Libertarian Communism: Marx, Engels and the Political Economy of Freedom
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Central to this book is a discussion of the notion of freedom in Marx and Engel's work. The book argues that the libertarian foundations of political economy were present in Marx's and Engel's work and utilizes contemporary theories of freedom to reinterpret and analyse their original work.
summon up the abstraction of a ‘God’ and to attribute to it everything beautiful, great, sublime and truly human. (Engels, 1844, 3, 464) How can the moral foundations of this ‘new world’ be brought out? Well, perhaps in a less refined but certainly more straightforward way than Marx, in 1847 Engels attempts to get to the heart of the problem by postulating an ethic foundation of the communist society on the ground of a definition of human nature.10 He seems to have understood that the new
therefore that a theory capable of grasping the absolute truth of justice is impossible. Proof: Absolute truth is independent of time, space, and of the historical development of man; (ib.) however absolute truth, reason, and justice are different with the founder of each different school; (ib.) 38 Libertarian Communism it follows that there is no other ending possible in this conflict of absolute truths than that they shall be mutually exclusive one of the other. (ib.) Explanation: Why is a
of view the offer, say, of public education and ecological policy, does not just try to augment the citizens’ satisfaction. Fundamentally it aims to expand their freedom by redistributing it. So one can see the importance of the definition of the subject of freedom. It is senseless to talk of freedom without making it clear whose freedom we are referring to. Margaret Thatcher was not lying when she said she wanted to increase freedom by reducing taxes and public expenditure. But she would have
The Emancipation of Labour 131 for it is well known that real politicians are moved by a vocation or even by ‘ethical’ motivations. Certainly salary cuts do not eliminate the political profession’s main incentive, i.e. power. Then Marx makes it clear that in the Commune the majority of delegates consist of ‘working men, or acknowledged representatives of the working class’ (ib.). This reveals that salary cuts, although justified by the principle ‘equal pay for equal labour-time’, are not just
case they become ‘social goods’. I define them as goods offered at zero price (pure social goods) or at a lower than cost price (spurious social goods). ‘Private goods’, on the other hand, are those which can be offered at profitable prices. A public decision is sufficient to transform a private good into a social good. Environmental policy, justice, health, education, railways, science, culture, television, Internet: these are all goods that can be easily offered as social goods. Some of them