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9. Economic Freedom

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about the principle of economic freedom, the idea that the economy should be a space where free individuals can manage their own affairs without state ownership and regulation. In particular, we focus on: (i) anarchism’s rejection of the inequalities that are bred by capitalism and the power relationships that arise from exploitation; (ii) Leo Tolstoy’s view that the relationship between a wage labourer and his employer is essentially identical to that between a slave and his master; (iii) the distinction between anarchists and anarcho-capitalists; and (iv) anarchism’s rejection of the exclusive right of ownership in favour of the right of use.


In this course, Professor Ruth Kinna (Loughborough University) explores the idea of anarchism. In the first five modules, we introduce five key figures in anarchist thinking: Max Stirner (1806-65), Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-65), Mikhail Bakunin (1814-1876), Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921), and Emma Goldman (1869-1940). After that, we spend five modules exploring four key principles in anarchism: rejection of the state, liberty, economic freedom and utopianism. In the eleventh, twelfth and thirteen modules, we think about six different types of anarchism – individualism, collectivism, communism, egoism, social anarchism and syndicalism – before turning in the final four modules to explore seven key concepts in anarchism: power, authority, government, the state, altruism, autonomy and direct action.


Ruth Kinna is Professor of Political Theory in the Department of Politics and International Studies at Loughborough University. She is a political theorist and historian of ideas with research interests in anarchism, nineteenth and early twentieth-century socialist thought, utopianism and contemporary radicalism. Her book William Morris: The Art of Socialism was published in 2000. She has since published The Beginner's Guide to Anarchism (Oneworld, 2005/2009), Kropotkin: Reviewing the Classical Anarchist Tradition (University of Edinburgh, 2016) and The Government of No One (Pelican, 2019).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Kinna, R. (2020, February 17). Anarchism - Economic Freedom [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Kinna, R. "Anarchism – Economic Freedom." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 17 Feb 2020,