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The Communist Hypothesis

A new program for the Left after the death of neoliberalism.
‘We know that communism is the right hypothesis. All those who abandon this hypothesis immediately resign themselves to the market economy, to parliamentary democracy—the form of state suited to capitalism—and to the inevitable and “natural” character of the most monstrous inequalities.’—Alain Badiou

Alain Badiou’s ‘communist hypothesis’, first stated in 2008, cut through the cant and compromises of the past twenty years to reconceptualize the Left. The hypothesis is a fresh demand for universal emancipation and a galvanizing call to arms. Anyone concerned with the future of the planet needs to reckon with the ideas outlined within this book.

Reviews

  • “A figure like Plato or Hegel walks here among us!”
  • “A Little Red Book for our time?”
  • “An heir to Jean-Paul Sartre and Louis Althusser.”
  • “Shaking the foundations of Western liberal democracy.”
  • “One of the saddest, funniest books of the past 20 years.”

Blog

  • The Last Communard is 50% off until July 4th!



    The Last Communard: Adrien Lejeune, the Unexpected Life of a Revolutionary by Gavin Bowd is 50% off until July 4th! Click here to activate the discount.

    The Paris Commune of 1871 was the first experience of what a successful workers' revolution could look like, an example of what Karl Marx described as the “dictatorship of the proletariat.”

    In March of that year, the workers of Paris, organized into the Parisian National Guard, defeated troops sent by France's leader, Louis Thiers. The Paris Commune was elected on March 26 and remained in power for only two months. Thiers and his troops reorganized at Versailles and eventually fought their way back into Paris, where the Communards were crushed in a massive show of violence that took 30,000 workers' lives.

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  • Alain Badiou on politics, communism and love

    The New Statesman called him 'an heir to Jean-Paul Sartre and Louis Althusser' after his most recent publication, Wittgenstein's Antiphilosophy. Following his talk at the Institut Français de Grèce entitled ‘What does doing politics mean today?’ Grèce Hebdo met with Alain Badiou to discuss politics, communism and love.

    Translated by David Broder


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  • Alain Badiou: "Mao thinks in an almost infinite way"

    Fifty years ago, on 16 May 1966 Communist leader Mao Zedong launched the Cultural Revolution. Badiou's apparently "unrepentant" Maoism has been one of the most controversial, if misinterpreted, elements of his thought. Badiou is interviewed on the question by an anonymous Chinese philosopher, maintaining that Mao continues to provide a model for dialectical thought, if not for a historical project. Visit LEAP to read the original piece in full.


    ILLUSTRATION / Wang Buke

    A Dialogue Between a Chinese Philosopher and a French Philosopher

    Some time ago, French philosopher (and venerable Maoist) Alain Badiou traveled to China to speak to a Chinese philosopher. Though his or her name appears to have been lost in the ashes of time, the transcript of this alleged meeting remains, and bears a noted resemblance to a series of conversations Badiou had with Lu Xinghua, a contentious proponent of the theorization of Chinese contemporary art. A restaging of this dialogue this past December in New York, with an actress as the skeptical interlocutor, provided a window into Continental philosophy’s most ardent Orientalist fantasies—and an hour or two of solid dialectical entertainment.

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Other books by Alain Badiou