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

florida man

Florida Man Says “What Pandemic?” As Delta Variant Ravages State

Ian Hodgson and Rose Wong of the Tampa Bay Times reports how Florida man, Governor Ron DeSantis, is in denial despite leading the nation last week in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations as the Sunshine State becomes the epicenter of the delta-driven fourth pandemic wave. The state continues to issue weekly,...

student loan debt

Student Loan Debt and the Status of Extending or Cancelling It

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. suspended payments and interest on federal student loans, but those protections are set to end on Sept. 30, 2021. Democrats led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) are making a renewed push for President Joe Biden...

republican pandemic of the unvaccinated

The Republican Pandemic of the Unvaccinated Rages On

Nearly 40% of Republicans are still hesitant about getting the Covid-19 vaccine or refuse to get it, a new Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI)/Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) poll finds. Allison Durkee of Forbes crunches the numbers on the Republican pandemic of the unvaccinated. Overall 71% of poll respondents in the...