In democracies, the rich protect their freedom with wealth, and the people protect theirs with laws. This notion, associated with Demosthenes in classical Athens, and revived by Leonardo Bruni in republican Florence, imputes a roughly fair equilibrium to popular government: Private wealth and public institutions, so the truism goes, combine in democracies to ensure that both wealthy and common citizens live with fewer arbitrary restrictions on their behavior than in any other kind of regime.
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