Sartre as prophet

Posted on August 13, 2010


I doubt that Sartre meant the following excerpt literally.

It seems peculiarly apt to our times, though, if you merely substitute the words “European civilization” for “Europe.  

And perhaps our proud and headlong pace is, in fact, one of the root causes of the trouble we’re in from climate change.

He adds:  “Europe now lives at such a mad, reckless pace that she is running headlong into the abyss; we would do well to keep away from it.”  In other words, she’s done for.  A truth which is not pleasant to state but of which we are all convinced, are we not, fellow-Europeans, in the marrow of our bones?

— Jean-Paul Sartre, 1963, from the preface to The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon

Grove Press, New York, 1963

Posted in: climate change