Equal political liberties

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (2):158-174 (2012)

Abstract

Formal guarantees of political equality are compatible with inequalities in the value of political liberties, as individuals may convert their socioeconomic advantages into political advantages. Perhaps the predominant strategy for limiting substantive political inequalities recommends limiting inequalities in the means of acquiring political power for private gain – most notably, economic means. I express a worry that measures instituted to restrict economic inequalities may do more to frustrate the cause of political equality than to further it. I argue that attempts to decrease individuals' means to capture political power will systematically increase their motives to capture political power

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Christopher Freiman
College of William and Mary

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