Alain Badiou, France’s leading radical theorist and commentator, dissects the Sarkozy phenomenon in this sharp, focused intervention. He argues that the. Alain Badiou (Verso, London, ). ‘[I]f human society is a collection of individuals pursuing their self-interest, if this is the eternal reality, then it is certain that. Philosophers, it is well known, only interpret the world, when the point is to change it. France’s Alain Badiou is a rare exception to this rule – a philosopher who.
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In addition to several novels, plays and political essays, he has published a number of major philosophical works, including Theory of the SubjectBeing and EventManifesto for Philosophyand Gilles Deleuze.
From the Hardcover edition. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? In this incisive, acerbic work, Alain Badiou looks beyond the petty vulgarity of the French president to decipher the true significance of what szrkozy represents—a reactionary tradition that goes back more than a hundred years.
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Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. If Zizek is too clownish and you think Chomsky is too much of a stick in the mud, you might like Badiou.
His analysis of Sarkozy is on the money. This gave book provided some excellent context for the recent slugfest between Macron and Le Pen. This book is a reaction to election of Nicolas Sarkozy in May sarkoozy, but also a treatise on the subject of communism by one of the major modern French philosophers. Sarkozy’s election in May was a traumatic event for many intellectuals in France and it particularly rattled the French Left.
For one thing, Sarkozy’s image clashed with their notion of how a French president should look and act like.
Ideally, he should be tall, dignified, aloof, a little indolent, and a poet. And he must be strictly against the Anglo-American “Atlantic” world-view.
Instead they got a talkative, glad-handing “shorty”, who is definitely not aloof, and also known for his ceaseless mosquito-like movement. He is also pro-American, mon dieu! Is it a sign of something menacing? Alain Badiou thinks so. He finds the election of Sarkozy a catastrophic sign of decline and reaction, sign of victory of “morbid competition, the pasteboard victories of daddy’s boys and girls, the ridiculous supermen of unleashed finance, and the cocked-up heroes of planetary stock exchange”.
He looks for a deep philosophical answer. Was it society’s response to the past events, a reaction to a hidden trauma? I like Badiou’s candor and feisty expressions, but I think srakozy is wrong. The election zarkozy Sarkozy had more to do with simple, mundane reasons.
She was a bore and he was not. Unlike her, he could boast a remarkable mixed pedigree of the Hungarian aristocrats and the Greek jews, but more importantly he was more intelligent! It well might have been simply to stave off boredom of the French. Boredom and fear of the possibility of saroozy ruled by a drab member of la petite bourgeoisie. Certainly, the feelings of “tedium vitae” will be more successfully staved-off by someone with a Sarkozy’s image someone with turbulent personal life, extravagant millionaire friends, aristocratic foreign ancestors and a celebrity status.
It is the boredom and the satiety, which became today the mortal enemies of the glorious European civilization. I found Badiou’s critique of electoral democracy intriguing, but NOT his support for the communist hypothesis, it is time to admit frankly that communism is a noble idea, but a not feasible one.
Marx and other enlightenment thinkers thought that they could transmute the base metal of human nature into gold. They, and their many followers had failed. The goals of Marx and Lenin and Trotsky were the eschatological fantasies of religion, not any kind of practical policies.
A,ain is no alternative to capitalism today. But global capitalism is mutating into various types, which will compete: Why not give French capitalism a friendlier, more egalitarian and “bon vivant” character so it be more attractive and sustainable?
France needs to rebalance itself and urgently address its own economic and political dysfunctions. In this, neither chaotic Nicolas Sarkozy, nor the communist hypnosis could help.
The Meaning of Sarkozy
But without it, it’s a French toast. One person found this helpful. This book has, for the most part, been panned by Anglophone critics for its numerous “zoological metaphors,” its return to classic Marxist thought, and its strident critique of electoral democracy.
Badiou’s own defense of his practice of calling Sarkozy “The Rat Man,” which is printed in the preface to this Enlgish edition, is, if nothing else, extremely funny, “whatever your favorite animal” happens to be. As for the unabashed communism, it is a point that is sure to divide readers. But that, to me, seems one of the best aspects of this book. Badiou is painfully clear at times: Badiou’s insistence on etching out a new form of political action, a true alternative to what he calls “capitalo-parliamtentarism” is fresh and invigorating.
One conservative reviewer complained that after reading “The Meaning of Sarkozy,” he did not really know any more about the man. It is true that if you are looking to learn about Sarkozy’s life or loves you will be sorely disappointed. Badiou diagnoses the underlying logic of Sarkozy and traces out the hidden reactionary history of France for which Sarkozy serves as the capstone.
The most incendiary, daring, and exciting aspect of the book is Badiou’s critique of electoral democracy.
For this alone, the book is laudable, in my eyes. As Badiou points out, today we valorize the mere fact of electoral participation over any political content. When politicians celebrate the numerical turnout of a given election, they are fetishizing only the empty form of the electoral process itself.
Another striking aspect of Badiou’s fiery polemic is his insistence that “there is only one world. Against this objective separation of living bodies, Badiou argues, we must assert “one world.
I have several reservations in connection with his “8 points. It is blunt, often simplistic, and deliberatley provocative.
Review: The meaning of Sarkozy | World news | The Guardian
It is also an example of baciou kind of bold thought that is sorely missing today. It is common knowledge that France has typically feted their philosophers, granting them a public visibility that is not generally accorded mezning their counterparts in the English-speaking world.
It is depressing to think, then, badiiou the likes of Sartre and Foucault have given way to the ‘new philosophers’, a sad state of affairs that is perhaps symptomatic of the consensuality of public opinion in liberal-democratic France.
Take heart, then, that Badiou is here to offer resistance to the blithe opinion-mongering of these servile sycophants. Simon Critchley, in his od public debate with Badiou in Philadelphia, highlighted the Swiftian qualities of this particular text.
He is not wrong- the treatise enacts the primordial, inaugural gesture of politics by doing what it says: Written in forceful, clear language, this is one of Badiou’s works Ethics would be another that can be read by any intelligent person concerned with our current political climate.
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Decoding Sarkozy, by Chris J Bickerton (Le Monde diplomatique – English edition, February )
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