Saturday, March 28, 2009

Alain Badiou on Hardtalk


Stephen Mauldin said...

So Badiou's poetic analogy of the existing coordinates of power is that of a film, an illusion perpetuated as real, now demonstrated as such in the "Event" of the financial crisis. A "Truth" emerges in the minds of the spectators who reside not in the gated communities of the elite protagonists of the film (the literal and class bound gated communities); in the minds of those who are the victims in the slums (the literal and figurative slums of the oppressed). And so now for the actions to follow the event in allegiance to the "Truth", the enactment within the virtual situation that will be the radical transformation of the world - Badiou concludes:

"We must overthrow the old verdict according to which ours would be the time of "the end of ideologies". Today we can clearly see that the only reality of this supposed end lies in the slogan "save the banks". Nothing is more important than recovering the passion of ideas and countering the world such as it is with a general hypothesis, the anticipated certainty of an entirely different state of affairs. To the nefarious spectacle of capitalism, we oppose the real of peoples, of the existence of all in the proper movement of ideas. The theme of an emancipation of humanity has lost none of its power. Undoubtedly, the word "communism", which for a long time served to name this power, has been debased and prostituted. But today, its disappearance only benefits the advocates of order, the feverish actors of the disaster movie. But we will resuscitate communism, in its new-found clarity. This clarity is also its oldest virtue, as when Marx said of communism that it 'breaks in the most radical fashion with traditional ideas' and that it will bring forth 'an association in which the free development of each is the precondition for the free development of all'. Total break with capitalist-parliamentarianism, the invention of a politics on a level with the popular real, sovereignty of the idea: it's all there, everything we need to turn away from the film of the crisis and to give ourselves over to the fusion between live thought and organised action (everything we need to turn away from the film of the crisis and rise up)."

nickglais said...

Thanks for your post

Badiou creates the intellectual space in which communism can be discussed rather than dismissed.

I particlarly like his final comment on the 1840's where the communist movement preceded Marxism in people like Weitling and how Marx spend his entire life integrating the communist idea with practical struggles - what we need to do today is clarify communism and integrate it wit peoples struggles just lke the 1840's.