Someone in the comments the other day asked what I meant by egalitarianism, and I assume that they want something other than the basic idea of wanting promoting equality. For that, you can simply go to Wikipedia article on the subject (here).
Let me begin by observing that conservatives want to conserve things as they are (as Ann Coulter has said somewhere, conservatives are like landscape architects who are reluctant to tear down garden walls until they know what they are for); libertarians value liberty; and egalitarians value equality. None of these three can claim to be pure, for conservatives (at least here in the America) end up supporting capitalism, which leads to lots of changes that are not always thought through, libertarians accept that everyone will have to accept restrictions on liberty (such as not enslaving another), and egalitarians are never going to get a perfectly equal society.
Accordingly, egalitarians must pick and choose which sorts of equality to emphasize and for whom. Equality of opportunity or equality of results? Equality before the law, equality of wealth, equality of power, equality with respect to race, gender, and sexual orientation? Equality in power and influence of all countries? Equality of regard for all cultures? Lots of questions like these can be asked, so here is what I am suggesting is a sensible egalitarianism.
I assume all Americans want equality before the law, while equality of wealth isn’t necessarily desirable (some people who don’t want to be poor also don’t want to be rich, while others do definitely want to be rich). Moreover, as most except the hard left now know, forcing equality dampens incentives, which makes the whole country poorer, and in addition, the forcing means that there is an inequality of power. But while forcing equality of wealth or income doesn’t work, the whole point of wanting equality of wealth is to help the poor, so how can we help the poor without doing this? In my latest book, I went through a number of suggestions for how to help the poor without resorting to socialistic solutions: creating jobs as opposed to redistributing wealth; lowering taxes (and other costs) on the poor instead of raising taxes on the rich; and helping unemployed citizens over all other groups (which entails restricting immigration when a country’s unemployment rate is high).
As for the other questions regarding equality, leftist concerns about equality of race and gender have generally been satisfied here in America. (Those leftists who insist that nothing has changed since the 1950s aren’t dealing with reality, so we can ignore them). Moreover, everything works better for people who are not poor, so helping women and minorities who are poor to escape poverty is more important than dealing with their gender and racial issues. As for equalizing power among countries, leftists who want this have naive views about the rest of the world. In addition, the West has increased the wealth of the whole world, which now has access to all kinds of inventions (like cell phones), planes, amazing medical discoveries and procedures, etc. Equalizing power and wealth among all countries would destroy this wealth-producing process in the same way that the forced equality of socialism destroyed the wealth of the countries involved (look at Venezuela for a contemporary example).
As for the left’s current insistence that we treat all cultures as equal, I think it is a terrible mistake. How about cultures that execute a lot of people? How about cultures that treat minorities (or women or gays) terribly? How about cultures that reject science, thereby rejecting modern medicine? How about cultures that are very conservative? How about cultures that are warlike? Accepting other cultures which have values you hate and treating them as the equal of your own culture makes you look ludicrous. You either look wildly inconsistent or else in denial of reality. Moreover, it can be suicidal as well (not so much in terms of the destruction of your life as in the destruction of your values), if you invite into your culture as many people as you can who have values you hate. While rating Western values as higher than other values makes one Eurocentric (or whatever the term is), I say so what? I am very glad that when my distant ancestors were absorbed into the West, there were no whiny leftists around trying to “protect” them from this fate.
So, there you have it, my views on egalitarianism.