El Pueblo and Its Problems: Democracy of, by, and for Whom?

The Pluralist 6 (3):103-116 (2011)
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Abstract

In response to those calling for philosophical dialogue across the Americas, this paper considers the historical emergence of the concept of el pueblo (“the people”) as the subject and object of democracy. The first section makes a linguistic claim: the genuinely communal nature of “the people” clearly appears when considering el pueblo because it is unambiguously singular, grammatically speaking. The second section makes a historical claim: the microhistory of a largely indigenous pueblo in Mexico’s Yucatán enables us to begin unpacking the complex concrete, historical, and genealogical dimensions of el pueblo. The brief concluding section suggests that historically contextualizing and concretizing el pueblo provides conceptual support for some of the premises that underwrite Latin American philosophies of liberation, including that of Enrique Dussel.

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Alexander V. Stehn
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

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