The Philosophy of Liberation

Kohn Margaret and McBride Keally

in Political Theories of Decolonization

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780195399578
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894437 | DOI:
The Philosophy of Liberation

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This chapter focuses on the economic dimension of postcolonial critique. It raises the question of how it is possible to build a distinctively postcolonial polity if the economy is dependent on the former colonial powers. It introduces readers to the philosophy of liberation, a theoretical approach that weaves together a Christian ethos of responsibility and a Marxist-inspired concern with inequality and struggle. This chapter explores the philosophy of liberation by focusing on the work of two thinkers: José Mariátegui, whose un-orthodox Marxism lead to an original analysis of the economics and politics of neo-colonialism and Enrique Dussel, the best known contemporary proponent of the movement. Mariátegui and Dussel articulate two different solutions to the problem of imperialist domination and resistance. Mariátegui provides a materialist analysis that is influenced by Marxism but develops in an original direction in order to make sense of the conditions of the global periphery. Dussel elaborates a normative critique of domination that reflects his training in Catholic theology and phenomenology. The chapter argues that each of these approaches has flaws, but, read together, they provide theoretical insight into one of the most important contemporary issues: resistance to global economic inequality. Their work helps illuminate the ideological orientation of contemporary leftist movements in Latin America that are building coalitions to challenge economic inequalities.

Keywords: Latin America; liberation; Dussel; Mariategui; indigenous; revolution; economic inequality

Chapter.  10387 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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