Pieter Lcmmens merkt dan is het haar vijandigheid ten op- zichte van waarheid. Onze tijd, die "anti- platonistisch" is in alle opzichten zoals "Ware filosofie", zo stelt Alain Badiou in Badiou in zijn polemische Manifeste pour de lijn van zijn grootste voorbeeld Plato, la philosophie laat zien, is ge- is een discours over waarheid, universe- speend van waarheid. Badiou wil met de- le waarheid. Tegenover de sofistiek, die ze veralgemeniseerde sofisterij breken en stelt dat er geen waarheid bestaat of dat de waarheid in haar volle universaliteit in alle waarheid relatief is, stelt de filosofie ere herstellen. Deze waarheden produceert ze op zijn denken beroept en die zeker voor overigens niet zelf, aldus Badiou. Uni- een deel verantwoordelijk is voor de snel versele waarheidsprocedures treden op in toenemende belangstelling voor zijn werk wetenschap, kunst, politiek en de liefde.
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Paul: The Foundation of Universalism. Ray Brassier. Stanford: Stanford University Press, Paul: The Foundation of Universalism is yet another religious intervention into a practical philosophy that can help us understand the eventizing of revolutionary activity. For Badiou, Paul is not the father of Christianity as a metaphysical project.
Rather, Paul is a revolutionary anti-philosopher of the event. Pauline Christianity forms the community as a militant collection of singularities operating under a radical universalism. Badiou really wants to show us the relevance of using and appropriating the example of Paul for revolutionary projects today.
As such, he is not so much concerned with the details of constructing a historical Paul. Paul is a Christian insomuch as he participates in the Christ-event, insofar as he participates in the collective effort that politicizes the resurrection of Christ as something that can organize the multitude towards revolution. To what end can the figure of Paul really help us think about the event? And why, in particular, must a figure of religious thought be used to organize a book on radical politics and philosophy?
Badiou makes it clear early on that he cares little for the religious implications of his book. This very specific and forceful declaration is an act of appropriation par excellence. Badiou sees Paul as an opportunity for a very particular type of action. For Paul, the importance of the messiah was the event of his resurrection.
For Badiou, the importance of Paul lies in how he makes us think about the event in general. In this sense, the radical universalism he advocates acts as a disjointed bridge connecting the event and making it contemporary with the concerns of the multitude that declares it. This is what Paul affects when he declares the good news. Badiou sees the good news as something that automatically threatens the consistency of Jewish law.
Also, and this is key for Paul as well as Badiou, the Good News can only work as the event of each universal singularity working within it. It cannot be determined any generalities. The Good News brings about what Badiou would call a universal singularity with each believer participating in it.
While respecting the singularity of everyone affected by the Good News, Paul ultimately rejects what he sees as the restrictive prohibitions of Jewish Law. Christianity never exists outside of the believer declaring the truth of the Christ-event. Every time this event is declared and held with conviction, the believer forms a radical community that has no laws and is entirely subjective.
Towards metaphysics and capital, the truth procedure can only offer indifference. It is not simply that Pauline Christianity opposes Jewish law, but that it is entirely indifferent to it. The revolution of Christianity, the Christ-event that affects the Christian simply does not regard the tenants. It is not as though Paul condemns Jewish Law, he just does not pay much attention to it. In-difference would not only mark a rejection of difference, but would also include a construction of being and the event focused around and inside of difference-in-itself.
Fidelity to the event, in this case, would also reject the event as an automation of repetition. The static repetition of the law seeks an absolute harmony with earlier images of the event. The yoke of autonomy, of desire as manifested in the law autonomously, is the very essence of sin. Despite the absolute need to work together or to form the community of believers based upon the Christ event, sin marks division and discord through this facile myth.
This autonomy, for Badiou, is nothing but automatism; it is nothing but the static repetition of the same image which cannot fully embrace the radicality of the event. It repeats the event in a pathetic attempt to recapture a lost revolutionary moment. The problem is that in repeating the event mimetically, automatic desire can do nothing but prolong the reign of the law. The network of difference, automated by a static understanding of repetition, codifies the creative powers inherent in desire and focuses them into the law.
The contradiction of the automatism of difference would fail to fully pose a radical alternative. It could only replace the law of automatism, of the repetition that signifies this law, with yet another law. To pronounce t he Good News, one must force a different thinking, a thinking of indifference that could react radically to the law of automatism. In-difference is needed for Badiou because it makes this non-contradictory difference possible in revolutionary thought.
It is a non-dialectical movement that shatters any normalizing conception of difference as a networked reality under Jewish law. Fidelity to the event marks, thus, a constant moving away from the processes that would construct a singular truth or a singular law or even a singular difference.
The event can only be called attention to in this moment of in-difference; and this in-difference, for Badiou, marks the only possibility for a revolutionary understanding of universalism. The invocation of Paul by Badiou shows just how revolutionary this kind of thinking can be. Fundamentalisms—Jewish, Islamic, and Christian—all attempt to produce a radical alternative to global capital.
By structuring their reaction so dialectially, though, fundamentalisms succeed only in reproducing the very structure they seek to disrupt. Love is the word Badiou uses to signify the opening of universalist revolutionary practice. This practice does not replace law with lawlessness, but sees itself beyond itself.
The Law returns as a beyond of the law, the community returns as a beyond of the community, love returns time and time again—but beyond itself. Revolution, likewise, moves beyond itself in an act that serves to perpetuate what it is. Universalism cannot, therefore, simply be an image or a doctrine that makes singularities static or seeks to employ them in the service of a particular event understood in only one way.
With love as a beyond of itself, as a perpetuation of revolution that constantly displaces difference-as-contradiction, universalism can only exist within revolutionary practice. It can only perpetuate itself in in-difference, in a difference that constantly seeks its own repetition as absolutely different and singular.
To be militant is to be universalist is to be a lover; it is to address oneself to all singularities in-differently. For it is within love, and it is here that we see yet a further affinity that Badiou might have with Che Guevarra and Paulo Freire, that the process of the truth event comes to be what it is: not in a static repetition, but in a absolutely dynamic mobility that revolutionizes itself in its perpetualizing existence. Agamben, Giorgio. The Coming Community. Michael Hardt.
Minneapolis: U of Minnesota Press, Deleuze, Gilles. Difference and Repetition. Paul Patton. New York: Columbia UP, Derrida, Jacques. Gil Anidjar. New York: Routledge, Tom Cohen et al. Hardt, Michael and Antonio Negri. Cambridge: Harvard UP, Roger Whitson is a Ph.
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Alain Badiou's St. Paul
The event, for Paul, is the resurrection of Christ. The universal, for Paul, is that Jesus rose from the dead. Rather, it exists aside from these two orders. Now, the universal - Jesus rose from the dead - reaches out to the particulars because it applies to all, irrespective of any differences. There is neither Greek nor Jew, man nor woman; and yet, at the same time, there are Greeks and Jews, men and women. As Badiou argues, the differences between the Greek and the Jew, the man and the women are not of prime importance. What matters first of all is the truth of the universal which is neither conceptual nor historical.
Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism