‘I am happy to call myself a Bolshevik’

Claire Fox of the Institute of Ideas answers spiked readers’ questions on the left, liberty, Mad Men and more.

Claire Fox

Topics Politics

How did you travel from Bolshevism to right-wing libertarianism with such apparent ease?
Ian Townson

Claire Fox: I wouldn’t know, Ian, as this is not a journey that I have travelled. But it is certainly an accusation thrown my way. I do find it amusing that people can assume that because I am unapologetic about defending free speech, or opposing the state’s relentless intervention into people’s lives, that I am right-wing. How dispiriting that when the left accuse me of being a libertarian, it is meant to be an insult. And what a tragedy that left-wingers have been so negligent of freedom that the right is more closely associated with liberty today.

For me, Bolshevism was precisely a revolutionary struggle for freedom. I am happy to stand in that tradition. I have been reading a lot of Sartre, Camus and de Beauvoir again recently (for the IOI’s forthcoming Academy weekend – I am convening the literature strand of lectures). It is refreshing to enter into the dialogues of left-wing thinkers who make freedom and free will so core to their politics. Again, a tradition I am proud to embrace…

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Topics Politics


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