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date: 23 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Enlightenment begot two revolutionary ideals: liberalism and socialism. Their ties may be particularly productively explored in the context of postcolonies, historically sites for experimentation with various interpretations of modernity. This chapter examines such dynamics in the Philippines, where liberalism and socialism, inaugurating the Philippine state, were at the heart of a political body attempting to define what constituted the interests of “the people” and “the nation.” Liberalism and socialism, though at times opposed to each other, may also be mutually constitutive, and though liberalism and socialism have had violent pasts, both producing their own forms of colonialism, this is no reason to stop grappling with such universalizing political ideals, treating them as asymptotes, never fully attained, yet always on the horizon. Beyond the West, universal values may be debated and renewed in new contexts such as postcolonies.

Keywords: Enlightenment, liberalism, socialism, Philippines, universalism

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