The Radicality of the Egalitarian Revolution

August 9, 2018

By Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

The egalitarian Revolution preaches complete equality, both vertical and horizontal. Vertical means equality between things placed on different levels. For example, to make all social classes equal. Horizontal does not mean to equalize hierarchically unequal things but to eliminate through unification, fusion and standardization, simple differences which of themselves do not imply hierarchy.

For example, for a person to wear a gray, blue, or brown suit does not mean that he comes from a higher class. These are unequal things in that they are different, but they do not serve to classify anyone. Now, the egalitarian movement aims not only to suppress hierarchy but also to absolutely eliminate every difference, including these horizontal inequalities.

Now then, the thesis is that this egalitarian Revolution tends toward total equality. This is the principle of the radicality of the Revolution. Many people who see these small transformations deny their importance.

An example: If one were to tell a professor who today permits his students to take off their jackets in class, that tomorrow he will be giving classes to students in their underwear, he may laugh and not believe it. Indeed, considering the present circumstances, he is right. But he would need to be aware of the principle of the radicality of this movement in order to understand that it always keeps moving forward. If a concession is made today, it will want another tomorrow, for it will only stop when complete equality is established.

It is a movement that consists of small, seemingly insignificant reforms, but which tends toward complete equality. And whenever you give in one step, it has been given to the hydra of complete equality. I have the lively impression that “third-force” and all intermediary positions benefit a lot from people’s ignorance about this principle.

Princess Caroline of Naples and Sicily (Maria Carolina Ferdinanda Luise, Duchess of Berry.

An example: I believe that everyone recalls the Duchess of Berry bathing in the sea [1824]. If the virtuous ladies of the [French] court had imagined the consequences of that first concession and had warned her against it, she would have soundly denied it. The only way to prevent her from taking that first step would have been to make her understand this. Accordingly, the principle of radicality is essential to stop people from sliding down the ramp.

Revolution and Counter-Revolution

* The word Revolution is used here in the sense given it by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira in his book, Revolution and Counter-Revolution.


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