If liberalism is committed to the individual and individual choice, it is also conventionally taken to be committed to freedom and equality. Giving effect to such principles will often create tensions: the “free” acts of individuals will sometimes produce inequality; and state enforcement of equality will likely reduce individual freedom. Moreover, when faced with the claims of subordinated groups, liberalism typically is asked to make concessions by which these collisions intensify and multiply. In fact, even if the mandate to address the rights or interests of groups is not perfectly consistent with liberalism’s commitment to individuals, it may be necessary if individuals in groups are to be treated liberally (that is, accorded freedom or equality). And the mandate to address the subordination of groups generates a new collision of freedom with equality: de facto freedom for subordinated groups may require their specific regulation; and equality of their members may require active distributions in their favour. The “politics of recognition” called upon by subordinated groups within liberalism is thus a tensely contradictory project. Nations that are consciously, sometimes constitutionally, committed to protecting the rights of individuals and groups cannot shy away from these potentially irreconcilable differences.