Alain Badiou has defined his philosophical project in terms of the attempt to account for the abandonment and betrayal of the revolutionary impetus in the 1970s. This article examines this contention by tracking the way in which the definition of different antipolitical or anti-emancipatory figures plays a crucial role in the development of Badiou's theory of political subjectivity. How are we to think subjects which oppose, betray, or neutralize egalitarian militancy, or what Badiou would call fidelity to a truth-procedure? The article combines an account of this little-explored aspect of Badiou's theory of the subject with a historical contextualization and periodization, touching on the importance of the theory of “revisionism,” the development of an account of reactive subjectivity, the humanism and antihumanism debate, and Badiou's cartography of a “philosophical front” in terms of “deviations” from a militant line. These various elements will converge in Badiou's portrait of the subjectivity proper to the moment that followed les années rouges of the sixties and seventies—the period which he calls the Restoration, and whose latest incarnation he has identified in the “transcendental Pétainism” of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Research Article|February 01 2009
The Philosophy of Restoration: Alain Badiou and the Enemies of May
boundary 2 (2009) 36 (1): 27-46.
Nina Power, Alberto Toscano; The Philosophy of Restoration: Alain Badiou and the Enemies of May. boundary 2 1 February 2009; 36 (1): 27–46. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-2008-022
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