The Dialectic of Liberation

(3) Let us shift our considerations from the Psychology of Liberation and Martín Baró, to that of the Philosophy of Liberation and the work of Enrique Dussel.

In our third focal point we find that Enrique Dussel had a very different approach in mind as he sought to further the concerns expressed by Leopoldo Zea. That is, Dussel felt compelled to transform the Latin American’s desire to recover our historical memory and reconstruct our Latin American identity with an actionable framework that would not only assist in our look backwards through our own history, Dussel’s methodology also serves to help identify the proper course of action for our future, based on the evidence of the past, as understood in the present. Each of our two philosophers, in their own way of viewing the Latin American reality, felt compelled to address what they believed would most appropriately function properly in the effort to decolonialize Latin Americans. Dussel’s work not only provided a framework for looking back into the colonial past, he also ensured that the framework he provided served to identify Latin American’s future from the radical exteriority of Western European systems of colonial domination.

Dussel went a step further by tracing the elements of domination and oppression operating beneath the surface of our social, political and economic institutions used to maintain control over Latin Americans. Specifically, he was able to identify these trace elements so as to reveal its first principles (Derrida: 1976) that stood outside of the system of signification that informed the structure of these mechanisms of oppression. The space that Dussel was able to reveal regarding the first principles of the mechanisms of  oppression,  also  served  to  identify  a  space  existing  outside  of  the  systems  of oppression in our social, political and economic institutions, to provide Latin American scholars with a narrative space in the radical exteriority of the colonizer’s entire system of coloniality and control.