Egalitarianism (from French ├ęgal 'equal'), or equalitarianism,[1][2] is a school of thought within political philosophy that builds on 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] Egalitarian doctrines have motivated many modern social movements and ideas, including the Enlightenment, feminism, civil rights, and international human rights.[6]

The term egalitarianism has two distinct definitions in modern English,[7] either as a political doctrine that all people should be treated as equals and have the same political, economic, social and civil rights,[8] 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.[9][10][11]

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