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‘The strange brotherhood of the blue ship’: Albert Camus and Justin Sullivan’s philosophy of measure

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In their texts, Albert Camus and Justin Sullivan describe how rebels who get carried away with their revolutionary zeal lose touch with the original basis of their rebellion. They emphasize that a failure to achieve measure results in excess and disproportion, destroying the fields of tension upon which human existence and rebellion depend. Through their spirit of moderation and their critique of the hubristic narratives of European modernity and postmodernity, they offer a constructive view of human nature, a positive vision of dialogical life in communion and the alternative utopian energy needed to reinvent a human sociopolitical order. This article presents a comparative analysis of Albert Camus’s philosophy and the ethos contained in Justin Sullivan’s lyrics. In doing so, it suggests that these two writers embrace a coherent tradition of ethical thinking informed by anarchist philosophy.

Keywords: Albert Camus; Justin Sullivan; New Model Army; hubris; measure; rebellion

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The Albert Camus Society, Institute for Globally Distributed Open Research and Education

Publication date: February 1, 2021

This article was made available online on June 16, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "‘The strange brotherhood of the blue ship’: Albert Camus and Justin Sullivan’s philosophy of measure".

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