Front Page Titles (by Subject) Liberty vs. Equality - Literature of Liberty, January/March 1979, vol. 2, No. 1
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Liberty vs. Equality - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, January/March 1979, vol. 2, No. 1 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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Liberty vs. Equality
“The Procrustean Ideal, Libertarians v. Egalitarians.” Encounter 50 (March 1978): 70–79.
Not all ideals of equality threaten liberty—“the most fundamental of these ideals is itself essentially connected with respecting every individual's right to choose, in as many respects as is practically consistent with the corresponding equal rights of everyone else.”
Equality may undergo different interpretations, such as a factual and a normative; as when the Declaration of Independence speaks of equality as a normative ideal to be aspired to, not as some fact about human beings. There are three differing ideals of equality which we need to carefully distinguish because in egalitarian literature [e.g., D.M. Levine and M.J. Bane, The “Inequality” Controversy (1975)] the three distinct ideas—personal equality, equality of opportunity, and equality of results—are crudely equivocated upon. Furthermore, we need to discover whether any of the ideals of equality “are enemies to liberty.”
(1) Personal equality requires liberty and a measure of democracy in the political realm. Analysis and historical data bring this out clearly. The problem begins with (2) equality of opportunity, for this equality raises such issues as whether and what sort of equality of opportunity the state should maintain. Should the so-called “welfare floor” (advocated by Winston Churchill and present advocates of the welfare state) be required to secure equality of opportunity? But, “if you want to achieve ideal equality of opportunity from the very beginning, then you have to abolish the home and the family in favour of the universal compulsory comprehensive crèche.” Even a “next best bet” requires “circumscribing, if not outright abolishing, the freedom of parents to make homes, and to bring up their children as they see fit.”
Finally, (3) equality of outcome or results aims mainly at eradicating the social inequality that, in Rousseau's words, “depends on a kind of convention, and is established, or at least authorized, by the consent of men.” But many egalitarians extend the matter to include biological inequalities. Despite their denials of aiming to eliminate all individuality and variety, egalitarians are notoriously imprecise on just what their principle means concretely so that we could tell which inequalities must go, which may stay, and why.
Numerous examples illustrate this imprecision. Utilitarianism, the prominent framework which defends the equality of results doctrine, needs critical analysis. In sum, this kind of equality requires violating equality in the attempt itself, by a “call for a highly authoritarian and widely repressive form of government.”