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In this path-breaking work, Susan Buck-Morss draws new connections between history, inequality, social conflict, and human emancipation.  Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History offers a fundamental reinterpretation of Hegel's master-slave dialectic and points to a way forward to free critical theoretical practice from the prison-house of its own debates.  Historicizing the th In this path-breaking work, Susan Buck-Morss draws new connections between history, inequality, social conflict, and human emancipation.  Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History offers a fundamental reinterpretation of Hegel's master-slave dialectic and points to a way forward to free critical theoretical practice from the prison-house of its own debates.  Historicizing the thought of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and the actions taken in the Haitian Revolution, Buck-Morss examines the startling connections between the two and challenges us to widen the boundaries of our historical imagination. She finds that it is in the discontinuities of historical flow, the edges of human experience, and the unexpected linkages between cultures that the possibility to transcend limits is discovered. It is these flashes of clarity that open the potential for understanding in spite of cultural differences.  What Buck-Morss proposes amounts to a “new humanism,” one that goes beyond the usual ideological implications of such a phrase to embrace a radical neutrality that insists on the permeability of the space between opposing sides and as it reaches for a common humanity. 


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In this path-breaking work, Susan Buck-Morss draws new connections between history, inequality, social conflict, and human emancipation.  Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History offers a fundamental reinterpretation of Hegel's master-slave dialectic and points to a way forward to free critical theoretical practice from the prison-house of its own debates.  Historicizing the th In this path-breaking work, Susan Buck-Morss draws new connections between history, inequality, social conflict, and human emancipation.  Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History offers a fundamental reinterpretation of Hegel's master-slave dialectic and points to a way forward to free critical theoretical practice from the prison-house of its own debates.  Historicizing the thought of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and the actions taken in the Haitian Revolution, Buck-Morss examines the startling connections between the two and challenges us to widen the boundaries of our historical imagination. She finds that it is in the discontinuities of historical flow, the edges of human experience, and the unexpected linkages between cultures that the possibility to transcend limits is discovered. It is these flashes of clarity that open the potential for understanding in spite of cultural differences.  What Buck-Morss proposes amounts to a “new humanism,” one that goes beyond the usual ideological implications of such a phrase to embrace a radical neutrality that insists on the permeability of the space between opposing sides and as it reaches for a common humanity. 

30 review for Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dusty

    There are substantial limitations to Susan Buck-Morss's claim, in this revered and controversial collection of essays, that German intellectual G.W.F. Hegel's master-slave dialectic is, in fact, a philosophical commentary on the Haitian Revolution. For one, although she is brilliant, she is not a trained scholar of the Caribbean; if she were, she probably would not find such parallels between European Freemasonry, African secret societies, and Haitian vodou, and she almost certainly would not cl There are substantial limitations to Susan Buck-Morss's claim, in this revered and controversial collection of essays, that German intellectual G.W.F. Hegel's master-slave dialectic is, in fact, a philosophical commentary on the Haitian Revolution. For one, although she is brilliant, she is not a trained scholar of the Caribbean; if she were, she probably would not find such parallels between European Freemasonry, African secret societies, and Haitian vodou, and she almost certainly would not classify the latter as a "cult." For another, as David Scott points out, she seems rather too eager to redeem Hegel (and, by extension, the school of European Enlightenment thinkers who lauded human freedom for white people at exactly the same time as their societies withheld it from black people). Limitations aside, however, the two primary essays are extremely readable and poignant, and Buck-Morss brings the Caribbean to European studies (and vice-versa) in illuminating ways. My recommendation: Follow the author's recommendation to read the first essay as an afterward, rather than an introduction, to "Hegel and Haiti." Although insightful, it is a tedious introduction to what is otherwise a profound and accessible book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Myriam

    This theoretical text was worth the read for Buck-Morss expansion on her earlier essay from which the book takes its name, "Hegel and Haiti." Here, Buck-Morss expands on her ideas that would place Haiti at the center of Hegel's ruminations on lord and bondsman/master-slave dialectics; she also attempts to think through what it might mean to philosophy to rethink Haiti's role in concepts of modernity and history. Here, however, Buck-Morss takes a step back from her more radical earlier essay to s This theoretical text was worth the read for Buck-Morss expansion on her earlier essay from which the book takes its name, "Hegel and Haiti." Here, Buck-Morss expands on her ideas that would place Haiti at the center of Hegel's ruminations on lord and bondsman/master-slave dialectics; she also attempts to think through what it might mean to philosophy to rethink Haiti's role in concepts of modernity and history. Here, however, Buck-Morss takes a step back from her more radical earlier essay to state that hers is not essentially a quarrel with Hegel but on the omissions with which he participated. She gets somewhat lost in her own argument while making the novice error of overrelying on a few key (though notable) outside sources (such as Trouillot and Dayan); much of Buck-Morss' arguments have been made before, by Haitian scholars, throughout the twentieth century. It's a sad commentary that Haiti's historical impact and contribution can only be taken seriously when more mainstream scholars decide to take these seriously, legitimizing in retrospect the efforts of dozens of well-regarded (primarily in Francophone and French studies) Haitianist scholars. The final essay of the collection should have been omitted or worked over at more length; Buck-Morss here gets lost in efforts to make connections between Islam and Haiti and US foreign policy which simply do not work...they may have sounded good in a lecture but don't hold up to scrutiny on the page. Still, worth the read for scholars of race relations, history, Hegel & Haiti.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Flugie Flug

    Der erste Teil zu "Hegel und Haiti" ist herausragend, der zweite zur "Universalgeschichte" leider ganz und gar nicht. Der erste Teil zu "Hegel und Haiti" ist herausragend, der zweite zur "Universalgeschichte" leider ganz und gar nicht.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jeune Fille

    Explores the glaring discrepancy between thought (enlightenment) & practice (slavery) during the development of capitalism from its mercantile to its protoindustrial form.

  5. 4 out of 5

    kasia

    This is a fun book to think with, if an uneven one. I'm increasingly fascinated by the question of how people engage with the politics of their times, so I was obviously primed to be interested in thinking about how to think about whether Hegel had Haiti on the brain. The second half, the reflection on universal history, seems more like a meditation than an argument, which it to say that it swings for the fences, and doesn't always connect. But the ambition is invigorating. This is a fun book to think with, if an uneven one. I'm increasingly fascinated by the question of how people engage with the politics of their times, so I was obviously primed to be interested in thinking about how to think about whether Hegel had Haiti on the brain. The second half, the reflection on universal history, seems more like a meditation than an argument, which it to say that it swings for the fences, and doesn't always connect. But the ambition is invigorating.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Henrique Valle

    bom pra caralho

  7. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Britton

    "HEGEL AND HAITI" was written as a mystery story. I did not set out to write about Hegel or Haiti. In the 1990s, I was working on a different project. With the end of the Cold War, neo­liberalism rose to ideological dominance on a global scale. By the time Marx studied economics two generations later, it was described as the "dismal science"; today's philosophers seldom show interest. Hegel is in fact describing the deterritoralized, world market of the European colonial system, and he is the fir "HEGEL AND HAITI" was written as a mystery story. I did not set out to write about Hegel or Haiti. In the 1990s, I was working on a different project. With the end of the Cold War, neo­liberalism rose to ideological dominance on a global scale. By the time Marx studied economics two generations later, it was described as the "dismal science"; today's philosophers seldom show interest. Hegel is in fact describing the deterritoralized, world market of the European colonial system, and he is the first philosopher to do so. Compared with civil society in the old sense, bourgeois society is unpatriotic, driven to push beyond national limits in trade. Commerce is bor­derless; its place is the sea. We are compelled to ask: what is the connection between the master-slave relationship and the new global economy? The Haitian Revolution lies at the crossroads of multiple discourses as a defining moment in world history. Scholars of modern philosophies of freedom are hobbled in attempt­ing to do their work in ignorance of Haitian history. One caveat deserves consideration. If it is indisputable that Hegel knew about Haiti, as did indeed the entire European reading pub­lic, why is there not more explicit discussion in his texts? To what degree is Hegel himself ac­countable for the effective silencing of the Haitian Revolution? There are thus multiple, quite mundane reasons for Hegel's silence, from fear of political repercussions, to the impact of Napoleon's victory, to the hazards of moving and personal uproot­ings. But there is no doubt that Hegel and Haiti belong together. By The Eighteenth Century, slavery had become the root metaphor of Western political philosophy, connoting everything that was evil about power relations. This glaring discrepancy between thought and practice marked the period of the transformation of global capitalism from its mer­cantile to its protoindustrial form. One would think that, surely, no rational, "enlightened" thinker could have failed to notice. But such was not the case. My apologies, but this apparent detour is the argument itself. Hobbes accepted slavery as "an inevitable part of the logic of power.'' Even the inhabitants of "civil and flour­ishing nations" could revert again to this state. Hobbes was honest and unconflicted about slavery- John Locke less so. The Enlightenment philosopher ...declared all men equal and saw private property as the source of inequality, but he never put two and two together to discuss French slavery for economic profit as central to arguments of both equality and property. In evoking the liberties of natural rights theory, the American colonists as slave owners were led to "a monstrous inconsistency." the new nation, conceived in liberty, tolerated the "monstrous inconsistency," writing slavery into the United States Constitution. These events, leading to the complete freedom of the slaves and the colony, were unprecedented. " Events in Saint-Domingue were central to contemporary attempts to make sense out of the reality of the French Revolution and its aftermath. We need to be aware of the facts from this perspective . This was a revo­lution against, not merely the tyranny of a particular ruler, but of all past traditions that violated the general principles of human lib­erty. Mulattoes owned an estimated one-third of the cultivated land in Saint-Domingue. Ought not they to be in­cluded, and not only they, but the free blacks as well? The unfolding of the logic of freedom in the colonies threatened to unravel the total institutional framework of the slave economy that supported such a substantial part of the French bourgeoisie, whose political revolution, of course, this was . And yet only the logic of freedom gave legitimacy to their revolution in the universal terms in which the French saw themselves. The Haitian Revolution was the crucible, the trial by fire for the ideals of the French Enlightenment. And every European who was part of the bourgeois reading public knew it. And­ need I keep it from you any longer? -another regular reader of Minerva, as we know from his published letters, was the philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Marcus Rainsford wrote in 1805 that the cause of the Haitian Revolution was the "spirit of liberty." Hegel understands the position of the master in both political and economic terms. But as the dialectic develops, the apparent dominance of the master re­verses itself with his awareness that he is in fact totally dependent on the slave. The goal of this liberation, out of slavery, cannot be subjugation of the mas­ter in turn, which would be merely to repeat the master's "existential impasse," but, rather, elimination of the institution of slavery altogether. Given the facility with which this dialectic of lordship and bondage lends itself to such a reading, one wonders why the topic Hegel and Haiti has for so long been ignored. Not only have Hegel scholars failed to answer this question; they have failed, for the past two hundred years, even to ask it. Surely a major reason for this omission is the Marxist appropriation of a social interpretation of Hegel's dialectic. In the twentieth century, this Hegelian-Marxist interpretation had powerful propo­nents, including Georg Lukacs and Herbert Marcuse, as well as Alexandre Kojeve, whose lectures on The Phenomenology of Mind were a brilliant rereading of Hegel's texts through Marxian glasses. It is clear that Hegel is speaking here of modern slavery, and clear that con­sciousness of one's freedom demands that one become free, not only in thought, but in the world. We would not share the perplexity of the editor of these lectures, who noted in 1983 that Hegel "spoke surprisingly frequently of slaves." And we would consider it confirmation (whereas others have hardly noticed) that Hegel in his late work The Philosophy of Subjective Spirit mentions the Haitian Revolution by name. Freemasonry was a crucial factor in the uprisings in Saint-Domingue. But at least in regard to the abolition of slavery, Hegel's retreat from revolutionary radicalism was clear. Haiti was once again in the news in the teens and twenties, hotly debated by abolitionists and their opponents in the British press, including in the Edinburgh Review, which we know for certain Hegel was then reading. We have no record as to whether these debates caused Hegel, as well, to reconsider Haiti's "great experiment." What is clear is that in an effort to become more erudite in African studies during the 1820s, Hegel was in fact becoming dumber. It is sadly ironic that the more faithfully his lectures reflected Europe's conventional scholarly wisdom on African society, the less enlightened and more bigoted they became. Why is ending the silence on Hegel and Haiti important? Hegel's moment of clarity of thought would need to be juxtaposed to that of others at the time... For all his bru­tality and revenge against whites, Dessalines saw the realities of European racism most clearly. Even more, Hegel's moment would need to be juxtaposed to the moments of clarity in action: the French soldiers sent by Napoleon to the colony who , upon hearing these former slaves singing the "Marseillaise," wondered aloud if theywere not fighting on the wrong side; the Polish regiment under Leclerc's command who disobeyed orders and refused to drown six hundred captured Saint-Domiguans. There are many examples of such clarity, and they belong to no side, no one group exclusively. TODAY'S NEOLIBERAL HEGEMONY sets the stage for "Universal History" that continues in the spirit of "Hegel and Haiti" to un­earth certain repressions surrounding the historical origins of modernity. Present realities demand such historical remappings as an alternative to the fantasies of clashing civilizations and exclusion­ ary redemptions. Political guilt has its own ambivalence, because refusing to do your socially prescribed duty in order to do right entails being a traitor ... and risking the loss of the collective's protection as a consequence. The critical writing of history is a continuous struggle to liberate the past from within the unconscious of a collective that forgets the conditions of its own existence. "Slavery was not born of racism; rather, racism was the consequence of slavery," wrote Eric Williams in 1944, and recent scholarship confirms it. The emergence of racial distinctions guaranteed the property rights of masters, while policing the boundary between slaves and liberty. Within a decade, the very success of the Haitian Revolution intensified racism as a means of segregating Europe from the impact of global events. But the story is not one-sided. In the Americas, social stratification became integrated into the ideology of colonial independence. So history is not only about Haiti's virtue and Europe's sin. There is a "darker side" within both experiences of modernity. Davis discerns in British antislavery writings "an almost obsessive concern with ide­alizing hierarchical order," describing one of their number, the Reverend James Ramsay, as making "no attempt to disguise his admiration for the discipline of the sugar plantation." By imagining modernity as syn­onymous with Europe, we have misunderstood how much modern capitalism was a product of the colonial system, which was in many ways ahead of European developments. Ship mutinies were political acts. Pirate crews became multiracial, multiethnic "hydrarchies," self-governing counter regimes that administered justice, shared wealth, and waged war. In the Age of Revolution, such proponents of "universalism from below" spoke of one race, the human race, an idea articulated far more broadly than the later course of history would have it appear. Linebaugh and Rediker, contemporary cosmopolitans and champions of the newest victims of global exploitation, express regret at the failure of this "conspiracy for the human race": "What was left behind was national and partial: the English working class, the black Haitian, the Irish diaspora." He is wary of writing that politicizes history as a morality story of good and evil that misses the contingencies and complexities of events, the imperfect knowledge and unintended effects of human actors, and turns history into a romanticized struggle between heroes and villains. Countermyth is myth all the same, Davis would argue, and he is right to point out the dangers. But a strict, positivist empiricism is not an option in historical cognition, because facts without concepts are meaningless. Whether or not such concepts are mythical is a collective, evaluative judgment that changes historically. This is the political issue precisely. Paradoxically, even when collective actors proclaim themselves as the standard-bearers for universal history­ indeed, especially when they make this avant-gardist claim- they establish their identity in contrast to others, to outsiders. Can collective sub­jectivity be imagined as inclusive as humanity itself? Is there a way to universal history today? The first step would be to recognize not only the contingency of historical events, but also the indeterminacy of the historical cate­gories by which we grasp them. Napoleon's "French" army sent to restore slavery in Haiti included Germans and Poles. Trade societies connected cities rather than land masses; territo­rial borders were routinely ignored, and smuggling was ordinary business. The concept of porosity, exposing ungovernable connections, is relevant to feminist issues. Porosity characterized the ex­istential boundaries of what was for all participants indeed a New World. Its reorganization would be the consequence of violence. That such enthusiasm characterized the young Hegel's recep­tion of the Saint-Domingue Revolution, is the claim of "Hegel and Haiti." Concept took precedence over content, and atten­tion to historical facts was overwhelmed by Hegel's enthusiasm for the philosophical system itself. The origin of slaves sold in the Americas was ascertained through their recollections of the positions of the stars during their land journeys to the African coast. Astrological signs figured centrally in New World spatial reck­oning. All were champions of cosmopolitanism, enthusiastically embracing the idea of global brotherhood. Some were radically inclusive in their membership. But only a minority were racially mixed, others exclusively black. The millions of slaves brought to the New World, often por­trayed as an undifferentiated mass, were as varied in language, re­ligion, customs, and political institutions as European populations m the colonies. It was the shared trauma of defeat, slavery, banishment, and the horrors of the Atlantic crossing and plantation labor that Vodou, in a burst of cultural creation, transformed into a community of trust. Vodou was public religion as well as a secret society. Like Free­masonry, given the need to communicate visually when common language was lacking, emblems, secret signs, mimetic performance, and ritual were fundamental. Emblems are silent signs, meaningful only when interpreted, and here the mode of interpretation is decisive. Vodou was constructed out of the allegorical mode of seeing that experiences history as catastrophe. For those who have been defeated by history, whose so­cial relations have been severed, who live in exile, meaning drains out of the objects of a world that has been impoverished by physical distance and personal loss. In Vodou, the collective life of not one but multiple cultures has been shattered, surviving as debris and in decay. Emblems are hollowed out; their meanings have become ar­bitrary. What does it mean to call the North Kongo secret societies of Lembo the "rightful source" of the Haitian Vodou practices of the same name, when the former was an organization of slave traders, and Vodou practices were performed by the very individuals they sold? Common humanity exists in spite of culture and its differences. A person's nonidentity with the collective allows for subterranean solidarities that have a chance of appealing to uni­versal, moral sentiment,the source today of enthusiasm and hope. It is not through culture, but through the threat of culture's betrayal that consciousness of a common humanity comes to be. Universality is in the moment of the slaves' self-awareness that the situation was not humanly tolerable, that it marked the betrayal of civilization and the limits of cultural understanding, the nonrational, and nonrationalizable course of human history that outstrips in its inhumanity anything that a cultural outlaw could devise. These fragments: a conspiracy; a mass meeting at night at Bois Caiman ; slaves assembled in the forest; a fiery speech by a huge black man called Boukman; a blood oath of brotherhood; a sacred ceremony led by a black priestess called Fatiman; the slaugh­ter of a black pig; ritual singing and dance. Days later, the violence begins. All of these interpretations have been put forward of an event that may not even have happened. In its early experience of impoverished dependence on the global economy, in its early struggle against Western policies of genocide, and in its postcolonial, hierarchical articulation of social elites, Haiti indeed stands at the vanguard of the history of modernity. The Haitian experience was not a modern phenomenon too, but first. Haiti's founding fathers used a discourse of nationalist unity ideologically to push the freed slaves back into conditions of plantation labor and production for export, a specifically modern political strategy that is hardly outdated. Haitian elites were the first in history to embrace the word "black" as their political identity, a position totally compatible then (and now) with social hierarchies based on the color of one's skin. To narrate Haiti's history as good versus evil stunts our capacity for moral judgment. Past suffer­ing does not guarantee future virtue. Only a distorted history is morally pure. Critical thought is empowered by the facts only by being pushed over the brink of the discursive worlds that contain those facts. There is a second option. We can accept Boukman as a preacher of jihad. But if we take this path, then the time-honored critical narrative of radical liberty is exposed to a precarious extension. In the name of universal humanity, the vanguard justifies its own violence as higher truth . At this crossroad Osama bin Laden meets Jean-Jacques Dessalines, and Vladimir Lenin meets George W. Bush. If we do not wish to go that route-and I do not- then our tools of historical mapping are in need of radical refashioning. The Haitian Revolution is a triumph for universal history only in our imaginations. That is not insignificant. Empathic imagination may well be our best hope for humanity. The problem is that we never seem to imagine this humanity inclusively enough, but only by excluding an antithetical other, a collective enemy beyond hu­manity's pale. Let us allow that the events of the Haitian Revolution cannot be contained within a tale of historical redemption- Hegelian, Marx­ist, Muslim, or otherwise. Indeed, viewed from the midst of the slave uprising, no clear historical narrative emerges of any kind. The Haitian Revolution experienced all the existential uncertainties and moral ambiguities of a struggle for lib­eration under conditions of civil war and foreign occupation. Moreover, as ideology, Haiti's black identity functioned as a national myth that was in tension with the idea of universal emancipation to which the had given birth . Haitians saw themselves as "a symbol of black dignity and black power" in terms that were "unambiguously ethno-national." Its absolutely new extension of both freedom and citizenship transracially and transnationally, does not lend itself to political appropriation as a definition of national identity. Radical antislavery is a human in­vention that belongs to no one, because it belongs to everyone. Such ideas are the residues of events, rather than the possession of a par­ticular collective, and even if they fail, they can never be forgotten. Universal history engages in a double liberation, of the histor­ical phenomena and of our own imagination: by liberating the past we liberate ourselves. Liberation from the exclusionary loyalties of collective identities is precisely what makes progress possible in history, which is not to say that global trade fosters understanding, peace, or universality (it con­nects directly with the sale of arms, the initiation of wars, and the degradation and displacement of laboring people). Truth is singular, but it is a con­tinuous process of inquiry because it builds on a present that is moving ground. History keeps running away from us, going places we, mere humans , cannot predict. The politics of scholarship that I am suggesting is neutrality, but not ofthe nonpartisan, "truth lies in the middle" sort; rather, it is a radical neutrality that insists on the porosity of the space between enemy sides , a space contested and precarious, to be sure, but free enough for the idea of human­ity to remain in view. Between uniformity and indeterminacy of historical meaning, there is a dialectical encounter with the past. In extending the bound­aries of our moral imagination, we need to see a historical space be­fore we can explore it. There is no end to this project, only an infinity of connecting links. And if these are to be connected without domination, then the links will be lateral, additive, syncretic rather than synthetic. The project of universal history does not come to an end. It begins again, somewhere else.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Luke Echo

    The connection between Haiti and Hegel's Phenomenology is quite interesting and I found the historical aspects of the book quite interesting and informative. However, it seemed unclear how Buck-Morrs was justified in so freely equating the ideas of "universal history" and "universal humanity" are these basically equivalent? In the second essay it seems assumed but I don't recall a case being presented for the close association. Secondly, "What's with all the footnotes?" - seriously was it a kind The connection between Haiti and Hegel's Phenomenology is quite interesting and I found the historical aspects of the book quite interesting and informative. However, it seemed unclear how Buck-Morrs was justified in so freely equating the ideas of "universal history" and "universal humanity" are these basically equivalent? In the second essay it seems assumed but I don't recall a case being presented for the close association. Secondly, "What's with all the footnotes?" - seriously was it a kind of intentional violence to be performed to the text? Were they added later and intended to leave the original text intact? They were quite distracting and disruptive, and in general seemed to add little of importance or necessity.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Petwo

    When I was reading Hegel's Letters I thought about Toussaint Louverture the same way Hegel thought about Napoleon riding through Jena...a World Spirit...according to Buck-Morss no one ever thought about that before her. I'm gonna give her a call. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Finished this book just over a week ago and now this pathetic proclamation from Pat Robertson...Everything is upside down again...I got ta' hating again... When I was reading Hegel's Letters I thought about Toussaint Louverture the same way Hegel thought about Napoleon riding through Jena...a World Spirit...according to Buck-Morss no one ever thought about that before her. I'm gonna give her a call. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Finished this book just over a week ago and now this pathetic proclamation from Pat Robertson...Everything is upside down again...I got ta' hating again...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    Excellent book, a little heavy on the footnotes. Tries to provide a materialist basis most specifically for Hegel's master-slave dialectic in the Haitian revolution, providing some interesting arguments. Excellent book, a little heavy on the footnotes. Tries to provide a materialist basis most specifically for Hegel's master-slave dialectic in the Haitian revolution, providing some interesting arguments.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nils

    Loved this book, with its orthodoxy-queering combination of anti-Eurocentrism and insistent universalism. Important right now

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brant Roberts

    I want to write a proper review of this book down the road at some point. While I found her arguments around how the Haitian Revolution inspired Hegel's master-slave dialectic to be important, the second half of the book is less compelling. It felt like a rehashing of points already made by CLR James, Eric Williams and many others. Also, her idea of Universal History is less dialectical than it seems. Her words on page 134, "The dilemma of the insurgent, then as now, is that violent resistance, I want to write a proper review of this book down the road at some point. While I found her arguments around how the Haitian Revolution inspired Hegel's master-slave dialectic to be important, the second half of the book is less compelling. It felt like a rehashing of points already made by CLR James, Eric Williams and many others. Also, her idea of Universal History is less dialectical than it seems. Her words on page 134, "The dilemma of the insurgent, then as now, is that violent resistance, apparently justified by moral sentiment, sets the stage for new brutalities that are repugnant to that sentiment, because against the enemy of humanity, every barbarism is allowed." I would argue against this point. No response from the brutalized masses against their exploiters is repugnant nor is it a form of brutality. Perhaps the best response to SBM is to reverse Rosa Luxembourg's famous quote: socialism through barbarism.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nikos

    Wurde während dem Lesen gewarnt und es hat sich bewahrheitet. Der erste Teil Hegel und Haiti ist wirklich interessant und gut geschrieben. Der zweite Teil des Buches schafft es imo partout nicht einen klaren roten Faden zu stricken und verliert sich in gefühlt unendlich Nebensächlichkeiten die mit dem eigentlichen Vorhaben des Werks oft nur schwer zusammengebracht werden können. Vielleicht bin ich aber auch einfach nur zu blöd dafür, keine Ahnung.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michael Greer

    The most advanced country in the world, Haiti carried out the final realization of the dream of emancipation for all men and women. We often consider Haiti a troubled, deeply impoverished country. This is clearly refuted by even a cursory glance at the nation's constitution. The most advanced country in the world, Haiti carried out the final realization of the dream of emancipation for all men and women. We often consider Haiti a troubled, deeply impoverished country. This is clearly refuted by even a cursory glance at the nation's constitution.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Peera Songkünnatham

    first essay gave me some key historical insights. lost steam in the second essay.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Camilo Ruiz Tassinari

    Decepcionante.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Priscilla Previl

    I think the idea of the book was loftier than the execution effectively covered. It seems to be a bit hasty in its writing, and unclear what the author is wanting to say.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ila

    A little repetitive, a little disconnected, but overall a brilliant read that helped me make many new connections.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mahdi

    I really liked the first essay, but the second – "Universal History" – was bizarre, not at all consonant or consistent with itself, and lastly, its abrupt references to Islam, even if one is charitable, are problematic I really liked the first essay, but the second – "Universal History" – was bizarre, not at all consonant or consistent with itself, and lastly, its abrupt references to Islam, even if one is charitable, are problematic

  20. 5 out of 5

    Leonardo

    Como señala Susan Buck-Morss, «la humanidad universal es visible en los límites»: "Más que dar a las múltiples y distintas culturas el mismo trato, por el que se reconoce a la gente como parte de la humanidad indirectamente, a través de la mediación de identidades culturales colectivas, la universalidad humana surge en el acontecimiento histórico en el punto de ruptura. En las discontinuidades de la historia es donde la gente, cuya cultura ha sido forzada hasta el punto de ruptura, manifiesta una Como señala Susan Buck-Morss, «la humanidad universal es visible en los límites»: "Más que dar a las múltiples y distintas culturas el mismo trato, por el que se reconoce a la gente como parte de la humanidad indirectamente, a través de la mediación de identidades culturales colectivas, la universalidad humana surge en el acontecimiento histórico en el punto de ruptura. En las discontinuidades de la historia es donde la gente, cuya cultura ha sido forzada hasta el punto de ruptura, manifiesta una humanidad que va más allá de los límites culturales. Y en nuestra categórica identificación con este estado crudo, libre y vulnerable, es donde somos capaces de entender lo que dicen. La humanidad común existe a pesar de la cultura y de sus diferencias. Una no-identidad de la persona con lo colectivo permite solidaridades subterráneas que tienen una oportunidad para apelar al sentimiento universal, moral; la fuente actual del entusiasmo y la esperanza." (Pág.133) (nota al pie) La suerte del idioma portugués en Angola es un ejemplo de las paradojas de la descolonización. Antes de la descolonización, una gran mayoría de la gente en Angola hablaba su propia lengua tribal, y solamente la reducida elite educada por los colonialistas hablaba portugués. Después de declarar en 1975 la independencia, la posterior guerra civil provocó grandes reasentamientos de la población. Huyendo de los combates, millones de personas se refugiaron en la capital, Luanda, donde para poder entenderse entre ellos recurrieron a la única lengua universal que tenían, el portugués. Así fue como solamente después de la descolonización la lengua portuguesa penetró por completo en todo el cuerpo social y surgió como la lengua predominante del reciente Estado-nación. ¿No se encuentra esta paradoja en el centro de todos los estados poscoloniales independientes? Su independencia no significa un regreso a la condición precolonial, sino la adopción de la misma forma de Estado- nación que habían traído los colonizadores. Viviendo en el Final de los Tiempos Pág.298

  21. 4 out of 5

    Guilherme Martins

    Susan Buck-Morss procura tratar sobre a construção de uma filosofia da história. Em suma, há duas partes, sendo a primeira (Hegel and Haiti) a mais interessante. Procura demonstrar em como a filosofia de Hegel, mais especificamente a dialética senhor/escravo, obteve uma grande influência empírica advinda de notícias sobre os eventos que ocorriam do Haiti na época. Através dessa perspectiva, procurou remodelar, como crítica a história tradicional, o pensamento acerca do Haiti quanto a questão da Susan Buck-Morss procura tratar sobre a construção de uma filosofia da história. Em suma, há duas partes, sendo a primeira (Hegel and Haiti) a mais interessante. Procura demonstrar em como a filosofia de Hegel, mais especificamente a dialética senhor/escravo, obteve uma grande influência empírica advinda de notícias sobre os eventos que ocorriam do Haiti na época. Através dessa perspectiva, procurou remodelar, como crítica a história tradicional, o pensamento acerca do Haiti quanto a questão da modernidade (aqui englobando diversos conceitos, principalmente o de liberdade). Contudo, na segunda parte (Universal History), apresenta a possível contradição que diversos historiadores poderiam realizar ao analisar apenas os fatos que lhe chegam academicamente, permitindo omissões como em relação a conexão entre Hegel e Haiti. Mesmo com a crítica dela acerca dessas construções empregadas de uma moral preconcebida (Nietzsche), ela mesma parece se utilizar de acadêmicos renomados para garantir seu argumento de autoridade.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    Excellent book! Definitely a recommendation for anyone who studies history since the discovery of the Americas. Buck-Moss discusses how much of an influence Haitian revolution and, by extension, slavery and the slave trade affected the daily life and the constructed identity, culture and landscape of Europe and the West. Her attempt to flip "history" on its head is excellent and very affective. Excellent book! Definitely a recommendation for anyone who studies history since the discovery of the Americas. Buck-Moss discusses how much of an influence Haitian revolution and, by extension, slavery and the slave trade affected the daily life and the constructed identity, culture and landscape of Europe and the West. Her attempt to flip "history" on its head is excellent and very affective.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mario Gómez Maulme

    Esto se adivina Rudo... Habría que preguntar si referir el surgimiento de la dialéctica amo-esclavo hegeliana como determinado por un hecho histórico concreto, no es sino reconocer esa dialéctica, ya operante, en -y confundirla con- un momento particular del desenvolvimiento del Espíritu en la historia. Es un libro que hace tiempo ya tenías ganas de leer. Veamos como se da.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin

    Half quasi-interesting history of late 18C international revolutionary culture coupled with middling Hegel reading, half near unbearable reflections on "Universal History" -- watered down attempt to couple critical theory with opportunistic post modernized identity politics. Symptomatic. Half quasi-interesting history of late 18C international revolutionary culture coupled with middling Hegel reading, half near unbearable reflections on "Universal History" -- watered down attempt to couple critical theory with opportunistic post modernized identity politics. Symptomatic.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shianne

    Nope. No interest in these academic, Imma Talk All Intellectually Over You 'Cause I Can books. >.< Nope. No interest in these academic, Imma Talk All Intellectually Over You 'Cause I Can books. >.<

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chuck Lee

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gregory

  28. 5 out of 5

    DWD

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tim

  30. 4 out of 5

    Deniz Tokgoz

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