I mean Marx's concept of freedom. Marx defined freedom in different ways, but I have in mind the notion of freedom that is based upon Hegel's philosophy. According to Hegel, freedom is the insight into a necessity. Marx builds on that base. “Freedom does not consist in any dreamt-of independence from natural laws, but in the knowledge of these laws,” writes Marx.
All right, that does not sound bad yet. Knowledge of natural laws is certainly good and useful whether you're Marxist or not. Knowing the laws of nature certainly provides you with a unique sort of freedom. You know how to build a steam engine, an automobile or a plane. This certainly enhances human freedom, doesn't it?
However, Marx departs very far from the natural laws. One of his definitions of freedom is as follows:
“Freedom, therefore, consists in the control over ourselves and over external nature, a control founded on knowledge of natural necessity; it is, therefore, necessarily a product of historical development.”
Marx assumes that laws of society are as firm as the laws of the nature. Therefore, he goes on implicitly saying: the history has its own exact laws, which we must discover and study. As soon as we will know the laws of historical mechanics – similarly as we know the laws of physical motion – we will be free. You need not go too far, though; it's me who is bringing the laws of society and history to you. Therefore, learn and accept my philosophy and you'll be free!
The whole Marxism is about boasting: “I, Karl Marx, found the universal social laws; me and my followers are the owners of the truth. The only real freedom is the freedom to believe in my philosophy. Whoever is not a Marxist is either laughable fool or a liar.”
In the practice of the communist regimes, people were taught: “Freedom is the knowledge of necessity; the necessity is that communism is the highest form of social organisation and Marx is always right.” With the implicit message: “All resistance is futile."
From the original Hegel's idea – which was not so bad after all – Marx created something that would come to prominence as the famous Orwellian motto: Freedom is slavery. In fact, George Orwell originally was a Marxist, until he recognised the consequences. In fact, the gist of the Animal Farm and 1984 is nothing but Marxism taken to consequences. So was Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Pol Pot.
Marxism cannot have any consequences other than a totalitarian regime. There is nothing like a democratic Marxism. This is a necessity, which the mankind has discovered the hard way.
Note: Readers who know Marx was a charlatan have also enjoyed this post.