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<nettime> capitalism; will socialism survive?
allan siegel on Wed, 7 Mar 2012 12:54:50 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> capitalism; will socialism survive?


In regards to will capitalism survive question I am posting this
interview will Alain Badiou where he shifts the discourse in a
worthwhile direction.


Van Houdt

>From Kant to Husserl, and now to your work, the move to transcendental
philosophy has, for the most part, taken place in times of ?crisis.?
For Kant it was the potential failure of classical accounts of
rationality at the skeptical hands of David Hume, for Husserl it was
the collapse of the spirit of philosophy under the joint pressure of
modern science (the critiques of psychologism) and the onset of Nazism
(the Crisis), and for you the problem is what you call ?the crisis of
negation.? How do you define ?negation? and why it is in crisis today?


My answer is a simple one, in fact. The very nature of the crisis
today is not, in my opinion, the crisis of capitalism, but the
failure of socialism. And maybe I am the philosopher of the time
where something like the ?Great Hypothesis? coming from the
nineteenth-century?and maybe much more, for the French Revolution?is
in crisis. So it is the crisis of the idea of revolution. But behind
the idea of revolution is the crisis of the idea of another world,
of the possibility of, really, another organization of society,
and so on. Not the crisis of the pure possibility, but the crisis
of the historical possibility of something like that is caught in
the facts themselves. And it is a crisis of negation because it is
a crisis of a conception of negation which was a creative one. The
idea of negation is by itself a negation of newness, and that if we
have the means to really negate the established order?in the moment
of that sort of negation?there is the birth of the new order. And
so the affirmative part or the constructive part of the process is
included in negation. Finally, we can speak also of the ?crisis of
dialectics? in the Hegelian sense. In Hegel we know that the creative
part of the negation was negation of negation, so the negation of
negation was not a return to before, but was on the contrary, the
degradation of the content, the positive content of negation. And
there are so many things of the failure of this vision that so
proves that very often negation is under a negation. And that is
the crisis of negation. On all sides today we know that the pure
views of negation are practically very often militant to negation,
and to the future of negation?s negations. Exactly, that the future
of revolution, victorious revolution, has been finally a terrorist
state. The complete discussion of all that is naturally much more
complex, necessitates dates, and all that, but philosophically
there is something like that. So therefore we must pronounce that
there is a crisis of negation, and from this problem, there are two
possible consequences: first to abandon purely and simply the idea of
revolution, transformation of the world, and so on, and to say that
the capitalist world, with moderate democracy, and so on, is the best
world after all ? not so good but not so bad, and finally we have with
that answer, the first vision. And so it is a vision where in some
sense the relationship between philosophy and history is separation.
Because it is my conviction that if the history of humankind has as
its final figure the figure of our world, it is proof that history
is of no philosophical interest, that there is only left a pragmatic
position, and so the best is business. In that case, the best is not
philosophy but business! So that is why if, precisely when I speak
of the ?crisis of negation,? I name ?negation? the revolutionary
conception of negativity which was dominant from the French Revolution
until sometime at the end of the last century; it was the 80s I think.
The 80s, something like that, the time of your birth, maybe? The
Crisis of Negation: An Interview with Alain Badiou


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