Democracy and equality are intimately linked. We cannot understand or properly respond to one ideal without the other. Democracy’s value stems in significant part from the way it manifests and sustains citizens’ equal status. Social equality requires democratic institutions and practices, because part of what it is for people to relate as equals is to share authority over what they do together. The design of democratic institutions—and our conduct of democratic practices—should be guided by this egalitarian ideal of sharing authority as civic friends. We ought to orient our efforts to establish and maintain equal relations with the democratic constituents of equality in view. We treat people as equals in part by sharing with them authority over how we treat one another. There is risk in granting authority to others. But a society of equals is a great reward....
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