the new authoritarian Marxism


I propose to write a series of posts on what I will call the “new authoritarian Marxism” of Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek. I think their ideas are a theoretical disaster and I find their popularity on campuses across Europe and North America to be deeply depressing. In this first post I claim that at the theoretical core of the new authoritarian Marxism is a terrorist theory of the state based on totalitarian notions of (always capitalized) Truth and Good. Here is the leading philosopher of the new authoritarian Marxism, Alain Badiou:

My personal position is the following: It is necessary to examine, in a detailed way, the contemporary theory of Evil, the ideology of human rights, the concept of democracy. It is necessary to show that nothing there leads in the direction of the real emancipation of humanity. It is necessary to reconstruct rights, in everyday life as in politics, of Truth and of the Good. (…) Terror is a political tool that has been in use as long as human societies have existed. It should therefore be judged as a political tool, and not submitted to infantilizing moral judgment. (…) As for the love of the Other, or, worse, the “recognition of the Other,” these are nothing but Christian confections. There is never “the Other” as such. There are projects of thought, or of actions, on the basis of which we distinguish between those who are friends, those who are enemies, and those who can be considered neutral.

more from Alan Johnson at Dissent here.