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.
"Lefebvre without Heidegger: 'Left-Heideggerianism' qua contradictio in adiecto:' in Kanishka Goonewarda et al., eds., Space, Difference, Everyday Life: Henri Lefebvre and Radical Urban Theory (New York: Routledge, 2008), 1 46-8 1 . 66 THE ACTUALITY OF COMMUNISM comes to be mapped onto the difference of beings and being, or of the ontic and the ontological. "With regard to current political theory, the conceptual difference between politics and the political, as difference, assumes the role
it is much more unthinkable to attempt a 'realization' of his thought, because he contains no theory of action whatsoever and even presents himself provocatively as a theory or rather a practice of inaction;' writes Esposito, who in this regard seems to be in complete agreement with Cacciari: "Nietzsche the philosopher of inac tion is the philosopher of the impoliticaI:'55 54 Ibid., 96. 55 Esposito, Categorie dell'impolitico, 282. Any attempt, includ ing the impolitical one, to recuperate the
the representative regime, and the aesthetic regime), with out there being any essence "proper» to art in itself, the same does not apply to politics. Especially in Disagreement, as I began discussing in the previous chapter, it seems perfectly possible to define what is specific to politics-a specificity that certainly marks a "proper» that, even if it is constitu tively "improper» (whence the commonly assumed homol ogy with art, most notably under the aesthetic regime), for this reason is no
first half of what I have described as his double operation, Ranciere has always been admirably consistent in stating that there is no such thing as the science, or the people, or the Marxism with an emphatically used definite article but only at best a variable series of practical and discursive constraints, or, in terms of his more recent vocabulary, a series of regimes of visibility and intelligibility that allow certain modes of doing, saying, and seeing, all the while excluding others. This
ACTUALITY OF COMMUNISM Antigone was of interest to me: her act is not a strategic intervention \thich maintains the gap towards the impossible Void; rather, it tends to enact the impossible "absolutely:' I am well aware of the "lure" of such an act -but I claim that, in Lacan's later versions of the act, this moment of "madness" beyond strategic intervention remains. In this precise sense, the notion of the act not only does not contradict the "lack in the Other" which, according to Stavrakakis,