Note to self:

August 3, 2007

Who are the philosophers of revolt? That is to say, who philosophized the meaning and justifications of revolutions and rebellion?

Albert Camus: metaphysical and social rebellion – the individual as a part of and separate from the community. WWII French Resistance

John Locke: the political necessity for rebellion: the right of rebellion – ultimately a human right rather than strictly (or “merely”) a civil one –

Thomas Paine: the justifications and defenses of rebellion/revolution (revolution as “mass rebellion”) American and French Revolutions – a philosopher?

Marx: was he really a philosopher of rebellion/revolution or did he simply predict that worker animosity would enflate? He seems more sociological rather than philosophical in this sense: he’s more on causes than reasons/general justifications/meanings of rebellions. ?

Guevara: Philosopher or tactician

Guy Debord and the Situationists? ’68 resistance

Thoreau is a given, but again, is he more of a tactician in this regard?

Are philosophies of rebellion as simplistic as self-ostracizing for the sake of justice or some higher morality?

A philosophy of rebellion must say more than that rebellion is action against an injustice. ?

Can it be said that the ‘Founding Fathers’ described a potent freedom-centered philosophy of rebellion or was it really more of a hodge-podge of philosophical baby steps? The numerous quotes supporting rebellion made by Jefferson, Paine, Franklin, and then Lincoln and then FDR does not make for a philosophical treatise of American rebellion.

Or is a “philosophy of revolt” supposed to be either highly specific or incredibly vague much in the same way philosophies of “government” are either which type of government is a ‘truer’ or more just government .. or are really a philosophy trying to flesh out the meaning of the word “government”. To make the analogy clearer: you don’t need an entire “philosophy” of revolt, once you understand what a revolt empirically is then you can figure out which revolt is the best revolt.

Hm, no I disagree there. Camus fleshed out the possibility of a much larger and deeper discussion of the philosophical meaning of revolt and rebellion: in the general sense. He gave specifics – such as the revolt against political violence (death row) but statements like “Man’s solidarity is founded on rebellion.” give a much more general picture of what revolt itself means regardless of what is being revolted against or who or how. It even surpasses the particular form of “why” one must revolt.

And Badiou! What of philosophical revolutions like from Pre-socratics to Socratese, to Aristoleanism, to Descartes laboring of modern philosophy up to the schism between analytic and continental philosophy and to what may be now called the Malgre Tout collective


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