On January 26, Alain Badiou gave the closing lecture of the France-Culture forum, of which the Nouvel Observateur is a partner. Below appears an extract.
This text by Alain Badiou, which the Nouvel Observateur published as a pre-release, is a summary of the 'concluding lecture' which the philosopher gave this Saturday, 26 January, at the Sorbonne, at the end of the 'L'Année vue par... la philo' ['The year as seen by... philosophy'] forum, a day of debates organised by France-Culture in partnership with the Nouvel Observateur.
"And in the name of the capital they covet / recruit all who are allowed to remain or enter / as the nation's sentries"
In the latest issue of Manifesta Journal
Ariella Azoulay writes as part of short poetic photo-essay on the development of the body politic after the Arab Spring, examining the developing civil language of the body from London and Madrid to Cairo and Seoul.
Since then, when sometimes against all chances / Opportunity appears on the horizon / Citizens have not given up / The possibility of imagining another life / Once in a while they re-emerge and declare: / Without us there is no body politic; only an idea on paper.
Visit Manifesta Journal
to view the essay in full.
"A sovereign democratic regime
cannot tolerate its citizens speaking a civil language" writes Ariella Azoulay in Brooklyn Rail "
and, hence, it reduces the language of revolution to a series of local events with discrete beginnings and endings as well as specific causes and effects, after which order—sovereign order, of course—is restored."
Developing the notion of a civil language opposed to sovereign power, Azoulay goes on to explore how sovereign power has dictated and restricted the discourse of revolutionary change:
The sovereign language usually manages to subdue the inner syntax of civil language so that it is interpreted mainly as a series of goal-oriented actions whose meaning is construed to lie within the hegemonic political language. By restricting our understanding of revolution to national contexts, by associating it directly with well-defined goals and particular results, history, and political discourse since the end of the 18th century has delayed the emergence of a civil language according to which revolutionary history could appear as a single, albeit interrupted, campaign.
Visit Brooklyn Rail
to read the article in full.
Labour MP Jon Cruddas looks back on a very different Olympic year, 2000, in his review of Daniel Trillings Bloody Nasty People
in this weeks New Statesman
. Rather than the "positive national story" of this year's games, instead we saw the opening days of a decade of political and racial antagonism fostered by the far-right, unwittingly colluded in by both Conservative and Labour politicians who "swerved around the question of modern national identity and triangulated instead between the nationalist right and the liberal left".