Ramon Grosfoguel 
University of California – Berkeley, USA


This article discusses the concept of the Universal in the western philosophical tradition and proposes Other, decolonial ways to think about Uni-versality as Pluri-versality, based on the thinking of Aimé Cesaire, Enrique Dussel and the Zapatistas. The first part discusses the concept of “universal” from Descartes to Marx, covering Kant and Hegel. The second part discusses the other concept of universal which is proposed by Aimé Cesaire from an Afro-Caribbean decolonial perspective. The third part analyzes the concept of universal implied in the notion of transmodernity proposed by Enrique Dussel. The fourth part discusses the difference between postmodernity and transmodernity using as an example the postmodern notion of hegemony proposed by Laclau and the transmodern and pluriversal notion of politics proposed by the Zapatistas in the Other Campaign. Finally, the article discusses the implications of all this for the leftist debate about the vanguard party versus the rearguard movement.

Keywords: universalism, pluriversalism, decolonial, transmodernity, Zapatistas, Cesaire