Liberty And Equality : Equality And Freedom Essay

2162 Words Oct 22nd, 2016 9 Pages
Liberty and equality are two of the most important principles in politics, as they are part of the foundation of our society. Equality and freedom have generally been portrayed as two conflicting concepts, mainly because in order to achieve equality redistribution of resources is necessary and this would inevitably interfere with the liberty of those who have an abundance of resources and wealth. However, after a closer examination we can see that in many cases an increase in equality results in an increase in freedom as well. The negative and positive explanations of freedom imply that inequality can actually be a restraint of freedom because it limits one 's autonomy. In addition, the distinction between individual and social liberty can help us understand how intervention in an individual 's life can lead to an increase in his freedom, rather than a decrease as usually thought.

In order to decide whether liberty and equality are conflicting or supporting values we must first examine their definitions. The word equality possesses more than one meaning and some of the discussions and controversies around it arise mainly because the term is used with different connotations. According to Williams, all people are human beings and equal in that they belong to the species of homo sapiens, can speak a language, live in societies, use tools and so on. This serves as a reminder that people are also alike in other aspects that are more likely to be forgotten, like the ability to…

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