4 Answers

  1. The wording of the question is not entirely correct. First of all, you need to decide what exactly you mean by “socialism” and “freedom”. Depending on what meaning you put in these definitions, you can answer the question both positively and negatively.

    Socialism can mean a lot of things, but we will consider 2 ideal options:

    1) the near-Soviet model, in which there is no market economy as such, but a planned economy operates instead.

    2) a democratic welfare state that has a market economy and capitalism, but they are directed by the state, and benefits are redistributed in favor of the least protected groups of the population. Oversimplifying, this model can be equated with Scandinavian welfare socialism.

    Now let's deal with freedom and the free state. Everything is much more complicated here, but you can also distinguish 2 ideal types::

    1) negative freedom — a concept developed by Isaiah Berlin, which is the foundation of classical liberalism. This is literally “freedom from” — the fewer prohibitions and obligations there are in a person's life, the more things he can do of his own free will, and the more free he is. This is a very literal and legal approach to freedom. Let's take a simple example: there is a university where education is paid. If its charter or state laws do not prohibit certain individuals from studying there, then they all have the right to do so, and they are free to exercise or not to exercise this right. The ideal system for theorists of negative freedom is the classical liberal state, which protects the rights of citizens, but (almost) does not interfere in other areas of their life, including the economic one.

    2) Freedom in the neo-Marxist sense. A much more complex interpretation, in which freedom is measured not by de jure existing rights, but by public institutions and social practices. One of the main ideas here is equality of opportunity. If a person has the right (that is, there is no prohibition) to study at a prestigious university, but because he or his parents do not have the money to pay for their education, they cannot afford it, their right is leveled. It turns out that those who are richer are de facto freer. Money is a privilege that makes some people freer than others. The same may be true for other criteria — until recently, in the United States, a representative of the white race had more privileges than a black person, and in Russia, to this day, the son of a prosecutor has more privileges than the son of, say, a doctor. From this point of view, the most free society will be one where privileges are minimized to the maximum, and people are equal not only in rights, but also in actual opportunities.

    Now let's compare these interpretations.

    Planned socialism, even in theory, is completely unrelated to negative freedom.

    Planned socialism can theoretically be combined with neo-Marxist freedom, but there have been no such precedents in history. Planned socialism always, wherever it was implemented, created a society in which an alternative hierarchy of privileges was built — let's recall the Soviet party nomenclature and special distributors. That is why neo-Marxists are skeptical about the Soviet experience.

    The socialism of the” welfare state ” does not fit well with the classical negative interpretation of freedom. In such a society, there are quite a lot of restrictions that, from this point of view, delay freedom. First of all, we are talking about high taxes, the moral requirement of social responsibility of business, as well as (as a rule) a rather deep penetration of state structures into human life. Despite the democratic system and the guaranteed set of rights, its presence in both the economic and other spheres of society greatly reduces human freedom. This contradiction is expressed in its extreme form in Hayek's The Road to Slavery, where social democracy is equated with communist totalitarian regimes. Although in the modern world, these two ideas sometimes have to compromise, and some intermediate forms, such as modern social liberalism, are quite possible — for example, the ideas of John Rawls, who proclaimed equality of opportunity not at the expense of freedom.

    And finally, wellfair socialism is perfectly combined with the neo-Marxist interpretation of freedom. Actually, social democracy appeared much earlier than neo-Marxist scientific research, so initially these ideas were related only to their common grandfather, Karl Marx, but then they became very close. The result of this synthesis is seen everywhere, from the notorious Scandinavian countries and Germany, to the left wing of the US Democratic Party under the leadership of demosocialist Bernie Sanders and his followers.

  2. The word “state” is such a nuisance in the proceedings! The Russian word ” state “is comparable to the foreign word”monarchy”. If you understand this juxtaposition, you will stop using the word “state” to show your lack of education.

    A state is possible in two cases: when there is a sovereign and when the country is under external administration. in all other cases, it is not the State that acts, but the Power. The USSR was not a state, it was a power. But the USSR gave birth to imperialism when it annexed the COMECON countries…

    It's about a free state. Free of what? Free from money, from banks, from external influences? The answer is that such socialism is impossible.

  3. The state cannot be free. Like any society, it exists only due to the restrictions imposed on its members.

    The State cannot give or take away freedom. It only redistributes it. How it reallocates money and other resources. We'll give this one more freedom, so this one will get less.

    More freedom for the entrepreneur – less for the worker. Or vice versa.

    If a certain freedom needs to be legally consolidated, it means that it is stepping on someone's toes.

    The state is a balance of freedoms, rights and obligations. In a socialist state, he is alone. In the capitalist world. You can come up with all sorts of mixed forms with your own balances. But just as you can't give everyone everything in material terms, you can't give everyone complete freedom.

  4. First, what is socialism?

    Socialism is a society that has passed over to the construction of communism. And communism, in turn, comes with the final death of the state, the transition of all mankind to a stateless society.

    Second, what is a state?

    The state is an instrument of the dictatorship of the ruling class. In capitalist society, the ruling class is the class of private owners-owners of the means of production (factories, factories, power plants, oil rigs, mass media, public transport, retail chains, banks, etc.). In socialist society, the ruling class is the working class – the owner of public property (public means of production), leading the construction of communism.

    From all of the above, it follows that the “free state” is an oxymoron and nonsense. Only society can be free. From the state. But such a society cannot be created at the snap of a finger, it requires social construction (socialism), in which the state is an instrument of the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie and the surrounding capitalist states

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