Badiou, Zizek, and Political Transformations
The Cadence of Change
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: Northwestern University Press
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Preface: âBe Reasonable: Demand the Impossible!ââThe Contemporary Importance of Badiou and Å½iÅ¾ek
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For any concerned leftist living through the current conjuncture, Walter Benjaminâs evocative description of the âangel of historyâ canât but seem fitting to press into the service of conveying an oppressive, immobilizing pessimism hanging heavily in the air of the prevailing Zeitgeist. A tired hopelessness afflicts even those on the Left who donât consciously register this resigned exhaustion. The Benjaminian angelâs...
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Given that Badiou, Å½iÅ¾ek, and Political Transformations: The Cadence of Change deals with the volatile terrain of politics, I feel itâs important to date this text. The original version of chapter 3 of this book was written in fall 2002 and was intended to appear as part of my previous book, Å½iÅ¾ekâs Ontology: A Transcendental Materialist Theory of Subjectivity (Northwestern ...
Introduction: The Badiouian- Å½iÅ¾ekian PolitburoâPolitical Interventions in the Shadow of Lacan
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Over the past several years, Badiou and Å½iÅ¾ek have emerged together as two of Europeâs most important living thinkers. They are both key agenda- setters for various discussions in contemporary Continental philosophy. Despite their differences, Badiou and Å½iÅ¾ek, who are actively engaged in dialogue with each other, have a great deal in common, including a shared commitment to...
Part 1. Alain Badiou: From Event to Act
1. The Quick and the Dead: Badiou and the Split Speeds of Transformation
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Two particular lowest common denominators, among many, of Badiou and Å½iÅ¾ekâs ways of thinking politics are of interest here: one, their shared conviction that any genuine reworking of a system, in terms of real and true political transformations, can issue only from the unprecedented occurrence of a gesture separate or subtracted...
2. One Must Have Confidence That the Other Does Not Exist: Select Preconditions for Events and Acts in Contemporary Circumstances
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In his early Maoist reflections on politics and ideology from the 1970s, Badiou decisively denounces the tendency of many French theorists of the period to portray statist power as a monolithic colossus overshadowing the relatively weak, feeble masses, disparate and dispersed crowds whose sole option for defanged rebellion is the âintimate revoltâ of desiring away in the dark corners and recesses of their depoliticized libidinal economies.1 He vehemently asserts...
Part 2. Slavoj Å½iÅ¾ek: From Act to Event
3. The Cynicâs Fetish: Å½iÅ¾ek and the Dynamics of Belief
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One of the most obvious and oft-repeated objections to the general methodological procedure of Å½iÅ¾ek is that he uncritically assumes the legitimacy of casually sliding back and forth between, on the one hand, Freudian-Lacanian metapsychology, and, on the other hand, analyses of cultural and political phenomena. According to this line of criticism (which, arguably, could just as easily be raised...
4. From the Spectacular Act to the Vanishing Act: The Politics of Lacanian Theory
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After viewing Astra Taylorâs recently released documentary film on him, those familiar with Å½iÅ¾ek might be left with the false impression that theyâve heard it all before. Here as elsewhere, Å½iÅ¾ekâs approach perhaps risks striking some as being much like that of a professional comedian, not only in terms of content...
Appendix A: âLet a Thousand Flowers Bloom!â: Some Brief Remarks on and Responses to Å½iÅ¾ekâs âBadiou: Notes from an Ongoing Debateâ
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In his new textual intervention âBadiou: Notes from an Ongoing Debate,â Å½iÅ¾ek directly engages with my reading of Badiou elaborated here in chapter 1 (âThe Quick and the Dead: Badiou and the Split Speeds of Transformationâ). While agreeing with much of what I advance in this analysis of Badiouâs account of change...
Appendix B: Slavoj Å½iÅ¾ek, âAn Answer to Two Questionsâ
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I took very seriously the long series of Adrian Johnstonâs questionsâso seriously, in fact, that already my effort to answer two of them spilled over into a long text. Here, then, are my two answers. Each of ...
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Page Count: 312
Publication Year: 2009
Series Title: Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy
Series Editor Byline: Anthony Steinbock