Staying True to Rebellion: Extracting Political Principles from Albert Camus’ Post-Existentialism
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My aim in this research project is to dispel the potential misconception that Albert Camus’ oeuvre is not of any political use or interest. Therefore the question I shall be answering throughout this work is as such: What concrete political principles can be drawn from Camus’ post-existentialist philosophy? I shall carry out my research through a close reading of two of Camus’ most robust philosophical works: The Myth of Sisyphus and The Rebel. I will then seek to explicate the central political concept in Camus’ work, ‘rebellion’, why it is central and why it is political character. I will show how rebellion, culminating in political revolution, can go wrong for Camus by reference to particular historical and intellectual revolutions. Finally, I will conclude that when rebellion goes right it functions on concrete political principles which affirm the value and freedom of human lives, these being the positive premises from which it sets out. Such principles include the limitation of violence, inclusive struggle, aimed at democratic political society paired with a socialist economy.
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