America For Humanity: The Universalist Americanism Of José Martí

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The subtle polysemy of the terms of the title ‘America for humanity’ imbues it with potent symbolic force. The word ‘humanity’ could simply stand for the human collectivity in the most straightforward, material sense but it could also mean humanity as a spirit of community, fraternity or benevolence, in a more abstract and moral sense. The preposition ‘for’ could simply be suggestive of a direction: America bound for humanity with humanity being the ultimate objective of a movement in the direction America>Humanity. On the other hand it could just as well refer to rendition, to submission: America offering itself to humanity, precisely in the reverse direction, namely, humanity>America. Those movements are the synthesis of the possible inter-relations between a particular entity, America, and another universal one encompassed by the ideal of humanity and they could configure a peculiar kind of Americanism if we consider them as a set.