Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Jean-Paul Sartre: The Intellectual Henchman of Tyrants

Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre & Che Guevara
(Havana, March 1960)
The intellectuals never tire of talking about freedom, world peace, fair wages, and human rights, but they are hand-in-glove with the worst mass murdering regimes.

Jean-Paul Sartre in particular is a case-study of the type of intellectual who is a life-long supporter of tyranny. He promoted the farce called existentialism. He was a communist and in bed with the Soviet regime. He even had a role to play in Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge nightmare.

In the early 1950s, when Sartre returned from his first trip to Stalin’s Soviet Union, he declared that the workers of USSR had the “entire freedom to criticize.” He also claimed that the workers in USSR were capable of criticizing their government in much more effective manner than the average French worker.

Eventually he would admit that he always knew that Stalin had turned the entire Soviet Union into a deadly concentration camp and was massacring millions of citizens.

During the 1940s and 1950s the top leaders of the Khmer Rouge, including the dreaded “brother number one” Pol Pot, were educated and indoctrinated as communist party members in France. It is well-known that Sartre’s ideas inspired the Khmer Rouge leaders.

In his essay, "The Heartless Lovers of Mankind," historian Paul Johnson writes: “The events in Cambodia in the 1970s, in which between one-fifth and one-third of the nation was starved to death or murdered, were entirely the work of a group of intellectuals, who were for the most part  pupils and admirers of Jean-Paul Sartre -- ‘Sartre's Children,’ as I call them.”

Sartre was an admirer of Ernesto Che Guevara, the brutal henchman of the Castro regime who oversaw the execution of thousands of people in post-revolution Cuba. Guevara had read Sartre’s works in his youth and was inspired by his ideas. In March 1960s, Sartre went to Cuba to meet Castro and Guevara. When he was back in France, Sartre wrote several newspaper articles praising Castro and Guevara for the work that they were doing in Cuba.

When Guevara was killed by Bolivian soldiers in 1967, Sartre declared him to be "not only an intellectual but also the most complete human being of our age.” He called Guevara the "era's most perfect man." He complimented Guevara by declaring that "he lived his words, spoke his own actions and his story and the story of the world ran parallel.”

Even in France, his own country, Sartre called for violent overthrow of bourgeoisie society. During the Algerian war he supported the killing of Europeans. In his preface to Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth, Sartre wrote: “It is necessary to kill. To shoot down a European is to kill two birds with one stone, to eliminate at the same time an oppressor and oppressed.”

It is not surprising that Sartre inspired and supported tyrannical leftist regimes such as the Soviet Union, Khmer Rouge  Castro’s Cuba and others.

His existentialism is based on the principle of the meaninglessness of existence and it offers a nihilistic account of liberty—instead of freedom from the government, existentialism proposes freedom from reality. When someone denies reality, he can close his eyes to the terror and bloodshed, and become an apologist for the worst dictatorships.

In The Critique of Dialectical Reason, Sartre has denied individualism—he asserts that freedom is only possible when men act collectively and that it is the moral duty of the government to impose collectivism through a reign of terror.

Sartre’s writing is entirely devoted to justifying terror and bloodshed. When you read about his totalitarian ideas, his extravagant endorsements of the tyrants, you wonder how it is possible for someone who is widely regarded as a brilliant intellectual to be so venal.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Whoever wrote this article knows nothing about existentialism. It differs from nihilism in the fact that it doesn't propose that life is meaningless, just that you are not born with an "essence", i.e a god-given purpose/meaning. Rather, you are supposed to FIND your purpose in life, which is not pre-determined before your birth. Not to mention, Albert Camus, another existentialist, was quite the critique of the USSR and other leftist regimes.