Q4. Lea Ypi; Free; Growing up at the end of the history

In the summer months of 2022, I have greatly reduced my online activities. Instead, I read several new books. Some of them are so valuable that I would like to briefly report on them here to encourage you to read them too. The first fantastic book in my "series" is by Lea Ypi, who I got to know enthusiastically via the "Sternstunde Philosophie" programme.

In the introduction to the 3Sat report (from 8 May 2022) we read
"Lea Ypi - The secret of freedom
The Albanian philosopher Lea Ypi believed she grew up in the freest state on earth. A mistake. Every word was monitored. Not even her parents told the truth. In fact, it was the last Stalinist country in Europe. Lea Ypi spent her entire youth in the last Stalinist country in Europe. Today, the Albanian philosopher teaches political theory at the renowned London School of Economics and Political Science. What does it mean for her to be free - to live freely? What mental, moral and political conditions must be in place for this?

In her impressive literary memoir 'Free - Coming of Age at the End of History', Lea Ypi describes everyday life in the Albania of dictator Enver Hodja, the shocking fall of the system in 1990, at the end of the Cold War, and the dissolution of every political order in the name of a new, presumably total freedom.

In conversation with Wolfram Eilenberger, Kant specialist Lea Ypi explains her understanding of a truly mature, adult freedom - and thus a political vision that has yet to be realised in both Eastern and Western Europe."

In response to the question: "Is freedom only conceivable in relation to other people?" Lea Ypi answers:
"Yes, I think so. Because what we do is never without consequences for other people. We are responsible for ourselves, but we are also jointly responsible for shaping the world in which other people live.
The idea of breaking with everything as an individual may be ideological. But in our society in particular, it is very problematic because it is fuelled by the prevailing idea that the individual is self-determined and free and has every opportunity to live out this freedom. In times of crisis, such as the one we are currently experiencing, socially responsible behaviour is crucial because everything we do as individuals has a significant impact on other people. So we see how fragile this narrative is that we have learnt to believe in.
You have to dig deep to expose the pretence.
(according to which) freedom must always include the possibility of realising it."

When asked about her attempt to combine the Kantian view of individual freedom with the Marxist view of social freedom, she replies:

"Certain philosophical or moral creeds deserve to be reassessed and reconsidered at their core. What I find lacking in the socialist tradition is the commitment to social responsibility and the idea that freedom fulfils itself in society and together with others. This is unique and stands out from the liberal tradition, where everything revolves around the individual and their concept of freedom.
It is important to revitalise democracy and make it representative. This includes transparency at the transnational level and a better connection between these transnational concerns among technocratic elites and the concerns of citizens. For this we need intermediary political parties or social movements that are able and willing to fundamentally question the status quo and offer radical alternatives."

Lea Ypi speaks directly to my physical-philosophical soul. Truly remarkable.

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