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Freedom has a dual legacy. On the one hand, it evokes struggles associated with the left, from abolition and anticolonialism to women’s and queer liberation. On the other hand, it has long been a watchword of the right, from neoliberals to white nationalists. This issue reclaims freedom as a fundamental political value, essential to any vision of a just world.
Aziz Rana leads a forum on the path to a different politics of freedom. In the United States, he argues, reactionary meanings of freedom at home have been emboldened by U.S. imperial power abroad. But their hold isn’t absolute: we can break it by building new forms of collective agency and self-rule. Featuring eleven respondents—including Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Jefferson Cowie, political theorists Adom Getachew, Lea Ypi, and Nancy Hirschmann, and philosophers Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò and Philippe Van Parijs—the forum clarifies what freedom means and how to win it for all.
Plus essays on fifty years of liberation theology, the legacy of Cold War liberalism, what the history of anticolonial violence means for Israel/Palestine, and repression of the Stop Cop City movement; reviews of M. E. O’Brien’s Family Abolition and Helen Hester and Nick Srnicek’s After Work; an interview on Black existentialism; and poetry.
Full list of contributors: Aziz Rana leads a forum with Elisabeth Anker, Lorna Bracewell, Jefferson Cowie, Adom Getachew, Nancy Hirschmann & Tamara Metz, Mark Paul, William Clare Roberts, Julie Rose, Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò, Philippe Van Parijs, and Lea Ypi—plus work by Nathalie Etoke & Lewis Gordon, Will Holub-Moorman, Rachel Fraser, Travis Knoll, Hannah Liberman, A. Dirk Moses, Samuel Moyn, and Azadeh Shahshahani.
Cover art: Quilt by Loretta Pettway of the Gee’s Bend Quilting Collective.
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