The Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) receives the information of the passing of the nice Argentine Mexican thinker, Enrique Dussel on Sunday, November 5, with deep unhappiness and extends our condolences to the household, the members of the Affiliation of Philosophy and Liberation (AFyL), and different family members of Dr. Dussel.
Dussel has impressed a number of generations of thinkers and activists to see that philosophical reflection and political exercise will not be separate domains. His work has generously opened many crucial and transformative paths in order that we may see the duty of liberation calling for deeper theoretical reflection alongside on a regular basis practices. Philosophy and liberation are entangled within the on a regular basis.
Dussel was a founder and essentially the most outstanding voice of the philosophy of liberation. It is a faculty of critical-ethical concept and praxis that emerged in Argentina within the 1960’s, and now informs the decolonial flip that engages students world wide. The crucial historical past superior by the philosophy of liberation takes its level of departure from the angle of the victims of European modernity and engages in an in depth critique of the historical past and philosophy of modernity.
Dussel’s work locates the beginning of modernity with the conquest of Amerindia (1492): “Modernity, colonialism, the world-system and capitalism are elements of the identical simultaneous actuality and are mutually constitutive of one another.” The philosophy of liberation exposes the racist and Eurocentric underside of modernity which sought to justify the horrific sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of human beings on the altar of the primitive accumulation of capital. The fantasy of modernity is seen within the colonizer’s declare to racial superiority in finishing up a civilizing mission sanctified by the need of God. The parable of modernity, and the coloniality which it established, didn’t disappear with the independence of colonized nations. Right now, modernity has reached its apex as a “rules-based order” that even sanctions genocide.
Dussel wrote in his landmark Ethics of Liberation within the Age of Globalization and Exclusion that “Ethics is an ethics grounded in an avowed affirmation of life within the face of the collective homicide and suicide that humanity is headed towards if it doesn’t change the route of its irrational habits.”
For Dussel, this transformation in route entails a collective accountability to defend human life and the biosphere by the lengthy arduous process of working towards an ethics and politics of liberation. The objective, argues Dussel, will not be one other model of modernity, and even postmodernity, however reasonably transmodernity. In a transmodern world, there wouldn’t be a single world hegemon to name the photographs, no distinctive nations with an inherent proper, divine or secular, to dominate different nations. The transmodern various promotes cooperation by a range of countries and cultures which converge round sure shared integral moral rules: that we should advance human life in neighborhood; use inclusive democratic procedures to determine on coverage, and do solely what, given the circumstances, is possible.
As long as sufficient of us retain our sensibility for the plight of the Different, and are prepared to take co-responsibility for the Different and the earth’s ecosystem, life on the planet will not be doomed. Dussel’s legacy calls on us to hold ahead his liberatory imaginative and prescient into tomorrow. The long run stays open to us if we dare to enter historical past. And that open future is determined by our collective moral dedication to cross over the wasteland of militarism, poverty, and racism to construct a transmodern world, a world “wherein many worlds can match.”
Fred Mills and Don Deere contributed to this memorial essay.