Thanks for this important, enjoyable discussion. Since the fighters have called it quits, I guess it's okay to add a cent or two. Just to note, quite formally, that TNH here admitted that liberty and equality are not the same. That is because there is no "thing" that is also its own basis (for the religious types: except for god). That would be like declaring house and foundation the same because the entire house is based on the latter. I found this definition, as quoted earlier, most helpful: Generally, liberty is distinctly differentiated from freedom in that freedom is primarily, if not exclusively, the ability to do as one wills and what one has the power to do; whereas liberty concerns the absence of arbitrary restraints and takes into account the rights of all involved. As such, the exercise of liberty is subject to capability and limited by the rights of others. Liberty is freedom within the constraints as imposed by the rights of others. This does not mean these rights be necessarily equal: If the laws stipulate that the husband may beat his spouse, his liberty just no longer ends at the tip of her nose. Conversely, equality before the law, equal rights, would mean that his and her liberty have the same extent. Equality (equal rights) thus is not a consequence of liberty, but an external concept imposed to the effect that our liberty (everyone's liberty) is also equal. Slavery, as the grossest violation of equality, obviously, also guaranteed the biggest differential of liberty, which again means that liberty is entirely consistent with inequality, even gross inequality, before the law.