This is one of those words-mean-something columns, to wit, some words used in political and public policy conversations are code for policy prescriptions.
At the start of a recent presentation about education to the Albuquerque Press Women, cautionary bells rang when, under the headline, “liberal egalitarianism,” I heard, “Grave inequalities keep people from being meaningfully free to choose for themselves. Fairness and justice require a safety net with a livable minimum of housing, income, food, education, healthcare and equal opportunity.”
Under “free market libertarianism,” I heard some more appealing points. “Free people should choose for themselves. People are responsible for their own actions and their consequences. Redistribution of income or wealth is unfair, and creates disincentives for hard work.”
The libertarianism-egalitarianism nuggets were offered to define the political dialogue.
While “fairness and justice” live as technical jargon in the identity politics of the left, the notion of “being meaningfully free” is obscure. I don’t remember the phrase, have no idea what it means, and suspect rampant agendas.