Badiou's Recommencement of the Young-Hegelian Purification of Politics: A Response to Ishay Landa

Bromberg, Svenja. 2014. Badiou's Recommencement of the Young-Hegelian Purification of Politics: A Response to Ishay Landa. International Critical Thought, 4(3), pp. 367-383. ISSN 2159-8282 [Article]

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In my response to Ishay Landa’s article “The Nietzschean Communism of Alain Badiou,” I develop an analysis of Landa’s opposition between Marx(ism)’s communism and Badiou’s Nietzschean communism through interrogating Badiou’s relationship to Marx via his engagement with Althusser and Maoism, his explicit return to the young Marx in the formulation of his “Idea of Communism” and the paradoxes that are to be found in Marx’s own oeuvre in relation to the concept of humanity, the social individual and the ground for political change. By exposing Badiou’s conceptions of a materialist dialectical without historical materialism and of history that is based on its representation in thought, I show in contrast to Landa that it is not through a comparison with the utopian socialists or Nietzsche, but with the young Hegelian Bruno Bauer that we can grasp the conceptual weaknesses of Badiou’s “communist invariant” as anchored on the plane of ideology. I similarly go on to evaluate Badiou’s and Marx’s conceptions of the relationship between a material transformation of the world and the transformation of humanity or social relations, which brings me to conclude a certain closeness between the Marx of the Einleitung, Badiou and Nietzsche that raises the question of how productive Landa’s opposition of a supposedly unified Marx and a Nietzschean Badiou is. Finally, Badiou’s conception of generic humanity and its claims towards instituting universal equality at a distance to the state is shown to be problematic not so much because of its Nietzschean pure radicality of the philosophical act that would break the world in Two while bearing the danger of preventing the new One to emerge, but through its closeness to Bruno Bauer’s limited concept of “political emancipation.”

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Badiou, Marxist Philosophy, Nietzsche, equality, human emancipation

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2014Published Online

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14 Feb 2019 09:29

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14 Feb 2019 09:29

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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