Category: Politics, Society, Freedom, and Equality

There is little disagreement among political philosophers, democratic theorists or empirical researchers that politics, freedom, society and equality are core principles of liberal democracy. What is highly disputed, however, is the meaning of these democratic principles and the proper relation between them that makes for a good political order. The assumption has always been that there is a trade-off between freedom and equality. ‘Trade-off’ means in this context that both principles cannot be maximized at the same time. Investigations of data from democracies leads to reject the trade-off assumption which has a long tradition Freedom and political as well as economic equality are mutually reinforcing.

There is no evidence of a negative association between freedom on the one hand and equality on the other. The traditional libertarian fear of a trade-off between freedom and equality is unfounded, as we core principles of democracy possess a mutually reinforcing association. Societies and political orders do not have to decide between the two principles but can pursue the maximization of both freedom and equality. This does not mean, of course, that real-world politics cannot pursue one over the other, but any arguments to this end should no longer rest on the claim that the two principles are mutually exclusive in modern democracies. Politics, society, freedom and equality can certainly coexist.

Social Europe


Allen Weisselberg and The Trump Organization Indictment Redux

The Trump Organization and its longtime finance chief, Allen Weisselberg, have been indicted on charges from a years-long investigation by the Manhattan district attorney’s office that has involved prosecutors obtaining former President Trump’s tax returns. Prosecutors allege a 15-year scheme (from 2005 through this year) in which the Trump Organization...

voting rights

Voting Rights, The Filibuster, Court-Packing, and Why You Should’ve Voted For Hillary Clinton

The Supreme Court’s conservative majority on Thursday continued castration a landmark voting rights law in a decision likely to help Republican states fight challenges to voting restrictions they’ve put in place following last year’s elections. In a case from Arizona, the justices upheld two state voting restrictions that limited who...