On Tue, Jan 4, 2011 at 2:00 PM, Ralph Dumain wrote:
> I don't think the analogy between existentialism and libertarianism
> holds up. I should also point out that there is a strain of left
> libertarianism that has nothing in common with American libertarianism
> as we know it. I think of British Solidarity and Noam Chomsky as
> examples. But our libertarianism is of the Ayn Rand stripe.
> European existentialism has its left & right wing tributaries. The
> cross-breeding and mutual criticisms of these variants need to be
> examined. For example, both Marcuse and Sartre drew on Heidegger,

CB: How does Marcuse draw on Heidegger ?


> Marcuse was the superior philosopher and quite aptly criticized Sartre
> in 1948:
> "Existentialism: Remarks on Jean-Paul Sartre's L'Etre et le Neant,"
> /Philosophy and Phenomenological Research/, vol. 8, no. 3 (March 1948),
> pp. 309-336.
> http://www.marcuse.org/herbert/pubs/40spubs/48hmsartre.pdf?sici=0002-8762%28194904%2954%3A3%3C557%3AEOFAP%3E2.0.CO;2-F
CB: Thanks

> Marcuse was hardly guilty of the same fundamental errors of Sartre, who
> grafted Heideggerian thought onto a Cartesian base. Marcuse's
> neo-Romantic strain comes from other German philosophers as well as
> Heidegger. Of course, Marcuse was not an "existentialist", but
> Existentialism itself draws on various sources,

CB: Having studied existentialism and its various sources and strains
for about forty years, I am now making a generalization concerning
their commonality and the similarity of that general commonality to
the fundamentals of American libertarianism. I conclude that they are
fundamentally similar in that they focus or center on "the" Individual
human being as their theoretical starting point in interpreting human
existence etc.

This is to be contrasted with the Marxist approach to this issue.
Marxism starts with the social , and derives individual psychology.
In a way,  existentialism and libertarianism are psychological
philosophy or ideology.

Also, I am not saying existentialism and libertarianism are identical.
For one thing, libertarianism does not consider itself philosophy as
part of the American anti-philosophical intellectual custom


and gets transmuted into
> different orientations in different national configurations and in
> different tendencies within national contexts.
> This is true in the USA, where Kierkegaard was appropriated by
> reactionaries in the 1940s, but there was Richard Wright at the opposite
> end of the spectrum. And there was mainly a Sartre/Camus influence
> afterward, which also had a relationship to the civil rights movement.
> Here the methodological individualism of Sartre--if one wants to call it
> that--was not a major factor, but the notion of individual
> responsibility for the social good. But then popular existentialism was
> never technical philosophical existentialism, which in my view is asinine.
> On 1/4/2011 12:04 PM, c b wrote:
>> I'm now  thinking the Existentialism is European Libertarianism (Or
>> Libertarianism is American Existentialism) They share Individualism as
>> their essential quality. They apothesis "The" Individual. They
>> fetishize uniqueness. They emphasize our differences rather than our
>> commonalities and unities. Thus, they are , obviously, modern
>> bourgeois philo, resonating with the great mass of alienated
>> individuals; and importantly from the point of view of the ruling
>> class, they theoretically affirm the atomization, division and
>> spintering into a "thousand ( a billion) points of light" the Working
>> Class.
>> However, Libertarians have the logical sense to be anti-philosophical,
>> and avoid Kierkegard's criticism.
>> As hinted at in Kierkegard's statement, the assertion "The" Individual
>> is logically contradictory. There is no typical individual, by
>> definition of "individual". There is no General Individual.
>> Nietszche is a real piece of work. He is the champion of the ruling
>> classes of all times ( See Geneology of Morals). He criticizes
>> "slaves" for resenting their masters. I kid you not. Nietszche is a
>> kind of anti-Marx, as I say, championing oppressor classes over
>> oppressed classses _all down through history_. Ubermensch/Supermen are
>> his imagined new master class. Those who Will to Power rule and should
>> rule. Hitler had the right one when he posed with Nietszche's bust, as
>> much as Nietszche fans try to play it that Hitler didn't understand
>> him or whatever. "Game knows game". Nietszche , philosopher of _all_
>> ruling classes in general. Yukko !
>>      An individual person, for Kierkegaard, is a particular that no
>> abstract formula or definition can ever capture. Including the
>> individual in “the public” (or “the crowd” or “the herd”) or subsuming
>> a human being as simply a member of a species is a reduction of the
>> true meaning of life for individuals. What philosophy or politics try
>> to do is to categorize and pigeonhole individuals by group
>> characteristics instead of individual differences. For Kierkegaard,
>> those differences are what make us who we are.
>>      Kierkegaard’s critique of the modern age, therefore, is about the
>> loss of what it means to be an individual. Modern society contributes
>> to this dissolution of what it means to be an individual. Through its
>> production of the false idol of “the public”, it diverts attention
>> away from individuals to a mass public that loses itself in
>> abstractions, communal dreams, and fantasies. It is helped in this
>> task by the media and the mass production of products to keep it
>> distracted.
>>      Although Kierkegaard attacked “the public”, he is supportive of 
>> communities:
>>      “In community, the individual is, crucial as the prior condition
>> for forming a community. … Every individual in the community
>> guarantees the community; the public is a chimera, numerality is
>> everything…”
>>      – Søren Kierkegaard, Journals
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