Badiou: A Philosophy of the New

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Oliver Feltham, London, Continuum, M Metapolitics , trans. Jason Barker, London, Verso, HI Handbook of Inaesthetics , trans. TC The Century , trans.

Philosophy’s Film: On Alain Badiou’s “Cinema” - Los Angeles Review of Books

Alberto Toscano, London, Polity, forthcoming. OB On Beckett , ed. TW Theoretical Writings , ed. P Polemics , trans.

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Steve Corcoran, London, Verso, forthcoming. Bruce Fink, Topoi , no. Bruce Fink, Routledge, , pp. Thelma Sowley, New York, Columbia, , pp.

About Conditions

Alban Urbanas, Journal of Beckett Studies , vol. Graham Burchell, Economy and Society , vol. Thelma Sowley, Radical Philosophy , , pp. Jorge Jauregui, Lacanian Ink , no. Barbara P. Faulks, Lacanian Ink , no. Alberto Toscano, Culture Machine , no. Steve Corcoran and Bruno Bosteels, Diacritics , vol. Laura Balladur and Simon Krysl, Polygraph , no.

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Miller, Journal of Philosophy and Scripture , vol. Bruno Bosteels, positions: east asia cultures critique , vol. Alberto Toscano, positions: east asia cultures critique , vol. Lorenzo Chiesa, positions: east asia cultures critique , vol. Scott Savaiano, Lacanian Ink , no. Bartlett, Cosmos and History , vol.

I do not think so. Nor do I think that injustice is on the side of the perceptible, or of experience, or of the subjective; nor that justice is on the side of the intelligible, or of reason, or of the objective. Injustice is not the immediate disorder of which justice would be the ideal order. But this word of philosophy is under condition. It is under the condition of the political. It depends on political circumstances, which remain irreducible. The vast majority of empirical political orientations have nothing to do with truth, as we know. They organize a repulsive mixture of power and opinions.

The subjectivity that animates them is that of the tribe and the lobby, of electoral nihilism and the blind confrontation of communities. Philosophy has nothing to say about all that, because philosophy only thinks thought, while these orientations are explicitly presented as non-thoughts.

Daniel Tutt, Ph.D.

The only subjective element which is of importance to them is that of interest. Some political orientations, throughout history, have had or will have a connection with a truth. A truth of the collective as such. They are rare attempts, often brief, but they are the only ones under condition philosophy can think about. These political sequences are singularities, they trace no destiny, they construct no monumental history. Philosophy can, however, distinguish in them a common feature. This feature is that these orientations require of the people they engage only their strict generic humanity.

They give no preference, for the principles of action, to the particularity of interests. These political orientations induce a representation of the collective capacity which refers its agents to the strictest equality.

Alain Badiou

All living beings have as an imperative for survival the protection of their interests. Thus a political orientation worthy of being submitted to philosophy under the idea of justice is an orientation whose unique general axiom is: people think, people are capable of truth. A political orientation touches on truth provided it is founded on the equalitarian principle of a capacity to discern the just, or the good, expressions that philosophy apprehends under the sign of the truth that the collective is capable of. It is not a question of the equality of status, of income, of function, and even less of the supposed equalitarian dynamics of contracts or reforms.

Equality is subjective. It is equality with respect to public consciousness for Saint-Just, or with respect to the political mass movement for Mao Tse-tung.


Such equality is in no way a social programme. It has, moreover, nothing to do with the social. It is a political maxim, a prescription. For equality is not an objective of action, it is an axiom of it. It must follow the method of the understanding of an axiom. The equalitarian axiom is present in political statements, or it is not present. And by con-sequence, we are within justice, or we are not. Which also means: the political exists, in the sense that philosophy encounters its thought within it, or it does not.

But if it does, and we relate to it immanently, we are within justice. The state as such is indifferent or hostile to the existence of a political orientation which touches truths. Its subjective dimension is only to transform in resignation or resentment the economic necessity, that is, the objective logic of Capital.

But justice, which is the theoretical name of an axiom of equality, refers necessarily to a wholly disinterested subjectivity. This can be said simply: any political orientation of emancipation, or any political orientation which imposes an equalitarian maxim, is a thought in act.

In such a subjectivation, the limit of interest is crossed, so that the political process itself is indifferent to it.

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It is then necessary, as all political sequences that concern philosophy show, that the state not be able to recognize as appropriate to it anything in such a process. The state is in its Being indifferent to justice. And inversely, any political orientation which is a thought in act entails, in proportion to its force and its tenacity, serious trouble for the state.

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