Badiou on Contemporary Obscurantism

The Symptom 11 (Spring 2010), orig. from Le Monde 14 Feb. 2010

We’re living in a disoriented time: we’re told the previous age offers us no possibilities; we must resign ourselves to disorientation.

No! A third wave of communism (egalitarianism, no state, polymorphous labour) — after 1848-71 and 1905-76 — is possible if we have the courage.

We must reactivate the “thought devices” invented by those hermeneuticists of suspicion Darwin, Marx and Freud, namely, atheism, egalitarianism and desire.

These devices are often branded outmoded “ideologies” by neoliberal obscurantists, who would rather we just shut up and consume. But D and M and F are truly modern and emancipating — it’s the neoliberals who are falsely modern and conservative when they hark back to the 1820s.


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