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Egalitarianism and Empowerment


How to make the world a better place?

The question is not new, but on the whole we don’t seem to be making a good job of it.

The problem is not that we do not have solutions, there are many possible solutions for all the problems in the world. The problem is that people are not making good use of those possibilities.

We tend to look up to people in authority in governments and businesses to make the right decisions. And many of the problems look so big that only they can solve them.

But in practice it is the actions of all of us, of ordinary people, that makes a difference.

This is for two reasons:

To work towards a world in which everyone has a decent life in perpetuity we need to adhere to two principles:

Egalitarianism

Treat everyone with equal regard.

Empowerment

Support everyone to be able to act on any possibility in any situation and to choose for themselves what to do.

In practice

Other leaders and philosophies have developed related principles, some of which are found in many systems. For example, the Golden Rule which is often quoted as “do unto others as you would be done to” can be found in many religions and philosophies.

Where other approaches work they can be seen as being in tune with the principles of Egalitarianism and Empowerment. Where they don’t work it can be seen that the two principles, and probably the other approaches, are not being followed. So when people of any of the religions that have the Golden Rule at their core go to war they are not following their own principle nor regarding everyone as equals or empowering them.

Much of this is about what we ourselves do. We often can see what we think is other people doing things wrongly, friends, family, workers, politicians and so on. But what can we do ourselves towards solving a problem?

Everyone is urged to consider what they do and to find ways to incorporate these necessities. This website is one starting point for considering how what we do matches these ideas and what changes to make.

Egalitarianism

This does not mean that we all should be the same, people have different abilities and opportunities, for instance, and may have legitimate authority over others. What this means is that, nevertheless, everyone should treat others with equal respect.

This means, for example, that if someone does something that we do not like we do not condemn them as a person, as being evil, a thug a low life or anything like that. Instead, while treating the person with respect, we try to decide, rationally, what is a good way of responding to what they have done.

If someone is appointed to make decisions in an organisation it does not make them a better person, their subordinates deserve equal respect. Regardless of race, colour or anything else that makes people different, everyone should be respected equally.

Empowerment

Empowerment is the opposite of oppression. Oppression is the process of coercing people, brainwashing or conditioning them, into feeling that they do not have choices that, in practice, they do have. It results in feeling that “there is no alternative”. It is not the same as persecution or treating people badly.

Empowerment is helping people to be more aware of more of the possibilities in any situation, to feel and be able to act on more of those possibilities and to know that they can choose what to do.

Action

This is a project with this web site, a discussion forum and an email list. People can extend the reach of the project via social media. Most importantly, though, the project aims to work with face to face interactions, particularly because it aims to support people to learn how to improve those interactions.

The project aims to link people in all sorts of organisations and groups to share experiences and learning. It also aims to support people setting up groups committed to continuous learning for all sorts of purposes.

The project is very much about sharing ideas and experiences. So do look around this web site, join the forum, subscribe to the email list or both.


Updated 2nd March 2022