A Distinct Multitude / A Pueblo Different in Itself: Dussel and Negri at the Chiasmus of Revolutionary Praxis

1. Two Complementary Affirmations of Alterity: Pueblo and Multitude

In a fictionalization of the Guatemalan Civil War by K’anjobal Maya novelist Gaspar Pedro González, the narrator-protagonist remembers a political demonstration when he was a young child:

So many people! Never had I seen so many people. Where were we going? I overheard that the people were marching to protest abuses against us peasants. The peasants were taking advantage of a right they believed was guaranteed by something called a law. We kept walking through the streets of the city, until we reached a great square surrounded by large buildings, one of which appeared to be the seat of government. The people wanted to express their disatisfaction with the representatives of the people, whom the people themselves had put in power. But at that moment we saw a large number of men descending upon us. They wore uniforms and were armed with guns, night sticks and riot shields. Their faces manifested hate and fury. They were the forces of violence coming at us. They were the feet, the hands and the faces of that government turned against us, its own people. They immediately attacked the people, people with bare hands, simple hands like those of my mother, that knew only how to work and make tortillas so we could eat. All the people carried was their words and their voices to protest against those abuses. 1

This novel, The Return of the Maya, unfolds during the brutal war of extermination that was carried out in Guatemala during the 1970s and 1980s. The passage I just quoted is evocative of the following:

1–The people must be represented by the government. The former is, in Dussel’s terminology, the potentia from which the potestas of the latter emanates ethically and politically. The power of the government, again following Dussel, has become fetishized: Rather than being recognized as emanating from the political community, the exercise of delegated power is absolutized and corrupted as it appears to flow from potestas (fetishism).2 2–The people are naked before the usurper of their power; they are nothing to the usurper: Bare hands and voices, and a protest that falls on deaf ears. They are naked in that they are excluded, nonentities to the law, as Agamben has correctly pointed out in the context of the birth of the state of exception in the modern West. Guatemalans like many other Latin Americans lived imperialist sponsored permanent states of exception. 3–Their hands produce but only for satisfying the community, not the system; what the community produces is independent from the system that oppresses them. 4–They are not recognized as producers of their own sustenance or as having the rights that others, namely, the not-indigenous—the ladino and the white— have. For Dussel, this is the originary moment of existential negation of the oppressed:

All oppression has an ideological aspect that is fundamental to it. However, everything begins when the Other is situated as not-being; and, while reducing him or her to servitude, the oppressor still pretends to give him or her the ‘gift’ of civilization—being.3

Neoliberalism unambiguously denies the humanity of the oppressed as Other, what Francis Fukuyama has called the other’s “strange thoughts.”4 It does so today in the name of democracy and human rights: Imperialism’s postmodern version, so-called humanitarian imperialism,5 or simply empire, if one can interpret “the right of humanitarian intervention” as the network laid down by imperial biopower in the age of globalization.6 Its fetishized power is threatened. Because of this, it denies a particular people’s right to life, that is, a culturally specific, socially conditioned, historically conquered life, on the one hand, while on the other, it affirms human life in its abstract generality. When it descends from the abstract to the concrete, however, imperialism contradicts itself performatively. It has to kill; killing is part of its logic: For instance, the enlightened British imperials killing Punjabis in the 1919 Amritsar Massacre stopping only when they had run out of ammunition.7

Francis Fukuyama’s interpretation of Hegel’s struggle for recognition, mediated by Nietzsche’s will-to-power and Plato’s theory of the tripartite soul, is significant in this regard. His neoliberal model resolves the master-slave dialectic by giving the right of sameness in spiritedness (isothymia) to the slave and of greatness (megalothymia) to the master. The master-slave hierarchy is not eliminated; the master’s path is not denied; it is simply sublimated into presumably dangerous and/or unique forms of asserting superiority over others.8 What is striking is that the sameness in spiritedness for the masses is the only universality to which the formerly oppressed may aspire. Their difference and distinctness is denied, in many cases as a characteristic of their culture: One of Fukuyama’s examples is the so-called culture of poverty among African Americans; his concluding metaphor at the end of the book is that of the American Indian attacking pioneers going west in a geographical and, I suspect, a cultural sense as well. With these two images, of the Black who is poor because of his or her culture and of the Indian who threatens the pioneer’s travel to the posthistorical West, Fukuyama manages to encompass two significant elements of the historical Other in the self-image of eurocentric United States: Slavery and the frontier.9

Dignity, that is, the quality of being worthy, which arises from spiritedness or the feeling of self-worth, is a central element in the analysis of neoliberal thyme in The End of History and the Last Man. However, in Fukuyama’s construction, neoliberalism gives dignity to the Other but only insofar as he or she becomes the mass consumer of homogeneity, a familiar element in the “posthistorical” West. The slave qua slave is not raised to the status of selfhood contemplated in Hegel’s struggle for recognition because this slave is absolute Other: Distinct, a difference in itself, a threat to the totality itself, a biopolitical autonomy, and not simply a difference for another that can be subsumed within the movement of an encompassing self-consciousness.10

Dignity receives another formulation by Dussel. In his interpretation of neo-Zapatismo, he has written:

Dignity is neither valuable nor value; it is the foundation of all value. Dignity is not necessary to affirm when it is not denied; only when it is denied, it is necessary to defend and proclaim it. In the recognition of the Other, the first thing that must be affirmed is the sacredness of her or his distinct subjectivity.11

Dussel’s construction of dignity here is not unlike his interpretation of living labor in his reading of Marx’s Grundrisse. Living labor is not value but the source of all value. Since it is not value, it is—qua living labor—nothing to capital.

The affirmation of the Other—whether as pueblo or as living labor—is for Dussel an analectical or anadialectical step at the heart of a life-affirming dialectic. The Hegelian dialectic pure and simple, understood as an affirmation of freedom where life and freedom become dirempted, proceeds from negation through a negation of that negation on the road to “the community of free self-consciousnesses.”12

In an early 1974 text, Dussel states that the analectical method, by contrast, “starts from the other as free, as a beyond to the system of the totality. It starts, therefore, from his or her [the Other’s—MS] word, and, trusting on that word, it acts, works, serves, creates.” While the dialectical method is “the dominating expansion of the totality from itself” and “the passage from potency to act by ‘the same’,” the analectical method is “the just growth of totality from the other, and in order to be of service to the other creatively.”13 This early text thus points to the reintegration of the two methods precisely in the space opened by a communication community which, Dussel will later state in his debate with Apel, would have to include the Other in his or her exteriority and be grounded for its truth on the affirmation of human life in community.14

I will say more about living labor later. For now, I will say a few more things about the category of people or pueblo in Dussel. The pueblo has dignity, then, but it is also productive.

Pueblo is productive in several senses: productive of the economic conditions of life but also constitutive of the political life of the community. The latter is the normative material principle of politcs. “The production, reproduction, and development of the life of the political community (of pueblo in the critical instance, the plebs) is the normative material principle of all politics.”15 From this principle, one must then contextualize the diverse meanings of pueblo: “The nation confronting the aggressive foreign power; … the oppressed classes against the dominant classes in the nation;… youth against the bureaucracies.”16

Dussel must here navigate a narrow strait between the ideology of pueblo found in populist constructions and the concept of pueblo as a critical tool for an understanding of the situation of domination of “el pueblo de los pobres” and for revolutionary practice. “El pueblo de los pobres” is, says Dussel, the “indigenous masses, former [antiguos] African slaves, mulattoes, zambos, mestizos and impoverished immigrants.”17

Dussel recognizes and points out that the category of pueblo has an ambiguity that may lead to the obliteration of the distinction between oppressed and oppressor, victim and victimizer, and class, race, and sex hierarchical distinctions. Dussel proposes that, regarding these categories, “one must clarify univocally their analogical meaning.”18

Analogy too must be clarified. It must not only mean what is propotionate to the task at hand, to the context, to the specific struggle. It must mean that, of course. It should also mean, however, the critical exterior positioning beyond and outside the logic of the system. This is a fundamental material principle: That is, it has to do with being in or out the structures and patterns of decision-making because of class, gender role, sex, ethnicity, and nation.19

Dussel thinks that revolutionaries such as Fidel Castro have provided us with a critical formulation of the concept of people that resonates with the politics of liberation, which “… places sovereignty on the political community, on the people, and not on the State.”20

Indeed, in his 1953 text, History Will Absolve Me, which Dussel cites in his 20 tesis políticas,21 Castro defines pueblo in terms not dissimilar to Dussel’s pueblo de los pobres to the exclusion of the imperialist and dependent bourgeoisies:

When we speak of the people we are not talking about those who live in comfort, the conservative elements of the nation, who welcome any repressive regime, any dictatorship, any despotism, prostrating themselves before the masters of the moment until they grind their foreheads into the ground.22

Significantly, it is a practical definition. “In terms of struggle,” Castro states, when defining the people, and he goes on to say:

To these people whose desperate roads through life have been paved with the bricks of betrayal and false promises, we were not going to say: ‘We will give you …’ but rather: ‘Here it is, now fight for it with everything you have, so that liberty and happiness may be yours!’23

Pueblo is therefore a political project.

People is for Dussel “a strictly political category and constitutes a collective identity, a political community or a social bloc that goes through moments of the economic field (for example, modes of production) or the political field in the history of a country, a patria, a State in its multiple stages.”24 In his Twenty Theses on Politics, Dussel reiterates the strict political character of the category pueblo, since it is “not properly speaking either a sociological or an economic category…. [It is also] indispensable in spite of its ambiguity.”25

Some interpreters of Dussel’s Theses have said that the concept of pueblo in Dussel is a new biopolitical concept and that politics ought to be understood, therefore, as an activity “tending towards the organization, production, and reproduction of the lives of the members of the community.26

If Retamozo is correct, then the concepts of pueblo and of living labor are political projects, vital programs to be constituted in transformative practices. The concept of exteriority used to interpret those concepts is itself a political project. The pulsion towards alterity of Dussel’s early works returns transmuted as immanent to social life itself. Furthermore, the distinctness of the category is expressed also in the singular components of it at a given political juncture. The thirst for democracy, that is, for political participation and the constitution of the political field through that participation at the factory, the school, the block, and the neighborhood, can be satisfied only in network organizations and struggles.

Dussel rejects Antonio Negri’s interpretation of pueblo as substantialist or essentialist. By contrast, of course, Negri thinks of multitude as rhizomatic,27“singularities that act in common,”28 mobile, novel, and precarious harlequin subjectivities,29 differences in themselves,30 which produce biopolitically, that is which produce “not only material goods but also relationships and ultimately social life itself.”31 It seems to me, however, that Dussel’s concept of pueblo has those characteristics we tend to attribute to Negri and Hardt’s multitude: network intelligence, distinctness or difference in itself; for, what is distinctness but anadialectical difference-in-itself? What is exteriority except precisely not difference for another? And, what is pueblo but a multiplicity of those oppressed who construct the common project out of a common history? A multicolor huipil was Rigoberta Menchú’s metaphor.32

Regarding Negri, Gopal Balakrishnan argues that there is something peculiarly ineffective in a multitude who rely simply “on a pervasive, if diffuse, popular desire for liberation and an episodic intuition of friend and enemy.”33 Furthermore, the claim that war is constitutive of politics disarms, if I may use the term, the multitude from a critical analysis of the relationship between politics and war34 and, I will add, the relationship between the state and popular liberation.

I think that Balakrishnan is onto something to the extent that Negri and Hardt disarm the multitute from struggles that require of the state to be counterpoised to empire, which are two competing types of sovereignty. Negri calls empire “a higher entity” to which the sovereignty of the nation state is transferred: Empire is, to be precise, says Negri, “the transfer of sovereignty of nation-states to a higher entity.”35

Negri thinks that it is a trivialization of the category empire to think of it as something akin to the United States. He thinks that such internal analogy is reductionistic. Rather, we have a radically different planetary structure, a webbing of power relations that seek to corral the multitude. This led Hardt and Negri to counterpose to global biopower three biopolitical demands: The right to the free movement of labor, the right to a minimum social wage, and the right to reappropiation.

It seems to me that these are often not possible without the state representing that so-called unitary illusion, el pueblo, as understood by Fidel Castro above and radicalized in the Venezuelan Revolution. The political entities that are constructed parallel to the state and its bureaucracy, for instance, the various missions in Venezuela, or the demand for factory takeovers supported by the State but under worker’s control require of the State, not only to wrest power from entrenched bureaucracies but also to counter the attacks of empire’s so-called “monarch” and “aristocracies.”36

Labor is mobile often because the permanent state of exception (in terms of war, political security, and political economy) created in the peripheral state forces workers to move internally and externally. Labor demands a minimum social wage because often in the peripheral state huge amounts of surplus value created by the workers is forced to migrate in the competition between capitals to the “monarchic” and “aristocratic” regions of empire. Labor demands a right to reappropriate the means of production and to take control over the processes of production because often, under conditions of a “glocal” state of exception, these are wrested from the workers.

Take the case of the peasantry of the Urabá region of Colombia, the overwhelming majority of whom are Afro-Colombian.37 Beginning in the 1990s and continuing today, paramilitary organizations with the close collaboration of the Colombian military drove the peasants off their lands by blood and fire, decapitations and threats of decapitation. Then, the government, which has labeled Urabá “The best corner of the Americas,” and USAID and their private grant money distributor in Colombia—Vermont, USA-based ARD, Inc.—provided seed money to the paramilitary-owned plantations now established in the area for the growth of palms for palm oil to export as biofuel. The struggle is both local and global, obviously: a state of exception imposed by empire and the dependent state:

One day last October [that is, in 2008] campesino leader Walberto Hoyos was shot and killed execution-style near the Curvaradó River, his neck and face pumped with bullets by a paramilitary gunman. The next morning, the residents of Urabá woke up to find their towns riddled with fresh graffitti and leaflets announcing the formation of a new paramilitary group, an eerie reprise of events leading up to la violencia.38

I think that fundamental differences in this matter rest on two interrelated factors: different understandings of dependency theory and different Marxist traditions regarding the constitution of empire: Anthony Brewer in his Marxist Theories on Imperialism refers to two main types: the “classical” Marxist theory, from Marx to Lenin, and revised significantly with globalization, and the “world systems” theory. Dussel subscribes to the latter and Negri to the former.

Indeed, Negri’s Marxism regarding globalization is critical of dependency theory. According to Hardt and Negri, theorists of underdevelopment

… deduce an invalid conclusion: If the developed economies achieved full articulation in relative isolation and the underdeveloped economies became disarticulated and dependent through their integration into global networks, then a project for the relative isolation of the underdeveloped economies will result in their development and full articulation. In other words, as an alternative to the “false development” pandered by the economists of the dominant capitalist countries, the theorists of underdevelopment promoted “real development,” which involves delinking an economy from its dependent relationships and articulating in relative isolation an autonomous economic structure. Since this is how the dominant economies developed, it must be the true path to escape the cycle of underdevelopment. This syllogism, however, asks us to believe that the laws of economic development will somehow transcend the differences of historical change.39

But the use of the concepts of autocentric and dependent development by authors such as André Gunder Frank is not in order to refer to the independent and isolated development of an autocentric core as the model to follow. Instead, such concepts try to capture the unfolding of the periphery on the basis of an imposed underdevelopment or, alternatively, of a projected autocentric development.

The dependency of the periphery has to do with the structured unfolding of its economy to satisfy the interests of the core. The attempt to develop autocentrically requires, of course, a change in that relationship, but not isolation. Again, the core did not develop in isolation from its exploitation of its periphery. Dussel aptly called that notion “the myth of modernity.”

Finally, Dussel’s Marxism—in Brewer’s aforementioned general characterization of two main strands of Marxism regarding globalization—has a profound connection with world systems theory. This is evinced in the following concluding passage regarding the main contradiction today:

… the main contradiction is found to be be between transnational capital (and its private bureaucracies) and the wage workers of the peripheral countries and, even more so, the excluded wretched unemployed masses (who are not even “class”), who begin to organize as pueblo and who will prove significant for those political parties that educate a new political bureaucracy in the postcolonial states.40

Dussel’s definition of dependency

Hobson on Eurocentrism/Orientalism and Dussel’s radicalization of his position in the politics of liberation: Hobson presents a significant challenge to Western social theory, including Marxist analysis that embrace world-systems theory. For, if Hobson is correct, then world-systems theory would have to account for the agency of the Islamic, Indian and Chinese centers and their influence on European culture and technology prior to the constitution of the world system with Europe at its center. Possible interpretations: The Americas as a regional not a world periphery; not until the 1800s does western Europe constitute itself as a world center and, therefore, not until then does the world-system proper arise.

2. Denuded Subject / Creative Otherness
As I indicated before, we can also evince Dussel’s analectical affirmation of alterity in his political economy, which is partly based on an anadialectical reading of Marx’s Grundrisse:

Before living labor is use value for capital, the worker is unique corporeality (corporalidad distinta), free person, absolute poverty, and radical nakedness that capital itself produces as a condition for its reproduction.41

In a capitalist system, structured as it is towards the production of commodities for the growth of capital, living labor is nothing to capital. It is “something” to capital only as labor-power bought and sold, a value, i.e., reified alterity whose products become fetishized. But as sheer human activity, flesh and bone in motion with an inner purpose, a desire, and a need that seeks satisfaction, it is, therefore, nothing to capital and in effect negated in her or his exteriority. In sum, it is irrelevant to capital, except in so far as it is convertible to a value and thus not significant in itself, in his or her humanity.42 For Dussel, this exteriority is a metaphysical notion, in the sense that it lies beyond Being itself and, therefore, beyond social systems as such.43

This conception of living labor contrasts with the one proposed by Hardt and Negri in Multitude.

Living labor is the fundamental human faculty: the ability to engage the world actively and create social life. Living labor can be corralled by capital and pared down to the labor power that is bought and sold and that produces commodities and capital, but living labor always exceeds that. Our innovative and creative capacities are always greater than our productive labor—productive, that is, for capital. At this point we can recognize that this biopolitical production is on the one hand inmeasurable, because it cannot be quantified in fixed units of time, and, on the other hand, always excessive with respect to the value that capital can extract from it because capital can never capture all of life.44

The “corralling” of living labor by capital suggests both immanence and failed transcendence: The immanence of living labor to life’s production of life and the failed transcendence by capital of the processes of biopolitical production. Indeed, capital, as a form of biopower, cannot exhaust or destroy the biopolitical production of labor.

Thus, we read in Negri’s reading of the Grundrisse that the dialectical opposition and separation capital-labor is underlied by a second moment, “labor as subjectivity, as source, as potential of all wealth.”45 This is, says Negri,

a dialectical development of an exceptional intensity: the opposition determines subjectivity and this subjectivity of labor is defined as a general abstraction. The abstraction, the abstract collectivity of labor is subjective power (potenza). Only this abstract subjective power (potenza), this prolonged refinement of the labor in its entirety which destroys the partiality of labor itself, can permit labor to be presented as a general power (potenza) and as radical opposition.46

Living labor is thus an autonomous subjectivity, a not yet objectified labor, that escapes capital’s totalization precisely as it becomes labor-power, value, and an element of the first opposition to which Negri refers, capital-labor: A derivative opposition.
I think that in this regard the work of Negri and that of Dussel meet in common ground. The return to Marx in both is marked by an emphasis on the materiality of life as ethical content and as self-productive activity: It produces the common out of human life in community. Nevertheless, they seem to move in opposite directions regarding the primacy and priority of capital. Living labor transcends the system in both. Yet, in Dussel it is an interior transcendentality which as exteriority cannot be totalized by the system of domination. It is prior to capital in the analectic sense. It is not constituted by capital. In Negri, by contrast, living labor is constituted by capital at the moment of the transition from the formal to the real subsumption of labor under capital.

… Marx specifies in a thorough way (even from the point of view of terminology) the passage from the formal to real subsumption. Here then capital is a real subject, it is a collective social force…. The other subject, the working class subject, must emerge, since capitalist subsumption does not efface its identity but just dominates its activity; this subject must emerge precisely at the level to which the collective force of social capital has led the process… This objective process, dominated by capital, begins to reveal the new subjective level of the working class.47

This is a significant distinction. Negri is pointing to the moment of emergence of working class revolutionary subjectivity within the process of development of capital. Working class subjectivity is for Negri living labor. Thus, living labor is for Negri a class concept, even as it has become today in his eyes a figure in which immaterial labor has assumed hegemony: Affective, cognitive and linguistic labor produce social life itself (and not simply immaterial products), rearticulating and restructuring other forms of labor under capital. It is nevertheless a concept that a priori cannot appreciate the revolutionary, transformative and rhizomatic possibilities of pueblo, the peripheral people, a political, not an economic category, as Dussel states in his Politics.

3. Conclusion

Who built Thebes of the seven gates?
In the books you will find the names of kings.
Did the kings haul up the lumps of rock?
And Babylon, many times demolished
Who raised it up so many times? In what houses
Of gold-glittering Lima did the builders live?
Where, the evening that the Wall of China was finished
Did the masons go?48

Labor and pueblo are material concepts, economic and political respectively. They point to those who are left out structures of formal rationality and the pretension to universality of elitist narratives. I think that these material principles are foundational. Dussel blunts the hierarchical distinction between the formal and the material elements of his architectonics, especially after his debates with Karl-Otto Apel. It seems to me that analectical thought strongly implies that the material element is foundational, in both the negative and the positive aspects: Negatively, analectical thought points us to the Othernes excluded, oppressed, and/or exploited. Positively, it is an affirmation of the distinctness and possibility of novelty of Otherness. Consensus, formal pragmatics, and feasibility must all refer to Otherness as their foundational element. It is true that Dussel in his architectonics does say we need all three. However, this demand requires strategically what Dussel calls “the state of rebellion” before the conditions for consensus may be established. If the inclusion of the Other disarms alterity, homogenizes it, reduces it to Sameness, then a universal material pragmatics must ground the process of creating the new, externally vis-a-vis the State, and internally vis-a-vis the participatory democracy required in the current revolutionary situation in parts of the world. The demand for consensus is a demand fundamentally from the side of alterity in the last instance. I suspect that Negri’s materialism would agree with this, but that Dussel would not. However, Negri’s classism blinds him to the revolutionary possibilities of multitudes (rather than a singular multitude) exterior to capital.


1. Gaspar Pedro González, Return of the Maya, trans. Susan Rascón [Rancho palos Verdes, CA: Yax Te’ Foundation, 2000 (1998)], 8
2. Enrique Dussel, 20 Tesis de política (Mexico: Siglo XXI Editores, 2006), Tesis 1, 13-14.
3. Enrique Dussel, Política de la liberación: Historia mundial y crítica, 391, par. 191.
4. Francis Fukuyama, “The End of History?” The National Interest (Summer 1989): ““For our purposes, it matters very little what strange thoughts occur to people in Albania or Burkina Faso, for we are interested in what one could in some sense call the common ideological heritage of mankind.”
5. Chalmers Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (New York: MacMillan, 2004), 71: “Another group of American ideologues might be called humanitarian imperialists. They are globalist liberals, direct descendants of Woodrow Wilson. They believe in “making the world safe for democracy” and in the idea, endorsed by former president Bill Clinton, that the United States has history on its side. (Thus, just before his 1998 trip to Beijing, Clinton chastised China, the world’s oldest continuously extant civilization for languishing on “the wrong side of history.”) These soft imperialists prefer to use the term imperialism with a prettifying modifier—They advocate “postmodern imperialism,” “imperialism lite,” “neoimperialism,” “liberal imperialism,” and above all “the right of humanitarian intervention.” The text can also be found in Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (Blackstone Audio: 2007), 9 compact disks: CD 3c. Johnson distinguishes between the liberal imperialists and the neocon imperialists. Fukuyama was a neocon with philosophical underpinnings in what could be called liberal imperialism. He was ostracized by the neocons when he squirmed uncomfortably with the failure of the war in Iraq.
6. See Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire (Cambridge, U.S.: Harvard University Press, 2000), 15: “Empire is formed not on the basis of force itself but on the basis of the capacity to present force as being in the service of right and peace.” 237: “From imperialism to empire and from the nation-state to the political regulation of the global market: what we are witnessing, considered from the point of view of historical materialism, is a qualitative passage in modern history.”
7. See Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire, 70.
8. See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man (New York: Avon Books, 1991), 182 ff.
9. See Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, 229 and 338.
10. I bring together here concepts from two different traditions (namely, the philosophy of liberation and autonomia) and contrast them to Hegelian phenomenology.
11. Dussel, Política de la liberación. Historia mundial y crítica, 502, par. 238.
12. G. W. F. Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit, trans. A. V. Miller (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979), 119 ff.
13. Enrique Dussel, Método para una filosofía de la liberación. Superación analéctica de la dialéctica hegeliana (México: Editorial Universidad de Guadalajara, 1991, 3rd edition; 1970-1974), 186.
14. See Enrique Dussel, “La razón del otro. La interpelación como acto-de-habla,” in Enrique Dussel, ed., Debate en torno a la ética del discurso de Apel. Diálogo filosófico Norte-Sur desde América Latina (México: Siglo XXI Editores, 1994), 83
15. Dussel, Política de la liberación. Historia mundial y crítica, 491, par 232.
16. Dussel, Política de la liberación. Historia mundial y crítica, 460, par. 220.
17. Dussel, Política de la liberación. Historia mundial y crítica, 422, par. 206.
18. Dussel, Política de la liberación. Historia mundial y crítica, 461, par. 220.
19. Dussel, Política de la liberación. Historia mundial y crítica, 416, par. 203.
20. Dussel, Política de la liberación. Historia mundial y crítica, 491, par. 232.
21. Dussel, 20 tesis políticas, 90, par. 11.21.
22. Castro, History Will Absolve Me!
23. Fidel Castro, History Will Absolve Me! http://www.marxists.org/history/cuba/archive/castro/1953/10/16.htm (accessed on May 26, 2009).
24. Dussel, Política de la liberación. Historia mundial y crítica, 491, par. 232.
25. Dussel, 20 Tesis de Política, 90, Thesis 11.
26. Martín Retamozo, “Enrique Dussel: Towards a Political Philosophy of Liberation. Notes on the Twenty Political Theses, Utopía y Praxis Latinoamericana, 12, 36 (Maracaibo, March 2007): 107-123, 110
27. Hardt and Negri, Empire, 397.
28. Hardt and Negri, Multitude, 105.
29. Negri, Goodbye Mr. Socialism, 93.
30. Negri, Multitude, xiv: “… the challenge posed by the concept of multitude is for a social multiplicity to communicate and act in common while remaining internally different.”
31. Hardt and Negri, Multitude, 109.
32. Rigoberta Menchú, Nobel Acceptance Speech, http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1992/tum-lecture.html (Accessed on June 4, 2009).
33. Balakrishnan, Antagonistics, 27.
34. Balakrishnan, Antagonistics, 105.
35. Negri, Negri on Negri, 45 (e-book: loc., 769).
36. See Hardt and Negri, Empire, 317.
37. See Teo Ballvé, “The Dark Side of Plan Colombia,” The Nation, June 15, 2009.
38. Teo Ballvé, “The Dark Side of Plan Colombia,” The Nation, June 15, 2009.
39. Hardt and Negri, Empire, 283-284.
40. Dussel, Política de la liberación. Historia mundial y crítica, 400, par. 195.
41. Enrique Dussel, La producción teórica de Marx. Un comentario a los Grundrisse (Mexico: Siglo XXI Editores, 1991, 2nd edition (1st edition, 1985)), 16 (my translation).
42. Dussel, Hacia un Marx desconocido. Un comentario de los “Manuscritos del 61-63” (Mexico: Siglo XXI Editores, 1988), 63-64.
43. Thus, in a criticism of an analysis of his Marxism, Dussel refers to the living labor of the poor itinerant workers of the Middle Ages as an “absolute poverty,” which is “never in a ‘past system’” [see Enrique Dussel, “Epilogue,” in Linda Martín Alcoff and Eduardo Mendieta, eds., Thinking from the Underside of History: Enrique Dussel’s Philosophy of Liberation (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000), 287]. What is valuable in this criticism is the implication that we need a meta-historical conceptual framework to make ethical judgments. Any such framework must strive to keep sight of the historical factors that gave rise to that “absolute” poverty or to the historicity of the struggle against it. I think it may be fruitful here to go back to the Habermas of Knowledge and Human Interests and bring together the quasi-transcendentality of interests, which are already in the work by Habermas of that period very formalistic, with Dussel’s material ethical principle that affirms “the life of each human subject in a community of life” (Dussel, Ética de la liberación en la edad de la globalización y la exclusión, 132, paragraph 102).
44. Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (New York: Penguin Press, 2004), 146.
45. Antonio Negri, Marx Beyond Marx: Lessons on the Grundrisse, trans., Harry Cleaver, Michael Ryan, and Maurizio Viano (New York: Autonomedia, London: Pluto, 1991), 69.
46. Negri, Marx Beyond Marx, 70.
47. Negri, Marx Beyond Marx, 123-124.
48. Bertolt Brecht, “Questions from a Worker who Reads,” Cited in Chriss Harmann, A People’s History of the World (London: Verso, 2008), i.



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