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MW Occasional Lecture - Prof. William Roberts (McGill University): Marx’s politics of freedom

Dates:
  • Tue 06 Nov 2018 17.00 - 19.00
  Add to Calendar 2018-11-06 17:00 2018-11-06 19:00 Europe/Paris MW Occasional Lecture - Prof. William Roberts (McGill University): Marx’s politics of freedom

This paper examines and evaluates Marx’s commitments to three notions of freedom: (1) freedom as non-domination, (2) freedom as open-ended self-development, and (3) freedom as self-determination or autonomy. I argue that the first notion, freedom as non-domination, motivates Marx’s mature critique of capitalism and his embrace of the international workers’ movement. His commitment to the second notion, freedom as self-development or self-realization, is fundamentally a vision of ethical perfection, and plays only a tightly circumscribed role in Marx’s political thought. Finally, the notion of freedom as self-determination is, despite a long interpretive tradition, at odds with Marx’s understanding and endorsement of democracy. Contrary to 150 years of Marx reception, Marx’s most distinctive and powerful contributions are not to the theorization of “positive liberty,” but to the pursuit of freedom from domination.

William Clare Roberts is associate professor of political science at McGill University. His book, Marx's Inferno: The Political Theory of Capital (Princeton, 2017), won the 2017 Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize for exemplifying the best and most innovative new writing in or about the Marxist tradition.

The Lecture will be introduced by Bruno Leipold (MW SPS Fellow)

Emeroteca, Badia Fiesolana DD/MM/YYYY
  Emeroteca, Badia Fiesolana

This paper examines and evaluates Marx’s commitments to three notions of freedom: (1) freedom as non-domination, (2) freedom as open-ended self-development, and (3) freedom as self-determination or autonomy. I argue that the first notion, freedom as non-domination, motivates Marx’s mature critique of capitalism and his embrace of the international workers’ movement. His commitment to the second notion, freedom as self-development or self-realization, is fundamentally a vision of ethical perfection, and plays only a tightly circumscribed role in Marx’s political thought. Finally, the notion of freedom as self-determination is, despite a long interpretive tradition, at odds with Marx’s understanding and endorsement of democracy. Contrary to 150 years of Marx reception, Marx’s most distinctive and powerful contributions are not to the theorization of “positive liberty,” but to the pursuit of freedom from domination.

William Clare Roberts is associate professor of political science at McGill University. His book, Marx's Inferno: The Political Theory of Capital (Princeton, 2017), won the 2017 Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize for exemplifying the best and most innovative new writing in or about the Marxist tradition.

The Lecture will be introduced by Bruno Leipold (MW SPS Fellow)


Location:
Emeroteca, Badia Fiesolana

Affiliation:
Max Weber Programme

Type:
Lecture

Contact:
Francesca Grassini (EUI - Max Weber Programme) - Send a mail

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Page last updated on 18 August 2017