Kierkegaard and Marx: Concurrences for a More Harmonious Life

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


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.


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Author Biography

Humberto Ortega-Villaseñor, Universidad de Guadalajara

Humberto Ortega-Villaseñor is a Mexican senior full time professor and a research fellow at the University of Guadalajara since 1989. After receiving his Bachelor of Law degree in 1975 at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Villaseñor continued his Master's studies in Great Britain (London University) and finished his PhD at UNAM in Mexico (1982). He has published three books and many articles. His focus of interest covers various fields of social sciences and humanities related primarly to philosophy, communication, art and culture. As a member of the Department of Literary Studies since 2003, he hasconcetrated his efforts in investigating the links between plastic and literary creativity from a scientific perspective, deepening in the anticipatory impact those links may have to the world of science, technology and culture. As a visual artist, he has numerous individual exhibitions in Mexico, the United States and Europe since 1975. Currently, he inroads also in the study of links between words and moving images. He is a member of the National System of Researchers, CONACYT (Mexico), and the Academic Board of the PhD Program in Humanities.


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How to Cite

Ortega-Villaseñor, H. (2020). Kierkegaard and Marx: Concurrences for a More Harmonious Life. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 8(1), 26–42.



Original Manuscript