Sartre, Existentialism and the Soviet Union

Sartre’s major works haven’t communism in them. It is a fact that he wrote part of The Critique of Dialectical Reason in the Soviet Union- in 1958 I believe it was, yet that work isn’t about communism. It is existentialism in a social context. It is a brilliant work. He blew out an eye while writing the 700+ pages…a dedicated writer.

In the Critique Sartre described the way people interact as a bunch of individuals with an existential framework. Later, in the 1960s or 70s he was interviewed in a book titled; Between Existentialism and Marxism. In my opinion Sartre realistically analyzed the continental location of France between the Soviet Union and N.A.T.O. forces to the west (he had been a prisoner of war in the Second World War) philosophically. Maybe he wasn’t for Armageddon on the Seine. He considered the phenomenal and existential situation of France phenomenally, as an existential circumstance. In my opinion Sartre was the earliest transitional intellectual figure leading post-Stalinist Russia in a new, synthetic direction.

Sartre never joined the communist party yet he certainly was in bed with them sometimes. He seemed to want to keep his partisan red street creds yet I wonder if that wasn’t a bit of a Trojan horse that would let him influence east and west alike toward existentialism, phenomenalism and social self-reflection by the masses such that they would be conscientious and aware they could make society for-themselves, better.

The split with Camus seems by consensus to have been one about means to revolt to socialism- violent or non-violent. Interesting since Sartre himself was probably the last guy to practice violence.





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