ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
-A A +A

Socialist Freedom and Repression

I SHALL be obliged if you publish the following few lines as a response to K Baiagopal's 'What Is Socialist Freedom?' (August 5), Balagopal would like to make a very clear distinction between 'bourgeois' democracy (or freedom) and 'socialist' democracy. And he would not agree with the view that the essential differences between the two lies in the fact that while bourgeois freedom means the basic human freedom formally (though usually only.partly) recognised but actually severely circumscribed by the highly iniquitous bourgeois socio-economic conditions of life and thereby largely unrealised for the vast masses of people, socialist freedom means the unfettering of these rights by doing away with the shackles of socio-economic oppression and inequalities and making these rights actually realised for the vast masses of toilers. Balagopal would rather define socialist freedom as the freedom to build socialism. He further informs us that 'socialist freedom', the freedom to build 'socialism; is inseparable from the idea of the perpetual existence of a strong, central and repressive state authority to guarantee the safety and well- being of 'socialism' which is under perpetual threat of counter-revolutionary onslaughts as ''there is a class enemy inside each one of us", irrespective of caste, creed, religton and class. So a 'socialist' state cannot be anything but violently repressive, as it has to constantly engage itself in the massive ex- ercise of exorcising the 'evil spirits' (the counter-revolutionaries within), which keep on finding ways of sneaking back into our souls, just not a handful, but in each one of us. Consequently, empathy between the "socialist" state and the revolutionary masses could be obtained only as a rare exception and by no means as a general rule.

Subscribers please login to access full text of the article.

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

826for India

$50for overseas users

Get instant access to the complete EPW archives

Subscribe now

Comments

(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Back to Top