“Why is the concept of “freedom” not appropriate for a society in which I can live ‘free’ from rule and exploitation?”
The contradiction between freedom and communism lies in the absoluteness of the individual will expressed in the concept of freedom. The absoluteness of the will is the way in which private property owners relate to each other. The disposing will counts absolutely and excludes all others from its property. Its sociality comes to it as an unconscious force of nature. This absoluteness of the individual will, which inevitably stands against members of society, cannot exist in communism, because in communism production is carried out collectively with the means of production held in common and the product is also consumed by all. Accordingly, the labor of the individual will exists as a part of the total social will. On the one hand, as a part of this, it determines it; on the other hand, however, it also relativizes itself in it.
Also, in communism, your individual will won’t necessarily count. There you live in a society which, on the one hand, benefits your interests, however at the same time you must also qualify your will. The utilization of the productivity which a society stands on implies that your will does not count in it absolutely. This is of course self-evident. However, it also nicely shows the idiocy of freedom which can seem reasonable only in capitalism. How is this supposed to work, that a will counts absolutely in a society? 1. As with Robinson Crusoe when there are no other wills, thus no society. 2. If a society is subjected to a single will. A god-like autocrat who subordinates all other wills to his absolute power, which is nothing other than a power fantasy. 3. Or in a capitalist society where all members of society want a social power which places their will in the right against other wills. One’s own will is thus qualified simultaneously against other legitimate wills.
The peculiar thing is not that the individual will is qualified in a society, but that this qualification occurs as its absolute validity is enforced. The qualification of individual wills against each other occurs through the authorization of individual wills. Therefore, society exists in capitalism as a negative relation of individual wills against each other. On the one hand, in capitalism people of course depend on each other. However they exercise this always mutually against one another. Their disposing will is used as a means for extorting social power. The ideal of freedom suits only such a society, thus of a will which counts absolutely against others and at the same time does not want to bend to the extortion of other wills. It is clear that in a reasonable society, a single will can not count absolutely. Why in a democracy does freedom count as a higher value? Because it perfectly describes the willing relationship of private property owners to each other. Freedom perfectly describes the negative relation of wills to one another. By virtue of my proprietary will, I exclude all other members of society from the possession of my property. Freedom is therefore sensible in a society in which individual wills in principle relate to each other antagonistically. Mutual exclusion as private property owners is the content of the antagonism. In a communist society, individual wills do not relate to each other antagonistically, but complementarily, as part of a general social will which has as its purpose the production and reproduction of the members of society.