Since Alexis de Tocqueville's analysis of agrarian America in the 1800's, the ideals of liberty and equality have often been seen as in conflict.
But as Robert Dahl writes: "...the agrarian economy and society on which it was based underwent a revolutionary transformation into a new system of commercial and industrial capitalism that automatically generated vast inequalities of wealth, income, status, and power. These inequalities were in turn a result of liberty of a certain kind–liberty to accumulate unlimited economic resources and to organize economic activity into hierarchically governed enterprises."
Or, as David Schweickart comments: "Contemporary capitalism celebrates democracy, yet denies us our democratic rights at precisely the point where they might be utilized most immediately and concretely: at the place where we spend most of the active and alert hours of our adult lives."
Economic democracy, broadly, is the idea that decision-making power should not be the exclusive right of managers and shareholders, but held in equal by all stakeholders affected by those decisions. In practice, both Dahl & Schweickart see "workplace democracy" - from codetermination to worker-owned cooperatives - as one concrete manifestation of economic democracy.