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May 31, 2005

Comments

Blimpish

Yes, although the political circumstances that might allow the egaliatarian case to be made are quite recent. Most egalitarians in most of the Thatcher era (I'd guess including yourself?) were very much committed to statist means to advance the aim and weren't so keen to discuss limited government and open markets as an alternative. That left the libertarians (meant in the narrower sense of liberals who put individual liberty above equality, normally associated with the Right) to make the case to the ideologically uncommitted, and the only common ground they could find with them was about liberty and not equality.

That isn't to say the case couldn't or shouldn't be made now, only that historically it wasn't so simple. One other historical point - the intellectual case translated handily into a political programme from the 1840s to the 1880s in England (if memory serves, the Liberals campaigned on an "abolish the income tax" platform for a time in the 1870s), and a little later in other parts of the world.

Blimpish

... but then I guess that's the advantage of restricting the franchise to the upper and middle classes!

Rob

I'd quite like an explanation of in what sense a smaller state could guarantee equality. This is, I admit, snarky, but I am genuinely intrigued.

Blimpish

Perhaps the point is less that a smaller state could guarantee equality than that a larger state doesn't anyway...

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