Egalitarianism as a Menace to Society
Egalitarianism and the striving for equality is one of the most significant and prominent features of Western life. The basic principle of egalitarianism is the belief that all people are equal and deserve equal opportunities and rights, no matter their background. On the surface, this theory seems to be part of the basis of Western society. However, ensuring equal opportunities and rights is problematic, and multiple issues arise.
What do we actually mean by equality, anyway? Some egalitarians believe we are all equal and can achieve the same things if we were all given the same environment to flourish. This is certainly not possible nor desirable. How could we all possibly have the exact same opportunities, without extreme government intervention into our lives? So, it is not about it that kind of equality at all. Perhaps it is about the state exercising power over and manipulating society.
We are always striving for equality, the ultimate moral ideal, but we can never reach it, which suits the state perfectly. While working toward equality, the state portrays itself as the agent of equality, simultaneously drawing in resources toward itself and tinkering with the social structure to provide more equitable situations. The idea of egalitarianism also detracts from social constrictions, making people feel as though their failure to achieve absolute success is their own doing, rather than that of societal forces.
An egalitarian society would mean there could be no trade or exchanges. As soon as an exchange occurs, for example, for a service, complete equality is disrupted, as someone now holds more money, power, and stature than others. Not only that, but society as we know it would be completely disrupted and collapse. No one would choose to become a doctor, undertaking grueling training and a high-pressure stressful job, with no financial incentive.
There has been a movement in recent years to expose egalitarianism for what it is — motivated by envy and an abstract concept of the liberal-left. The middle-class elite, who advocate egalitarianism during the day, are not willing to give up their elitist lifestyle that an unequal life has afforded them. Similarly, those at the bottom wish for an egalitarian society due to envy from those at the bottom, who wish to see those at the top of society brought down to the same level.
A true libertarian, on the other hand, is at peace with human differences, advocates free speech and accepts that we all have different opinions and talents. This human difference allows diversification of the job market and the division of labor.
To conclude, egalitarianism as an abstract concept may work in theory; however, as we have seen through history, and the more we delve into the idea of complete equality, the desire for a totally equal society actually allows more inequality to flourish, under the guise of creating a fairer place to live.