Giorgio Barberis

Alexandre Kojève and the idea of the Latin empire

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Alexandre Kojève; Latin Empire; End of History; European Cultures; French Politics.

In the biography of Alexandre Kojève, bright Hegelian commentator and one of the most important philosophers in the XXth century, 1945 was a crucial turning point. After the II World War, he started a brilliant and surprising career within the French administration, becoming one of the prominent advisors in the economic and commercial issues. This transition was characterized by a fundamental writing, the "Esquisse d'une doctrine de la politique française", printed only in 1990, after his death. In this essay Kojève reflected on the European and French political situation, declared the end of the national State, prefigured an overwhelming process of worldwide homologation and outlined the political tasks of his time, with a multipolar perspective and an approach that appear really original. His proposal focused on the idea of a Latin empire including France, Italy, Spain (and their colonies) and opposing the other imperial actors, i.e. the Anglo-American and the Slavic-Soviet ones. The «Latin and Catholic civilization» amounted to a clear cultural tradition, with some specific features and an evident correlation with the very idea of «end of history», probably the most famous theory of Kojève. This reflection between philosophy and politics is particularly meaningful for our time, marked by the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, with a EU shocked by a deep crisis jeopardizing its own existence as an unitary subject.

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