Friday, May 6, 2011

Self-Realization and Socialism

Communism organizes social life so that individuals are able to realize themselves in and through the self-realization of others. As Marx puts it in the Communist Manifesto, "The free development of each becomes the condition for the free development of all." In this sense, socialism does not simply reject liberal society, with its passionate commitment to the individual. Instead, it builds on and completes it. In doing so, it shows how some of the contradictions of liberalism, in which your freedom may flourish only at the expense of mine, may be resolved. Only through others can we finally come into our own. This means an enrichment of individual freedom, not a diminishing of it. It is hard to think of a finer ethics. On a personal level, it is known as love.

-From Terry Eagleton's recent Why Marx Was Right

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