Not to Be a Party Man (trans. Dorota Leszczyna)

Keywords: partianism; authenticity; ideology; class conflict; Karl Marx; historical materialism


Original: José Ortega y Gasset, „No ser hombre de partido”, w: idem, Obras completas, t. IV (Madrid: Fundación José Ortega y Gasset/Taurus, 2005), 306–313. The consent for the translation and its publication was expressed by the heirs of Ortega, represented by Andreas Ortega Klein

The essay „No ser hombre de partido” by José Ortega y Gasset was published for the first time in the Argentinian magazine La Nación. It has been divided into two parts. The first was published on May 15, 1930. The second was June 3, 1930. The subject of reflection is the problem of “partisanism,” which is considered from two perspectives — metaphysical and social. The first one makes “partisanism” a manifestation of compensation, falsification of one’s being and lack of acceptance for one’s own vocation. The second one indicates that “partisanism” is a historical phenomenon, the beginning of which is the nineteenth century. Then, for the first time, society is understood as a permanent and eternal struggle. This requires as a consequence the constitution of fighting groups, called parties. Ortega, on the other hand, wants to overcome both versions of “partisanism.” Therefore, it is on the side of the authenticity of our individual life and independent of the party, ideas, feelings and values.

Author Biographies

José Ortega y Gasset

José Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955) — Spanish philosopher, essayist, social activist. Initially, he was influenced by neo-Kantianism and phenomenology. Then he created his own philosophical concept known as “racio-vitalism” or the “philosophy of vital reason.” His most important woks are: Meditaciones del Quijote (1914), El tema de nuestro tiempo (1923) and La rebelión de las masas (1930).

Dorota Leszczyna, University of Wrocław, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Philosophy

Dr hab. Dorota Leszczyna — PhD with habilitation in Philosophy awarded by the Council of the Faculty of the Human Sciences at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, and PhD in Political Sciences awarded by the Council of the Faculty of Law, University of Alicante, Spain. Since 2011 assistant professor at the Department of Modern Philosophy, Institute of Philosophy, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Wrocław.


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