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  1. Philosophy for Militants by Alain Badiou, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®
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  3. A philosophy for militants
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In light of the horrors of the twentieth century, some writers have gone so far Selected from the Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium, Seneca's Letters from a Stoic are a set of 'essays in disguise' from one of the most The short answer is that we, too, live in dark times' Washington Post One of the greatest works of philosophy and political theory ever produced, Plato's The Republic has shaped western thought for thousands of years, remaining A philosopher considers entertainment, in all its totalizing variety-infotainment, edutainment, servotainment-and traces the notion through Kant, Zen Buddhism, Heidegger, Kafka, and Rauschenberg.

Alan Badiou takes on the standard bearer of the linguistic turn in modern philosophy and anatomizes the antiphilosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein. Some people bounce back in response to setbacks; others break. We often think that these responses are hardwired, but fortunately this is not the case In the most rigorous articulation of his philosophical system to date, Slavoj Zizek provides nothing short of a new definition of dialectical materialism.

Philosophy for Militants by Alain Badiou, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

Terence Irwin's edition of the Nicomachean Ethics offers more aids to the reader than are found in any modern English translation. It includes an Send us a message Ask our staff anything about our shop or products, or leave your feedback. Email info boffinsbooks.

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A philosophy for militants

Crime Fiction Thriller. Net and ADO. Look inside with. Not in stock What does this mean? The great majority of Arab and African workers are poor people who live in very difficult conditions in the suburbs. So we have a mix between something of a racist, ideological nature and something of a social nature: a mix of ideological tradition in the reactionary sense, and something which takes the classic form of class struggle.

And it is this mixture that creates a very difficult situation for Arabs and Muslims. And so I believe it is necessary to organize a very strong resistance not only against the state, but also against the ideological currents, including the National Front. Concerning the National Front, I think they are much more the result than the cause of the problem. Naturally, the militants of the Front are active in any way they can. But their strength today is the result of many, many years of official campaigns against Muslims: the laws against the hijab, the segregated conditions of life for so many, and the campaign against Muslims as such.

The Republican tradition is often invoked to legitimize it. But of course it is not at all a neutral position because it is used only against Muslims. There are no laws targeted as such at Christians or Jews. But there are many laws, decrees, and decisions specifically aimed against Muslims.

Philosophy and Communism - Part 3

And Islam, you must remember, is in our country a religion of the poor. We have to defend the true Republican tradition from this unacceptable misuse. We must insist on the fact that education is for everyone. You can have religious education, of course, but the first principle is that education must be for everyone. Therefore, that the Republican tradition would be used to deprive young women of any form of education is absolutely unacceptable.

Even if you take the Republican tradition in its precise sense, the exclusion from education is a scandal. No, it is a law of apartheid and social repression. Why should radical political activists today pay attention to philosophy? If you think of the situation in the nineteenth century, you have many philosophers who were public intellectuals, who took public positions on many issues: against torture and repression, in support of prisoners, and many others.

So the idea that there exists a relationship between philosophical convictions and political action has been true from the nineteenth century until today. In the Marxist legacy, there has always been a relationship, even if sometimes difficult and controversial, between dialectical philosophy—coming from Hegel and Marx—and political determination. And I think that this point is especially important today, because in the present moment there is a general weakness of revolutionary ideas.

And so, when men and women today engage in political action they are in search of an orientation. What is a political orientation today? With the failure of the old communism, with the development of neoliberalism, with the rise of an authoritarian-capitalist China, it remains an open question.

That is why many people interested in philosophy today are looking for a general orientation toward political life, and that the question of a general orientation is obscure is not surprising. It is not so much the question of immediate struggles which is obscure. In many cases it is not.

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For instance, that you should struggle against racist police violence is clear. But of course in the long-term it is not enough to defend a purely negative indignation. You must have some principles, some positive will, an affirmative determination. So, finally, in this present obscurity, the search for light by way of philosophy is normal. Of course it may be difficult for philosophy to give a clear answer to these demands, but that is its problem. ISR : On the subject of political orientation, you have argued for a renewal of the idea of communism, and for a new communist politics.

Why have you chosen to do so, given the contradictions and, indeed, the terrible crimes associated with the term?

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But on the other hand, communism has been the only historical attempt to unify a vision of the future in a way that is clearly and absolutely opposed to capitalism. And after all, the world as it is today exists under the rule of capitalism, a globalized capitalism. And as we know, all the different political forms in this world, including the democratic states, exist under the rule of capital.

So I am aware of the disadvantages, but all the political names are in a sense compromised, last but not least democracy. George W. Bush called himself a democrat. Sarkozy was a democrat. Everybody pretends to be a democrat. So in its accepted meaning democracy is in no way clearer than communism. But to renew communism means to begin to renew a political opposition against the capitalist system. Communism is a correct name for that.

We have what I call the three stages in the history of communism. The first stage is the invention of the concept and its formalization with the rise of Marxism; the second, the history of the communist states of the last century—the revolution in Russia, the revolution in China. And I propose to say that we are beginning a third stage of communism which is neither the birth of the idea, nor the failure of the first attempt to realize the idea. The French president calls himself a socialist, but as we know there is absolutely nothing socialist about him.

The word communism possesses the advantages of its difficulty, that is, the radical failure of past attempts.


Alain Badiou

But even in its failure, you have the impossibility of confusion between communism and capitalism. Therefore I propose this name as a very general orientation, which includes many different forms of political action, which are not under the law of private property, financial oligarchy, and so on. I know the risk. ISR : There is also a dissident communist, revolutionary socialist tradition which has always maintained a principled opposition to both Western capitalism and Stalinism in its various forms.