Socialists Must Be the Champions of Freedom

The topic of freedom was raised when I was giving some talks in Peru. The students there were very interested in the question: “Does socialism require a surrender of individual freedom?”

The right wing has managed to appropriate the concept of freedom as its own and to use it as a weapon in class struggle against socialists. The subservience of the individual to state control imposed by socialism or communism is something to be avoided, they said, at all costs.

My reply was that we should not give up on the idea of individual freedom as being part of what an emancipatory socialist project is about. The achievement of individual liberties and freedoms is, I argued, a central aim of such emancipatory projects. But that achievement requires collectively building a society where each one of us has adequate life chances and life possibilities to realize each one of our own potentialities.
Marx and Freedom

Marx had a few interesting things to say on this topic. One of them is that “the realm of freedom begins when the realm of necessity is left behind.” Freedom means nothing if you don’t have enough to eat, if you are denied access to adequate healthcare, housing, transportation, education, and the like. The role of socialism is to provide those basic

— source jacobinmag.com | David Harvey | 10.22.2020

Nullius in verba


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