree to these rules. This can only work so long as the rules are fair rather are equally applied to all, this contract would then fall apart the more individuals feel disenfranchised. At this point society falls into anarchy as individuals no longer consent to the rules that they are governed by, resulting in civil disobedience and disorder. This is at least what I believe and the state we are in in the west. A constitution helps in so much as that a constitution enshrines I its law that under it all people should be treated equally, but it should now in this age be defend what is meant by equality. In my view it should be the equality of opportunity as in was originally intended, only the resentful demand an equality of outcome.
People have taken this further into economic egalitarianism, such as Marx stating that all should have equal access to wealth this is equality of outcome. While it is true and I agree that all should have equal opportunities or ability to make money or gather wealth and personal property, I can’t agree that all should have equal access to wealth. This is difference exactly between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome. How Economic egalitarianism would work in a free market, is by equality of opportunity as it exists today. everyone would or rather has equal opportunities as best can be provided in bit reciprocity. Too it is that one has to distinguish what type of equality one is talking about under the doctrine of egalitarianism. Its easy to get caught in good intentions and loose sight of what is fair, as not everyone is the same. The problem with equality of outcome is that inevitably it holds people back, its stops people bettering their own lot in life and takes from them opportunities they create for themselves though hard work and dedication. It takes wealth and property form those that have earned it, limiting their potential. That is not fair. It is fair to say from birth every individual is given every opportunity to succussed in life, it is then up to each individual how well one does in life. This we haven’t quite got down yet and is limited by the system of bit reciprocity. Its is also true that not everyone is born equally capable, this is no fault of their own they may be limited by learning difficulties or other impediments. So, we make concessions from them as best we can this is only proper, yet we could still do better. Such things as disability are unfair yet we do our best to give people a good quality of and that is all that can really be asked for. I know for a fact I squandered a lot of the opportunities given by society, I didn’t have the best start and I made things worse for myself. Only I am to blame for that, I could be rolling in self-pity and resentment, or I could cease upon the opportunities I now have at thirty-five. I have the doctrines of egalitarianism to thank for these opportunities to better my own life, but only I can make that choice and put the work in. That is equality of opportunity at work. it is true that egalitarianism form a large part of western democracies and government organisation today.
There are forms of egalitarianism covering a wide rage of social and political life, lending itself best in my opinion to individualism and the notion of natural rights. There is Legal Egalitarianism that posits the principle that everyone is subject to the same laws. Moral Egalitarianism that posits that all human beings must have equal respect and concern for others, deserving human rights. The former of this principle may vary and is difficult to enforce, it is matter of personal inclination. For example, one naturally has more concern for their own children than others, more respect for their own parents than others. Even for example less concern or thoughts of fairness towards criminals. Yet in principle it is a sound notion, for example in Britain and a lot of other nations the death penalty is no longer imposed. This is the principle of natural rights namely the right to life. Political Egalitarianism advocates democracy and the principle that every person should have equal standing concerning governmental power, to me that is the notion of one person one vote. This when to extreme would mean that every individual would have the same level of power and authority, in which case nothing would ever get done, so we give authority to those that we vote for to govern our systems and enforce laws. Racial Egalitarianism is the idea that everyone should have equal rights and respect regardless of their race or ethnicity. Gender Egalitarianism is the belief that men and women no matter their gender are equal and should be treated as such, dividing roles and reasonability’s equally among the sexes.
Some might say that egalitarianism is the same as socialism, nothing could be further from the truth. Marx and Engels may have bastardised some it, but egalitarianism as opposed to socialism should and naturally must uphold individual liberty, property rights and sovereignty. So, in conclusion I stand for egalitarianism, yet I recognises that it can be twisted. It isn’t perfect but I think it’s the best political philosophy we have, its not divisive and amenable to all given that it can move with the times. Because society is an ever moving and changing thing, while this dangerous to the stability of a society if nothing ever changed we would be stagnant and never progressing. It would be a dark age indeed if society ever got stuck in one mode for all time.
Anyway, thanks for reading my rambling. As always please comment let me know your thoughts on the topic, am I wrong, have I missed anything? I’m genuinely interested. Stay well all and I hope God is with you in these dark and uncertain times.