The Disintegration of Community: On Jorge Portilla’s Social and Political Philosophy, With Translations of Selected Essays

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The Disintegration of Community analyzes the social and cultural writings of Jorge Portilla (1919−1963) in order to demonstrate the continued relevance of his thought. Carlos Alberto Sánchez and Francisco Gallegos situate Portilla's otros ensayos—a series of essays originally published with his more widely known Fenomenología del relajo—at the center of the contemporary debates on the politics of social and cultural identity, the nature of community, and the political role of affect and moods. Sánchez and Gallegos address questions as timely today as they were for Portilla: What drives the impulse toward political nationalism? What sustains the myths that organize our political lives? Under what conditions do communities disintegrate? To answer these questions, the authors seek to think with Portilla by analyzing his writing and to think after Portilla by bringing his critical spirit to bear on the present. An appendix with original English translations of Portilla's three otros ensayos enables the reader to do the same.