Las Torres de Lucca. International Journal of Political Philosophy, Vol 6, No 10 (2017)

The discourse of social movements as a place for thinking political conflict

Carlos A. Manrique Ospina


This article develops a methodological and philosophical analysis regarding some implications of approaching the discursive production of social movements in Colombia as a distinctive place for thinking political conflict (in its plurality and heterogeneity). This requires an initial reflection on what is at stake in relation to the politics of language in the historical juncture of what has been called the post-truth era. Facing the challenges of this juncture, the article proposes the perspective of a political ontology derived from post-structuralism as a way for conceiving of and practicing other forms of truthfulness and responsibility in our practices of language. Revisiting the polemics addressed by Habermas against Foucault, and following some threads of Derrida’s reading of Marx’s thought, the article proposes another ethical and political figure of the promise, inseparable from the historicity of language, as a key to start thinking other modalities of truthfulness and of ethico-political responsibility (beyond the metaphysical figures of truth as correspondence between language and reality, and of ethics as the sovereignty over its words and deeds of a self-transparent subject). It is from this other figure of the promise as constitutive of the space and the time of the political, that the field for a theoretical and philosophical practice delineates itself: that of a distinctive thinking-with the forms of political enunciation and agency performed by social movements and popular collectives.