Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ibsen, the anarchist, speaks about Freedom

Here a very short quotation from an Ibsen’s letter to Georg Brandes (1872) where the Norwegian poet complain about the misconception around his texts over his idea of freedom. The text shows an Ibsen much more closer to Anarchism than to any liberal believes:

"I shall never agree to identify Freedom with political freedom. What you call Freedom I call freedoms, and what I call the battle for Freedom is nothing but the continuous pursuit of the idea of Freedom. He who possesses Freedom otherwise than as something to be striven for possesses something dead and meaningless, for by its very definition Freedom perpetually expands as one seeks to embrace it, that if, during the quest, anyone stops and says: "Now I have it!" he shows thereby that he has lost it." (...) "The state must be abolished!" (...) "There's a revolution to which I gladly lend my shoulder. Abolish the conception of the state, establish the principle of free will and all that is spiritually akin to it as the one prerequisite for a universal brotherhood-there is the beginning of a Freedom that is worth something!" (*)

Of course, a text that didn’t help to change the general idea that Ibsen was an ultra radical in the political ambience in the end of European 19th century.

*Ibsen Biography. By Michael Meyer. page 338.

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