Marx As Journalist: Revisiting The Free Speech Debate

  • Padmaja Shaw Dept. of Communication and Journalism Osmania University
Keywords: Bourgeois democracy, Free speech, Indian left politics, Indian press, Marxism, Socialism


Marx was a practicing journalist for most of his adult life. He was editor, columnist and special correspondent at different times and his journalistic work provided significant inputs for his later theoretical work. Marx, through his engagement with the political revolutions of 19th century Europe, developed one of the finest arguments in defence of free speech and the need for expanding bourgeois democratic freedoms in the process of transition to socialism. This paper describes the role of the Marxist parties and intellectuals in India in using and expanding the democratic freedoms available in India. The paper concludes that there is a gap between the Marx’s ideological position on free speech and the praxis of Marxist parties. In contemporary India, there is urgent need to protect free speech, fight censorship and strengthen independent constitutional authorities that are governed by democratic principles.
Marx is Back-The Importance of Marxist Theory and Research for Critical Comm. Studies Today, ed C. Fuchs & Vincent Mosco