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Alain Badiou Renounces his Maoist Past.

with 3 comments

Alain Badiou: I was wrong, innit?

“The Greatest Philosopher since Plato and St Ignatius of Loyola”, as Terry Eagleton calls him, Alain Badiou, a dapper gent, wears his 132 years well.

The Tendance interviewed  him in Les Deux Magots.

“Cher Maître, is it ‘true’ that your latest book includes a 300 page self-criticism of your Maoist years and your support for the Khmer Rouge?”

“Indeed! Let me sum up my truth procedure: Regretter et se repentir, on peut toujours le faire. C’est très facile! One can always regret and repent, it’s always easy! As Spinoza said, it’s always a bit too easy. “

The great man paused, slipping into the fluent English he learnt as a Dalston pot-boy.

“I was wrong, innit?”

Dipping a chip into a bowl of mayonnaise he continued,

“When Mao launched the Great Cultural Revolution, it was a Communist Invariant. But now only 40 years later we have to admit that there were some errors. Humiliating professors, for example and not performing any of my operas. I remain, however  fidèle to the Event. There have been dramas and heart-wrenching and doubts, but I have never again abandoned a love.”

“And Pot Pot”

“He was a bit of a lad, hein?”

“But times move on. L’Organisation Politique is set in new directions. After taking absolution I plan to retire to a Trappist Monastery in Belgium to brew an excellent beer. Here try some”.



Diagram of Badiou Truth Procedure. 


Written by Andrew Coates

April 1, 2014 at 10:58 am

3 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on wallacerunnymede and commented:
    Alain Badiou has had some good ideas (some decent antihumanist meditations for a start), but at the same time, he has said some… interesting… things too.

    Wallace Runnymede

    April 4, 2016 at 4:55 pm

  2. Thanks Wallace.

    Actually I know quite a bit about Althusser and anti-humanism and indeed Badiou.

    My objection to Badiou’s ontology is similar to the serious content of this: Badiou Studies Hit by Sokal-style “Intellectual Impostures” Affair (just out0


    Anouk Barberousse & Philippe Huneman aim at the use of mathematics to cover up gibberish, or to it more theoretically, to impose a “causal grid” on social being.

    But I’d say that Althusser’s minimal use of Spinoza (monist substance) to bring together the ‘real object’ and the ‘object in thought’ at least leaves a space for empirical observation (in the form of data for the ‘theoretical practice) while Badiou simply takes ontological ‘facts’ (from his own thought) as the basis of how the world is made up.

    Then there is his politics…..

    Andrew Coates

    April 4, 2016 at 5:08 pm

  3. Interesting perspective on this. I must admit, as someone with very little mathematical knowledge, Badiou’s use of it is confusing. I would have to ask what is going on here… I wonder if this mathematical stuff is supposed to be by way of demonstration (which sounds very weird and kooky), or by way of illustration, i.e.a kind of poetic way of expressing views on politics which are valid without the maths anyway. I just have no idea…

    Wallace Runnymede

    April 17, 2016 at 12:17 am

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