We are confronted by the overwhelming yet contradictory reality of a
“world system” in crisis five thousand years1 after its inception, which has
globalized its reach to the most distant corner of the planet at the same time
that it has paradoxically excluded a majority of humanity. This is a matter
of life and death. The human life invoked here is not a theoretical concept,
an idea, or an abstract horizon, but rather a mode of reality of each concrete
human being who is also the absolute prerequisite and ultimate demand
of all forms of liberation. Given this framework it should not be surprising
that Ethics is an ethics grounded in an avowed affirmation of life in the face
of the collective murder and suicide that humanity is headed toward if it
does not change the direction of its irrational behaviour. Ethics of Libera-
tion seeks to think through this real and concrete ethical situation in which
the majority of contemporary humanity is immersed, philosophically and
rationally, as we hurtle toward a tragic conflagration on a scale that is un-
precedented in the biological trajectory of the human species.
The themes explored here are of such dimensions that I can only seek to
place them for descriptive purposes in an architectural framework of cate-
gories of analysis that will take shape as the result of an ethical “process” of
construction. Our point of departure is a world system of globalized exclu-
sion whose exploration requires the critical assimilation of the thought of
numerous contemporary thinkers who have been selected because they are
most relevant to the argument. Future works will explore such problems as
the grounding of the principles of the ethical framework set forth here, as well
as the concrete treatment of the most critical liberation struggles waged by
emerging sociohistorical subjects seeking recognition within civil society in
each country and on a global scale.
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