Levy discusses Sartre

by phil on Wednesday Feb 18, 2004 8:23 PM

Here's a mini-bio about Sartre intertwined with commentary on a book by Henri-Levy that laments the lack of importance Sartre holds today. Excerpt:

Sartre’s protagonist in the hallucinatory Nausea, Antoine Roquentin, laments the “total gratuity and absurd contingency of the universe.” “Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance,” Roquentin says, struggling against a powerful urge to vomit. Lévy sums up this bleak Sartrean vision of man adrift: “Life has no meaning. . . . No promise dwells in it. No invisible hand is guiding it in secret. It is chaotic. Shapeless. Pure disorder and fog. A tangle of moments in disarray. Chaos. A mess.”


Half-way through, the article cuts at Sartre for his extreme leftism, revealing some of Sartre's absurd political positions:

Depicting man as lost in an alienated world of institutions and social exchanges, Sartre maintains that freedom is possible only when men act collectively — and their unity should be enforced by “Terror.” The conservative British political philosopher Maurice Cranston captured Sartre’s argument in a line (it took Sartre nearly 700 pages): “Terror is the guarantee that my neighbor will stay my brother; it binds my neighbor to me by the threat of the violence it will use against him if he dares to be ‘unbrotherly.’” Forget such niceties as the rule of law.

Nothing's sacred.

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