First published in Spanish in 2006, Twenty Theses on Politics is a major statement on political philosophy from Enrique Dussel, one of Latin America's-and the world's-most important philosophers, and a founder of the philosophy of liberation. Synthesizing a half-century of his pioneering work in moral and political philosophy, Dussel presents a succinct rationale for the development of political alternatives to the exclusionary, exploitative institutions of neoliberal globalization. In twenty short, provocative theses he lays out the foundational elements for a politics of just and sustainable coexistence. Dussel first constructs a theory of political power and its institutionalization, taking on topics such as the purpose of politics and the fetishization of power. He insists that political projects must criticize or reject as unsustainable all political systems, actions, and institutions whose negative effects are suffered by oppressed or excluded victims. Turning to the deconstruction or transformation of political power, he explains the political principles of liberation and addresses matters such as reform and revolution.
Twenty Theses on Politics is inspired by recent political transformations in Latin America. As Dussel writes in Thesis 15, regarding the liberation praxis of social and political movements, "The winds that arrive from the South-from Nestor Kirchner, Tabare Vasquez, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Evo Morales, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, and so many others-show us that things can be changed. The people must reclaim sovereignty!" Throughout the twenty theses Dussel engages with Latin American thinkers and activists and with radical political projects such as the World Social Forum. He is also in dialogue with the ideas of Marx, Hegel, Habermas, Rawls, and Negri, offering insights into the applications and limits of their thinking in light of recent Latin American political thought and practice.
Enrique Dussel is Professor of Ethics in the Department of Philosophy at the Iztapalapa campus of the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana. He also teaches courses at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. Dussel is the author of more than fifty books, including Beyond Philosophy: Ethics, History, Marxism, and Liberation Theology; The Invention of the Americas: Eclipse of the "Other" and the Myth of Modernity; and Philosophy of Liberation. He is a co-editor of Coloniality at Large: Latin America and the Postcolonial Debate, also published by Duke University Press.George Ciccariello-Maher is a doctoral candidate in political science at the University of California, Berkeley. Eduardo Mendieta is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Center at Stony Brook University. His many books include Global Fragments: Globalizations, Latinamericanisms, and Critical Theory and Thinking from the Underside of History: Enrique Dussel's Philosophy of Liberation (co-edited with Linda Martin Alcoff).