Philosophy Index

Existentialism and Politics

Existentialism does not dictate a specific political standpoint, but the stress on individuality and choice that this philosophy represents do have a political side. Many of the well-known existentialists of the world fought actively for individual freedom.

The definition of freedom varies among people who employ existentialist concepts, which is responsible partly for the political diversity of this group. Many of the more anarchist existentialists sought freedom from government, stressing that making mistakes and learning from one's decisions is only natural for humanity. Others, such as Sartre, saw communism as a truer freedom, as they were no longer burdened with the necessities of life, such as food and shelter, and were able to more actively pursue self-improvement.

Despite this diversity in definition, the principal concept remains: that freedom is the essence of being; To restrict a person of freedom is to rob him of that which makes him alive.

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