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In Memory of Jean Paul Sartre, 1905-80

de Rollebon | 24.11.2001 16:08

The intellectual degeneration of modern life continues. 21 years after his death, Sartre is not only unfairly ridiculed but its got to the stage where librarians haven't even heard of him...

I mean the title literally, for I come to praise Sartre, not to bury him. I never quite understood why he was such a laughing stock, a parody figure, a solopsistic humbug scrounging Pernod and Gitanes and cheating on poor Simone...
Beware, for ridicule is the first step to eradication. Waiting in a London library, looking at the shelves and thinking "Its between you and me, knowledge..." I enlisted the help of an assistant:
"Have you got anything by Sartre ?" I enquired:
"Excuse my ignorance, he replied, but what is Sartre ?
I did indeed, out of embarrassment.
What then , is ignorance , when the Prime Monster may be a borderline illiterate. Ignorance is wisdom, and no bar to a career, eh, Tony ?
For those who may have accepted this canard, deliberately constucted by the establishment, Sartre represents the most important philosophical advance on Marxism. Existentialism is NOT a call to passive contemplation but to ACTION. For a quick guide to Sartre's active anti-imperialism, read his introduction to Fanons The Wretched Of The Earth. For an entertaining understanding of existentialism, read LA NAUSEE, and dont confuse the main character with the author ! Its not a real diary, you know. A glance at his life clearly proves him to be the very opposite from a passive fraud. A Campaigner against Apartheid and French post-war colonialism, and almost assassinated for it, he stood firm with students and workers on the left while his near-equal Malraux joined in with de Gaulle, Camus withdrew from politics altogether (honorably), and R. Debray likewise. Like Trotsky, now parodied and disgraced by the actions of the SWP, he represents the most important fusion of politics, art, and philosophy. Sartre ultimately concluded that existentialism was nothing without the political framework of Marxism; such modesty is rare in any intellectual field. this is best summed up in CRITIQUE OF DIALECTICAL MATERIALISM. There is no doubt of the massive influnce he had on the Situationists, such as Vaneigem and Debord, even in opposition.
This is just a brief vindication of a great thinker who has only just passed from contemporary life. Please ensure his work lives on!

de Rollebon


Display the following 5 comments

  1. Also Andre Breton — de R
  2. What do you mean? — Peter
  3. Sartre and the violence of the oppressed — anon
  4. Sartre and violence — Peter
  5. heidegger was a nazi — phil osophy