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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a petit bourgeois Utopian philosophy advocating universal leveling as the organizing principle of society.

In its earliest forms, in classical times and the Middle Ages, egalitarianism was associated with a demand for equal redistribution of the land. Under early capitalism two basic trends developed within egalitarianism. The first advocated equalization of the property of individual producers; the institution of private property was to be retained. The Jacobin dictatorship attempted to put into practice this ideal, which derived from the teachings of J.-J. Rousseau. The second trend in egalitarianism was associated with the earliest communist Utopian groups, such as the Babouvists; it advocated equal distribution of labor and goods on the basis of communal property.

K. Marx and F. Engels considered the principles of universal asceticism and crude leveling, which were characteristic of early communist literature, to be reactionary elements (see Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 4, p. 455). The reactionary features of egalitarianism found particularly vivid expression in “barracks communism,” which reduced people’s capabilities and needs to one level. Under conditions in which the proletariat has not yet taken shape as a class, the advancement of the principle of egalitarianism against the exploiting classes is, as Engels said, “a necessary stage of transition” from plebeian and petit bourgeois revolutionism to proletarian revolutionism (ibid., vol. 7, p. 377). In modern times, however, egalitarianism is a reactionary principle that is in opposition to the revolutionary ideals and the principle of equality advanced by the working class.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
However, the second question is not any less central to egalitarianism (or any less important generally) than the first, and, as my title indicates, it is the question I explore here.
Egalitarianism was positively correlated with Perceived Inequality (p < .01) and negatively correlated with Sociopolitical Participation (p < .01).
Such transition is customary recognized as modification of gender role from traditional to egalitarianism structure; in such transition women are more adaptive than men.
Martin argues that modern egalitarianism rejects older thinking on the subject.
There are two rival ethical and political traditions: classical liberalism and distributive egalitarianism. For the classical liberal, it is a contingent fact that there is no universal consensus on what a "fair" or "just" income distribution is, despite the gallons of ink spilt by moral philosophers trying to justify their particular views.
This, according to Dueppen, can be interpreted as evidence of increased egalitarianism. Chapter 12 focuses on relatively limited mortuary evidence and is less convincing.
The present research was designed to examine the hypothesis that the link between egalitarianism and non-prejudiced attitudes is not straightforward.
By the standards of egalitarianism, the fact that the top 1 percent earned a larger portion of income following the reduction of top tax rates in the 1980s is cause to morally condemn those who lowered tax rates and those who earned more wealth.
Even reviled pirates had their own forms of egalitarianism, defying an era of institutionalized slavery.
Topics include the green politics of Alasdair MacIntyre and Vaclav Havel, the politics of global warming, mindfulness as a new commons, territorial claims in a world of limits, the political unrealism of making meta-ethical demands for non-anthropocentrism in environmental ethics, and critique of the biocentric egalitarianism of deep ecology.
He makes the important distinction between moral egalitarianism (according every person equal moral worth) and sociopolitical egalitarianism (focusing on equality of income, wealth, and power).