Tensions and Limitations of Socialist Freedom

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.6, 2014


Tensions and Limitations of Socialist Freedom



Tan Peiwen


The tensions of freedom highlight man’s subjective initiative and creativity. The Marxist freedom methodology indicates that the study of morality and law are only possible if we first study the free will of the actor. Marxist freedom is not the rational choice theory of neo-liberalism, and of necessity it is also not objectless being. Marxist freedom is the unity of the opposites of freedom of ends and freedom of means, formal freedom and substantive freedom, spontaneous freedom and conscious freedom, and personal freedom and societal freedom. The materialist rule of capitalism leads to the alienation of freedom. China’s rise via the China road does not lack values; the China’s path is the successful intellectual creation of the Marxist unity of the tension between freedom and restriction. The China’s path must adhere to the “four unities” of Marxist freedom to motivate the vigor of social development.