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It is rather common to couple Japanese Marxist Tosaka Jun (1900-1945) with critical theorists like Walter Benjamin or Theodor Adorno in the comparative philosophy literature, but little, if anything at all, has been said about the shared discursive strategies of political resistance theorized by Tosaka Jun and Latin American philosopher Enrique Dussel (1934- ). Despite being continents and generations apart, Tosaka and Dussel nonetheless offer similar critiques of empire building within a system of capitalism as well as methods of resistance to disrupt to its ideological justification. Linked by the lineage of Marxism and their suspicion of the deterministic aspects of modernist thought, both Tosaka and Dussel present accounts of political power bound to the ‘people’ themselves, packaged as hegemonic strategies (à la Gramsci) that privilege those on the periphery, that which refuse to be subsumed into the capitalist system generating colonial expansion. Where they diverge, however, is in their view of the ‘people’ for constructing, positioning, and localizing collective struggles and democratic movements, with each account being stronger in an area where the other is more limited, thus pointing towards a space of synthesis. This article therefore argues for a teaming up of what Dussel calls ‘el pueblo’—which is a theoretical category referring to the political power articulated by localized communities—with Tosaka’s critical method of journalistic and philosophical reflection, with the aim of empowering the people, because it will provide us with a stronger view of political resistance at the periphery that will act as a force for democratic possibilities.
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