Crises and Revolutions Philosophical approaches to their interdependence in the classic work of Rousseau, Kant, Tocqueville, Cassirer and Arendt

Roberto Aramayo


It is the sole topic of conversation throughout Europe. An economic crisis with an underlying crisis of values is devastating everything, while politics has nothing to say. An attempt was made to base the European Unión on a single currency, and the resulting traders’ Europeprevented the desired political project from bearing fruit. Instead of comparing different legal systems before creating a constitution for citizens, we have seen the birth of a new idolatry that is connected with a perverse fatalism. Only macroeconomic figures are considered to be important, while citizens have to suffer because of the actions of a few unscrupulous people who worship profit as well as having legalised usury.

Given this situation it is necessary to take all types of precaution, and that is why it is a good idea to see what classical authors have to say. The Enlightenment seems to be a failed project that urgently needs to be restarted. It may be enormously useful to re-read Rousseau, as Cassirer did during the rise of Nazism so that it could be fought on the basis of the history of ideas. His discourse on inequality could not be more relevant now. And the same consideration applies to the genealogical study of the French revolution by Tocqueville. That was the revolution par excellence which Kant described as a symbol of the moral progress of mankind.


Crisis; Revolution Philosophical; Rousseau; Kant; Tocqueville; Cassirer; Arendt

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