Metapolitics by Alain Badiou, Jason Barker

By Alain Badiou, Jason Barker

In this follow-up to his hugely acclaimed quantity Ethics, a searing critique of liberalism, Alain Badiou discusses the bounds of political philosophy.

In this follow-up to his hugely acclaimed quantity Ethics, a searing critique of liberalism, Alain Badiou discusses the bounds of political philosophy.

Metapolitics argues that one of many major initiatives of up to date inspiration is to abolish the concept politics is in simple terms an item for philosophical mirrored image. Badiou indicts this strategy, which reduces politics to a subject of opinion, therefore putting off any of its actually radical and emancipatory possibilities.

Against this highbrow culture, Badiou proposes as a substitute the distinction of politics in phrases of the creation of fact and the confirmation of equality. He calls for that the query of a potential “political truth” be separated from any thought of consensus or public opinion, and that political motion be rethought when it comes to the advanced strategy that binds dialogue to decision.

Starting from this research, Badiou severely examines the concept of anthropologist and political theorist Sylvain Lazarus, Jacques Rancière’s writings on workers’ historical past and democratic dissensus, the position of the topic in Althusser, in addition to the concept that of democracy and the hyperlink among fact and justice.

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It was not resistant subjectivity, we know, which took pride of place in the 1950s. The silence of a good number of Resistance figures was one aspect of a widely shared political conviction which felt under no obligation to clarify its involvement, either in the collapse of the Third Republic, or in the allegiance to Pétain, or on the question, which today is making a comeback, of the continuity of the State administration even in abject circumstances. qxd 2 7/19/2005 17:11 Page 2 METAPOLITICS content, in their presidential solemnity and public appeal, with the prolonged silence of Canguilhem and many others.

Harvard, 2000; and in Multitude, New York: Penguin, 2004. 36 Alain Badiou, Manifeste pour la philosophie, Paris: Seuil, 1989, p. 37. 37 See Althusser, Sur la reproduction, pp. 182–3. 38 ‘A lot of young activists [in the 1960s] spontaneously tried to name what was happening through the Marxist vocabulary of class, or to inscribe it in the logic of a new party, or used the signifier “revolution,” etc. ’ Badiou, ‘Being by Numbers’. 1/2, 2003, pp. 5–30. 40 As McLellan observes, the term seldom appears in Marx’s published work, but when it does the emphasis is on a limited time frame.

Qxd 7/19/2005 17:11 Page xxxv PREFACE TO THE ENGLISH EDITION • xxxv people in their ferocious war against the Americans and their puppets. One of the singularities that I shared with my friends from the UCFML (1970–85), and with those from the Organisation Politique (1985–present), is to have yielded nothing to the current of counter-revolutionary betrayal. Certainly, we have modified the intellectual framework of our political commitment from top to bottom. But we have done so by accepting the revolutionary past, and at a time when opinion is almost unanimous in considering it a deadly illusion.

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