I recently wrote an essay that seeks to convey some of the key ideas of Badiou as it pertains to the recent insurrections across the world. You can read the piece, “Badiou’s Affirmation: Emancipatory Politics Today” which was written for the magazine Brev Spread.
My focus is on how Badiou reformulates negation and its relation to democracy. How Badiou’s thought enables us to move beyond identity politics, and how his notion of “democratic materialism” implies a different strategic vision of resistance than that of Negri and other “third generation Foucauldians.”
I also discuss the extent to which Badiou’s idea of subtraction is apolitical, and to what extent his thought enables us to think the problem of defining the demands of the protestors. In this context, I examine Badiou and Occupy Wall Street with reference to Adrian Johnston’s recent text on Badiou and Zizek, The Cadence of Change. I conclude with some problems of Occupy Wall Street and the role of Badiou’s concept of the unnameable and the Event.