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Freedom And Revolution

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Chapter Summary

The danger to the non-Marxist Left is that lack of theory leaves its discussions blind and formless; the danger to the Marxist Left is that it tends to treat theory as something finished and final, and so the inherited formulae can become a substitute for thought. To guard against this, we ought every so often to re-open old discussions in new ways. This chapter takes up a particular old discussion about freedom. It exposes the view that the problem of freedom can be stated in terms of 'the individual' and 'the collective'. The individual cannot win his freedom by asserting himself against society; and he cannot win it through capitalist society. To be free is only possible in some new form of society which makes a radical break with the various oppressions of capitalism. Thus the topic of freedom is also the topic of revolution.

Keywords:capitalism; freedom; non-Marxist Left; revolution

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