The Actuality of Communism
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One of the rising stars of contemporary critical theory, Bruno Bosteels discusses the new currents of thought generated by figures such as Alain Badiou, Jacques Rancière and Slavoj Žižek, who are spearheading the revival of interest in communism. Bosteels examines this resurgence of communist thought through the prism of “speculative leftism” – an incapacity to move beyond lofty abstractions and thoroughly rethink the categories of masses, classes and state. Debating those questions with writers including Roberto Esposito and Alberto Moreiras, Bosteels also provides a vital account of the work of the Bolivian Vice President and thinker Álvaro García Linera.
From the Hardcover edition.
Theory 127 (June 2010), available on-line at www.isj.org.uk. See also the special issue of Lignes 32 (May 2010), with contributions from Alain Badiou, Etienne Balibar, Stathis Kouvelakis, Michael L6wy, Enzo Traverso and others. 3 Friedrich Nietzsche, "Von der Erl6sung:' Also sprach Zarathustra in Werke: Kritische Gesamtausgabe, ed. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, vol. 6: 1 (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1968), 177; Thus Spoke Zarathustra, trans. R. J. Hollingdale (London: Penguin, 1969), 163.
depoliticize the conflict by bringing it to an extreme via the ' direct militarizati�n of politics-by reformulating it as the war between 'Us' and 'Them; our Enemy, where there is no common ground for symbolic conflict-it is deeply sympto: matic that rather than class struggle the Radical Right speaks of class (or sexual) warfare:'lO The fact of the matter is that in Disagreement Ranciere already mentions not only the term "ultrapolitics" or "suprapolitics" but also the "infrapolitics" that
who sees the subject purely and simply as the effect of an ideological proc ess. "In the face of so many attempts to make of the 'subject' the very po ssibility of political resistance, a real plague of contemporary thought, there are worse things to do than . to return to the old Althusser essay on ideology;' he writes. "Subjectivism is just a step away from identitarianism, which from my earliest years I have always considered the most obvious contemporary reconciliation of messy nihilism and
few or many; according to some interior state that one wishes to extend, in order to simplify the world. - Stephane Mallarme, Divagations The awareness that the power of a proper act is to retroactively create its own conditions of possibility should not make us afraid to embrace what, prior to the act, appears as impossible. Only in this way will our act touch the real. - Slavoj Zizek, Foreword to Molly Anne Rothenberg, The Excessive Subject ZiZek for Dummies If they were honest, most readers of
not chronological but logical, the only possible mediation seems to be a stubborn fidelity to principles regardless of all consequences. The most difficult task is to come to the point where the act proper can be understood as a move in which these three intonations-assumption of impossibility, possibility of the impossible, fidelity to principles-strictly speaking, overlap. The following fragment from Iraq: The Borrowed Kettle in which Zizek continues to counter Stavrakakis's arguments, brings