We can do something. And we must do, because if we do nothing at all, we are only in the fascination, the stupidity of fascination…
Badiou’s view of the Left’s Bankruptcy and where we might go from here. After reading his speech I ask myself if we are enacting pre-Weimer Germany but on a vast untold scale across the planet’s surface, if the vacuum in world leadership, the global captilist prison system, the dark insidiousness of the economic devastation, climatic change, and rampant devastation of crops, disease, famine, war, etc. are a prelude to an even darker and more troubling world arising from the ashes of history in some parody of retroactive emergence and parody? Are we preparing the way for a future tyranny from the hinterlands of our unknowing world?
I think both Badiou and Zizek seek to spur change on the global Left to action and thought, to renewed diliberation rather than this continued mourning of its failures… so do I. This sense of a subjective crisis, rather than political and economic is in a sense at the forefront of this global crisis. As he says:
“These four points — the general and strategic domination of globalized capitalism, the decomposition of classical political oligarchy, the popular disorientation and frustration, and the lack of another strategic way — compose in my opinion the crisis of today. We can define the contemporary world in the term of a global crisis which is not reducible to the economic crisis of the last years, which is much more, I think, a subjective crisis, because of the destiny of human beings is more and more unclear for themselves. “
As he states, the true contradiction at the heart of this election was not Trump vs. Hilary – because they both represented the same neoliberal world from different economic blocs. No. The true contradiction was Trump vs. Bernie Sanders:
“In some sense, Trump was really on the side of reactive and obscure popular subjectivity, inside the world as it is, but Bernie Sanders was on the side of rational, active and clear popular subjectivity, oriented beyond the world as it is, even in something which was unclear — unclear, but beyond the world as it is.
We must create a return, if it is possible, to the true contradiction; it’s the lesson of that sort of terrible event. That is, we must propose a political orientation which goes beyond the world as it is, even if it is, at the beginning, in a not completely clear manner. When we begin something, we have not the complete development of that thing. But we must begin. We must begin, which is the point. After Trump, we must begin.”
His four points and principles (not programs): “collectivism against private property, polymorphous worker against specialization, concrete universalism against closed identities, and free association against the state. It’s only a principle, it’s not a programme.”
His final statement on the side of Bernie:
“Bernie Sanders proposes to construct a new political group, under the title, ‘Our Revolution’. The success of Trump must open a new chance for that sort of idea. We can trust him for the moment, we can judge if it’s really a proposition which goes beyond the present world, we can judge if something is proposed which is in conformity with the four principles. We can do something. And we must do, because if we do nothing at all, we are only in the fascination, the stupidity of fascination, by the depressive success of Trump. Our revolution—why not—against their reaction, our revolution, it’s a good idea. In any case, I am on this side.”