Was JP Sartre blind to Stalin's excesses prior to converting in 1967?

Oct 2013
1,329
Monza, Italy
1 - The Moscow trials had been widely publicized
Right, just asking; do you have any specific references on how was the reception of these facts - like for example also the Holomodor - among Western intellectuals? I remember that even people like Shaw or Croce (a classic liberal) expressed admiration for Stalin, I ask myself what did they intend?
 

macon

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
4,198
Slovenia, EU
I've read somewhere that Camus (if we are into existentialists) got a right picture about Soviets pretty fast but Sartre was a truth denier.
 
Nov 2010
1,290
Bordeaux
I've read somewhere that Camus (if we are into existentialists) got a right picture about Soviets pretty fast but Sartre was a truth denier.
You are absolutely right.
Camus was Sartre's nemesis.
Sartre spent his whole life tarnishing Camus' reputation while creating his own golden legend to cover up his rather inconvenient past, when he and his wife Simone de Beauvoir collaborated with German occupiers during WWII. Sartre wrote articles in a collaborationist paper and Beauvoir used her husband's influence to get a job at Radio Paris, a German-run collaborationist radio channel.

Camus (and Raymong Aron, another important French intellectual of the time, unjustly portrayed as right wing and reactionary, also because of Sartre) were people of intellectual honesty and ethical righteousness, the opposite of Sartre, an egotistical, contemptuous ideologue completely full of himself, convinced of his superiority for being the guru of the Parisian "intellectual elite" of the time.
Camus and Aron both saw reality for what it was, while Sartre persisted for decades in his self-righteous ideological erroneous posture.

Sartre and Aron had been close friends before WWII. When Aron expressed harsh criticism against the USSR just after the war, Sartre cut all ties with him and proceeded to tarnish him as he had done with Camus for decades, and only made up with Aron a year before his death, after Krouchtchev publicly denounced the abuses of the Stalinist state, which made his stupid ideological posture untenable.

On the orther hand, Camus was beyond reproach his whole life, with a consistent condemnation of colonialism, fascism and communism.
In Sartre's eye, his gravest flaw was to be of humble origins and to offer a "philosophy of life" to people, rather than the abstract, abstruce, self-satisfied philosophical theories Sartre produced.
Sartre often derided Camus by calling him "a philosopher for high school children".
Sartre's goal in life was to be famous and recognised as the greatest representative of the Parisian intellectual elite.
Camus's goal in life was to stay true to his orgins and help underprivileged people.
Personally, I'd say that Sartre is by far the worst example of what French culture can produce, I dispise this man with the utmost intensity.
 
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