Harari’s Sapiens vs. Marx’s humanism
Apocalyptic visions of the future pervade today’s political spectrum. One of the more popular comes in two recent works — Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century — by Yuval Noah Harari. For him multiple total crises demand that humanity come up with a “clear idea of what life is all about.”
The debate over “the meaning of life” has been going on “for thousands of years,” but now, says Harari, time is “running out” for Homo sapiens.
From the start Marx grounded his new humanism in a unifying principle that speaks to today’s impasse in human thought and human experience.
Today’s reality demands clarity on meaning because, according to Harari, “the looming ecological crisis, the growing threat of weapons of mass destruction, and the rise of new disruptive technologies will not allow” delay.
What does Harari’s perspective on meaning have in common with most of the Left? How is Marx’s perspective distinctive from both?
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