Equalism was a religion founded by Djamele in response to a system and culture she saw as oppressive, unfair, and unbalanced. It puts great emphasis on moderate individualism and the value of fairness in dealing with others, and rejects the moral value of self-sacrifice.
Ethics and Beliefs of EqualismEdit
Equalism puts the act as the object of moral judgement, not the person or the intention of the act, so a person is good or bad according to the net balance of their actions, meaning one is good in the measure one does good acts and avoids bad ones. It's relevant to note here that Equalism doesn't consider actions or people evil but misleaded. The concepts of good and bad are practically equalized with the notions of fair and unfair. Equalism appropriates the traditional concept of Zhaz and re-signifies it around the notion of transcendent honor, as opposed to social honor or prestige. Equalists argue that it is unfair to seek fame and glory because doing so is generally done in order to gain an unfair level of power over one's fellow men, and that Zhaz in fact means the spiritual status of honoring oneself and others by living a level-headed and fair life which, in turn, naturally attracts social honor in a just society because people would naturally recognize an honorable man for what it is. Equalist ethics are deontological and based around the concept of reciprocity, responsibility and the value of the promise, all highly bourgoise values. One should honor one's agreements always, unless some of the parties entered the agreement under false pretenses. One should pay one's debts on the terms agreed upon, one should not cause harm to others nor to their reputations. Similarly, one should dedicate most of one's time to one's work and provide for one's family, employees, and for the poor of one's community. In this Equalism resignifies the traditional concept of self-sacrifice as well into a kind of semi-mandatory charity. Finally, vengeance is seen as a grave sin in Equalism, as it's seen as multiplying the injustice in the world. As a consequence, equalists don't have many options when cheated, and as so tend to only conduct important business between themselves.
Sociology of EqualismEdit
Equalism is a bourgoise religion in it's entirety, which means that it will likely be practiced by few rich people instead of by the masses. It is also hermetic, secretive and tends towards endosociality, endogamy and endobusiness or however else you want to call the act of preferently or only doing business with other equalists. As a consequence it tends to recieve a lot of negative attention and discrimination, especially with their holier-than-thou attitude and secretive practices. They, finally, tend to configurate states-within-states, and as so are often opposition to whatever king or prince rules in the region they live in, elaborating complicated schemes in order to, evade taxes, bypass restrictions and otherwise ignore the temporal authorities, which they feel completely inferior to their own internal leadership. They have a persecution epic narrative about themselves, as it validates the culture's self-perception of sole sane men in a world of crazed vendettas, traditional pettyness and codependence. Their cultural paranoia isn't unjustified, however, as many chapters have been completely wiped out in the past.
Equalist have regional chapters of around 0,05%~0,002% of the area's population, of which most are merchants and artisans. They, however, often recruit or infiltrate their young into different sectors of society. While their existence isn't a secret, militancy, membership, and the location and nature of their rites is, even when there is no political reason for them to be secret. Most chapters are led by an Elder and have a very small armed branch called the Judges, who conduct deniable operations in order to further the goals -which they themselves signify as protect from persecution and massacre- of the chapter and of the movement in general.