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xFblthpx t1_j3n2ykk wrote

This article is problematic for quite a few reasons. Number one: the false dichotomy being presented that Camus and Sartre are “opposites,” when one limits their primary focus to existentialism (Camus) while the other is WAYYYY more vocal about civil rights and post colonial analysis (Sartre). Camus’ silence shouldn’t be taken as complacency. Number two: The article tries to paint Camus as a racist evil monster just because he is LESS VOCAL about stuff he isn’t really too knowledgeable in. Camus mostly advocated for peace and was simply anti war without much consideration of any nuance beyond that. Ok sure, that’s a bit problematic, but let’s not pretend he was a militant racist colonial Nazi just because he was anti war including colonial revolution. “Opposites” my ass. Not every writer who doesn’t write about The Current War therefore supports the status quo. Grasping at straws. Number three: revolt falling within the purview of Europeans is a quote completely taken out of context. Here Camus isn’t even saying only Europeans can revolt, otherwise it’s bloodshed. HE IS CRITIQUING. The rest of his article in Rebel was about how hypocritical European colonial analysis is. He was against the French treatment of Algerians, and described this repression as a bad thing, yet the OOP insists that since his language wasn’t inflammatory enough, he is therefore a racist? Cmon. Sorry if my comment comes off as rambling, but I’m pissed off at this cherry-picked shitty clickbait journalism that doesn’t even attempt to read these people in context or in good faith. At least it serves as a reminder that Sartre was a badass, but that’s the only redeeming quality of this dogshit article.


Diogenic_Seer t1_j3n9f9v wrote

More or less.

Broadly painting Camus as a colonialist despite his long history in anti-colonial rhetoric was a bit fucked up. Most of the people critiquing him were not active in speaking up for Algerian Arabs until it became a popular movement to support.

I don’t know why pacifism gets called problematic. There is a lot of research indicating pacifistic revolution as more effective:

There is also the fact that Camus might have been killed by the KGB:

Camus risked a lot being vocal against communism. It was not a popular position in left-wing French philosophy circles. He genuinely might have been a straight up martyr for it.


wasbee56 t1_j3npdp7 wrote

agreed, to many the communist philosophy was attractive as an alternative to capitalism, the implementation not so much. Camus had the insight to figure out what might happen to collectivism under authority. and he was right.


NicNicNicHS t1_j3o7sex wrote

The history of the libertarian left is just one big "told you so" to the authoritarians


357Magnum t1_j3na9ft wrote

Yeah I agree with you completely. This seems to strawman Camus, misrepresent the Rebel completely, and at the same time gloss over all the inconsistencies that Sartre had in his career as well. Ridiculous to hold Camus to such standards and then say of Sartre "his fearless public condemnation of state-sponsored violence, be it that of France (and later the U.S) in Vietnam, or that of the French police against immigrants in the streets of Paris and elsewhere" while not mentioning his problematic support of communist regimes that did loads of state-sponsored violence.


darkmoose t1_j3q3n33 wrote

Spot on. This is popular clickbait philosophy.


JeffryRelatedIssue t1_j3qcusb wrote

Camus is, in this case, a victim of the totalitarian view of "everything is political" that is sadly gaining more and more traction


GapingFleshwound t1_j3qsfwg wrote

Thank you. Well said. Though I’d suggest Camus’ position stems from a deeper recognition of power structures. No one ever asks who was in charge and what were they doing before the colonists arrived?


preston t1_j3ptcke wrote

It’s hard to not resent the idea that racism is caused by anything other than white people.


[deleted] t1_j3mrltj wrote



vexedtogas t1_j3pjwv2 wrote

This, and also the fact that Camus also worked in the French resistance against nazis


Dayum_SO t1_j3mwpr0 wrote

While I agree that an article like this should mention it, seems very reductive to reduce Sartre’s position to that, these ideas are much more complex and should be discussed more


357Magnum t1_j3n9k8p wrote

But I think the point is that this article seems to be very reductive of Camus's positions. I read The Rebel and nothing in this article seems to correspond with what I got out of that book.


cesiumatom t1_j3npmud wrote

This article continues the ancient tradition of cancel culture, attempting to discredit the great minds of the past and present for extremist political motivations in the present and future. Beware ideological analysis and remain critical of both sides of any "coin", and make sure to inspect the sides of the coin for dents. Remain vigilant and aware, and know that every narrative is a rough and tumbling stone.


VersaceEauFraiche t1_j3ltmdx wrote

"The notion of formerly separate people becoming “groups in fusion,” which come together united by a desire for radical social change, was first theorized by Jean-Paul Sartre in his Critique of Dialectical Reason (1960) – a radical re-adaptation of Marxism.."

This is interesting to hold in juxtaposition of the fact that BLM rallies received major institutional support, not just from universities, professional sport leagues like the NFL and NBA, but also from the super majority of Fortune 500 companies. It reminds me of Nikole Hannah-Jones speaking at an event that was sponsored by Shell.

The usual refrain is that these things "don't matter", or that these institutions are insincere with their support, but I believe that these refrains are just a coping mechanism with those who are unable or unwilling to recognize that the regime ideology isn't "New Jim Crow".


PaxNova t1_j3m773q wrote

I think I'm uninformed here. Is there a reason why she wouldn't speak at something sponsored by Shell, or a reason why BLM is incompatible with Fortune 500 companies?


VersaceEauFraiche t1_j3m91tw wrote

That's true, they are not incompatible. They are incompatible only when viewed through a certain ideological lense (yet one that many have due to erroneous education), one that casts corporations as upholding something akin to a new Jim Crow. That is the crux of this issue: the dominant ideology of the regime is one of anti-racism. That is why Shell supports NHJ, because they support anti-racism.

Conversations like these (not between you and I, but in general around this topic) usually have this song-and-dance. There is an assertion that The Powers That Be are racist, oppressive, etc, and when someone provides evidence contrary to this the retort is usually "well they're good then, what do you have against these corporate practices?". This rhetorical bait-and-switch is a sort of inverse celebration parallax.


alehartl t1_j3ms1k5 wrote

I think this is an overly generous interpretation to corporations. I think rather than saying that Shell is anti-racist it’s more accurate to say that Shell has calculated that it is more profitable for them to project the image of anti-racism. However, their drilling and disposal activities perpetuate what people call environmental racism. This is not to say that Shell as a corporation makes the conscious decision based on an ideology of racism to do what they do. It is to say that, as a corporation, Shell will always act in self-interest with an eye toward profit. Sometimes that will result in supporting anti-racist measures, such as sponsoring NHJ’s speech, and sometimes it won’t (see the linked article). I would agree that the dominant ideology is not one of racism, however it is one of pursuing profit regardless of its impact on others.


VersaceEauFraiche t1_j3mzriz wrote

I agree with the assessment that corporations, all things equal, will pursue profit above all else. My statement about corporations is said in response to the ideological ecosystem (and wide spread belief/assumption) that asserts that our institutions are racist. I mentioned in a comment in this same thread about how our reality is far more heterogenous than how it is presented to us in news, social media, which is captured in your examples.


xFblthpx t1_j3n3vud wrote

It’s a pretty big assumption that corporations are always acting perfectly efficient at acquiring wealth. Corporations act on behest of moral values significantly more than you’d think. Look at Elon musk, his shitty moral projecting is costing him and his businesses immensely. He is clear evidence that corporations will forgo profits and optics for moral projection.


Jaimzell t1_j3q0gnr wrote

Maybe I’m uninformed, but Elon’s recent nonsense hasn’t really been him acting as a corporation has it? Its mainly been a personal thing.

I doubt Tesla or SpaceX as a corporation would support his recent business decisions.


theverybestintown t1_j3md50j wrote

That's an interesting observation. Even if there is some insincerity with the corporations that be, calling them racist may be misleading. There are in some ways anti-racist.


VersaceEauFraiche t1_j3mef3b wrote

Yes, happens is that people more often than not speak past each other in referencing different topics/aspects of society in relation to racism/oppression. As much as we would like it to not be (as it would bring mental and ideological comfort) the reality that we collectively experience is heterogenous, striated, and uneven. Cops in rural Alabama aren't the same as cops in San Francisco aren't the same as cops in Washington DC. The Fortune 500 of today aren't like the corporations of 100 years. We truncate our own agency and understanding when we delegate our thoughts to an ideology.


subtect t1_j3ndoyz wrote

Consistently, across multiple comments, this guy's main point is "shit's complicated yo, some nuance is warranted, even in the case of corporate decision making"... no personal attacks, no whataboutism, etc. Regardless, he's getting downvoted like an unwelcome troll. In a philosophy sub. Fuck.


VersaceEauFraiche t1_j3nef9l wrote

Hahah I appreciate the remarks. I don't mind being downvoted, but I do wish they allowed only upvotes. That way if someone disagreed with a post they would be compelled to write out why they disagree instead of clicking merely one button. It would be a good way of fostering the discussion.


Fraidy_K t1_j3mvutw wrote

I think the notion of capitalist entities supporting an organization founded by people with open marxist beliefs is what’s being examined here, instead of any racial components.


Capricancerous t1_j3mzuet wrote

The reason those firms adopted such stances is because of cooption and recuperation. Such recuperative action is good for business and bad for subversive politics. It's the same false shrouding in rainbow you see by big business as well. It's all recuperative.

>In the sociological sense, recuperation is the process by which politically radical ideas and images are twisted, co-opted, absorbed, defused, incorporated, annexed or commodified within media culture and bourgeois society, and thus become interpreted through a neutralized, innocuous or more socially conventional perspective. More broadly, it may refer to the cultural appropriation of any subversive symbols or ideas by mainstream culture.


VersaceEauFraiche t1_j3n1rf1 wrote

Yes, I am privy to Mark Fisher and how capitalism commercializes the dissent of capitalism. But this neglects possibility that there are true believers of such ideology at the helm of these businesses, or the decision-makers of such businesses feel compelled (or pressured) internally to make outward professions of said ideology either through personal statements themselves or through PR and advertisement, or even that some people within businesses use this ideology in subterfuge against competitors within the business.


iambingalls t1_j3n40lo wrote

All of those possibilities listed would be subordinate to the prime directive of profit. Corporations are not moral entities, they are designed to make a profit for the shareholders and everything else is beholden to that aim.


VersaceEauFraiche t1_j3n67xq wrote

I was talking about the people within these organizations that make decisions about marketing and PR on behalf of the whole organization. You're right that corporations are not moral entities, but people are, and corporations are full of people and the entities that make decisions within corporations on the behalf of corporations are people. None of these business decisions (PR, advertisement, hiring decisions) are metaphysically neutral.

If all the efforts of a corporation is done in pursuit of profit, and the majority of Fortune 500 companies put out this kind of advertisement (BLM, anti-racist, female empowerment, etc), then it follows that such endeavors are profitable, that a sufficient number of people support such things, and my assertion in my original post that our society isn't a New Jim Crow follows.


nhowlett t1_j3nklu4 wrote

As a shareholder with reporting requirements for multiple corporations, I resent the insinuation that nothing moral prevails in the decision making process of such an entity. Corporations are like countries - a bit of legal fiction with, perhaps, sane, honourable governance, or else maybe with a madman at the helm. I wouldn't toss that at the feet of the idea of the Nation State, I'd be inclined to indict the leader in question.


amitym t1_j3nnivt wrote

There's another possibility, which is that acquiescence by the private corporation or the cultural mainstream simply represents actual political success. Superficial expression of the "ideas and images" is a form of tribute paid to a victorious political power. Like the banners of subjugated peoples paraded by imperial conquerers.

Yes, like the conquered imperial subject, the restive corporation may remain forever ready to abandon its display of subordination at the first opportunity, its acquiescence is never wholly sincere... but so what? In a sense, all that means is that regular display rituals are proof to an even greater degree of the dynamism of the emerging victorious political force. It commands this power each time anew.


gortlank t1_j3o0uc4 wrote

It costs them nothing to convey a popular message while conceding nothing beyond words. Because that’s all it is. Words. They haven’t been “conquered” any more than I’ve conquered my bank when they tell me they appreciate my business.

Some within the company my see it as a cynical opportunity to garner good PR. Others may truly believe the message. The fact is the reasoning is wholly immaterial as it has no actual impact on real world outcomes either way.

The same goes for politicians. Plenty of them mouth the pieties expected by their base, while taking actions diametrically opposed to those pieties. Only a rube takes their words at face value.


bildramer t1_j3rmawi wrote

It costs them a lot to pay for HR departments, which then discriminate in an "anti-racist" way instead of hiring fairly, cause PR fiascos, waste time with DEI meetings, add various other frictions to a business. The problem is that they're effectively mandated by the government.


Arminio90 t1_j3q7np4 wrote

It is amazing to see a good chunk of a certain intellectual tradition affirming that, somehow, the enormous amount of cash that trickles down from Fortune 500 corporations to left-wing causes and ideas is not representative of anything, because they are not subverting whetever structure that Marx theorized two centuries ago

Living in a country that is not a part of the Atlantic Imperial Centre (southern Europe), you see clearly that Capital has clearly a side, and that side is not the free-market-provide and the reactionary one.


[deleted] t1_j3pcofo wrote

Wouldn’t the opposite of Sartre be some kind of race-based essentialist? Certainly not Camus. They’re more like embattled twins at most.


JJJeeettt t1_j3q6vlt wrote

What a biased article. Camus was a better man than Sartre. I will die on this hill.


Prometheus1717 t1_j4kfp86 wrote

Definitely agree with your opinion. Sartre never denounced the genocidal campaign perpetrated by Stalin during his reign. Legions of Sartre supporters chose to remain silent on the latter's stance toward the Stalinist epoch of terror. Camus on the other hand spoke the hard truths of the times.


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wintermute000 t1_j3o8kcv wrote

Well Camus can do, but Satre is smarter


PlentyOfMoxie t1_j3qbfc3 wrote

Well, Scooby Doo can doodoo, but Jimmy Carter is smarter!


numinousOversouls t1_j3qfnnd wrote

it's the same with all dualities. they're trashed and forced polarisation that binds stuff together that doesn't need each other


Ines-Neumann t1_j3qmavo wrote

Both Camus and Sartre's perspective on violence and force hold important points to consider in the context of racism and other forms of social oppression.


BernardJOrtcutt t1_j5fn09t wrote

Please keep in mind our first commenting rule:

> Read the Post Before You Reply

> Read/listen/watch the posted content, understand and identify the philosophical arguments given, and respond to these substantively. If you have unrelated thoughts or don't wish to read the content, please post your own thread or simply refrain from commenting. Comments which are clearly not in direct response to the posted content may be removed.

This subreddit is not in the business of one-liners, tangential anecdotes, or dank memes. Expect comment threads that break our rules to be removed. Repeated or serious violations of the subreddit rules will result in a ban.

This is a shared account that is only used for notifications. Please do not reply, as your message will go unread.