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(en) Mexico, FAM-IFA - Regeneración #10: The Albert Camus vs. Jean Paul Sartre controversy: An emancipatory look in the light of The Rebel Man - Alfredo Velarde (ca, de, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Mon, 20 Mar 2023 09:35:34 +0200

[Freedom, "that terrible name written on the car of storms", is at the beginning of all revolutions. Without it, justice seems unimaginable to the rebels... Albert Camus]---- To recover seven decades later the frenetic debate and controversy that antagonized the long, productive and endearing friendship between two giants of universal literature and philosophical thought French of the 20th century, as were Jean Paul Sartre and Albert Camus, which occurred in 1951 as a result of the publication of Camus's prodigious philosophical, political and literary essay, The Rebel Man, could not be an idle exercise today for all that it made visible . It is, on the contrary, an unbeatable opportunity to delimit the philosophical-political fields that ended up locating each of these characters who shared the same historical time, in different political positions and radically opposed to each other, during the height of the War Cold expressed everywhere, through the bipolar global geopolitical antagonism represented by the one-sided hawkish warmongering imperialism of the United States and the former Soviet Union falsely regarded by many as "socialist". The latter, ultimately collapsed by terminal cancer that ended up undermining the emancipatory socialist ideal, clearly prostituted by the so-called "real socialism" and which became a truly non-existent pseudo-socialism after its fatal authoritarian and creative statist metamorphosis, among many other disfigurements. , of the ominous gulags during the brutal Stalinist dictatorship or forced labor camps for dissidents, and that Camus compared, with the exterminator Nazi concentration camps of World War II, such as Auschwitz, while Sartre denied the gulags or offered inane justifying subterfuges of them, to the point of compromising their prestige to the end dented, as far as said topic was concerned, by the way, an essential aspect of the Camus vs. Sartre controversy.

There is no doubt about the fact that The Rebel Man drove Sartre crazy to the point of putting an end to the endearing friendship that both writers shared, until the moment when, for that already classic essay on science social issues, turned into a bitter debate that populated the pages of the legendary magazine Les Temps Modernes and that was memorable between its author and the untenable criticism of his former existentialist friend. Many, moreover, were surprised that Sartre spared with his nuisance the illuminating achievements of the ancillary Camusian essay, where a luminous guiding thread is established with great clarity that, in little less than three hundred pages, exposes how, throughout some of the main personalities in the history of critical thinking, such as the Marquis de Sade, Marx or Nietzsche, undertakes a substantive investigation marked by its analytical call that turned out to be the bearer of rich findings for the most solvent characterization of the contradictory modern times suffered; especially, in the historical interval that mediated between the French Revolution of 1789 and the Russian Revolution of 1917; that is, between the end of the 18th century and the early stages of the 20th century. Something especially relevant from his comprehensive research is that Camus, based on authors such as those indicated here, and others, proposes and promotes a deep introspection of the humanist anarchism with which he identified to embrace it as his own thought, but also nihilism, terrorism and surrealism.

So it is clear that the pertinent background of his very significant philosophical-political and literary-cultural inquiry in which he postulates that the rebellious man is the one who, clarified by a clear flash of illumination that makes him become self-conscious , notices his condition as a subordinate to riot against the established, daring to shout an emancipatory "no resounding!" to all subsumptive manifestation of the inadmissible heteronomous powers of all kinds and that constrain the existing human eager to become an active-practical subject of his own individual and collective liberation. And such certainty connects with the essential reason that places his introspective gaze on human rebellion in order to apprehend the same as the etiology of origin of it, as well as the phenomenal forms of manifestation of it. What, then, is the ultimate purpose of The Rebel Man?

Undoubtedly, the transhistorical understanding of the reasons that the human species has had to justifiably rise up against the very notion of God or any other manifestation of power and authority tyrannically alien to oneself and its human collectivities thirsty for full freedom, equality and justice that the exploitative capitalist way of producing and its authoritarian class state completely suffocate, completely alienating the existing human being.

In Camus, the intuitive exercise of the rebellious man for rejecting the idea of God and the State, could not but connote an elective position opted for a history in motion and supported by its inevitable logic. For this reason, if the revolution supposes a significance similar to the one it holds in astronomy, it would be a movement that, in the manner of a curl, describes a circumvallation that would determine, with its translation, the passage of a form of government to another. But Camus also recognizes that a change of government that is only limited to this without the fundamental transformation of the property regime, would not be a revolution, but only a reform of diffuse scope. Hence, if the revolution or its idea turned into active-critical practice, represents the attempt to model a differently radical form to the world of subalternities that has been imposed on us, in reality there could only be one type of truly sincere revolution: the total and definitive revolution. And it is there where his transparent political thought connects with anarchism, since he understands that the anarchists, with Varlet at their head, warned that government and revolution, as specific words and practices, are, in fact, incompatible with each other. Or, as Proudhon pointed out when he argued that this: "implies the contradiction that a government can never be revolutionary for the simple reason that it is the government." Only knowing this, we can imagine the Sartrean tantrum -more tragic than comic- in front of The Rebel Man, committed to the inconsistent defense of the red Leviathan in Russia, and unmarked at a bad time from Camus's concern in favor of a world in which all let us be equal, humanly different and totally free without any restrictions. It is well worth reading!
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