Egalitarianism (from the French égalitarisme, from égalité – equality) is a theory according to which political, legal and economic balance must be established in society. Although the ideas of equality were expressed in Antiquity (for example, Aristotle in Politics), in the proper sense of the word, the term “egalitarianism” began to be used from the 18th century in the writings of utopians (Babeuf, Meillier) and the ideologists of the French Revolution (Jean-Jacques Pycco).
Rousseau justifies the ideal of equality: the social contract “not only does not destroy the natural equality of people, but, on the contrary, replaces equality as individuals and before the law with all the inequality that nature brought into their physical nature; and although people may be unequal in strength or ability, they are all equal as a result of the agreement and rightfully “(Jean-Jacques Rousseau on the social contract).
Rousseau saw one of the most important affairs of the government in preventing excessive inequality of states. Rousseau’s recognition of the original property equality, on which everyone could build his wealth by his own efforts, presupposed a democratic orientation of the state‘s activities.
The Jacobins tried to translate the ideas of egalitarianism into reality. Later, in socialist countries, egalitarianism turned into an “egalitarian” system of equalization in which ownership was transferred to the state, and most citizens were turned into the poor.