Kierkegaard and Marx: Concurrences for a More Harmonious Life

Humberto Ortega-Villaseñor


These are dark days in Europe, in both developed and developing countries in the Western world. Our human condition and our survival as a species are endangered, under attack from multiples fronts (economic, political, social, moral, among others). The neo-liberalism and free trade of the last 40 years have proven to be less than effective in achieving the type of development that brings benefits, equity and sustainability to the populations that live in the region. Far from it, this development model has fostered social injustice, an unprecedented polarization of processes, growing concentrations of wealth, political and financial power in the hands of the very few, and above all, a monopolistic power wielded by a tiny elite over a wide range of activities that affect the fate of millions of human beings. We believe that a review of the ideas and the cross pollination that connects the thinkers that have inspired this year’s conference-- Søren Kierkegaard and Karl Marx—can serve to set up a complex critical scaffolding for understanding the tendencies that underlie these developments, estimating their historical weight and characterizing their neo-totalitarian or transpersonal ramifications for the 21st century. In fact, we contend that in an extensive and profound sense, the critique that Kierkegaard made of his times (1846) with regard to the bourgeois Christian world comes ironically close to the Marxist critique of the bourgeois capitalist world (1847). This represents a relevant convergence that can shed light on the future consequences of current developments and help to find feasible solutions for preventing or counteracting their negative impact on the majority over the medium and long terms.


Christianity, convergences, elites, historical materialism, neoliberalism, neo-totalitarianism.

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