Tag Archives: Alain Badiou

Free the Tarnac 9! (Petition)

Petition: Free the Tarnac 9

The following petition was published under the title “No to the New Order” in the November 27th edition of Le Monde. To add your name to the petition go to this site (in French).

A recent operation by the French police, intensively covered by the media, ended in the arrest and indictment of nine people under anti-terrorist laws. The nature of this operation has already undergone a change: after the revelation of inconsistency in the accusation of sabotaging French railway lines, the affair took a manifestly political turn. According to the public prosecutor: “the goal of their activity is to attack the institutions of the state, and to upset by violence – I emphasize violence, and not contestation which is permitted – the political, economic and social order.”

The target of this operation is larger than the group of people who have been charged, against which there exists no material evidence, nor anything precise which they can be accused of. The charge of “criminal association for the purposes of terrorist activity” is exceptionally vague: what exactly is an association, and how are we to understand the reference to “purposes” other than as a criminalization of intention? As for the qualification “terrorist”, the definition in force is so broad that it could apply to practically anything – and to possess such and such a text or to go to such and such demonstration is enough to fall under this exceptional legislation.
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Tronti and Badiou on the Crisis

Mario Tronti, Politics at Work

It is time to engage in a new research project. Our theme is: work and politics. Yes, because it is a novelty to concern ourselves with this theme. It says a lot about the condition we find ourselves in. What until some time ago was an old conviction has today become an entirely new realisation: either the workers constitute a political force or they do not exist. And the political inexistence of the workers is of course the problem of the Left, but it is also the problem of society and the state, it is the real theme behind the crisis of civilization. If we don’t put it in these terms, we will not find the compass that we seek in order to orient ourselves in the open seas of world-capitalism, once again thrown into turmoil by affairs that are entirely its own.

Translated by Institute for Conjunctural Research. Full text at link.


Alain Badiou, Of Which Real is this Crisis the Spectacle? (Le Monde, 17 October 2008)

The only thing that we can hope for in this affair is that this didactic power may be found in the lessons drawn from this grim drama by people, and not by the bankers, the governments who serve them, and the newspapers who serve these governments. This return to the real has two related aspects. The first is clearly political. As the film has shown, the “democratic” fetish is merely the zealous servant of the banks. Its real name, its technical name, as I have argued for some time, is capitalist-parliamentarianism. It is advisable, as several political experiments have begun to do in the past twenty years, to organise a politics of a different nature. Continue reading

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“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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BASTA! Special Issue: An Open Letter to Alain Badiou

This is the sixth in a series of translations of the articles in BASTA!, a special Russian-only issue of Chto Delat that addresses such pressing issues as the fight against racism and facism, the new Russian labor movement, the resistance to runaway “development” in Petersburg, the prospects for student self-governance and revolt, the potential for critical practice amongst sociologists and contemporary artists, the attack on The European University in St. Petersburg, and Alain Badiou’s aborted visit to Moscow.

The entire issue may be downloaded as a .pdf file here. Selected texts may be accessed here.

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An Open Letter to Alain Badiou
& His Rejection of Gleb Pavlovsky’s Invitation

From: Chto delat <info@chtodelat.org>
Date: Mon, 01 Feb 2008 12:50:32
To: <abadiou….>
Subject: Lettre des activistes russes concernant votre prochaine visite
en Russie

Dear Comrade Badiou!

We are Russian activists and leftist intellectuals. We know and value you as a philosopher and intellectual who has not surrendered in the face of the current neo-capitalist reaction. In your public statements, you have on many occasions expressed your allegiance to the great contemporary liberation movement, of which we also consider ourselves to be a part. In particular, we have greatly appreciated your latest book, De quoi Sarkozy est-il le nom?, which deals with the reactionary movement in the contemporary world. Your philosophical and political program is attractive to many local activists and groups who are otherwise locked in a constant polemic with one another. At the same time, it has come to our attention that Gleb Pavlovsky’s foundation (The Russian Institute is a branch of this foundation) has invited you to visit Moscow this coming April. This news dumfounded those of us here who know and appreciate your work and your political stance. We have long dreamed that you would visit us in Russia. But a visit under these circumstances would be worse than no visit at all. It would compromise you and us, your readers and supporters. Continue reading

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