Beyond Simple Fidelity to the Event: The Limits of Alain Badiou’s Ontology

in Historical Materialism
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Abstract

*This article attempts a Marxist critique of Alain Badiou’s positions. The importance of Badiou’s ontology as an affirmation of the possibility of radical-historical novelty is stressed, but also its limits. These limits have to do with Badiou’s abandonment of a dialectical-relational conception of social reality, his refusal of any causal connection between social reality, political decision and event, and the absence of a theory of ideology and hegemony in his work. Consequently, Badiou’s notion of a ‘subtractive’ politics cannot be considered an answer to the open questions of communist strategy, despite his endorsement of the ‘communist hypothesis’.

Beyond Simple Fidelity to the Event: The Limits of Alain Badiou’s Ontology

in Historical Materialism

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