Daily Archives: March 2, 2008

“Worse than Nothing”: On the Discussion of the Letter by Russian Leftists to Alain Badiou

The following text was originally published (in Russian) on the website of the Forward Socialist Movement (ВПЕРЁД>>).

The story with the letter sent to Alain Badiou by a group of leftist intellectuals and activists provoked a whole slew of interpretations from the conspiracy theorists and political spinmeisters. As often happens at critical moments, many key antagonisms and oppositions were thrown into sharp relief during this incident, which touched many people to the quick personally and professionally. Who initiated the letter? Who paid off its authors? Whose pet project was it? Who was really in charge? Although they belong to warring ideological and intellectual factions, all the commentators had one thing in common—a stunning, catastrophic unwillingness to admit the possibility that this was an OPEN, TRANSPARENT, NON-HIERARCHICAL, DEMOCRATIC decision by a group of people who share a particular initiative.

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Firehose Isn’t a Band from San Pedro. It’s an Instrument for Strangling Academic Freedom in Russia

Better stay away from those / That carry around a firehose.

—Bob Dylan, “Subterranean Homesick Blues”

On 29 February 2007, students of the still-closed European University in Saint Petersburg gathered at the monument to Russian renaissance man Mikhail Lomonosov to lay a memorial firehose and say farewell to their dear alma mater. They were joined by Chto Delat platformistas Ada, Pasha, Foma, Artyom, and Dima V., some of whom teach and study at the university. For all those on hand, however, the university had been a bright haven amidst a black storm of reaction.

 

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How It All Began (YouTube)

On the occasion of the Russian elections, a short YouTube KVN video with an alternate soundtrack for a Soviet comedy classic. Great to watch if you’ve seen the original. Too bad there’s no subtitled version…

Thanks to AP for this link from platform chto delat.

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