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From the end of national Lefts to subversive movements for Europe

Dossier: The Greek Symptom: Debt, Crisis and the Crisis of the Left
by / RP 181 (Sept/Oct 2013) / Article, Dossier, The Greek Symptom

When we speak of the globalization of markets we also speak of a limitation imposed on the sovereignty of nation-states. In Western Europe, the essential error of national left-wing movements and parties [des gauches nationales] has been their failure to understand that globalization is an irreversible phenomenon.

Up until the fall of the Soviet Union, …


How can the aporia of the ‘European people’ be resolved?

Dossier: The Greek Symptom: Debt, Crisis and the Crisis of the Left
by / RP 181 (Sept/Oct 2013) / Article, Dossier, The Greek Symptom

The question that I deal with here is by no means a purely speculative one. It certainly evokes theoretical notions from different disciplines and from philosophy, but it does so because of a specific economy of circumstances, a crisis of economics, in a particular place (Greece), which happens to be at the origin of the …


The Greek symptom

Debt, crisis and the crisis of the Left
by / RP 181 (Sept/Oct 2013) / Article, Dossier, The Greek Symptom

The texts in this dossier were initially presented to an international conference on the current crisis in Greece, ‘Le symptôma grec’, held on 18–20 January 2013, at the University of Paris 8 and the École normale supérieure.

The conference took as its point of departure the exemplary role that Greece has played over the last …


Total social crisis and the return of fascism

Dossier: The Greek Symptom: Debt, Crisis and the Crisis of the Left
by / RP 181 (Sept/Oct 2013) / Article, Dossier, The Greek Symptom

In memory of Sahtzat Loukman, 27 years old, murdered on 17 January 2013 in Athens, and Clement Meric, 18 years old, murdered on 5 June 2013 in Paris.

This contribution seeks to mobilize certain concepts in order to symbolize what, in part, always resists symbolization. What is at issue is the return of …


Time of Debt

On the Nietzschean origins of Lazzarato’s indebted man
by / RP 180 (July/Aug 2013) / Article

Among the many recent writings on the debt crisis engulfing economic relationships across the globe, one that is currently receiving a great deal of interest is Maurizio Lazzarato’s The Making of the Indebted Man: An Essay on the Neoliberal Condition*.


Politics in a Tragic Key

by / RP 180 (July/Aug 2013) / Article

In memory of Joel Olson (1967-2012)

In the quarter-century or so since the obscure disaster of the Soviet bloc’s collapse, two words have been pinned to that of ‘communism’ with liberal abandon: ‘tragedy’ and ‘transition’. Tragedy, to signify the magnitude of suffering, but not the greatness of the enterprise; the depth of the fall, …


Here comes the new

Deadwood and the historiography of capitalism
by / RP 180 (July/Aug 2013) / Article

We are swept up, are we not, by the large events and forces of our times?

A.W. Merrick, Deadwood, Season 3

Shown across three twelve-episode series that began in 2004, Deadwood is one of several recent television programmes to develop long, serially formatted narratives of a complexity and scale hitherto unusual in its medium. …


Spontaneous generation

The fantasy of the birth of concepts in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason
by / RP 179 (May/Jun 2013) / Article

In the second edition of the Critique of Pure Reason, at the end of the transcendental deduction of the categories, Kant distinguishes the doctrine of transcendental idealism from competing theories of knowledge – or, more specifically, theories of the relation between concepts and experience – by characterizing them in terms of various theories …


Philosophy and the Black Panthers

by / RP 179 (May/Jun 2013) / Article

The vanguard party only teaches the correct methods of resistance.

Huey P. Newton, 1967

‘Hey Joe! How many of you motherfuckers are coming out here?’ ‘Here’ was Santa Rita Jail, California, early morning, Thursday 3 December 1964. ‘Joe’ was Joe Blum, a student radical, and the accompanying ‘motherfuckers’ were the 814 …


Name of the Father, ‘One’ of the Mother: From Beauvoir to Lacan

With introduction by Penelope Deutscher
by / RP 178 (Mar/Apr 2013) / Article

To Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragossa, perched on her column, ‘But there is something more, a puissance beyond the phallus.’

If I take a few aspects of the thought of Jacques Lacan, and investigate their relation to Simone de Beauvoir around one specific point, I have no intention of making him out – …


The Autonomy of the Aesthetic Process

With introduction by Bruno Bosteels
by / RP 178 (Mar/Apr 2013) / Article

After achieving considerable critical acclaim with Almageste and Portulans – two avant-garde novels that promptly caught the attention of his long-time intellectual model Jean-Paul Sartre – Alain Badiou published ‘The Autonomy of the Aesthetic Process’, his first work as a philosopher.1 Written in 1965 as part of a seminar presented under the aegis of his …


Extraction, logistics, finance

Global crisis and the politics of operations
by and / RP 178 (Mar/Apr 2013) / Article

Now that the global crisis of capitalism is entering its fifth year, it is possible to discern the contours of its unfolding. No New Deal or world war is emerging to save the day. The ritual purification of austerity has not cleansed the global sewer of finance despite the harsh and unequal punishments it has …


An introduction to Alain Badiou’s ‘The autonomy of the aesthetic process’

by / RP 178 (Mar/Apr 2013) / Article

See Alain Badiou, ‘The Autonomy of the Aesthetic Process’ (in the same issue)


An introduction to Françoise Collin’s ‘Name of the father’

by / RP 178 (Mar/Apr 2013) / Article

See Françoise Collin, ‘Name of the father’ (in the same issue).


The Two Names of Communism

by / RP 177 (Jan/Feb 2013) / Article

Toujours avec l’espoir de rencontrer la mer, lis voyageaient sans pain, sans batons et sans urnes, Mordant au citron d’or de l’ideal amer. Stephane Mallarme, 18621

The recent explosion of writing on the communist idea, ideal and ‘communization’ recovers or expands a moment in the early to mid-1980s when French politi­cal theory and philosophy (in …


More than everything

Žižek's Badiouian Hegel
by / RP 177 (Jan/Feb 2013) / Article

There are philosophical books, minor classics even, which are widely known and referred to, although no one has actually read them page by page… a nice example of interpassivity, where some figure of the Other is supposed to do the reading for us. Slavoj Žižek1

Allow me to be that figure (for now anyway), …


Strategies of distinction

Rancière's Aisthesis and the two regimes of art
by / RP 177 (Jan/Feb 2013) / Article

At the root of Jacque Rancière’s work lies a gesture of dissociation: to unfasten the people, the poor and the proletariat from the Marxist discourses to which they were so firmly fixed that one might think them to be sewn from the same cloth; to reveal the will to mastery and domination inherent in …


Juddering

On Lyotard’s Discourse, Figure
by / RP 176 (Nov/Dec 2012) / Article

Discourse, Figure* represents an early transition in Lyotard’s eclectic philosophical development.1 And yet it has acquired a certain authority in the field of Cultural Studies, attracting enthusiasts who are willing to make significant claims on its behalf: it overturns the distinction between theory and practice, it reconciles aesthetics with both historical materialist and …


Can One Lead a Good Life in a Bad Life?

Adorno Prize Lecture
by / RP 176 (Nov/Dec 2012) / Article

I am most honoured to be here on this occasion to receive the Adorno Prize.* I would like this evening to talk to you about a question that Adorno posed, one that is still alive for us today. It is a question to which I return time and again, one that continues to …


The Philosophy of Anonymous

Ontological Politics without Identity
by / RP 176 (Nov/Dec 2012) / Article

You cannot arrest an idea. The last tweet of Topiary, before his arrest

Ranging from WikiLeaks to the global struggle against treaties such as ACTA, over the last few years the Web has become a centre of political struggle in and of itself rather than a mere adjunct of other struggles. At the …