Eugene Holland: Nomad Citizenship

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Add Eugene Holland to the list of people (Balso, Negri, Badiou) who see communism as necessarily operating at a distance from the State.  He develops the idea of “free-market communism” as a way to

deploy selected features of the free market to transform communism and free it from a fatal entanglement with the State (xvi).

His goal is to force

orthodox Marxism to acknowledge that hitherto existing communism has featured a centralized authoritarian State and that the free market offers an essential corrective to State-governed social relations (xvi).

Of course, by “free market” he does not mean a capitalist market. That is what he thinks the idea of communism can do: it can force those who equate capitalism with a free market

to acknowledge that hitherto existing capitalism has inexorably produced exploitative oligopolies and monopolies that ruined free markets…. Communism offers an essential corrective to the wage relation on which capitalist exploitation is based (xvi).

The idea of his paradoxical concept of free-market communism, he says, is to force us to think about free markets and communism in new and more productive ways.

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