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Greece and the Reinvention of Politics

One of the world’s leading radical philosophers analyses the failure of the Syriza experience in Greece
In a series of seven trenchant interventions Alain Badiou analyses the decisive developments in Greece since 2011. Badiou considers this Mediterranean country “a sort of open-air political lesson”, with much to tell us about the wider situation. Greece is exemplary of “our fundamental contradictions in Europe, which are also ultimately the fundamental contradictions of the world such as it is—the world served up to the authoritarian anarchy of capitalism.”

Notwithstanding the Greeks’ heartening opposition to the financial markets’ hegemony, Badiou considers it also important to address the reasons why this opposition failed. “Movementist” politics may arouse widespread sympathy, but for the French philosopher they have “absolutely no effect other than to temporarily trap the movement in the negative weakness of its affects.”

Badiou argues that a consequential opposition inspired by the emancipatory politics of the past—or by what he calls “the communist hypothesis”—should set its compass by the “orienting maxims” proposed in this book, defining a direction for political action.

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  • Badiou: Macron is the Name of a Crisis

    Macron is the name of a crisis of any politics that purports to "represent" political orientations in an electoral space. That clearly owes to the fact that the earthly disappearance of the communist hypothesis and its parties has little by little made the truth about parliamentarism apparent: namely, that ultimately it only "represents" small nuances in the dominant consensus around neoliberal capitalism — and not any alternative strategy. The far Right, in the brutal style of Donald Trump or the renovated Pétainism of Marine Le Pen, profits from this situation, since although it stands totally within that consensus it is alone in giving off the appearance of being on the outside.

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  • Let’s lose interest in elections, once and for all!

    This text by Alain Badiou first appeared on the Mediapart blog. Translated by David Broder.



    I understand the bitterness of those remonstrating after the first round of the elections, particularly those left disappointed by Mélenchonism. That said, whatever they do, or say, there was no particular aberration, no swindle, in this vote.

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Other books by Alain Badiou Translated by David Broder