Monday, 13 August 2012

"We Need a Popular Discipline": Contemporary Politics and the Crisis of the Negative

Alain Badiou, Interviewed by Filippo Del Lucchese and Jason Smith, 2008

I see my philosophy as an inheritor of the great contestatory movements of the sixties. In fact, my philosophy emerged out of these movements. It is a philosophy of commitment, of engagement, with a certain fidelity to Sartre, if you like, or to Marxism. What counts is that the intellectual is engaged in politics and commits to or takes the side of the people and the workers. I move in that tradition. Myphilosophy tries to keep alive, as best it can (it is not always easy), the idea that theris a real alternative to the dominant politics and that we are not obliged to rally around the consensus that ultimately consists in the unity of global capitalism and the representative, democratic state. I would say, then, that I work under the condition of the situation of political actuality, with the goal of keeping alive, philosophically, the idea of the possibility or opening of a politics I would call a politics of emancipation—but that could also be called a radical or revolutionary politics, terms that today are debatable but that represent all the same a possibility other than the dominant one.

Click here to download this interview in pdf or view, below.

We Need A Popular Discipline - Interview With Alain Badiou