What Is Political Equality?

What Is Political Equality?

I: Philip Green

What is political equality? Any simple definition of such a vague concept is unlikely to be more than a slogan. We must begin somewhere, though, and Robert Dahl’s recent essay “On Removing Certain Impediments to Democracy in the United States” in the Summer 1978 Dissent offers an excellent starting point, for which we should all be grateful.

Professor Dahl is the leading theorist of modern American liberalism, and in his most recent work he has tried mightily to escape from the inhibiting confines of that philosophical stance. As we shall see, the escape is finally unsuccessful. Dahl’s conventionally liberal understanding of “political equality...

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