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The values of equality and freedom are in constant tension, or so some think. The more society stresses equality, the less freedom people have. For example, Bruce Ackerman would abolish inheritance in his utopian society to insure that every generation begins on an equal footing. Many commentators have advocated restrictions on pornography and hate speech in order to protect the likely targets of these traditionally protected uses of free speech. Additionally, Catharine MacKinnon has invoked the principle of equality in the form of protecting disempowered minorities to argue for a restriction on liberty and freedom. Conversely, the more economic freedom we exercise in the marketplace, the more likely we are to generate disturbing inequalities between the rich and the poor. Political theorists, understandably, take the tension between liberty and equality for granted.


Constitutional Law | Courts | Law