Freedom Now

Alex Gourevitch and Corey Robin in Polity:

Left-wing politics is resurgent. Self-proclaimed socialists are unexpectedly popular. Proposals like universal health care are a commonplace of Democratic campaigns. But there is not yet a clear, unifying idea behind this political shift. We propose that that idea is freedom. While the left once understood freedom as emancipation from the economy, the right spent the twentieth century neutralizing and appropriating the idea of freedom by reinventing the economy as the true site of freedom. To reclaim freedom as a value of the left, we have to begin with the daily experience of most people: the unfreedom of the workplace. The authoritarian organization of work is not just an offense against freedom; it also helps us understand how freedom requires emancipation both from the economy and within the economy, and why that emancipation requires mass struggle.

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