Egalitarianism (from French égal 'equal'), or equalitarianism,[1][2] is a school of thought within political philosophy that builds from the concept of social equality, prioritizing it for all people.[3] Egalitarian doctrines are generally characterized by the idea that all humans are equal in fundamental worth or moral status.[4] Egalitarianism is the doctrine that all citizens of a state should be accorded exactly equal rights.[5]

The term egalitarianism has two distinct definitions in modern English,[6] either as a political doctrine that all people should be treated as equals and have the same political, economic, social and civil rights,[7] or as a social philosophy advocating the removal of economic inequalities among people, economic egalitarianism, or the decentralization of power. Sources define egalitarianism as equality reflecting the natural state of humanity.[8][9][10]

  1. ^ "Definition of equalitarianism". The Free Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Company. 2009.
  2. ^ "equalitarianism". Unabridged (Online). n.d. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  3. ^ "egalitarian". Unabridged (Online). n.d. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Egalitarianism". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab. Stanford University. 2019.
  5. ^ Robertson, David (2007). The Routledge Dictionary of Politics. Routledge Taylor and Francis Group. p. 159. ISBN 978-0-415-32377-2.
  6. ^ "Egalitarianism". Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
  7. ^ "Egalitarianism". American Heritage Dictionary. 2003.
  8. ^ Gowdy, John (1998). Limited Wants, Unlimited Means: A Reader on Hunter-Gatherer Economics and the Environment. St Louis, MO: Island Press. p. 342. ISBN 978-1-55963-555-4.
  9. ^ Dahlberg, Frances (1975). Woman the Gatherer. London: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-02989-5.
  10. ^ 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.

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