Democracy in Sartre and in Our Times
There is strong contrast between Sartre's radical idea of democracy and the currently dominant, liberal and procedural concept of democracy. From our point of view Sartre looks now like a completely anachronistic author, or maybe a scandalous one. He not only rejected capitalism, but also despised the liberal political system, the Parliament and the idea of the 'rule of law'. Although it is tempting to write off his particular views in political philosophy as a consequence of his flirtation with communism, the authoress argues that his idea of democracy had deeper sources. It was rooted in his original philosophy of freedom conceived as negativity and spontaneity. Sartre had also moral reasons to condemn liberal democracy as 'false universality', which pushed him to postulate permanent revolution in the name of an utopian ideal of society based on 'true' freedom, 'real' equality, and 'sincere' brotherhood. The main question raised in the article is whether all Sartre's political ideas are outdated and dangerously radical. The authoress points out that it is not only possible but desirable to reintroduce them by way of a critical counterbalance in the prudent, and superficially wise conception of democracy, which continues complacently to ignore severe social problems by rejecting any proposals to view them squarely as 'scandalous' ideas, such as those that were associated with Sartre's name.
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