On The Radical Exterior

Now that Latin American scholars are able to work on the exterior of Western mechanisms of colonial control, it is necessary for the Latin American journey to begin with the identification of an appropriate starting point. The work of Martín Baró is certainly being implemented in many parts of Latin America and around the world wherever colonized societies are beginning to undertake decolonialization strategies of their own. In consideration of the contributions of Enrique Dussel, Latin American historians are also beginning to capture the voice of our indigenous and mestizo ancestors in our reconstruction efforts to explain our encounters with the colonizers from our own perspective. However, turning our focus towards the future of Latin America, with an authentic voice with which to speak to the ideas and beliefs of Latin Americans, is nothing short of being a Herculean challenge.

A review of the accomplishments of Latin American scholars reveals four major focal points that can serve to inform a basis for any future oriented efforts.

First, we learned that our relationship to our colonizers and our colonial history must be oppositional. That is, we certainly don’t want to try and project the future of Latin Americans with a conceptual coloniality beneath our efforts. However, the past existence of our coloniality can still be considered an essential part of the colonial difference necessary to invoke decolonialization (Maldonado-Torres: 2016). It is not entirely unreasonable that our future looking Latin American philosophy include the ability to take a backward look at our historical memory in its’ diversity of conceptualizations (Bakhtin: 1981), its    erasure and its reconstruction. Nevertheless, it is still necessary to distinguish Latin Americans from their colonizer.

Secondly, once our “otherness” is elaborated upon and delineated, we would still require a mechanism of our own with which to extricate the colonizer and reconstruct our own identity.

Thirdly, it would then be necessary to reconstruct our own identity, our historical memory, our self-dignity and a voice with which to express the ideas and beliefs of Latin Americans.

Finally, we will also need to make sense of our own ontology such that it is no longer necessary to speak of ourselves in terms of a radical exteriority. In this, then, we will find our own Latin American identity and gain the voice with which to give expression to our own Latin American philosophy.