Richard Gilman-Opalsky | from ‘Specters of Revolt’

A Graveyard for Orthodoxies   Now it is seen that socialism in the sense of State-directed planned economy means state-capitalism, and that socialism in the sense of workers’ emancipation is only possible as a new orientation. — ANTON PANNEKOEK, Workers’ Councils 227   Like name tags display the wearer’s name, political discourse is an ideological marker. Communism … now communisation . We do not know how communist insurgents will call themselves, most likely not “communist.” The 20th century has given communism a bad name… Maybe insurgents will be weary of what Victor Klemperer called the “depreciation of the superlatives.” Maybe…

Alain Badiou | ‘We Have to Break Bourgeois Right’

  In June 2017, Alain Badiou was invited by the ‘Conséquences’ seminar to give a lecture with the title ‘What does a politics outside the state involve?’ The written text was subsequently published by Fayard. Three comrades spoke with him in a preparatory discussion for this lecture; the following text is a partial transcription. Taking stock of the uprisings of recent years on a world scale (from Greece to Egypt, as well as France), Badiou observed that a stumbling block everywhere is the absence of a strategic hypothesis on the question of the state, capable of overcoming the impasse of…

Nathalie Wourm | Poetic Sabotage and the Control Society: Christophe Hanna, Nathalie Quintane, Jean-Marie Gleize

Parallels can be drawn between Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s concept of “minor literature” and the artistic practice of a number of contemporary French writers, whose works do not only represent the voicing of their political contentions, but also act as verbal objects designed to undermine the mainstream idea of what literature is and should be. [..] Christophe Hanna, Nathalie Quintane, and Jean-Marie Gleize are three authors who share a number of theoretical ideas and political references and have been expressing their opposition to the system in this way.

riots and/or poetics [7/2020]

This racism is scattered, diffused throughout the whole of America, grim, underhanded, hypocritical, arrogant. There is one place where we might hope it would cease, but on the contrary, it is in this place that it reaches its cruelest pitch, intensifying every second, preying on body and soul; it is in this place that racism becomes a kind of concentrate of racism: in the American prisons, in Soledad Prison, and in its center, the Soledad cells.  If, by some oversight, racism were to disappear from the surface of the United States, we could then seek it out, intact and more…

Julian Murphet | “Wide as Targes Let Them Be,” or, How a Poem Is a Barricade

  The commons are what capitalism has always been committed to enclosing within its apparatus of accumulation.1 On their violently vacated place arise the motley privacies of individual contracts, rents, factories, banks, police, and all the interrelated paraphernalia of capital’s machinery of valuation and surplus. The commons themselves cannot be valued—they are beyond, prior to, value. Common land, common air, common water; but also, horticulture, animal husbandry, grain storage. The collective practices developed over millennia to harness the resources of our planet, and maximize human potentiality, form a sometimes vicious, sometimes virtuous feedback loop with the commons and dynamize their…

“Ardent Hope” – Interview with Jean-Luc Godard – Cahiers du cinéma

Source: KINO SLANG   JEAN-LUC GODARD:  …we’re not going to talk about the Théâtre des Amandiers. I’ve no idea what happened there. Nicole Brenez is taking care of it. I wanted to see you, actually. It’s a bit like seeing the great grandchildren of Cahiers du cinéma. I was curious to see what became of them. CAHIERS DU CINÉMA: We were very moved, stunned even, by the film at Cannes, especially the whole ending with “ardent hope” that gave a meaning to this journey through the ruins. The entire first section on the eternal remake of war, then Joseph de…

Alain Badiou | Metapolitics

Metapolitics argues that one of the main tasks of contemporary thought is to abolish the idea that politics is merely an object for philosophical reflection. Badiou critically examines the thought of anthropologist and political theorist Sylvain Lazarus, Jacques Rancière’s writings on workers’ history and democratic dissensus, the role of the subject in Althusser, as well as the concept of democracy and the link between truth and justice.

Alain Badiou | The Century & Poetry and Communism

Alain Badiou | The Century  PDF   Everywhere, the twentieth century has been judged and condemned: the century of totalitarian terror, of utopian and criminal ideologies, of empty illusions, of genocides, of false avant-gardes, of democratic realism everywhere replaced by abstraction. It is not Badiou’s wish to plead for an accused that is perfectly capable of defending itself without the authors aid. Nor does he seek to proclaim, like Frantz, the hero of Sartre’s Prisoners of Altona, ‘I have taken the century on my shoulders and I have said: I will answer for it!’ The Century simply aims to examine what…

A. Badiou, P. Bourdieu, J. Butler, G. Didi-Huberman, S. Khiari, J. Rancière | WHAT IS A PEOPLE?

ALAIN BADIOU, PIERRE BOURDIEU, JUDITH BUTLER, GEORGES DIDI-HUBERMAN, SADRI KHIARI, AND JACQUES RANCIÈRE WHAT IS A PEOPLE? PDF     What Is a People? seeks to reclaim “people” as an effective political concept by revisiting its uses and abuses over time. Alain Badiou surveys the idea of a people as a productive force of solidarity and emancipation and as a negative tool of categorization and suppression. Pierre Bourdieu follows with a sociolinguistic analysis of “popular” and its transformation of democracy, beliefs, songs, and even soups into phenomena with outsized importance. Judith Butler calls out those who use freedom of assembly…

Alain Badiou | The Communist Hypothesis

Alain Badiou; The Communist Hypothesis (Full book) Reviewed by David Morgan Nietzsche’s adage that philosophy is disguised biography is not a neat fit with Badiou, only because there is very little of disguise in Badiou’s philosophy. The core of his philosophical project (and of his political activism) has been an attempt to understand what it means to be faithful to the great revolutionary events of the previous two centuries, particularly May ’68 in Paris and the Cultural Revolution in China, which was, in his view, both the high point of the revolutionary sequence and the site of its final failure….

Alain Badiou | The Rebirth of History | Times of Riots and Uprisings

Alain Badiou; The Rebirth of History | Times of Riots and Uprisings (Full Book)   History and the Sphinx: Of Riots and Uprisings by Jasper Bernes, Joshua Clover Riots are the Sphinx of the left. Every soi disant radical intellectual feels compelled, it seems, to answer the riddle they hear posed by the riots of the present, in Bahrain or Asturias, Chile or Britain: Why now? Why here? Why riot? These answers generally come in a few simple varieties. First, if the riot seems to lack focus or present clears demands – that is, if it is illegible as “protest,”…

Antonio Negri; Is It Possible to Be Communist Without Marx?

This paper explores the question of whether it is possible to be a communist without Marx. This entails encountering the ontological dimension of communism, that is, the material tenor of this ontology, its residual effectiveness, the desire of human beings to go beyond capital, and the reality of the episode of statism. (The Idea of Communism; Volksbühne Berlin, 2010) G. Deleuze and F. Guattari, What is philosophy?, (Columbia University Press, 1994), 144 K. Marx, Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy (Penguin Books, 1993), 296 CRITICAL HORIZONS A JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY AND SOCIAL THEORY

Alain Badiou; Pierre Guyotat, Prince of Prose

I say that Pierre Guyotat is the prince of prose. What does ‘prince’ mean? It signals first of all Guyotat’s nobility, the extraordinary nobility of his prose: a nobility without precedent since the speeches and sermons of Bossuet; and one that is all the more striking in that it organizes, or ennobles, materials drawn from the base layers of our existence, from the atoms of exposed flesh. Sex and cruelty, visible and solar, hook up with being qua excremental being: the word putains, ‘whores’, designates in prose the subsoil of the sublime order established by the retreat of the gods….

Georges Didi-Huberman; To Render Sensible

  Representable People, Imaginary People? Representation of the people comes up against a double difficulty, if not a double aporia, that comes from the impossibility of our subsuming each of the two terms, “representation” and “people,” into the unity of one concept. Hannah Arendt said that we will never manage to think about the political dimension as long as we stubbornly persist in speaking of man, since politics is interested precisely in something else, which is men, whose multiplicity is modulated differently each time, whether it be in conflict or community. (1) Likewise we must say, and forcefully, that we…

Alain Badiou; On Pier Paolo Pasolini

DESTRUCTION, NEGATION, SUBTRACTION The abstract contents of my lecture is a very simple one. I can summarize it in five points: All creations, all novelties, are in some sense the affirmative part of a negation. “Negation”, because if something happens as new, it cannot be reduced to the objectivity of the situation where it happens. So, it is certainly like a negative exception to the regular laws of this objectivity. But “affirmation”, affirmative part of the negation, because if a creation is reducible to a negation of the common laws of objectivity, it completely depends on them concerning its identity….