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Elizabeth Anderson argues for civic as against distributive egalitarianism. I agree with civic egalitarianism understood as a public ideal, and welcome her interest in the sociological conditions under which it may best flourish. But I argue that she is mistaken in opposing what she calls ‘hierarchies of esteem’ and proposing that where the egalitarian ideal has insufficient hold on civil society it should be implemented by an efficient bureaucracy. We should learn a different lesson from Max Weber. What the ideal of equality needs is not more bureaucracy but more influential advocacy—and that requires healthy ‘hierarchies of esteem’.