Does the City of Ends Correspond to a Classless Society?

A New Idea of Democracy in Sartre's Hope Now

in Sartre Studies International
Author: Maria Russo1
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  • 1 Vita-Salute San Raffaele University
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In the Critique of Dialectical Reason and in many interviews, Sartre upheld the proletariat's attempts at emancipation in Western societies and their revolts in the developing world. In these texts, counter-violence is considered the only way to exercise concrete engagement, and a classless society is presented as the only possibility of reducing social inequalities. However, this radical point of view was not the only perspective he tried to develop. He also sought to elaborate an existentialist ethics, which does not correspond to the Marxist theory. This article aims to show that Sartre evoked Notebooks’ ideas in his last interview, Hope Now, in which he envisaged a different typology of democracy and society. This article will examine this new and last direction of Sartre's political thought.

Contributor Notes

Maria Russo is lecturer in Moral Philosophy at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University. Her principal publications are Per un Esistenzialismo Critico: Il rapporto tra etica e storia nella morale di Jean-Paul Sartre (Mimesis, 2018), Libertà in situazione: La finitezza umana tra Kant e Sartre (Bruno Mondadori, 2015) and La dialettica della libertà in Nietzsche e Dostoevskij (Il Prato, 2014). She introduced and translated L'espoir maintenant from French to Italian (“La speranza oggi”, Mimesis, 2019). Email:

Sartre Studies International

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Existentialism and Contemporary Culture