This piece is an ‘Appendix: A Psychoanalysis of Alain Badiou’ to my essay ‘Fatal Repetition: Badiou and the Age of the Poets‘, but though it still remains linked to the essay, I believe that it deserves attention on its own as an exploration into the phenomenon of Alain Badiou and as an invitation to a discussion about Alain Badiou, his relation to Lacan, Surrealism, and Poststructuralism.
Appendix: A Psychoanalysis of Alain Badiou
This current deconstruction of Badiou should be taken, along with the myriad other implications of its criticisms of Badiou, in a political sense as a critique of the credibility of his approach to Marx with respect to the derivative and rather conservative advocacy in his philosophy. In the press, from which he originally emerged as a host of a television programme, he takes often radical and I would argue worthwhile stands. But, then, there is his philosophy and the particular psychoanalytic obsession that underlies his thought. This would seem fair game as he has overtly confessed his discipleship to Lacan. But, what is this psycho-analytic image that underlies his thought, in the sense in which Wittgenstein felt lay below Heidegger?
To read the rest of the Appendix, please visit Appendix: ‘A Psychoanalysis of Alain Badiou’
The Tragic Community
Friedrich Nietzsche and Mao Tse Tung
With those two gods of art, Apollo and Dionysus, we link our recognition that in the Greek world there exists a huge contrast, in origins and purposes, between visual (plastic) arts, the Apollonian, and the non-visual art of music, the Dionysian. Both very different drives go hand in hand, for the most part in open conflict with each other and simultaneously provoking each other all the time to new and more powerful offspring, in order to perpetuate for themselves the contest of opposites which the common word “Art” only seems to bridge, until they finally, through a marvelous metaphysical act, seem to pair up with each other and, as this pair, produce Attic tragedy, just as much a Dionysian as an Apollonian work of art.
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy, 1872
Contradiction is universal and absolute, it is present in the process of development of all things and permeates every process from beginning to end. (II)
By the former we mean that contradiction exists in and runs through all processes from beginning to end; motion, things, processes, thinking — all are contradictions. To deny contradiction is to deny everything. This is a universal truth for all times and all countries, which admits of no exception. (III)
Mao Tse Tung, On Contradiction (1937)
Mao’s Ontology and Early Greek Thought
Contradiction, for Mao, abides at the heart of all things – within each particular being and amidst the universality of the cosmos, or the All. Contradiction is the existence of all things – the birth, life and death of all things, and of the incessant re-birth of all particular kinds of thing, or being. Contradiction consists in, and gains its immense power from, a unity of opposites. Mao describes this disunited, or dialectical, unity of opposites:
The interdependence of the contradictory aspects present in all things and the struggle between these aspects determine the life of all things and push their development forward. There is nothing that does not contain contradiction; without contradiction nothing would exist. (Mao Tse Tung, On Contradiction, II)
Contradiction is the modus essendi, modus existendi and modus operandi of all things. It is the reality, actuality and existence of all things. The primary axiomatic significance of the universality of contradiction, a notion to which Hegel and Marx also ascribed, is that change is ubiquitous to all things, and thus, nothing can or will ever remain the same.
To read the rest of the essay, please visit The Tragic Community
İştirakî 2. Sayı Çıktı!
‘Ölümcül Tekrar: Badiou ve ‘Şairler Çağı’ (Fatal Repetition: Badiou and the ‘Age of the Poets’) – Istiraki
Translated into Turkish by Mustafa Kerem Yüksel, Istiraki
Gaza into the Nameless
We are dreams of sleeping gods
fragments of an eternal nameless
we ourselves must become nameless
lest we die, lest we become
fixed into marble, as all
statues were once alive
the violence of the name
kills playful life
To read the rest of the poem, please visit Gaza into the Nameless
Who am I? If this once I were to rely on a proverb then perhaps everything would amount to knowing whom I “haunt.” I must admit that this last word is misleading, tending to establish between certain beings and myself relations that are stranger, more inescapable, more disturbing than I intended. Such a word means much more than it says, makes me, still alive, play a ghostly part, evidently referring to what I must have ceased to be in order to be who I am.
Andre Breton, Nadja
Michel Foucault is dead, decaying, etc., yet a faceless apparition persistently haunts the ‘living’ amidst this space of the present. A nebulous ‘who’ and ‘what’ flash on the surface of this polymorphous spectre. The apparition erupts, hovers amidst the massive collocation of traces and artefacts of the ‘life of the man.’ The fragments themselves remain dispersed, singular instantiations, traces, residues amidst the surface of homo terra. And, from the out and about of this anonymous sending of the terrestriality of the present, a discourse persists which suggests that the project of constituting a ‘who’ requires something more than this disarray of ruins. It pleads for the establishment of a principle of unity, projected as traversing the gathered traces, an identical matrix which systematically integrates intentionalities as a constantly present ‘subject’.
The throng of readers and writers chant mercilessly, “Who is he?” “Who is Michel Foucault?” And just as inexorably, the throng satisfies its hunger by providing its own answers: “He is this, he is that…” Unity is bestowed via the projection of systematic totality as a teleological unfolding of the Same.
To read the rest of the essay, please visit Between Terrestriality and Aquacity: Foucault Contra Miller
Kant and Bataille emerge as thinkers on either side of the industrial-technological revolution. Philosophers of the period in between, such as Hegel, Kierkegaard, Marx and Nietzsche, have argued that the meaning of both reason and the ‘sacred’ have undergone a radical transformation with this historical and existential revolution. For Kant, reason remains specifically aloof from temporality and history – indeed, as he alludes in the Critique of Judgement, reason emerges with the self-suppression of imagination, of temporal and spatial perspective, in the sublime. In parallel, his notion of the sacred or true morality, especially that portrayed in the Critique of Practical Reason, admitted no admixture with the imagination and motivations of experience – with temporality.