A Libertarian Debates a Marxist on What Makes a Free Society

by Per Bylund

In a live and streamed debate on 9/14 in Stockholm, Sweden, Per Bylund of Mises Institute debated Andrew Kliman from the Marxist-Humanist Initiative (MHI). The topic for the debate was “What makes a free society?” and the purpose was to raise two often overlooked perspectives on society and the economy: libertarianism and marxism. Co-organized and sponsored by libertarian organizations Cor.ax / bubb.la and MHI, the debate was held in central Stockholm and sold out. After increasing the number of tickets offered, the event sold out again.

With the debaters being economists, the debate focused on economic issues. The primary discrepancy is the one between views on property, where the marxist Kliman proposed “individual property,” or ownership only of what one uses for personal needs but with communal ownership of the means of production, whereas I, as libertarian, argued for private property and free markets of the means of production. It is interesting to note that the Kliman relies on a division of property that is divided along economic categories: consumer and production goods (or goods of lowest and higher orders).

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