Although Alain Badiou's early work is deeply critical of French theories of libidinal economy that sought to synthesize Marx and Freud in the wake of May 1968, this essay seeks to summarize the central tenets of libidinal economy theory--the emphasis on the desire structure proper to use value; the boundaries of the human explored through the death drive; a thought of radical inertia--and argues that there is more overlap than might be thought, especially concerning inertia. Badiou's interest in Mao is considered in its connection to problems of periodization, of counting a century, and the thought of the party, and these link back to theories of libidinal economy through a shared fascination with the intemporal, if not the unconscious. --ek

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