AlainBadiou, in this sharp and focused intervention, claims that, in and ofitself, the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as President is not an event,nor is it the cause for wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth. Tounderstand the significance of Sarkozy, we have to look behind theinsignificance and vulgarity of the figure and ask what he represents,namely a reactionary tradition which goes back to the early nineteenthcentury. To escape from the ambiance of depression and fear thatcurrently envelops the Left, Badiou casts aside the slavish worship ofelectoral democracy and maps out a communist hypothesis that can laythe basis for emancipatory politics in the twenty-first century.
A new century, new threats to love . . . Love without risks is like war without deaths - but, today, love is threatened by an alliance of liberalism and hedonism. Caught between consumerism and casual sexual encounters devoid of passion, love - without the key ingredient of chance - is in danger of withering on the vine. In In Praise of Love, Alain Badiou takes on contemporary 'dating agency' conceptions of love that come complete with zero-risk insurance - like US zero-casualty bombs. He develops a new take on love that sees it as an adventure, and an opportunity for re-invention, in a constant exploration of otherness and difference that leads the individual out of an obsession with identity and self. Liberal, libertine and libertarian reductions of love to instant pleasure and non-commitment bite the dust as Badiou invokes a supporting cast of thinkers from Plato to Lacan via Karl Marx to form a new narrative of romance, relationships and sex - a narrative that does not fear love.
“We know that communism is the right hypothesis. All those who abandon this hypothesis immediately resign themselves to the market economy, to parliamentary democracy—the form of state suited to capitalism—and to the inevitable and ‘natural’ character of the most monstrous inequalities.”—Alain Badiou Alain Badiou’s “communist hypothesis,” first stated in 2008, cut through the cant and compromises of the past twenty years to reconceptualize the Left. The hypothesis is a fresh demand for universal emancipation and a galvanizing call to arms. Anyone concerned with the future of the planet needs to reckon with the ideas outlined within this book.
In the uprisings of the Arab world, Alain Badiou discerns echoes of the European revolutions of 1848. In both cases, the object was to overthrow despotic regimes maintained by the great powers—regimes designed to impose the will of financial oligarchies. Both events occurred after what was commonly thought to be the end of a revolutionary epoch: in 1815, the final defeat of Napoleon; and in 1989, the fall of the Soviet Union. But the revolutions of 1848 proclaimed for a century and a half the return of revolutionary thought and action. Likewise, the uprisings underway today herald a worldwide resurgence in the liberating force of the masses—despite the attempts of the ‘international community’ to neutralize its power. Badiou’s book salutes this reawakening of history, weaving examples from the Arab Spring and elsewhere into a global analysis of the return of emancipatory universalism.
Alain Badiou takes on the standard bearer of the “linguistic turn” in modern philosophy, and anatomizes the “anti-philosophy” of Ludwig Wittgenstein, in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Addressing the crucial moment where Wittgenstein argues that much has to be passed over in silence—showing what cannot be said, after accepting the limits of language and meaning—Badiou argues that this mystical act reduces logic to rhetoric, truth to an effect of language games, and philosophy to a series of esoteric aphorisms. in the course of his interrogation of Wittgenstein’s anti-philosophy, Badiou sets out and refines his own definitions of the universal truths that condition philosophy. Bruno Bosteels’ introduction shows that this encounter with Wittgenstein is central to Badiou’s overall project—and that a continuing dialogue with the exemplar of anti-philosophy is crucial for contemporary philosophy.
An urgent and provocative account of the modern ‘militant’, a transformative figure at the front line of emancipatory politics. Around the world, recent events have seen the creation of a radical phalanx comprising students, the young, workers and immigrants. It is Badiou’s contention that the politics of such militants should condition the tasks of philosophy, even as philosophy clarifies the truth of our political condition. To resolve the conflicts between politics, philosophy and democracy, Badiou argues for a resurgent communism – returning to the original call for universal emancipation and organizing for militant struggle.
Badiou indicts this approach, which reduces politics to a matter of opinion, thus eliminating any of its truly radical and emancipatory possibilities. Against this intellectual tradition, Badiou proposes instead the consideration of politics in terms of the production of truth and the affirmation of equality. He demands that the question of a possible “political truth” be separated from any notion of consensus or public opinion, and that political action be rethought in terms of the complex process that binds discussion to decision. Starting from this analysis, Badiou critically examines the thought of anthropologist and political theorist Sylvain Lazarus, Jacques Ranciere’s writings on workers’ history and democratic dissensus, the role of the subject in Althusser, as well as the concept of democracy and the link between truth and justice.
Alain Badiou is already regarded as one of the mostoriginal and powerful voices in contemporaryEuropean thought. Infinite Thought brings together arepresentative selection of the range of AlainBadiou's work, illustrating the power and diversity ofhis thought.
The Adventure of French Philosophy is essential reading for anyone interested in what Badiou calls the “French moment” in contemporary thought. Badiou explores the exceptionally rich and varied world of French philosophy in a number of groundbreaking essays, published here for the first time in English or in a revised translation. Included are the often-quoted review of Louis Althusser’s canonical works For Marx and Reading Capital and the scathing critique of “potato fascism” in Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus. There are also talks on Michel Foucault and Jean-Luc Nancy, and reviews of the work of Jean-François Lyotard and Barbara Cassin, notable points of interest on an expansive tour of modern French thought. Guided by a small set of fundamental questions concerning the nature of being, the event, the subject, and truth, Badiou pushes to an extreme the polemical force of his thinking. Against the formless continuum of life, he posits the need for radical discontinuity; against the false modesty of finitude, he pleads for the mathematical infinity of everyday situations; against the various returns to Kant, he argues for the persistence of the Hegelian dialectic; and against the lure of ultraleftism, his texts from the 1970s vindicate the role of Maoism as a driving force behind the communist Idea.
The Vichy Past in France Today: Corruptions of Memory is an interdisciplinary study examining the continuing impact of the memory of Vichy and World War II in French politics, literature, intellectual discourse and debates, and the law. It argues that despite multiple efforts in all of these areas to come to terms with France’s World War II past and to fulfill a “duty to memory” to Vichy’s Jewish victims, the nation is still not reconciled to the so-called “Dark Years,” even seventy years after the Liberation. Indeed the Vichy past “occupies” important recent works of literature, inflects much political discussion and debate, often serving as a metaphor for political (and moral) evil. Its legacies include the passage of problematic laws that dangerously distort and simplify complex historical realities. Chapter I examines the historical and legal legacies of the 1990s trials for crimes against humanity and traces their impact on the so-called “memorial laws” of the new century. Chapter II revisits the 2002 presidential elections in France and the impact of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s first round victory on intellectual and cultural debate. Chapter III explores Alain Badiou’s controversial characterization of Sarkozy’s presidential victory as a return of “Petainism” in The Meaning of Sarkozy. The discussion is cast against the backdrop of Badiou’s “radical” political thought and Sarkozy’s political uses and misuses of the World War II past. Chapter IV examines the controversy surrounding the publication of Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones (2006) and its morally and historically problematic portrayal of an unrepentant Nazi and SS officer. Chapter V discusses Yannick Haenel’s fictional recreation of the Polish resistance hero Jan Karski (The Messenger, 2009) in his novel by that name, and the polemics between the novel’s author and the maker of the classic Holocaust documentary film, Shoah, Claude Lanzmann. The Conclusion first explores the ways in which the memory of Vichy inflects literary and political reflections on the recent terrorist attacks in France. It also examines strategies proposed by French philosophers for moving beyond the “impasse” of Vichy’s memory in France before concluding with a different strategy proposed by the author for the French nation to move beyond the memory of the Dark Years.
Alain Badiou, one of the most powerful voices in contemporary French philosophy, shows how our prevailing ethical principles serve ultimately to reinforce an ideology of the status quo and fail to provide a framework for an effective understanding of the concept of evil.
Dissecting how facile accusations of “anti-Semitism” are used to stifle dissent Since the inception of the “War on Terror,” Israel has become increasingly important to Western imperial strategy and ever more aggressive in its policies towards the Palestinians. A key ideological weapon in this development is the cynical and unjustified accusation of “anti-Semitism” to silence protest and dissent. For historical reasons, this tactic has been deployed most forcefully in France, and in the first of the two essays in this book French writers Alain Badiou and Eric Hazan demolish the “anti-Semitism is everywhere” claim used to bludgeon critics of the Israeli state and those who stand in solidarity with the banlieue youth. In “The Philo-Semitic Reaction,” Ivan Segré undertakes a meticulous deconstruction of a rampant reactionary trend that identifies Jewish interests with the “democratic” West. Segré’s aim is to uphold a universalist position and to defend Jewish tradition from Zionist ideological distortion.
An all-star cast of radical intellectuals discuss the continued importance of communist principles In 2009 Slavoj Žižek brought together an acclaimed group of intellectuals to discuss the continued relevance of communism. Unexpectedly the conference attracted an audience of over 1,000 people. The discussion has continued across the world and this book gathers responses from the conference in Seoul. It includes the interventions of regular contributors Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek, as well as work from across Asia, notably from Chinese scholar Wang Hui, offering regional perspectives on communism in an era of global economic crisis and political upheaval.
In this new novel, the first by a black woman ever to win the coveted Prix Goncourt, Marie NDiaye creates a luminous narrative triptych as harrowing as it is beautiful. This is the story of three women who say no: Norah, a French-born lawyer who finds herself in Senegal, summoned by her estranged, tyrannical father to save another victim of his paternity; Fanta, who leaves a modest but contented life as a teacher in Dakar to follow her white boyfriend back to France, where his delusional depression and sense of failure poison everything; and Khady, a penniless widow put out by her husband’s family with nothing but the name of a distant cousin (the aforementioned Fanta) who lives in France, a place Khady can scarcely conceive of but toward which she must now take desperate flight. With lyrical intensity, Marie NDiaye masterfully evokes the relentless denial of dignity, to say nothing of happiness, in these lives caught between Africa and Europe. We see with stunning emotional exactitude how ordinary women discover unimagined reserves of strength, even as their humanity is chipped away. Three Strong Women admits us to an immigrant experience rarely if ever examined in fiction, but even more into the depths of the suffering heart.
A personal account by the two-time president of France traces his half-century political career and covers his efforts to maintain stability during the 1968 riots in Paris, controversial decision to sell Iraq its first nuclear reactor, and role in establishing the European Union.
A look at the top 300 most powerful players in world capitalism, who are at the controls of our economic future. Who holds the purse strings to the majority of the world's wealth? There is a new global elite at the controls of our economic future, and here former Project Censored director and media monitoring sociologist Peter Phillips unveils for the general reader just who these players are. The book includes such power players as Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Jamie Dimon, and Warren Buffett. As the number of men with as much wealth as half the world fell from sixty-two to just eight between January 2016 and January 2017, according to Oxfam International, fewer than 200 super-connected asset managers at only 17 asset management firms—each with well over a trillion dollars in assets under management—now represent the financial core of the world's transnational capitalist class. Members of the global power elite are the management—the facilitators—of world capitalism, the firewall protecting the capital investment, growth, and debt collection that keeps the status quo from changing. Each chapter in Giants identifies by name the members of this international club of multi-millionaires, their 17 global financial companies—and including NGOs such as the Group of Thirty and the Trilateral Commission—and their transnational military protectors, so the reader, for the first time anywhere, can identify who constitutes this network of influence, where the wealth is concentrated, how it suppresses social movements, and how it can be redistributed for maximum systemic change.
Pocket Pantheon is an invitation to engage with the greats of postwar Western thought, such as Lacan, Sartre and Foucault, in the company of one of today’s leading political and philosophical minds. Alain Badiou draws on his encounters with this pantheon—his teachers, opponents and allies—to offer unique insights into both the authors and their work. These studies form an accessible, authoritative distillation of continental theory and a capsule history of a period in Western thought.
Following on from Alain Badiou’s acclaimed works Ethics and Metapolitics, Polemics is a series of brilliant metapolitical reflections, demolishing established opinion and dominant propaganda, and reorienting our understanding of events from the Kosovo and Iraq wars to the Paris Commune and the Cultural Revolution. With the critical insight and polemical bravura for which he is renowned, Badiou considers the relationships between language, judgment and propaganda—and shows how propaganda has become the dominant force. Both wittily and profoundly, Badiou presents a series of radical philosophical engagements with politics, and questions what constitutes political truth.
Alain Badiou is a professor in philosophy at the Ecole Normale Superieure, the College International de Philosophie, both in Paris, and at the European Graduate School, in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. In addition to being a political militant, a contributing member of Cahiers pour l'Analyse, and one of the founders of L'Organisation Politique, he is the author of a number of plays and novels, and three seminal philosophical works: Being and Event, Logics of Worlds and Theory of the Subject. In addition to two manifestos for philosophy, he is also the author of numerous other philosophical works, including: Conditions, Ethics, Metapolitics, Handbook of Inaesthetics, The Meaning of Sarkozy, The Rebirth of History, Mathematics of the Transcendental, Number and Numbers, Plato's Republic, and The Communist Hypothesis. He is one of the major philosophers of our century."