Liberation and Philosophy

Enrique Dussel’s “Philosophy of Liberation” talks about the essence of liberation among people who seek for it and eventually achieved it. This is clearly understood in the authors illuminating statement as follows “The slave, in revolt, uses the master’s language; the woman, when she frees herself from the dominative male, uses macho language. That is, the essence of liberation is self actualization and self actualization is what freedom is all about. Geopolitical reality and its effect to Philosophy

Based on Dussel’s discussion of Geopolitics and philosophy, he sees the world civilization to existing only to people who are in power. He considered space as a battlefield, as geography studied to destroy an enemy, and as a territory with fixed frontiers. This implies that space is political and it is in this political space that philosophy has appeared and the geopolitical space is controlled by those in power. Reflecting on Dussel’s thought, he was right in his observation.

Based in history, those in power are the ones that controls and manipulates the society. They decide who were fit to live as a free human being, those who were worthy to fill the society, and those were to be slaves. Dussel’s ideas enlightened me to see that discrimination, oppression, human sufferings, and dictatorship are product of this geopolitical reality. I could therefore say that geopolitical reality corrupted the essence of philosophy as it has become the tool of those in power to justify their control and manipulation of the society.

The Greek and modern philosophy Like the discussion of geopolitical reality, the author talks about control and domination. In this case however, Dussel illustrates his ideas by emphasizing on “Being and non-Being. Dussel says “Being is, non-Being is not. For Dussel, Being reigns and “beings are what are seen and controlled. ” While the author differentiates Being with beings, he identified Being as the one that rules and the beings are those which are ruled. As I ponder upon his thought, I realized that what make a person great are his ideas.

Being is ideas and great ideas are power. People with great ideas are Beings and they are the one that rules and control. Those with small ideas are beings and are subjects to those who rules. This is exactly what is happening today. The law that governs the society is the law of the jungle. The stronger will survive but the weaker will perish. This exists in many societies around the world. People are hungry for power and glory and they will do everything to gain them while those being ruled are yearning for freedom.

On the modern philosophies, I would say that they are merely simple ideas if they do not served its meaning in the context of the society they belong. Conquest and Colonization Dussel stated that during the period of conquest and colonization, European conqueror and colonizers employed two ways to dominate what he called “the periphery” or the Amerindians. One is by bloody and tyrannical war, killing all adult males capable of waging war for freedom sparing women and children. The other is by enslaving and reorienting children in their context. There were however, some positive benefits for this.

As I ponder on this I realized though these colonizers may had engaged in such brutish ways yet today, it brought a more progressive people. While Dussel was perhaps reflecting on his personal experience of injustice, yet the introduction of European education brought new opportunities fro the conquered peoples to align them selves in the context of their conquerors which today serving as an advantage for them. Emancipation through revolution Dussel cited that emancipation from European domination came about through two valiant colonists that the wage war of national emancipation.

This led England to the realization of the costs of maintaining a colony and the anticipated emancipation. The author’s observations of the second colonization through economic imperialism, however, were not all bad. As I see it, it serves both the interest of the masters and subjects. It should have taught the subjects its lesson of the art of doing their business. Neocolonial emancipation The neocolonial emancipation features the United States as the new economic imperialist. But again, economic imperialism had worked on both sides.

In the case of Japan, they learn their lesson of doing their business. Although I should admit that there was indeed economic and political manipulation, but given the economic and political access, economic imperialism should not only be viewed as evil but also as economic and political opportunity in terms of international economic relations. Liberation philosophy Dussel began his writing on this section by citing the two super powers of the Cold War era which served as shelter for two countries with opposite political orientation.

He then proceeds to the rising political liberation from the ‘periphery’ “from the oppressed, from the shadow that the light of Being has not been able to illumine” (Dussel). Liberation philosophy is about the struggle not only for political freedom but more importantly, freedom from poverty, from oppression, from tyranny, from institutionalized discrimination and slavery, and from corruption and economic manipulation. Conclusion Dussel’s thought are enlightening as he was aware of the past political and economic activities of the countries that played an important role on the past particularly during the colonization period.

While they must be viewed guilty of their past atrocities, but their role must also be seen as instrumental for the international economic integration which provide relevant economic opportunities to countries that were once dominated by the colonial powers. Today, what is important is that most of these countries are now at far in term of development with their former economic masters. But for those that are still left behind, they should review their past economic lessons and try to catch up with those on the lead.


Dussel, E. (1980) Philosophy of Liberation USA: Orbis Books