The Alter-Globalization Movement and Sartre's: Morality and History

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Abstract:

Alongside recent world-historical dates such as 11 September 2001, we would place 15 February 2003. On that day, around 10 million people—some estimates are much higher—demonstrated on the streets of the world's cities in opposition to the US war on Iraq, then being merely threatened. Sartre's study of the elements of history in Critique of Dialectical Reason and its unpublished ethical sequel, Morality and History, illuminate, and are illuminated by, the movements that contest today's global system. From the Critique, we'll engage his notions of negative universality as threat of death and the "fusing" of "series" into "groups" as response. From Morality and History, we'll take "integral humanity" as a goal and standard; it seems to us built into the global act of February 15 and into the wider movement of which that day was a moment. After comparing a Sartrean take on February 15 with the famous Habermas-Derrida appeal inspired by that day, we'll close with some reciprocal illuminations between Sartre's theories and Zapatista practice.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/135715505780282533

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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