Equality and Liberty: A Reciprocal Relationship

The relationship between equality and liberty is often seen as opposing each other. Equality is seen as at odds with liberty, and vice versa, because to increase one is to decrease the other. As a consequence there is a constant tension between equality and liberty. Contrary to this view, I propose that equality and liberty are in fact in a reciprocal relationship. I argue that liberty can flow from equality and equality from liberty, thus each benefitting from an increase of the other. This argument rests on the understanding that equality is not about sameness but about giving each person what they need to equally be able to enjoy the rights and fulfil the duties the law holds. By increasing each person’s equality it is possible to also increase their liberty because everyone will be more able to enjoy their liberty the more equally they are protected in their rights and duties by law.