Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

BADIOU 1

BADIOU INDEX 1/ badiou index 1/......................................................................................................................................................1 notes 1/....................................................................................................................................................................3 notes 2/....................................................................................................................................................................4 notes 3/....................................................................................................................................................................5 notes 4/....................................................................................................................................................................6 1NC 1/3...................................................................................................................................................................7 1NC 2/3...................................................................................................................................................................8 1NC 3/3...................................................................................................................................................................9 LT: free speech....................................................................................................................................................10 LT: free speech....................................................................................................................................................11 LT: ethics.............................................................................................................................................................12 LT: ethics.............................................................................................................................................................13 LT: ethics.............................................................................................................................................................14 LT: ethics of the other........................................................................................................................................15 LT: ethics of the other........................................................................................................................................16 LT: ethics of the other........................................................................................................................................17 LT: ethics of the other........................................................................................................................................18 LT: embrace difference......................................................................................................................................19 LT: identity politics/ethics of the other............................................................................................................20 LT: identity politics.............................................................................................................................................21 LT: identity politics.............................................................................................................................................22 LT: identity politics.............................................................................................................................................23 LT: identity politics.............................................................................................................................................24 LT: identity politics.............................................................................................................................................25 LT: levinas...........................................................................................................................................................26 LT: levinas...........................................................................................................................................................27 at: our ethics are not just Levinas.....................................................................................................................28 LT: rights.............................................................................................................................................................29 LT: rights ............................................................................................................................................................30 LT: rights.............................................................................................................................................................31 LT: rights.............................................................................................................................................................32 LT: appeals to surival.........................................................................................................................................33 LT: war on terror................................................................................................................................................34 LT: campbell........................................................................................................................................................35 LT: campbell........................................................................................................................................................36 LT: agamben........................................................................................................................................................37 LT: humanitarianism.........................................................................................................................................38 LT: humanitarianism.........................................................................................................................................39 LT: humanitarian interventions.......................................................................................................................40 LT: discourse/reps first......................................................................................................................................41 impact: war..........................................................................................................................................................42 impact: value to life.............................................................................................................................................43 impact: nihilism...................................................................................................................................................44 alt solves: possible...............................................................................................................................................45 alt solves: oppression..........................................................................................................................................46 alt solves: ethics...................................................................................................................................................47 alt solves: nihilism...............................................................................................................................................48 at: aff act of liberation a pre-requisite to the alt ............................................................................................49 at: no specific alt..................................................................................................................................................50 at: alt is narcissism..............................................................................................................................................51 at: alt utopian .....................................................................................................................................................52 at: alt is communist ............................................................................................................................................53

Elliot, Lasky, Logan, Will

Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

BADIOU 2

at: capitalism crushes the alt.............................................................................................................................54 at: perm................................................................................................................................................................55 at: perm................................................................................................................................................................56 at: perm................................................................................................................................................................57 at: perm................................................................................................................................................................58 at: perm................................................................................................................................................................59 at: the event is indeterminate............................................................................................................................60 at: our aff is the event.........................................................................................................................................61 at: our aff is the event.........................................................................................................................................62 at: truth event can be mistakenly evil...............................................................................................................63 at: truth event can be mistakenly evil...............................................................................................................64 at: democracy better than alt............................................................................................................................65 at: cede the political............................................................................................................................................66 at: state good turns..............................................................................................................................................67 at: hegemony outweighs.....................................................................................................................................68 at: terrorism outweighs......................................................................................................................................69 at: realism.............................................................................................................................................................70 at: badiou is intolerant of difference.................................................................................................................71 at: badiou denies the holocaust.........................................................................................................................72 at: generic aff pomo bad cards..........................................................................................................................73 at: badiou is totalizing........................................................................................................................................74 at: indict of ontology...........................................................................................................................................75 at: badiou’s math is crazy..................................................................................................................................76 at: badiou’s concept of evil is empty.................................................................................................................77 at: badiou’s concept of evil is empty.................................................................................................................78 at: generic lacan bad cards................................................................................................................................79 at: desanti.............................................................................................................................................................80 at: laclau...............................................................................................................................................................81 at: nancy...............................................................................................................................................................82 aff: cede the political...........................................................................................................................................83 aff: alt fails...........................................................................................................................................................84 aff: alt fails...........................................................................................................................................................85 aff: alt fails...........................................................................................................................................................86 aff: alt fails/links to cap good.............................................................................................................................87 aff: alt fails to idenitfy evil.................................................................................................................................88 aff: permutation..................................................................................................................................................89

Elliot, Lasky, Logan, Will

Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

BADIOU 3

NOTES 1/ This file is a little dense so you need to read it over pretty carefully for it to be useful. I wrote up a summary that I hope is helpful. When should we run this file? It is most useful against affs with critical advantages—Levinas, Fasching, any reason to save the stranger or the other, some aff that claims to liberate a specific group, or an aff that gives rights to some group. It is not so useful if the aff does not have a plan because many of the links rely on appeals to the state. Why is everything titled “LT” instead of just link? Because the links are turns—there are not many impact cards but the link cards say that X is bad for various reasons. BASIC SUMMARY OF BADIOU… Why are ethics bad? First, a distinction between totalizing and universal ethics. Totalizing ethics are bad—they try to impose a particular vision on everyone else (ex: Stalin or Mao). Universal ethics are good—they are individual positions that are egalitarian in nature—truth is defined as what is true for all (everyone) but they do not try to impose themselves on other people, maybe persuade other people, but not to violently enforce on them. Anyhow, ethics are Evil (and Badiou does call them Evil): 1) They split the world into ethical insiders and unethical outsiders—this justifies unlimited violence of the inside vs the outside. 2) Victims of ethics violations are seen as helpless and are drained of their humanity—we see dying, emaciated bodies etc and hold the victims in contempt as subhuman. 3) Ethics are inherently conservative. They try to set a piece of the status quo in stone—as an infinite obligation, for instance. This prevents us from envisioning more radical alternatives because our duty (born of the present order) is already laid before us. 4) There are too many specific situations to have one ethical principle. Killing may be bad but self-defense maybe OK etc. We need to examine the situation in front of us, not try to cook up rules. Badiou uses the example of doctors debating whether or not they have an obligation to treat a particular patient based on their ethics rules while the patient lays dying on the table. 5) They can be a cover for domination. The messianic rhetoric of Bush is a good example—he clearly uses ethical obligations as a cover for power grabs. 6) Ethics drain situations of their political content. Things are black and white after an ethical rule has been applied—this keeps us form considering our roles in generating the harms etc. 7) They are reactionary—they work can detect Evil or ethical violations but do not posit a positive visions of the future. They are too focused on what is Evil to bother seeking out the Good. In other words, they are nihilist.

Elliot, Lasky, Logan, Will

Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

BADIOU 4

NOTES 2/ Why are identity politics bad? 1) They’re too simple. We are all different, for an infinite number of reasons. There is nothing morally or philosophically enlightening about that claim. The aff fetishizes something terribly obvious and therefore prevents deeper investigation of politics. And, the more non-essentialist they claim to be, the more it proves that the whole effort is banal—why bother with starting from an empty category anyhow? 2) Identity politics just help groups jockey for recognition within status quo hierarchies—they are the politics of “me too” not systematic change. Such as adding homosexuals to the military. 3) Identity politics are territorialized by capitalism. Specialty magazines, fashion, cable networks etc spring up to respond to the celebration of difference. This leaves things fundamentally the same. 4) Resistance to the other is often key to social change—pretending that we are all one is silly when there are some people who have a vested interest in maintaining inequality or that are violent etc. 5) Embracing the other only works if the other is already fundamentally the same as you—in particular, they must reciprocate the gesture of embracing your difference. Otherwise, you are trying to hug the armed gunman and get shot. So, any vigorously sustained differences (which are the tougher cases and philosophy should be about tough cases, not easy ones) are impossible to deal with in this frame. For instance, it is pretty easy to sell to the to the liberal debate community that homosexuality is OK but what about those who perform genital mutilation on young girls? Do we embrace their difference out of our infinite obligation to the other? It’s just “cultural” after all... 6) And the biggest reason... Politics is the process of seizing the universal—or what is true for all. A truth is “indifferent to differences.” By starting from a particular identity claim, they destroy the possibility of this radically egalitarian vision. Why is an emphasis on free speech bad? 1) It is consensus based. We talk so that the market place of ideas can function and we can find the best arguments etc. The alternative demands individual grappling with ethics. We need the courage to break with consensus, not try to seek it out more. 2) It is state based. Maybe not always but is certainly is in the case of the aff. Politics can only take place at a distance from the state. 3) Politics are either engaged in the militancy of action or they are dead. Trafficking in opinion does nothing to advance a cause. It is a tactic of infinite delay that provides comfort for the apolitical claiming that they are working on what to do without accomplishing anything. Why are statist politics bad? 1) The state opposes radical change by its nature—it maintains hierarchies etc. 2) Ethics are situational and individual—it cannot be enacted through the law. 3) It is just sort of irrelevant to the K. Badiou’s whole philosophy is about the transformation of the subject through the truth event—that model just does not work for the government.

Elliot, Lasky, Logan, Will

Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

BADIOU 5

NOTES 3/ So what is the relationship of the alt to the state? We are ideologically trapped within state power when the state is invisible, natural, everywhere, when we feel that it is inevitable. This is what Badiou calls the “errancy of excess” or the unmeasured power of the state. Politics must remain distant from the state in hopes that it will cause a confrontation with the “excess itself” or the repressive function of the state. When the state shows its hand (perhaps via crackdown against the alternative), it goes from being an invisible ideology to a visible and nasty institution. That clarity of vision is able to give militants ideological distance and, hence, make a break with the state. Example Badiou uses: Some landless farmers in Brazil staged sit-ins on land that they wanted to cultivate. There were way too many of them to kill and so the state exhausted itself and has granted millions of acres to those farmers. Or, some illegal immigrants in France who refused to be invisible and occupied several Catholic cathedrals as a demand for citizenship papers. Ghandi would also be a decent example—British colonialism seems invincible until Indian nationals maintained distance from the state via non-violent resistance. What is the alternative? Badiou is frustrated with both postmodern relativism/deconstruction/the denial of truth (which he sees as too weak to transform politics—he insultingly calls them sophists) and fundamentalists who believe in absolute truth (like Bush, the Nazis, or other dogmatists which he sees as very dangerous). His solution is a compromise between those two poles. He says that individuals (subjects) must strive for what is universal (true for all—the definition of egalitarianism) by immersing themselves in political action (or maintaining fidelity to an event). This process is what makes all life meaningful. It is how we are transformed from mere animals to subjects. You should characterize the aff harms as the event requiring intervention. This immersion requires militant political action (not armchair philosophy) and involves risk to the subject as their worldview may be transformed by the event. That is an important point—fidelity to an event requires open-ended risk—it is an unpredictable journey that changes how we view the world as we are immersed in new truths. That is an additional reason why no permutation could ever solve (the aff is already a fixed end point). The result would be an infinite multitude of subjects grasping for universals—so, there is no totalizing truth but we are at least obliged to search for universalism/egalitarianism in our own quests. This definition of politics is focused on determining the true and the Good—it is about discovering positive content for a future vision (this is also why Badiou is anti-nihilist).

Elliot, Lasky, Logan, Will

Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

BADIOU 6

NOTES 4/ False events (false alternatives)/3 sources of evil: Badiou thinks that false ethical events are the root of Evil. Evil is internal to the Good—it is Good gone wrong (as opposed to a distinct category of action). It is good to know the three ways the Good can go wrong—most of the aff cards claim that Badiou would allow for X when X is actually a false event, not a truth producing one. Here are the three types: 1) Simulacrum, pseudo-event or false imitation of truth. Defined as an event that is properly militant/represents a transformative break but is not universal. The Nazis are an example of simulacrum. Nazism structurally resembles an authentic truth event (revolutionary practice etc.), but, because it does not champion a true universal for all humanity, it is a mere simulacrum. Its “fakeness” is demonstrated by its drive to annihilate the Jews rather than address an eternal truth to all. 2) False totalization of the truth. Defined as an event that is stretched beyond its application to be applied to all circumstance. Stalin is a good example here—he took an event (Marxism) and turned that truth into an absolutist power with the intent of changing the whole world. Religious terrorists are another—they use the transformative power of their religion to seek absolute truth over all through violent means. 3) Betrayal of the truth. An ethical subject who sees what to do but gives up—perhaps from self-interest or fatigue or doubt or because they fear the transformative break/uncertainty of a truth event. A lapsed subject is considered an enemy of the event. What is the deal with his appeals to Saint Paul? Badiou is an atheist so it has nothing to do with Christianity. He just thinks that Paul is a good political model because radical fidelity to an event (the Resurrection) and the universal nature of his demand (we are all Christians) were highly successful in converting all of Europe to his cause. What is his potion on ontology and why are their cards about set theory/math? Badiou uses mathematical set theory to outline his position on ontology. It is extremely dense and annoying but has a simple point: humanity is best thought of as a set. Math is convenient because one can talk about a set without ascribing any particular attribute to it. As a set, humans do not belong to any identitarian group. We are members of a set that has no particular content—we are infinitely singular. This bolsters his claim that there is no universal ethics because there is no universal subject—there is only the infinite multiple of the set of humanity. So, identity categories are irrelevant—we are all equally different and equally the same in the philosophical sense. So, we stand side by side, each struggling for our own universal (our own truth, our own ethics, our own fidelity to the event), with no necessary common ground between us.

Elliot, Lasky, Logan, Will

Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

BADIOU 7

1NC 1/3 The affirmative claim to save a particular identity group is what Badiou calls a simulacrum of the truth. Simulacrums are dangerous because they create an “us” of ethical insiders vs a “them” of outsiders. This is the root of war, racism, and genocide. Only a search for universals that we refuse to impose on others can be emancipatory. Badiou, 98 (Alain, Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, 73-77) What allows a genuine event to be at the origin of a truth -which is the only thing that can be for all, and can be eternally -is precisely the fact that it relates to the particularity of a situation only from the bias of its void. The void, the multiple-of-nothing, neither excludes nor constrains anyone. It is the absolute neutrality of being, such that the fidelity that originates in an event, although it is an immanent break within a singular situation, is none the less universally addressed. By contrast, the striking break provoked by the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, although formally indistinguishable from an event -it is precisely this that led Heidegger astray5 -since it conceives itself as a 'German' revolution, and is faithful only to the alleged national substance of a people, is actually addressed only to those that it itself deems 'German'. It is thus right from the
moment the event is named, and despite the fact that this nomination ('revolution') functions only under the condition of true universal events (for example the Revolutions of 1792 or 19I7)

. When a radical break in a situation, under names borrowed from real truth-processes, convokes not the void but the 'full' particularity or presumed substance of that situation, we are dealing with a simulacrum of truth. 'Simulacrum'
-radically incapable of any truth whatsoever must be understood here in its strong sense: all the formal traits of a truth are at work in the simulacrum. Not only a universal nomination of the event, inducing the power of a radical break, but also the 'obligation' of a fidelity, and the promotion of a simulacrum of the subject, erected -without the advent of any Immortal above the human animality of the others, of those who are

Fidelity to a simulacrum, unlike fidelity to an event, regulates its break with the situation not by the universality of the void, but by the closed particularity of an abstract set [ensemble] (the 'Germans' or the 'Aryans'). Its invariable operation is the unending construction of this set, and it has no other means of doing
arbitrarily declared not to belong to the communitarian substance whose promotion and domination the simulacrumevent is designed to assure. this than that of 'voiding' what surrounds it. The void, 'avoided' [chassel by the simulacrous promotion of an 'event-substance', here returns, with its universality, as what must be accomplished in order that this substance can be. This is to say that what is addressed 'to everyone' (and 'everyone', here, is necessarily that which does not belong to the German communitarian substance for this substance is not an 'everyone' but, rather, some 'few' who dominate 'everyone') is death, or that deferred form of death which is slavery in the service of the German substance.

fidelity to the simulacrum (and it demands of the 'few' belonging to the German substance prolonged sacrifices and commitments, since it really does have the form of a has as its content war and massacre. These are not here means to an end: they make up the very real [tout le Tliel] 6 of such a fidelity. In the case of Nazism, the void made its return under one privileged name in particular, the name ‘Jew'. There were certainly others as well: the Gypsies, the mentally ill, homosexuals, communists.... But the name ‘Jew' was the name of names, serving to designate those
Hence fidelity) people whose disappearance created, around that presumed German substance promoted by the 'National Socialist revolution' simulacrum, a void that would suffice to identify the substance. The choice of this name relates, without any doubt, to its obvious link with universalism, in particular with revolutionary universalism -to what was in effect already void [vide] about this name -that is, what was connected to the universality and eternity of truths. Nevertheless, inasmuch as it served to organize the extermination, the name ‘Jew' was a political creation of the Nazis, without any pre-existing referent. It is a name whose meaning no one can share with the Nazis, a meaning that presumes the simulacrum and fidelity to the simulacrum -and hence the absolute singularity of Nazism as a political sequence. But even in this respect, we have to recognize that this process mimics an actual truth-process. Every fidelity to an authentic event names the adversaries of its

, the ethic of truths is always more or less militant, combative. For the concrete manifestation of its heterogeneity to opinions and established knowledges is the struggle against all sorts of efforts at interruption, at corruption, at the return to the immediate interests of the human animal, at the humiliation and repression of the Immortal who arises as subject. The ethic of truths presumes recognition of these efforts, and thus the singular operation of naming enemies. The 'National
perseverance. Contrary to consensual ethics, which tries to avoid divisions Socialist revolution' simulacrum encouraged nominations of this kind, in particular the nomination of Jew'. But the simulacrum's subversion of the true event continues with these namings. For

. The values of truth, of its hazardous course and its universal address, are to be erected against these forms of inertia. Every invocation of blood and soil, of race, of custom, of community, works directly against truths; and it is this very collection [ensemble] that is named as the enemy in the ethic of
the enemy of a true subjective fidelity is precisely the closed set [ensemble], the substance of the situation, the community truths. Whereas fidelity to the simulacrum, which promotes the community, blood, race, and so on, names as its enemy -for example, under the name of 'jew' -precisely the abstract universality and eternity of truths, the address to all. Moreover hostile to a truth he might be,

, the two processes treat what is thus named in diametrically opposite ways. For however in the ethic of truths every 'some-one' is always represented as capable of becoming the Immortal

that he is. So we may fight against the judgements and opinions he exchanges with others for the purpose of corrupting every fidelity, but not against his person -which, under the
circumstances, is insignificant, and to which, in any case, every truth is ultimately addressed. By contrast, the void with which those who are faithful to a simulacrum strive to surround its alleged

fidelity to the simulacrum -that appalling imitation of truths -presumes nothing more about those they designate as the enemy than their strictly particular existence as human animals. It is thus this existence that will have to bear the return of the void. This is why the exercise of fidelity to the simulacrum is necessarily the exercise of terror. Understand by terror, here, not the political concept of
substance must be a real void, obtained by cutting into the flesh itself. And since it is not the subjective advent of an Immortal, so Terror, linked (in a universalizable couple) to the concept of Virtue by the Immortals of the Jacobin Committee of Public Safety, but the pure and simple reduction of all to their being-for death.

Nazism because it enters to a significant extent into that 'ethical' configuration (of 'radical Evil') opposed by the ethic of truths. What is at issue here is the simulacrum of an event that gives rise to a political fidelity. Such a simulacrum is possible only thanks to the success of political revolutions that were genuinely evental (and thus universally addressed). But simulacra linked to all the other possible kinds of truth-processes also
Terror thus conceived really postulates that in order to let [the] substance be, nothing must be [pour que La substance soit, rien ne doit etre]. I have pursued the example of exist. The reader may find it useful to identity them. For example, we can see how certain sexual passions are simulacra of the amorous event. There can be no doubt that on this account they bring with them terror and violence. Likewise, brutal obscurantist preachings present themselves as the simulacra of science, with obviously damaging results. And so on. But in each case, these

: Evil is the process of a simulacrum of truth. And in its essence, under a name of its invention, it is terror directed at everyone.
violent damages are unintelligible if we do not understand them in relation to the truth-processes whose simulacra they manipulate. In sum, our first definition of Evil is this

Elliot, Lasky, Logan, Will

Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

BADIOU 8

1NC 2/3 Ethical principles remove us from the urgency of particular needs. We focus on identifying situations that match the rules, rather than imagining a positive vision of the future. This reduces us all to a subhuman mass. The alternative is to break with such rules and give ourselves over to the particular event—what Badiou calls fidelity to the event. Badiou, 98 (Alain, Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, 14-16) Every collective will to the Good creates Evi1. This is sophistry at its most devastating. For if our only agenda is an ethical engagement against an Evil we recognize a priori, how are we to envisage any transformation of the way things are? From what source will man draw the strength to be the immortal that he is? What shall be the destiny of thought, since we know very well that it must be affirmative invention or nothing at all? In reality, the price paid by ethics is a stodgy conservatism. The ethical conception of man, besides the fact that its foundation is either biological (images of victims) or 'Western' (the selfsatisfaction of the armed benefactor), prohibits every broad, positive vision of possibilities. What is vaunted here, what ethics legitimates, is in fact the conservation by the socalled 'West' of what it possesses. It is squarely astride these possessions (material possessions, but also possession of its own being) that ethics determines Evil to be, in a certain sense, simply that which it does not own and enjoy [ce qui n 'est pas ce dont elle jouit]. But Man, as immortal, is sustained by the incalculable and the un-possessed. He is sustained by non-being [non-etant]. To forbid him to imagine the Good, to devote his collective powers to it, to work towards the realization of unknown possibilities, to think what might be in terms that break radically with what is, is quite simply to forbid him humanity as such. 3. Finally, thanks to its negative and a priori determination of Evil, ethics prevents itself from thinking the singularity of situations as such, which is the obligatory starting point of all properly human action. Thus, for instance, the doctor won over to 'ethical' ideology will ponder, in meetings and commissions, all sorts of considerations regarding 'the sick', conceived of in exactly the same way as the partisan of human rights conceives of the indistinct crowd of victims -the 'human' totality of subhuman entities [reels]. But the same doctor will have no difficulty in accepting the fact that this particular person is not treated at the hospital, and accorded all necessary measures, because he or she is without legal residency papers, or not a contributor to Social Security. Once again, 'collective' responsibility demands it! What is erased in the process is the fact that there is only one medical situation, the clinical situation,' and there is no need for an 'ethics' (but only for a clear vision of this situation) to understand that in these circumstances a doctor is a doctor only if he deals with the situation according to the rule of maximum possibility -to treat this person who demands treatment of him (no intervention here!) as thoroughly as he can, using everything he knows and with all the means at his disposal, without taking anything else into consideration. And if he is to be prevented from giving treatment because of the State budget, because of death rates or laws governing immigration, then let them send for the police! Even so, his strict Hippocratic duty would oblige him to resist them, with force if necessary. 'Ethical commissions' and other ruminations on 'healthcare expenses' or 'managerial responsibility', since they are radically exterior to the one situation that is genuinely medical, can in reality only prevent us from being faithful to it. For to be faithful to this situation means: to treat it right to the limit of the possible. Or, if you prefer: to draw from this situation, to the greatest possible extent, the affirmative humanity that it contains. Or again: to try to be the immortal of this situation. As a matter of fact, bureaucratic medicine that complies with ethical ideology depends on 'the sick' conceived as vague victims or statistics, but is quickly overwhelmed by any urgent, singular situation of need. Hence the reduction of 'managed', 'responsible' and 'ethical' health-care to the abject task of deciding which sick people the 'French medical system' can treat and which others -because the Budget and public opinion demand it -it must send away to die in the shantytowns of Kinshasa.

Elliot, Lasky, Logan, Will

Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

BADIOU 9

1NC 3/3 Our alternative can only succeed by maintaining its distance from the state. Politics must be conceived of as the search for a universal that is uncompromised by political calculations. Badiou, 05 (http://www.lacan.com/badtruth.htm, Appears in Metapolitics, New York: Verso, 2005, Alain Badiou, • Highly Speculative Reasoning on the Concept of Democracy, translated Barbara Fulks). The representation of the State through power, in the case of public power, indicates on the one hand its excess, and on the other the indeterminacy, or errancy, of this excess. We all know that the political, when it exists, instigates manifestations of the power of the State. It is evident in that the political is collective, and thus universally concerns parts of the situation, which is the field of existence of the state of the situation. The political-and it is the only procedure of truth to do it directly-convokes the power of the State. The ordinary figure of this convocation is that the political always coincides with repression. But repression, which is the empirical form of the errant excess of the State, is not the essential point. The true characteristic of the political event and of the procedure of truth which it activates is that a political event fixes the errancy, assigns a measure to the excess power of the State, fixes the power of the State. As a consequence, the political event interrupts the subjective errancy of the power of the State. It constructs the state of the situation. It gives it shape; it gives shape to its power, it measures its power. Empirically this means that when there is a truly political event, the State shows itself. It shows its excess of power, the repressive dimension. But it shows also a measure of this excess which in ordinary times does not let itself be seen because it is essential to the normal functioning of the State that its power remain without measure, errant, unassignable. The political event puts an end to all that by assigning a visible measure to the excessive power of the State. The political puts the State at a distance, in the distance of its measure. The apathy of nonpolitical time is maintained by the State's not being at a distance, because the measure of its power is errant. We are captives of its unassignable errancy. The political is the interruption of this errancy, it is the demonstration of a measure of State power. It is in this sense that the political is "liberty." The State is in effect a bondage without measure of the parts of the
situation, a bondage of which the secret is precisely the errancy of the excess power, its absence of measure. Liberty is here to set a distance from the State, through the collective fixation of a measure of excess. And if the excess is measured, it is because the collective can measure it. At the moment that the political procedure exists, up to the point of the prescription on the State,

The egalitarian maxim is effectively incompatible with the errancy of state excess. The matrix of inequality is precisely that the excess power of the State cannot be measured.
then, and then only, can the logic of the same be deployed, that is to say the egalitarian maxim, proper for every politics of emancipation. Today, for example, all egalitarian politics are rendered impossible and declared absurd in the name of a necessity of the liberal economy without measure or concept. But what characterizes this blind power of unchained Capital is precisely that at no point is this power measurable or fixed. What one knows is only that it weighs absolutely on the subjective destiny of collectives, such as

, in order that a politics can practice an egalitarian maxim in the sequence opened by an event, it is absolutely necessary that the state of the situation be put at a distance by a rigid calculation of its power. The inegalitarian conscience is a deaf conscience, captive of an errancy, captive of a power of which it has no measure. It
they are. Consequently

is what explains the arrogant and peremptory character of inegalitarian statements, even if they are evidently inconsistent and abject. It is that these statements of the contemporary reaction are entirely supported by the errancy of state excess, that is to say by the violence deployed entirely by the capitalist anarchy. It is why liberal statements represent a mix of certitude in regard to the power and total indecision about what is important for the life of people and the universal affirmation of collectives. The egalitarian logic cannot be broached except when the State is

configured, put at a distance, measured. It is the errancy of excess which obstructs egalitarian logic and not the excess itself. It is not at all the simple power of the state of the situation which interdicts egalitarian politics. It is the obscurity and the without-measure in which this power is enveloped. If the political event authorizes a clarification, a calculation, a demonstration of this power, then, at least locally, the egalitarian maxim is practicable. note: “errancy of excess” = unmeasured power, “excess itself” = repressive functioning of the state

Elliot, Lasky, Logan, Will

Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

BADIOU 10

LT: FREE SPEECH Emphasis on civic engagement and free speech are distractions that will only delay politics. We should conceive of politics in terms of action, not speech. Hallward, 04 (Badiou’s Politics: Equality and Justice, Peter, Professor of Modern European Philosophy, Center for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University http://culturemachine.tees.ac.uk/Cmach/Backissues/j004/Articles/hallward.htm). As Badiou conceives it, ‘politics can only think as the thought of all’ (AM: 156-7). Politics is organised first and foremost around the Real of a radical fraternity, before it is drawn to the Imaginary pursuit of equality or the Symbolic presumption of liberty. True politics begins with an exposure to ‘the real violence of fraternity’ and is sustained in the practical present of its ‘demonstration [manifestation]’ (LS: 83). Politics exists only in the medium of this active manifestation: fraternity is no more representable and no more a function of sociological knowledge or legal procedure than is a demonstration or an insurrection. Badiou’s conception of political truth has nothing to do, then, with bland speculations concerning civic responsibility or liberal ‘communication’. Badiou knows that only a ‘militant conception of politics ... can link politics and thought’ (AM: 22); in particular, only such a conception can avoid recourse to the false dichotomy of theory and practice. ‘There is certainly a "doing" ["faire"] of politics, but it is
immediately the pure and simple experience of a thought, its localisation. It cannot be distinguished from it’ (AM: 56). The philosophical or meta-political problem is simply one of understanding how politics thinks, according to what mode of thought and through what categories – the categories of Virtue and Corruption for Saint-Just, for instance, or revolutionary consciousness for Lenin. True political thought is neither a matter of judicious deliberation (Arendt) nor of anguished choice (Sartre), and still less of expert social engineering (Rorty) or

Badiou, like Lenin, like Fanon, like all great revolutionary thinkers, maintains a strictly classical form of political logic: either p or not p, with no possible compromise in between. Badiou conceives of politics precisely as a matter of what Rimbaud called ‘logical revolt’, a matter of clearly stated principle – the sort of principle incarnated by the great intellectual résistants, Jean Cavaillès and Albert Lautman (AM: 12). The political subject acts or resists as a matter of course, and not thanks to a reasoned affiliation with a particular group, class, or opinion. He resists, not as a result of communication or consensus, but all at once, to the exclusion of any ‘third way’ (AM: 15). The sole criterion of true political engagement is an unqualified equality (EE: 447; cf. DO: 15). It is a rudimentary principle of Badiou’s ontology, that all elements which belong to a situation belong (or are presented in, or exist, or count) in exactly the same way, with exactly the same weight. Politics is the process whereby this simple belonging is actively and effectively abstracted from all differentiating conditions or representations.
procedural notions of justice (Rawls).

The public sphere is state-centered and geared towards consensus—both of which are hostile to the militant production of universal truths. Hallward, 04 (Badiou’s Politics: Equality and Justice, Peter, Professor of Modern European Philosophy, Center for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University http://culturemachine.tees.ac.uk/Cmach/Backissues/j004/Articles/hallward.htm). True politics is exceptional, an exception to the contemporary cliché that ‘everything is political’ (LDP, 1.12.91: 6). Politics proceeds as indifferent to ‘dialectic of the objective and the subjective ...; the deployment of subjective thought should take place from within the subjective itself, through the hypothesis of the foundation of the subjective in the subjective and not in the confrontation of the subjective to the objective’, let alone in ‘reference to the economy, the state, alienation, etc.’ (LDP, 1.12.91: 7). The kind of subject-object co-ordination proposed by Habermas’ increasingly state-centred conception of politics, for instance, serves only to block the necessary violence of political presentation within the legal norms of re-presentation (cf. Habermas, 1996; LS: 140 n.37). As far as Badiou is concerned, socio-economic ‘analysis and politics are absolutely disconnected’: the former is a matter for ‘expertise’ and implies hierarchy, the latter is not. A generic or axiomatic politics asserts affirms the ‘political capacity of all people’, the principle that ‘everyone can occupy the space of politics, if they decide to do so’ (LDP, 28.05.98: 3). Whereas the sort of sociology practised by Badiou’s contemporaries Balibar and Bourdieu can only ‘discuss’ political issues, true political sequences transform the ‘objects’ of such discussion into militant subjects on their own right.

Elliot, Lasky, Logan, Will

Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

BADIOU 11

LT: FREE SPEECH Truth is not something to be decided upon within the public sphere—it can only be derived from fidelity to an event. Communication without truth is mere trafficking of opinion. Badiou, 98 (Alain, Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, 50-52) Every truth, as we have seen, deposes constituted knowledges, and thus opposes opinions. For what we call opinions are representations without truth, the anarchic debris of circulating knowledge. Now opinions are the cement of sociality [socialite]. They are what sustain all human animals, without exception, and we cannot function otherwise: the weather; the latest film; children's diseases; poor salaries; the government's villainy; the performance of the local football team; television; holidays; atrocities far away or close to home; the setbacks suffered by the Republican school system; the latest album by some hard-rock group; the delicate state of one's soul; whether or not there are too many immigrants; neurotic symptoms; institutional success; good little recipes; What you've been reading; shops in which you find what you need at a good. price; cars; sex; sunshine.... What would become of us miserable creatures, if all this did not circulate and recur among the animals of the City? To what depressing silence would we condemn ourselves? Opinion is the primary material of all communication. We are all familiar with the prestige enjoyed by this term today, and we know that some see in it the foundation of democracy and ethics. Yes, it is often maintained that what matters is to 'communicate', that all ethics is 'communicative ethics'.2 If we ask: communicate, fine, but communicate what?, then it is easy to answer: opinions, opinions regarding the whole expanse of multiples that this special multiple, the human animal, explores in the stubborn determination of his interests. Opinions without an ounce of truth -or, indeed, of falsehood. Opinion is beneath the true and the false, precisely because its sole office is to be communicable. What arises from a truth-process, by contrast, cannot be communicated [ne se communique pas]. Communication is suited only to opinions (and again, we are unable to manage without them). In all that concerns truths, there must be an encounter. The Immortal that I am capable of being cannot be spurred in me by the effects of communicative sociality, it must be directly seized by fidelity (That is to say: broken, in its multiple-being, by the course of an immanent break, and convoked [requis], finally, with or without knowing it, by the eventual supplement. To enter into the composition of a subject of truth can only be something that happens to you) Confirmation of the point is provided by the concrete circumstances in which someone is seized by a fidelity: an amorous encounter, the sudden feeling that this poem was addressed to you, a scientific theory whose initially obscure beauty overwhelms you, or the active intelligence of a political place.... Philosophy is no exception here, since everyone knows that to endure the requirement of a philosophically disinterested-interest, you have to have encountered, at least once in your life, the voice of a Master. As a result, the ethic of a truth is the complete opposite of an 'ethics of communication'. It is an ethic of the Real, if it is true that -as Lacan suggests -all access to the Real is of the order of an encounter. And consistency, which is the content of the ethical maxim 'Keep going!' [Continuer!], keeps going only by following the thread of this Real. We might put it like this: 'Never forget what you have encountered.' But we can say this only if we understand that not-forgetting is not a memory (ah! the unbearable, journalistic 'ethics of memory'!). Not-forgetting consists of thinking and practising the arrangement of my multiplebeing according to the Immortal which it holds, and which the piercing through [transpercement] of an encounter has composed as subject. In one of my previous books, my formula was: 'Love what you will never believe twice' [Aimez ce que jamais vous ne croirez deux fois].3 In this the ethic of a truth is absolutely opposed to opinion, and to ethics in general, which is itself nothing but a schema of opinion. For the maxim of opinion is: 'Love only that which you have always believed.'

Elliot, Lasky, Logan, Will

Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

BADIOU 12

LT: ETHICS Ethical rules maintain are an attempt to freeze the current order and are therefore nihilist and deeply conservative. Badiou, 98 (Alain, Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, 30-34) The very idea of a consensual 'ethics', stemming from the general feeling provoked by the sight of atrocities, which replaces the 'old ideological divisions', is a powerful contributor to subjective resignation and acceptance of the status quo. For what every emancipatory project does, what every emergence of hitherto unknown possibilities does, is to put an end to consensus. How, indeed, could the incalculable novelty of a truth, and the hole that it bores in established knowledges, be inscribed in a situation without encountering resolute opposition? Precisely because a truth, in its invention, is the only thing that is for all, so it can actually be achieved only against dominant opinions, since these always work for the benefit of some rather than all. These privileged few certainly benefit from their position, their capital, their control of the media, and so on. But in particular, they wield the inert power of reality and time [de la realite et du temps] against that which is only, like every truth, the hazardous, precarious advent of a possibility of the Intemporal. As Mao Tse-tung used to say, with his customary simplicity: 'If you have an idea, one will have to split into two.' Yet ethics explicitly presents itself as the spiritual supplement of the consensus. The 'splitting into two' horrifies it (it smacks of ideology, it's passe . ..). Ethics is thus part of what prohibits any idea, any coherent project of thought, settling instead for overlaying unthought and anonymous situations with mere humanitarian prattle (which, as we have said, does not itself contain any positive idea of humanity). And in the same way, the 'concern for the other' signifies that it is not a matter -that it is never a matter -of prescribing hitherto unexplored possibilities for our situation, and ultimately for ourselves. The Law (human rights, etc.) is always already there. It regulates judgements and opinions concerning the evil that happens in some variable elsewhere. But there is no question of reconsidering the foundation of this 'Law', of going right back to the conservative identity that sustains it. As everyone knows, France -which, under Vichy, approved a law regulating the status of the Jews, and which at this very moment is voting to approve laws for the racial identification of an alleged internal enemy that goes by the name of 'illegal immigrant' [immigre clandestin]; France which is subjectively dominated by fear and impotence -is an 'island of law and liberty'. Ethics is the ideology of this insularity, and this is why it valorizes -throughout the world, and with the complacency of 'intervention' -the gunboats of Law. But by doing this, by everywhere promoting a domestic haughtiness and cowardly self-satisfaction, it sterilizes every collective gathering around a vigorous conception [pensee] of what can (and thus must) be done here and now. And in this, once again, it is nothing more than a variant of the conservative consensus. But what must be understood is that this resignation in the face of (economic) necessities is neither the only nor the worst component of the public spirit held together by ethics. For Nietzsche's maxim forces us to consider that every non-willing (every impotence) is shaped by a will to nothingness, whose other name is: death drive.

Elliot, Lasky, Logan, Will

Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

BADIOU 13

LT: ETHICS The affirmative’s call for universal ethics relies upon assumptions about the ‘victim’ that are fundamentally dehumanizing and necessitates Western domination – only a situational understanding of ethics allows us to escape. Badiou, 98 (Alain, Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, 11-14) In the first place, because the status of victim, of suffering beast, of emaciated, dying body, equates man with his animal substructure, it reduces him to the level of a living organism pure and simple (life being, as Bichat says, nothing other than 'the set of functions that resist death').5 To be sure, humanity is an animal species. It is mortal and predatory. But neither of these attributes can distinguish humanity within the world of the living. In his role as executioner, man is an animal abjection, but we must have the courage to add that in his role as victim, he is generally worth little more. The stories told by survivors of torture4 forcefully underline the point: if the torturers and bureaucrats of the dungeons and the camps are able to
treat their victims like animals destined for the slaughterhouse, with whom they themselves, the well-nourished criminals, have nothing in common, it is because the victims have indeed become such animals. What had to be done for this to happen has indeed been done. That some nevertheless remain human beings, and testify to that effect, is a confirmed fact. But this is always achieved precisely through enormous effort, an effort acknowledged by witnesses (in whom it excites a radiant recognition) as an almost incomprehensible resistance on the part of that which, in them, does not coincide with the identity of victim. This is where we are to find Man, if we are determined to think him [le penser]: in what ensures, as Varlam Shalamov puts in his Stories of Life in the Camps,s that we are dealing with an animal whose resistance, unlike that of a horse, lies not in his fragile body but in his stubborn determination to remain what he is -that is to say, precisely something other than a victim, other than a being-for-death, and thus: something other than a mortal being. An immortal: this is what the worst situations that can be inflicted upon Man show him to be, in so far as he distinguishes himself within the varied and rapacious flux of life. In order to think any

if 'rights of man' exist, they are surely not rights of life against death, or rights of survival against misery. They are the rights of the Immortal, affirmed in their own right, or the rights of the Infinite, exercised over the contingency of suffering and death. The fact that in the end we all die, that only dust remains, in no way alters Man's identity as immortal
aspect of Man, we must begin from this principle. So at the instant in which he affirms himself as someone who runs counter to the temptation of wanting-to-be-an-animal to which circumstances may expose him. And we know that every human being is capable of being this immortal -unpredictably, be it in circumstances great or small, for truths important or secondary. In each case, subjectivation is immortal, and makes Man. Beyond this there is only a biological species, a 'biped without feathers', whose charms are not obvious. If we do not set out from this point (which can be summarized, very simply, as the assertion that Man thinks, that Man is a tissue of truths), if we equate Man with the simple reality of his living being, we are inevitably pushed to a conclusion quite opposite to the one that the principle of life

this 'living being' is in reality contemptible, and he will indeed be held in contempt. ·Who can fail to see that in our humanitarian expeditions, interventions, embarkations of charitable legionnaires, the Subject presumed to be universal is split? On the side of the victims, the haggard animal exposed on television screens. On the side of the benefactors, conscience and the imperative to intervene. And why does this splitting always assign the same roles to the same sides? Who cannot see that this ethics which rests on the misery of the world hides behind its victim-Man, the good-Man, the white-Man? Since the barbarity of the situation is considered only in terms of 'human rights' -whereas in fact we are always dealing with a political situation, one that calls for a political thought practice, one that is peopled by its own authentic actors -it is perceived, from the heights of our apparent civil peace, as the uncivilized that demands of the civilized a civilizing intervention. Every intervention in the name of a civilization requires an initial contempt for the situation as a whole, including its victims. And this is why the reign of 'ethics' coincides, after decades of courageous critiques of colonialism and imperialism, with today's sordid self-satisfaction in the 'West', with the insistent argument according to which the misery of the Third World is the result of its own incompetence, its own inanity -in short, of its subhumanity.2. In the second place, because if the ethical 'consensus' is founded on the recognition of Evil, it follows that every effort to unite people around a positive idea of the Good, let alone to identify Man with projects of this kind, becomes in fact the real source of evil itse1f; such is the accusation so often repeated over the last fifteen years: every revolutionary project stigmatized as 'utopian' turns, we are told, into totalitarian nightmare. Every will to inscribe an idea of justice or equality turns bad.
seems to imply. For

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Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

BADIOU 14

LT: ETHICS The notion of singular ethics is a Western perversion – we must acknowledge that there are infinite versions of the truth. Badiou, 98 (Alain, Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, 27-28) VII From the Same to truths Philosophically, if the other doesn't matter it is indeed because the difficulty lies on the side of the Same. The Same, in effect, is not what is (i.e. the infinite multiplicity of differences) but what comes to be. I have already named that in regard to which only the advent of the Same occurs: it is a truth. Only a truth is, as such, indifferent to differences. This is something we have always known, even if sophists of every age have always attempted to obscure its certainty: a truth is the same for all. What is to be postulated for one and all, what I have called our 'being immortal', certainly is not covered by the logic of 'cultural' differences as insignificant as they are massive. It is our capacity for truth - our capacity to be that 'same' that a truth convokes to its own 'sameness'. Or in other words, depending on the circumstances, our capacity for science, love, politics or art, since all truths, in my view, fall under one or another of these universal names. It is only through a genuine perversion, for which we will pay a terrible historical price, that we have sought to elaborate an 'ethics' on the basis of cultural relativism. For this is to pretend that a merely contingent state of things can found a Law. The only genuine ethics is of truths in the plural -or, more precisely, the only ethics is of processes of truth, of the labour that brings some truths into the world. Ethics must be taken in the sense presumed by Lacan when, against Kant and the notion of a general morality, he discusses the ethics of psychoanalysis. Ethics does not exist. There is only the ethic-of (of politics, of love, of science, of art). There is not, in fact, one single Subject, but as many subjects as there are truths, and as many subjective types as there are procedures of truths. As for me, I identify four fundamental subjective 'types': political, scientific, artistic, and amorous [amoureux]. Every human animal, by participating in a given singular truth, is inscribed in one of these four types. A philosophy sets out to construct a space of thought in which the different subjective types, expressed by the singular truths of its time, coexist. But this coexistence is not a unification -that is why it is impossible to speak of one Ethics.

Elliot, Lasky, Logan, Will

Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

BADIOU 15

LT: ETHICS OF THE OTHER The ethics of difference are junk—it is obvious and therefore unenlightening to point out that different people must learn to co-exist. Dwelling on difference must be abandoned to search universals. Johnston, 02 (Theory and Event, Confronting the New Sophists, 6:2 | © 2002 Adrian Johnston, Book Review of Jason Barker, Alian Badiou: A Critical Introduction (London: Pluto Press, 2002), Adrian Johnston recently received his Ph.D. in philosophy at SUNY Stony Brook. He is presently an interdisciplinary research fellow in psychoanalysis at Emory University).
In the continental philosophical tradition ever since Levinas, an ethics of the "difference of the Other" has predominated to the point of effectively crowding out any serious alternative. Proponents of this stance adamantly insist that the root of all evils is a lack of sufficient and proper respect for the differences of others. This bit of academic dogma reflects a broader popular

Badiou launches a scathing attack on the ethics of difference. A passage from this text offers the finest summary of his position: The objective (or historical) foundation of contemporary ethics is culturalism, in truth a tourist's fascination for the diversity of morals, customs and beliefs. And in particular, for the irreducible medley of imaginary formations (religions, sexual representations, incarnations of authority....). Yes, the essential 'objective' bias of ethics rests on a vulgar sociology, directly inherited from the astonishment of the colonial encounter with savages (Alain Badiou, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil [trans. Peter Hallward], London: Verso, 2001, pg. 26.) Badiou continues:Against these trifling descriptions (of a reality that is both obvious and inconsistent in itself), genuine thought should affirm the following principle: since differences are what there is, and since every truth is the coming-to-be of that which is not yet, so differences are then precisely what truths depose, or render insignificant. No light is shed on any concrete situation by the notion of the 'recognition of the other.' Every modern collective configuration involves people from everywhere, who have their different ways of eating and speaking, who wear different sorts of headgear, follow different religions, have complex and varied relations to sexuality, prefer authority or disorder, and such is the way of the world (pg. 27). “Difference" as such isn't worthy of the labor of thinking, being what is most obvious and immediately given in today's globalized living spaces. Instead, the challenge to "think the same," to grasp what is true for all and thus what should be dignified as universal, is increasingly more relevant and pressing in contemporary socio-political contexts.
ideology of (multi)culturalism: once people become comfortable with each other's lifestyles and tastes, things will be just fine. In his Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil,

The ethics of difference and obligation to the other break down in real life situations when the “other” does not reciprocate. Johnston, 02 (Theory and Event, Confronting the New Sophists, 6:2 | © 2002 Adrian Johnston, Book Review of Jason Barker, Alian Badiou: A Critical Introduction (London: Pluto Press, 2002), Adrian Johnston recently received his Ph.D. in philosophy at SUNY Stony Brook. He is presently an interdisciplinary research fellow in psychoanalysis at Emory University). Given the plurality of cultures and lifestyles, what ethical truths, as truths in Badiou's strong sense, can still be endorsed? What happens when the ethics of the recognition of alterity fails, when "the Other" refuses to reciprocate this cheap-and-easy gesture of recognition? For instance, what about the ethico-political crises of Western societies faced with others who, on principle, refuse to accept the underlying, fundamental democratic social contract of these societies attempting to integrate them? How should one respond in these real-world situations that give the lie to the hollow rhetoric of limitless tolerance? Slicing through a whole series of Gordian knots and specious falsehoods, Badiou realizes that, in the reign of a doctrine of otherness where each and every individual is defined chiefly in terms of differences, difference is a difference that makes no difference. As Barker puts it, "If everyone is different then it must follow that such difference simply adds up to the same thing" (pg. 137). The twentieth-century's relativism isn't just theoretically questionable; it might also be morally suspect, tacitly promoting an intellectual laziness (usually dressed up as chic pessimism or self-righteous rhetoric) that refuses to continue philosophy's traditional task of seeking, beneath the scintillating-yet-superficial façade of little differences, the true, the same, and the universal. As Zizek has passionately advocated in his recent writings, thought mustn't allow itself to be blackmailed into backing down from its quest for the indifferently invariant by ivory tower squeals that every such quest ends in "totalitarianism."

Elliot, Lasky, Logan, Will

Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

BADIOU 16

LT: ETHICS OF THE OTHER Their ethical stance is just camouflage for cultural domination. Only others who are already compatible with the dominant ideology will be embraced by their ethics. McCarraher, 01 (Eugene teaches humanities at Villanova University Review of Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil By Alain Badiou, http://www.inthesetimes.com/issue/25/18/mccarraher2518.html). While purporting to "respect difference," the acolytes of otherness are "clearly horrified," Badiou observes, "by any vigorously sustained difference." Arguing that genuine difference entails conflict, Badiou contends that "difference" is really a recipe for homogeneity and consensus. By this token, left-wing militants, along with Christian and Islamic fundamentalists and African practitioners of clitorectomy, are stigmatized as "bad others" and disinvited from those "celebrations of diversity" sponsored in campus halls and advertising agencies. "Good others," on the other hand, exhibit differences that are remarkably consonant with "the identity of a wealthy West." Indeed, with its mantra of "inclusion" and its vagueness about "the exact political meaning of the identity being promoted," identity politics supplies exotic grist for the corporate mills of Western democracies. Thus, in Badiou's view, "difference," cast in the image and likeness of consumerism, joins "rights" as rhetorical camouflage for Western economic and military domination. Infinite obligation to the other will fail—resistance to the other is often a critical component of social change. Badiou, 02 (Translated/Interviewed by Christoph Cox & Molly Whalen, Issue #5, Winter 01/02, http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/5/alainbadiou.php, On Evil: An Interview with Alain Badiou). I must particularly insist that the formula "respect for the Other" has nothing to do with any serious definition of Good and Evil. What does "respect for the Other" mean when one is at war against an enemy, when one is brutally left by a woman for someone else, when one must judge the works of a mediocre "artist," when science is faced with obscurantist sects, etc.? Very often, it is the "respect for Others" that is injurious, that is Evil. Especially when it is resistance against others, or even hatred of others, that drives a subjectively just action. And it's always in these kinds of circumstances (violent conflicts, brutal changes, passionate loves, artistic creations) that the question of Evil can be truly asked for a subject. Evil does not exist either as nature or as law. It exists, and varies, in the singular becoming of the True.

Elliot, Lasky, Logan, Will

Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

BADIOU 17

LT: ETHICS OF THE OTHER The notion of acting to save the stranger takes otherness as natural and relies upon the categories of us/them, foreign/domestic and inside/outside. This reduces subjects of protection to dehumanized subjects—lives to be saved, but stripped of political agency. Edkins, (International politics, University of Wales), 03 (Jenny, Journal of Human Rights, v.2 n.2, June). The debate broadly centers on establishing normative principles that help us decide at what point we should intervene to help strangers. What are our responsibilities towards those who are not fellow citizens? Should we take action to help them when to do so would mean intervening in the affairs of another sovereign state? How should we do this so as to avoid inadvertently doing harm? These questions take for granted that the people we are concerned to help are what we call ‘strangers’. The assumption is that ‘we’ and ‘they’ are already distinct, before there is any relationship between us. The only question to be resolved is whether and how ‘we’ should help ‘them’ – and it is not seen as problematic to look for general, ahistorical rules that will provide solutions to those questions. The sovereign state system under which we live is one that is based on and produced by such distinctions: between domestic and foreign, inside and outside, us and them, here and there (Walker 1993). To take for granted these distinctions is already to frame the whole debate in a way that leads inexorably towards a solution supportive of state sovereignty . This is why, far from challenging state sovereignty, humanitarianism often reinforces it (Campbell 1997). And I want to
suggest that this is the reason too why an increase in talk of normative criteria and the moral basis of humanitarianism is accompanied so closely by the incorporation of the independent humanitarian movement in practices of governance: whether those of indi- vidual states or those of the interstate community is largely immaterial. Does this mean that all forms of humanitarianism will in the end succumb to incorporation by the state? Is it possible to envisage a humanitarianism that restores the concept of neutrality and re-establishes an ‘autonomous humanitarian space’ distinct from state politics, as Rieff suggests (Rieff 2002: 328)? To address this question we need to examine closely what Rieff has in mind here. The success of the enterprise may well depend on the extent to which it can move away from the assumptions underlying contemporary humanitarianism identified above and develop an approach that does not rely on the constitution of the subjects of its concern in a way that so closely imitates the production of subjects of the state. The concepts of neutrality and impartiality are often seen as part of an attempt to render humanitarianism apolitical. As a result of the experience of ‘actually-existing humanitarianism’ over the past twenty-five years, it is now generally accepted that humanitarian action cannot be separated from politics in the broad sense: it has political consequences. Rieff does not dispute this, and when he argues for a return to a neutral, independent humanitarianism, I take it he means a humanitarianism that is not closely linked to the politics of the state rather than one that is apolitical. What are the implications of the call for a neutrality of this sort? Is it possible? Can humanitarianism return to its ‘core values – solidarity, a fundamental sympathy for victims, and an antipathy for oppressors and exploiters’ (Rieff 2002: 334)? Neutrality can be read in different ways, some more conducive to state humanitarianism and others to the independent humanitarianism Rieff advocates. The concept of neutrality can be seen as drawing on some notion of common humanity – a form of lowest common denominator that all human beings possess and to which humanitarians respond. The human rights discourse relies on a similar concept of a basic humanity to which rights are attached. This approach is problematic, however. As Rieff points out, it emphasizes the innocence of victims. Images of children are particularly potent in this discourse because of their guaranteed ‘innocence’.Those that humanitarianism helps are ‘human beings in the generic sense’, in a tale ‘devoid of historical context, geographical specificity’ and ‘any real personalization’ (Rieff 2002: 35). In other words they are treated as lives to be saved, lives with no political voice, or what Giorgio Agamben calls ‘bare life’ (Agamben 1998). This notion of bare humanity risks complicity with state forms – in the same way as the us/them distinction discussed above. Both the sovereign state and a humanitarianism based on the concept of a common human essence produce

(and depend on) a particular form of subject: one that is excluded from politics. The narrative of human being as a common essence risks the same exclusionary practices that produce the sovereignty of the nation-state, with its narratives of national identity, and produces the same dehumanized and depoliticized subjects.

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Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

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LT: ETHICS OF THE OTHER The notion of ‘obligation to the other’ must be abandoned – we are all different in an infinite number of ways, making their category useless Badiou, 98 (Alain, Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, 25-26) The truth is that, in the context of a system of thought that is both a-religious and genuinely contemporary with the truths of our time, the whole ethical predication based upon recognition of the other should be purely and simply abandoned. For the real question -and it is an extraordinarily difficult one - is much more that of recognizing the Same. Let us posit our axioms. There is no God. Which also means: the One is not. The multiple 'without-one' -every multiple being in its sum nothing other than a multiple of multiples - is the law of being. The only stopping point is the void. The infinite, as Pascal had already realized, is the banal reality of every situation, not the predicate of a transcendence. For the infinite, as Cantor demonstrated with the creation of set theory, is actually only the most general form of multiple-being [etre-multiple]. In fact, every situation, inasmuch as it is, is a multiple composed of an infinity of elements, each one of which is itself a multiple. Considered in their simple belonging to a situation (to an infinite multiple), the animals of the species Homo sapiens are ordinary multiplicities. What, then, are we to make of the other, of differences, and of their ethical recognition? Infinite alterity is quite simply what there is. Any experience at all is the infinite deployment of infinite differences. Even the apparently reflexive experience of myself is by no means the intuition of a unity but a labyrinth of differentiations, and Rimbaud was certainly not wrong when he said: 'I am another.' There are as many differences, say, between a Chinese peasant and a young Norwegian professional as between myself and anybody at all, including myself. As many, but also, then, neither more nor less.

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LT: EMBRACE DIFFERENCE Emphasizing difference is useless—we are all different in an infinite number of ways, making the category of the “other” hopeless. Badiou, 98 (Alain, Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, 26-27) Contemporary ethics kicks up a big fuss about 'cultural' differences. Its conception of the 'other' is informed mainly by this kind of differences. Its great ideal is the peaceful coexistence of cultural, religious, and national 'communities', the refusal of 'exclusion'. But what we must recognize is that these differences hold no interest for thought, that they amount to nothing more than the infinite and self-evident multiplicity of humankind, as obvious in the
difference between me and my cousin from Lyon as it is between the Shi'ite 'community' of Iraq and the fat cowboys of Texas. The objective (or historical) foundation of contemporary ethics is culturalism, in truth a tourist's fascination for the diversity of morals, customs and beliefs. And in particular, for the irreducible medley of imaginary formations (religions, sexual representations, incarnations of authority ...). Yes, the essential 'objective' basis of ethics rests on a vulgar sociology, directly inherited from the astonishment of the colonial encounter with savages. And we must not forget that there are also savages among us (the drug addicts of the banlieues, religious sects -the whole journalistic paraphernalia of menacing internal alterity), confronted by an ethics that

), genuine thought should affirm the following principle: since differences are what there is, and since every truth is the coming-to-be of that which is not yet, so differences are then precisely what truths depose, or render insignificant. No light is shed on any concrete situation by the notion of the 'recognition of the other'. Every modern collective configuration involves people from everywhere, who have their different ways of eating and speaking, who wear different sorts of headgear, follow different religions, have complex and varied relations to sexuality, prefer authority or disorder, and such is the way of the world.
offers, without changing its means of investigation, its 'recognition' and its social workers. Against these trifling descriptions (of a reality that is both obvious and inconsistent in itself

‘Respecting difference’ only operates insofar as the other is willing to be integrated into Western modes of thought – all others are characterized as dangerous and expendable. Badiou, 98 (Alain, Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, 23-25)
What then becomes of this category if we claim to suppress, or mask, its religious character, all the while preserving the abstract arrangement of its apparent constitution (‘recognition of the other’, etc.)? The answer is obvious: a dog’s dinner [de la bouillie pour les chats]. We are left with a pious discourse without piety, a spiritual supplement for incompetent governments, and a

the self-declared apostles of ethics and of the 'right to difference' are clearly horrified by any vigorously sustained difference. For them, Mrican customs are barbaric, Muslims are dreadful, the Chinese are totalitarian, and so on. As a matter of fact, this celebrated 'other' is acceptable only if he is a good other - which is to say what, exactly, if not the same as us? Respect for differences, of course! But on condition that the different be parliamentary-democratic, pro free-market economics, in favour of freedom of opinion, feminism, the environment. ... That is to say: I respect differences, but only, of course, in so far as that which differs also respects, just as I do, the said differences. Just as there can be 'no freedom for the enemies of freedom', so there can be no respect for those whose difference consists precisely in not respecting differences. To prove the point, just consider the obsessive resentment expressed by the partisans of ethics regarding anything that resembles an Islamic 'fundamentalist'. The problem is that the 'respect for differences' and the ethics of human rights do seem to define an identity! And that as a result, the respect for differences applies only to those differences that are reasonably consistent with this identity (which, after all, is nothing other than the identity of a wealthy -albeit visibly declining -'West'). Even immigrants in this country [France], as seen by the partisans of ethics, are acceptably different only when they are 'integrated', only if they seek integration (which seems to mean, if you think about it: only if they want to suppress their difference). It might well be that ethical ideology, detached from the religious teachings which at least conferred upon it the fullness of a 'revealed' identity, is simply the final imperative of a conquering civilization: 'Become like me and I will respect your difference.'
cultural sociology preached, in line with the new-style sermons, in lieu of the late class struggle. Our suspicions are first aroused when we see that

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LT: IDENTITY POLITICS/ETHICS OF THE OTHER The ethics of the obligation to the other fall flat in the face of real situations—in practice, this ethic denies differences of any real significance. Respect for the other becomes respect for those who are fundamentally like us. Brown, 04 (Nicholas, University of Illinois at Chicago, Or, Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek, Waiting for Something to Happen, CR: The New Centennial Review 4.3 (2004) 289-319). What guarantees the otherness of the other in the absence of the Absolutely Other? Nothing, which means it can only be posited. What this implies, first of all, is that the ineffable other is a product of my own thought and therefore not other at all. Second, we are compelled to ask: why this will to otherness? Once again, Badiou critiques the laicized, multiculturalist version of this ethics by staging it. In its everyday form, without the support of the Altogether Other, the ethics of difference bifurcates as soon as it is put into play. Its attitude towards any rigorously sustained difference is entirely different from the attitude it believes itself to have towards difference-as-such. A rigorously sustained religious difference? Fundamentalism. Rigorously sustained political difference? Extremism. Rigorously sustained cultural difference? Barbarism. "As a matter of fact, this celebrated 'other' is acceptable only if he is a good other—which is to say what, exactly, if not the same as us?" (Ethics, 24). The only acceptable difference is one that also merely "accepts" difference. This restriction means that the discourse of the other is effectively a discourse of the Same: a cosmopolitan fantasy of liberal-democratic, free-market society: "nothing other than the identity of a wealthy—albeit visibly declining—'West'" (24). Infinite obligation to the other is nonsense in the face of an “other” that is an enemy. Meister, 05 (Postmodern Culture, "Never Again": The Ethics of the Neighbor and the Logic of Genocide 15.2, Robert, Department of Politics, UC Santa Cruz). Although few, if any, contemporary political actors are directly influenced by him, Lévinas provides the most experientially accurate description of liberal humanitarian politics after Auschwitz. This politics represents itself as a morally useful way of feeling bad because one always comes too late to help and it is always too soon to make a final judgment. This is in practice what it means to put ethics first after Auschwitz, and still engage in politics. It also, however, reveals the incoherence of an ethical view that puts the condemnation of cruelty before all else, an ethics grounded in the seemingly "incontestable" condemnation of human suffering as self-evident evil. This incoherence, as I have already suggested, arises from the extraction of the neighborhood as a space for humanitarian ethics out of a prior conception of sovereignty that is both political and theological. Schmitt understood implicitly that politics is not simply a matter of one's own life or death; it is also the imperative to protect friends and countrymen from the enemies that endanger them, an imperative that gives meaning to one's own patriotic suffering, even if it ends in death.

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LT: IDENTITY POLITICS Identity politics is a contradiction in terms. Identity can never be the foundation for liberation because true politics must search for the universal. Revaluation of the whole system is the pre-requisite to their project. Hallward, 03 (Badiou: a subject to truth, Peter Hallward, University of Minnesota Press Minneapolis / London 2003, Professor of Modern European Philosophy, Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex Univeristy). The very notion of identity politics is thus an explicit contradiction in terms. The OP regularly condemns the articulation of a “'French' identity that authorizes discrimination or persecution” of any kind; the only legitimate national unit is one that counts all of its elements as one, regardless of ethnocultural particularity. 26 The left-liberal insistence on the vacuous “right to remain 'the same as ourselves' has no chance against the abstract universality” of contemporary capital, and does nothing more than “organize an inclusion in what it pretends to oppose.” 27 Of course, it has often been argued that if we are oppressed as Arab, as woman, as black, as homosexual, and so on, this oppression will not end until these particular categories have been revalued. 28 Badiou's response to this line of attack is worth quoting at length: When I hear people say, “We are oppressed as blacks, as women, ” I have only one problem: what exactly is meant by “black” or “women”? … Can this identity, in itself, function in a progressive fashion, that is, other than as a property invented by the oppressors themselves? … I understand very well what “black” means for those who use that predicate in a logic of differentiation, oppression, and separation, just as I understand very well what “French” means when Le Pen uses the word, when he champions national preference, France for the French, exclusion of Arabs, etc…. Negritude, for example, as incarnated by Césaire and Senghor, consisted essentially of reworking exactly those traditional predicates once used to designate black people: as intuitive, as natural, as primitive, as living by rhythm rather than by concepts, etc…. I understand why this kind of movement took place, why it was necessary. It was a very strong, very beautiful, and very necessary movement. But having said that, it is not something that can be inscribed as such in politics. I think it is a matter of poetics, of culture, of turning the subjective situation upside down. It doesn't provide a possible framework for political initiative. The progressive formulation of a cause that engages cultural or communal predicates, linked to incontestable situations of oppression and humiliation, presumes that we propose these predicates, these particularities, these singularities, these communal qualities, in such a way that they become situated in another space and become heterogeneous to their ordinary oppressive operation. I never know in advance what quality, what particularity, is capable of becoming political or not; I have no preconceptions on that score. What I do know is that there must be a progressive meaning to these particularities, a meaning that is intelligible to all. Otherwise, we have something that has its raison d'être, but that is necessarily of the order of a demand for integration, that is, of a demand that one's particularity be valued in the existing state of things….

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LT: IDENTITY POLITICS All forms of identity politics are enemies of truth. The test of true ethics is very simple: it is either based on a universal that applies to all or it is not. Hallward, 03 (Badiou: a subject to truth, Peter Hallward, University of Minnesota Press Minneapolis / London 2003, Professor of Modern European Philosophy, Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex Univeristy). Every invocation “of custom, of community, works directly against truths” (E, 67; cf. PP, 19). Badiou rejects categorically the idea that true understanding is a function of belonging to a given community. This idea results in “catastrophic statements, on the model: only a homosexual can 'understand' what a homosexual is, only an Arab an Arab, etc.” (SP, 13). No community, be it real or virtual, corresponds to philosophy, and all genuine philosophy is characterized by the “indifference of its address, ” its lack of explicit destination, partner, or disciple. Mindful of Heidegger's notorious political engagement, Badiou is especially wary of any effort to “inscribe philosophy in history” or identify its appeal with a particular cultural tradition or group (C, 85, 75–76). Philosophy and communal specificity are mutually exclusive: “Every particularity is a conformation, a conformism, ” whereas every truth is a nonconforming. Hence the search for a rigorously generic form of community, roughly in line with Blanchot's communauté inavouable, Nancy's communauté désoeuvrée, and Agamben's coming community, so many variations of a pure presentation without presence. 89 The only community consistent with truth would be a “communism of singularities, ” a community of “extreme particularity.” 90 Nothing is more opposed to the truth of community than knowledge of a communitarian substance, be it French, Jewish, Arab, or Western. As Deleuze might put it, philosophy must affirm the necessary deterritorialization of truth. “I see nothing but national if not religious reaction, ” Badiou writes, “in the use of expressions like 'the Arab community,' 'the Jewish community,' 'the Protestant community.' The cultural idea, the heavy sociological idea of the self-contained and respectable multiplicity of cultures …, is foreign to thought. The thing itself, in politics, is acultural, as is every thought and every truth.” 91 What may distinguish Badiou's critique of the communal is the rigor with which he carries it through to its admittedly unfashionable conclusion: “The whole ethical predication based upon recognition of the other must be purely and simply abandoned. For the real question—and it is an extraordinarily difficult one—is much more that of recognizing the Same.” 92 An ontology of infinite multiplicity posits alterity—infinite alterity— as the very substance of what is. So, “differences being what there is, and every truth being the coming to be of that which is not yet, differences are then precisely what every truth deposes, or makes appear insignificant.” Difference is what there is; the Same is what comes to be, as truth, as “indifferent to differences” (E, 27). True justice is either for all or not at all.

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LT: IDENTITY POLITICS Identity politics are the ultimate basis of banal homogeneity-endless numbers of groups will demand recognition and will only be marked as ready for capitalist targeting, such as distinctive fashion or a specialty magazine. Badiou '03 (Alain. Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism, p.9-11)
Our world is in no way as "complex’ as those who wish to ensure Its perpetuation claim. It is even, in its broad outline, perfectly simple -J On the one hand, there is an extension of the automatisms of capital, fulfilling one of Marx's inspired predictions: the world finally configured!, but as a market, as a world-market. This configuration imposes the rule of an abstract homogenization. Everything that circulates falls under the unity of a count, while inversely, only what lets itself be counted in this way can circulate Moreover, this is the norm that illuminates a paradox few have pointed out: in the hour of generalized circulation and the phantasm of instantaneous cultural communication, laws and regulations forbidding the circulation of persons are being multiplied everywhere. So. it is that in France, never have fewer foreigners settled than in the recent period! Free circulation of what lets itself be counted, yes, and above all of capital, which is the count of the count. Free circulation of that uncountable infinity constituted by a singular human life, never! For capitalist monetary abstraction is certainly a singularity, but a singularity that has no consideration fir any singularity whatsoever: singularity as indifferent to the persistent infinity of existence as is to the eventual becoming of truths. On the other side, there

each identification (the creation or cobbling together of identity) creates a figure that provides a material for its investment by the market. There is nothing more captive, so far as commercial investment is concerned, nothing more amenable to the invention of new figures of monetary homogeneity, than a community and its territory or territories. The semblance of nonequivalence is required so that equivalence itself can constitute a process. What inexhaustible potential for mercantile investments in this upsurge- taking the form to communities demanding recognition and so called cultural singularities – of women, homosexuals, and disabled Arabs! And these infinite combinations of predicative traits, what a godsend! Black homosexuals, disabled Serbs, Catholic pedophiles, moderate Muslims married priests, ecologist yuppies, the sub save unemployed, prematurely aged youth! Each time, a social image authorizes new products, specialized magazines, improved shopping malls, "free" radio stations, targeted advertising networks, and finally, heady "public debates" at peak viewing times. Deleuze put it perfectly: capitalist deterritorialization requires a constant reterritorialization. Capital demands a permanent creation of subjective and territorial identities in order for its principle of movement to homogenize its space of action: identities. Moreover, that never demand anything but the right to be exposed in the same way as others to the uniform prerogatives of the market. The capitalist logic of the general equivalent and the identitarian and cultural logic of communities or minorities form an articulated whole. This articulation plays a constraining role relative to every truth procedure. It is organic ally without truth.
is a process of fragmentation into closed identities, and the culturalist and relativist ideology that accompanies this fragmentation. Both processes are perfectly intertwined. For

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LT: IDENTITY POLITICS Identity politics, in their denial of universalism and embrace of relativist calls for justice, reduce all politics and culture to banal equivalencies. Politics in this frame devolves into authoritarian management of identity. Badiou ’03 (Alain, Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism pg 12-13) Now, far from returning toward an appropriation of this typology, identitarian or minoritarian logic merely proposes a variant on its nominal occlusion by capital. It inveighs against every generic concept of art, putting the concept of culture in its place, conceived as culture of the group, as the subjective or representative glue for the group’s existence, a culture that addresses only itself and remains potentially nonuniversalizable. Moreover, it does not hesitate to posit that this culture’s constitutive elements are only fully comprehensible on the condition that one belong to the subset in question. Whence catastrophic pronouncements of the sort: only a homosexual can “understand” what a homosexual is, only an Arab can understand what an Arabi is, and so forth. If as we believe, only truths (thought) allow to be distinguished from the human animal that underlines him, it is no exaggeration to say that such minoritarian pronouncements are genuinely barbaric. In the case of science, culturalism promotes the technical particulary of subsets to the equivalent of scientific thought, so that antibiotics, Shamanism, the laying on of hands, or emollient herbal teas all become of equal worth. In the case of politics, the consideration of identitarian traits provides the basis for determination, be it the state’s or the protestor’s and finally it is a matter of stipulating, through law or brute force, an authoritarian management of these traits (national, religious, sexual, and so on) considered as dominant political operators. Lastly, in the case of love, there will be the complementary demands, either for the genetic right to have such and such a form of specialized sexual behavior recognized as a minoritarian identity; or for the return, pure and simple, to archaic, culturally established conceptions, such as that of strict conjugality, the confinement of women, and so forth. It is perfectly possible to combine the two, as becomes apparent when homosexual protest concerns the right to be reincluded in the grand tranditionalism of marriage and the family, or to take responsibility for the defrocking of a priest with the Pope’s blessing. The two components of the articulated whole (abstract homogeneity of capital and identitarian protest) are in a relation of reciprocal maintenance and mirroring, Who will maintain the self-evident superiority of the competent-cultivated-sexually liberated manger? But who will defend the corrupt-religious-polygamistterrorist? Or eulogize the cultural-marginalhomeopathic-media-friendly transsexual? Each figure gains its rotating legitimacy from the other’s discredit. Yet at the same time, each rotating legitimacy from the other’s discredit. Yet at the same time, each draws on the resource of the other, since the transformation of the most typical, most recent communitarian identities into advertising selling points and salable images has for its counterpart the ever more refined competence that the most insular or most violent groups display when it comes to speculating on the financial markets or maintaining a large-scale arms commerce. Breaking with all this (neither monetary homogeneity nor identitarian protest, neither the abstractuniversality of capital nor the particularity of interests proper to a subset), our question can be clearly formulated: What are the conditions for a universal singularity?

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LT: IDENTITY POLITICS Real justice can never be formed on the basis of singular identity claims—Nazism was the ultimate in identity politics. To resist this search for singular experiences of oppression, we should search for egalitarian truths. Badiou ’03 (Alain, Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism pg 11 -12) On the one hand, every truth procedure breaks with the axiomatic principle that governs the situation and organizes its repetitive series. A truth procedure interrupts repetition and can therefore not be supported by the abstract permanence proper to a unity of the count. A truth is always, according to the dominant law of the count, subtracted from the count. Consequently, no truth can be sustained through capital’s homogeneous expansion. But, on the other hand, neither can a truth procedure take root in the element of identity. For if it is true that every truth erupts as singular, its singularity is immediately universalizable. Universalizable singularity. That there are intertwined histories, different culture and, more generally, differences already abundant in one and the “same” individual. That the world is multicolored, that one must let people live, eat, dress, imagine, love in whichever way they please is not the issue, whatever certain disingenuous simpletons may want us to think. Such liberal truisms are cheap, and one would only like to see those who proclaim them not react so violently whenever confronted with the slightest serious attempt to dissent from their own puny liberal difference. Contemporary cosmopolitanism is a beneficent reality. We simply ask that its partisans not get themselves worked up at the sight of a young veiled woman, lest we begin to fear that what they really desire, far from a real web of shifting differences, is the uniform dictatorship[ of what they take to be “modernity”. It is a question of knowing what identitarian and communitarian categories have to do with truth procedures, with political procedures for example. We reply: these categories must be absented from the process, failing which no truth has the slightes chance of establishing its persistaence and accruing its immanent infinity. We know, moreover, that the most consequential instances of identitarian politics, such as Nazism, are bellicose and criminal. The idea that once can wield such categories innocently, even in the form of French “republican” identity, is inconsistent. One will, of necessity, end up oscillating between the abdtract universal of capital and localized persecutions.

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LT: LEVINAS Levinas gives absolute priority of ethics before politics—making ethics a universal obligation that becomes the basis of human rights and the need to intervene all over the world. Meister, 05 (Postmodern Culture, "Never Again": The Ethics of the Neighbor and the Logic of Genocide 15.2, Robert, Department of Politics, UC Santa Cruz). Lévinas's point is that in ethics, unlike politics, we do not ask who came first and what we have already done to (or for) each other. The distinctively ethical question is rather one of proximity--we are already here and so is the other, cheek-by-jowl with us in the same place. The neighbor is the figure of the other toward whom our only relationship is that of proximity. For Lévinas, the global movement to give ethics primacy over politics must be accompanied, within ethics, by the effort to give primacy to the ethics of the neighbor--the local over the global. In this way, the global
primacy of ethics crystallizes around our horror of the inhuman act (the "gross" violation of human rights) rather than, for example, around the international distribution of wealth or the effects of global climate change. Proximity is, thus, the marker that distinguishes an ethics of the neighbor as a basis for human rights from global concerns about injustice that might also be considered ethical. Proximity is not itself a merely spatial concept--both space and time can be proximate or distant--but it is useful to think of the ethics of the neighbor as a spatializing discourse within ethics, as distinct from a "temporalizing" discourse that subordinates ethics to political rhetorics associated with memory and identity (Boyarin, "Space" 20). The latter is held accountable for the atrocities of the twentieth century because it suggests that the suffering of one's immediate neighbor can be justified through an historical narrative that links it to redeeming the suffering of someone else, perhaps an ancestor or a comrade, to whom one claims an historical relationship that is "closer" than relations among neighbors. To regard proximity of place as the ethical foundation of politics is to resist this tendency from the beginning, and thereby to set the stage for the fin-de-siècle project of transitional justice, which is both the alternative to human rights interventions and their professed aim. Transitional justice assigns to historical enemies the task of living as neighbors in the same place. It employs techniques of reconciliation to create new and better relationships between previously warring groups, but the imperative to reconcile is ultimately ethical in Lévinas's sense. That imperative is based on no relationship other than proximity and mutual vulnerability--the ever-present possibility that they will murder each other. If the subjects of transitional justice fail to reconcile, and mass murders occur, these atrocities are liable to be considered crimes against humanity that justify outside intervention. In the now-massive literature on transitional justice, gross violations of human rights are always assumed to be local, occurring between neighbors who occupy common ground, and the responders are treated as third parties who intervene (or fail to do so) from afar. Even if the responders have an historical

connection to the site of intervention, perhaps as one-time colonizers, they are considered to be driven by ethics, as distinct from politics, in their willingness to respond on behalf of the world community that should never again stand by while neighbors murder each other. It is implicit in this emerging conception that the site of ethics is the space of the neighbor (or neighborhood) and that the site of politics is global. Global intervention in the local can be justified in
the name of universal human rights; but violence aimed at global causes of suffering (such as the Seattle riots against the WTO or the Chiapas rebellion against NAFTA) is not seen as a form of humanitarian direct action on a par with bombing Belgrade or Baghdad. In the emergent global discourse on human rights, "Nothing essential to a person's human essence is violated if he or she suffers as a consequence of military action or of market manipulation from beyond his own state when that is permitted by international law" (Asad, "Redeeming the 'Human'" 129). A perverse effect of the global "culture" of protecting local human rights is thus to take the global causes of human suffering off the political agenda. Any

direct action taken against global forces runs the risk of being considered a violation of universal human rights (a violation such as "terrorism") in the locality where it occurs.

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LT: LEVINAS Don’t let them claim that they only create an ethical obligation in a particular instance—Levinasian ethics demand recognition of a universal duty—individual situations are only a proxy for this larger obligation. Meister, 05 (Postmodern Culture, "Never Again": The Ethics of the Neighbor and the Logic of Genocide 15.2, Robert, Department of Politics, UC Santa Cruz).
Without belaboring the obvious tension suggested here between the message of Judaism, thus described, and political Zionism, it is clear that this quote privileges the position of the refugee over the claims of both settler and native, and treats the territory as a place of refuge harboring potential neighbors for whom bad history is always yet to come. The space of the neighbor (the neighborhood) is no longer a "situation"

for which we share attachments; it is here mystified as a pure relationship of being in the presence of, and answerable to, another face. What makes this relationship quintessentially ethical, according to Lévinas, is that the neighbor does not approach us first with the political identify of friend or foe, and with the claim to be recognized accordingly. Rather, the neighbor's first demand is placed upon us by pure proximity--not because we feel closer to our neighbor than to someone else, but because his proximity makes us answer for our responsibility to the more distant stranger for whom he also substitutes (see "Substitution"). In Lévinas's ethic of the neighbor, "The proximity of the neighbor--the peace of proximity--is the responsibility of the ego for an other" ("Peace and Proximity" 167).

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AT: OUR ETHICS ARE NOT JUST LEVINAS Badiou uses Levinas as an example but his critique applies equally to any ethical system grounded in otherness, difference, or victimization. All are equally nihilistic and sustain existing relations of domination. Rothberg 01 (Criticism 43.4 (2001) 478-484, Book Review, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, Michael Rothberg, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign). Badiou's primary philosophical adversary in his Ethics is Emmanuel Lévinas, the Lithuanian-born, French-Jewish philosopher known especially for his ethics of otherness and his influence on certain versions of poststructuralism. Badiou's critique of Lévinas in this brief text will probably seem superficial to adherents of the latter's thought. Indeed, it seems that Badiou is less interested in Lévinas as such than in the general influence he has had on political and theoretical discourses: Lévinas stands in for the contemporary valorization of otherness, difference, and victimization as the grounds and stakes of ethics. In one of Lévinas's most famous formulations, he writes, "To see a face is already to hear 'You shall not kill,' and to hear 'You shall not kill' is to hear 'Social [End Page 479] justice'" (Difficult Freedom: Essays on Judaism, trans. Sean Hand [Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990], 8). For Badiou, in contrast, the obsession with human beings' potential for victimization is a form of nihilism, since the "underlying conviction [of this ethics] is that the only thing that can really happen to someone is death" (35). Such a nihilistic perspective will not lead toward "social justice," but rather toward apology for actually existing relations of exploitation and domination.

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LT: RIGHTS Human rights stands in cooperation with conservative power—all those who oppose rights are labeled as terrorists to be exterminated. Meister 02 [Robert, Professor of Philosophy @ UC Santa Cruz, “Human Rights and the Politics of Victimhood,” Ethics & International Affairs, Vol. 16, Iss. 2, pg. 91, proquest] This theme in much of present-day Human Rights Discourse is most directly understandable as an effort to depoliticize the unresolved victim-beneficiary issues of the revolutionary/counterrevolutionary politics that drove the Cold War. It seeks to represent these issues as superseded by a moral consensus on the means used to resolve them: violent or nonviolent, constitutional or "terrorist.''12 The political effect of recent Human Rights Discourse is to marginalize as "terrorists" those on both sides of the old conflict who are still willing to fight on. Terrorism-the remnant of twentieth-century "inhumanity"-is now the phenomenon against which all civilized nations in the twenty-first century can agree to make "war." The main point, today, of calling a movement or regime "terrorist" is to drain it of its twentieth-century political content and context. Indeed, struggles for political and/or cultural autonomy that might recently have claimed the mantle of human rights are now described (looking forward) as morally equivalent to crimes against humanity insofar as they engage in acts of "terror" or are hesitant in condemning terrorism elsewhere. In its new proximity to power, the mainstream human rights establishment speaks with increasing hostility toward movements that it might once have sought to comprehend. As we begin this new century, Human Rights Discourse is in danger of devolving from an aspirational ideal to an implicit compromise that allows the victims of past injustice a moral victory on the understanding that the ongoing beneficiaries get to keep their gains without fear of terrorism. The movement aims, of course, to persuade the passive supporters of the old order to abjure illegitimate means of counterrevolutionary politics-the repressive and fraudulent techniques of power that they once condoned or ignored. Insofar as the aim is also to reconcile these passive supporters (including many beneficiaries) with the victims of past injustice, it nevertheless advances the counterrevolutionary project by other means. The new culture of respect for human rights would, thus, reassure the beneficiary that the (former) victim no longer poses this threat, and maybe never did. For the victim who was morally undamaged and/or subsequently "healed," the past would be truly over once its horrors were acknowledged by national consensus. This sought-after consensus on the moral meaning of the past comes at the expense, however, of cutting off future claims that would normally seem to follow from it. To put the point crudely, the cost of achieving a moral consensus that the past was evil is to reach a political consensus that the evil is past. In practice, this political consensus operates to constrain debate in societies that regard themselves as "recovering" from horrible histories. It means that
unreconciled victims who continue to demand redistribution at the expense of beneficiaries will be accused of undermining the consensus that the evil is past; it also means that continuing beneficiaries who act on their fears that victims are still unreconciled will be accused of undermining the consensus that the past was evil by "blaming the victim.' Indeed, the substantive meaning of evil itself has changed in the human rights culture that is widely believed to have superseded the Cold War. "Evil" is no longer widely understood to be a system of social injustice that can have ongoing structural effects, even after the structure is dismantled. Rather, evil is described as a time that is past-or can be put in the past. The present way that born-again adherents to human rights address surviving victims of past evil is to project a distinction between the "good" (undamaged) and "bad" (unreconciled or recalcitrant) members of the victimized groups. To the extent that the emergent human rights project aims to

enlist the support of the good victims in repressing the bad victims as terrorists (and/or criminals, depending on the type of judicial process they will receive), it is, prima facie, a continuation, by other means, of the twentieth-century project of counterrevolution.

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LT: RIGHTS The politics of human rights justifies massive violence—the powerful can wage wars against the inhuman masses lying outside the circle of rights holders. Meister 02 [Robert, Professor of Philosophy @ UC Santa Cruz, “Human Rights and the Politics of Victimhood,” Ethics & International Affairs, Vol. 16, Iss. 2, pg. 91, proquest] The anti-messianic message of the Human Rights Discourse is not entirely the program of peace and reconciliation that it might seem to be on the surface. It is, also, a declaration of war against a new enemy. Carl Schmitt first pointed this out in his criticism of the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928, outlawing war. "The solemn declaration of outlawing war," he asserted, "does not abolish the friend-enemy distinction, but, on the contrary, opens new possibilities by giving an international hostis declaration new content and new vigor."30 This criticism applied equally, in Schmitt's view, to the human rights consensus expressed by the Treaty of Versailles, in 1919, which established the League of Nations: When a state fights its political enemy in the name of humanity it...seeks to usurp a universal concept against its military opponent ... in the same way that one can misuse peace, justice, progress, and civilization in order to claim these as one's own and to deny the same to the enemy.31 Although Schmitt's own political
agenda, which led to a defense of Nazism, is ultimately despicable, he nevertheless provides a helpful guide to the ideological significance of Human Rights Discourse at a moment of U.S. military and economic hegemony at the end of the Cold War. This move is, as he well understood, a way to create new political alliances by shifting enemies. The underlying intent of such an international consensus to protect human rights is not to assert a selfconfident universality, but rather to represent what Schmitt called "a potential or actual alliance, that is, a coalition."32 In the present conjuncture, he is worth quoting at length on this point: It is...erroneous to believe that a political position founded on economic superiority is "essentially unwarlike"... [It] will naturally attempt to sustain a worldwide condition which enables it to apply and manage, unmolested, its economic means, e.g., terminating credit, embargoing raw materials, destroying the currencies of others, and so on. Every attempt of a people to withdraw itself from the effects of such "peaceful methods" is considered by this imperialism as extraeconomic power.... Modern means of annihilation have been produced by enormous investments of capital and intelligence, surely to be used if necessary.33 Schmitt anticipated the

rhetorical demands that Human Rights Discourse would place on liberal politicians still fighting, as Woodrow Wilson did, "to make the world safe for democracy"-but now in the name of a "world community" defending "humanity" as such. As he explains: For the application of such means, a new and essentially pacifist vocabulary has been created. War is condemned but executions, sanctions, punitive expeditions, pacifications, protection of treaties, international police, and measures to assure peace remain. The adversary is thus no longer called an enemy but a disturber of peace and is thereby designated to be an outlaw of humanity.... But this allegedly non-political... system cannot escape the logic of the political.34 Schmitt's analysis, above, might be read today as a forecast: Although we are now able to fight wars only on the condition that they are not described as such, these wars do not thereby "escape the logic of the political." Schmitt's powerful critique of the depoliticizing project of what was, in his time, the precursor to Human Rights Discourse went some way toward repoliticizing it, at least in Weimar Germany. Perhaps because of his own dalliance in the politics of victimhood in its most pernicious form, Schmitt did not fully understand a deeper implication of his own argument: that adopting a Human Rights Discourse gives survivors of past barbarity the consciousness of victims. It is they, the newly vulnerable, who must now be protected from being violated by the "inhuman." "Whoever invokes humanity wants to cheat;' Schmitt says. "To... invoke and monopolize such a term probably has certain incalculable effects, such as denying the enemy the quality of being human and declaring him to be an outlaw of humanity; and a war can thereby be driven to the most extreme inhumanity."35

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LT: RIGHTS Rights trivialize our collective humanity and make real, individual ethics impossible. Barker 02 (Jason, Lecturer in Communications, and a doctoral candidate in the Department of Philosophy at Cardiff University. Alain Badiou: A Critical introduction, p. 135- 136) For Badiou, philosophy is made possible, and must be made to begin, at the moment where the sophists and their perverse social and cultural side-effects (journalists and critics, the public relations industry, capital-parliamentarism in general) would appear to have thought locked in a stranglehold. But what are the actual discourses of Evil? In Badiou's short work Ethics (1993) - which he lends the subtitle Essay on the Understanding of Evil - we find the author in characteristically militant mode, embarking on another one of his balance-sheet assessments, this time of a set of negative consequences for the practice of modern ethics. For Badiou ethics has become far too thoughtless in its definitions and discredited in its field of application, a victim of too many journalistic platitudes todefend effectively the universal rights of man. Badiou rejects outright the doctrine of universal or natural human rights which he regards as having resulted largely from the failure of the revolutionary project of Marxism - and its replacement by the ideology of liberal humanitarianism and the law of the global market (E, 7). The intellectual scene reflects the failure. Today, in the realm of philosophy as in politics, it is as if Foucault’s announcement of the 'death of man’, or Althusser’s ‘process without a subject, or Lacan’s split with the Ego-ideal, had never actually happened. It is a strange and bitter irony that these once revolutionary ideas attacking the notion of the human essence are today widely regarded as having emerged in a period of intense ideology, or as evidence of their authors' remote indifference to the pragmatics4 of Western democracy (E, 8-10). From Badiou's perspective, in order to escape this misrepresentation and return ethics to its proper ground philosophy must once again be made to seize the event of the militant act; theory must be reunited with practice. It is from Kant that we inherit the founding principles of ethics as human rights. And yet what we overlook is accepting Kant’s categorical imperative, according to which human beings act with some ideal notion of human conduct in mind, is the extent to which this doctrine makes man a victim. The human being is not an end in itself. It is a negative dialectic which seeks to make man alternate between saviour and victim of human suffering and injustice. Here, right is forced to lead the fight against Evil, a fight with little understanding of what constitutes Good. Today public opinion has never been more confident in its ability to identify injustice, and to mount calls for the universal condemnation of 'criminal acts'. But where iustice itself is concerned the ethical parameters are far from clear (AM. 109). Is this uncertainty a symptom of the public's inability to acquire an ethical conscience, let alone actually adopt one for Good? Badiou strikes a strong chord here. At every level of public life the rules binding individuals into various pseudo-social contracts of mutual rights and responsibilities (consumer rights, workplace rights, parental rights, animal rights) threaten to trivialize our collective humanity, Law, along with the booming legal industry, which, supports it, rather than right, more than ever dictates the path of ethics as 'ethical policy', a policy which, at the limit, is nothing more than the capacity of a constitutional government to keep its subjects in order (along with any 'outsiders' it deems worthy of attention beyond its immediate jurisdiction). Against this paltry vision of man as a 'mortal animal' who requires constant supervision by the laws of the State, Badiou heralds 'the rights of the Immortal, asserting for themselves, or the rights of the Infinite exercising their sovereignty over the contingency of suffering and death (E, 141).

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LT: RIGHTS Rights are designed for passive victims in need of state protection. True ethics emerge in particular situations and cannot be derived from a pre-determined principle. Barker 02 ( Jason, Lecturer in Communications, and a doctoral candidate in the Department of Philosophy at Cardiff University. Alain Badiou: A Critical Introduction, p. 138) Clearly, then, these subtractions from ethics exclude all the usual founding assumptions about the human being as the possessor of certain inalienable rights. Any such rights merely amount to the right not to be (offended, mistreated, threatened. tortured, etc.). With Badiou, this standard conception of right is clearly nothing of the kind, and depends rather on the lack of an infinite set of particular rights. Ethics must therefore begin, not with abstractions which would seek to distinguish between primary and secondary rights, but from the concrete demands of any given situation. Following the Hegelian and Maoist models, then: from the particular to the universal. There is also a debt to Spinoza in Badiou's approach to ethics, since if the 'human animal' is 'convened by circumstances to become subiect', 'to enter into the composition of a subject’ (E, 37), then it also enters the realm of freedom (libera) and necessity where a thing acts according to the force of its very own reason. However, for Badiou the circumstances of becoming are not ultimately the circumstances of the ordinary, everyday world (what Spinoza calls 'nature'). The subject - which ordinarily is not - in order to surpass itself (its indifferent nature) in becoming what it is, must harness the historical supplement of the truth-event (E, 38). Henceforth, for the duration of its existence (in this new realm of being), the subject is compelled to think or act (it's the same thing now) in a way which is unique to the (new) situation where it finds itself. As we have already seen, this procedure where, in a set of historical circumstances, the subject manages to rally selflessly to the enterprise of truth is called ‘fidelity’. Singularity, therefore, is where ethics must begin, since ethics always involves the new emergence of a subject (E, 38-40). Finally, the consensus surrounding what is or is not, does or does not involve ethics, can have no part of and gain no access to truth. Ethics is a constriction, must be constructed, in the here and now. It is not concerned with founding a universal law of human conduct, and so takes no account of the possible negative consequences that a given set of principles may inadvertently unleash.

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LT: APPEALS TO SURIVAL Appealing to survival reduces the value of life to mere biology, denying our capacity to strive for truth. This recreates oppression of the “ethical” over a sub-human mass of victims. Badiou ’03 (Alain, Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism pg 10-13) The heart of the question concerns the presumption of universal human Subject capable of reducing ethical issues to matters of human rights and humanitarian actions. We have seen that ethics subordinates the identification of this subject to the universal recognition of the evil that is done to him. Ethics thus defines man us a victim. It will be objected: No! You are forgetting the active subject, the one that intervenes against of recognizing himself as a victim. It is this definition that we must proclaim Unacceptable for three reasons in particular. In the first place, because the status of victim, of suffering beast, of emaciated, dying body, equates man with his animal substructure, it reduces him to the level of a living organism pure and simple (life being, as Bichat says, nothing other than the set of functions that resist death) To
be sure, humanity is an animal. It is mortal and predatory. But neither of these attributes can distinguish humanity within the world of the living. In his role as executioner within the world of the living. In his role as executioner, man is an animal abjection, but we must have the courage to add that in his role as victim, he is generally worth little more. The stories told by survivors of torture forcefully underline the point: If the torturers and bureaucrats of the dungeons and the camps are able to treat their victims like animals destined for the slaughter house, with whom they themselves, the well-nourished criminals, have nothing in common, it is because the victims have indeed become such animals. What had to be done for this to happen has indeed been done. That some nevertheless remain human beings, and testify to that effect, is a confirmed fact. But this always achieved precisely through enormous effort, an effort acknowledge by witnesses (in whom it excites a radiant recognition) as an almost incomprehensible resistance on the part of that which, in them, does not coincide with the identity of victim. This is where we are to find Man, if we are determined to think him [la penser]: in what ensures as Varlam Shalamov puts in his Stories of Life on the Camps, that we are dealing with an animal whose resistance, unlike that of a horse, lies not in his fragile body but in his stubborn determination to remain what he is that is to say, precisely something other than a victim, other than a being – for death and this: something other than a mortal being. An immortal: this is what the worst situations that can be inflicted upon Man show him to be, in so far as he distinguishes himself within the varied and rapacious flux of life.

In order to think any aspect of Man, we must begin from this principle. So if ‘rights of man exist’, they are sorely not rights of life against death, or rights of survival against misery. They are the rights of the Infinite, exercised over the contingency of suffering and death. The fact that in the end we all die, that only dust remains, in no way alters Man’s identity as immortal at the instant in which he
affirms himself as someone who runs counter to temptation of wanting-to-be-an-animal to which circumstances may expose him. And we know that every human being is capable of being this immortal – unpredictably, be it in circumstances may expose him. And we know that every human being is capable of being this immortal – unpredictably, be it in circumstances great or small,

. In each case, subjectivation is immortal, and makes Man, Beyond this there is only a biological species, a biped without feathers’, whose charms are not obvious. If we do not set our from this point (which can be summarized, very simply, as the assertion that Man thinks, that Man is a tissue of truths), if we equate Man with the simple reality of his living being, we are inevitably pushed to a conclusion quite opposite to the one that the principle of life seems to imply. For this ‘living being’ is in reality contemptible, and he will indeed be held in contempt. Who cap fail to see that in our humanitarian expeditions, interventions, embarkations of charitable legionnaires, the subject presumed to be universal us split? On the side of the victims, the haggard animal exposed on television screens, On the side of the benefactors, conscience and the imperative to intervene. And why does this splitting always assign the same roles to the same sides? Who cannot see that this ethics which rests on the misery of the world hides, behind its victim-Man, the good-Man, the white-Man? Since the barbarity of the situation is considered only in terms of ‘human rights; - whereas in fact we are always dealing with a political situation, one that calls for a political thought practice, one that is peopled by its own authentic actors – it is perceived, from the height of our apparent civil peace, as the uncivilized a civilizing intervention. Every intervention is the name of a civilization requires an initial contempt for the situation as a whole, including its victims. And this is why the reign of ‘ethics; coincides, after decades of courageous critiques of colonialism and imperialism, with today’s sordid self – satisfaction in which the ‘West’, with the insistent argument according to which the misery of the Third World is the result of its own incompetence, its own inanity – in short, of its subhumanity.
for truths important or secondary

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LT: WAR ON TERROR The war on terrorism creates a simplistic division into rigid categories of Good and Evil that resist investigation of the causes of violence. Such thoughtlessness generates perpetual warfare. Badiou, 02 (Alain, Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Theory and Event, 6:2, “Philosophical Considerations of Some Recent Facts”). It must be said that today, at the end of its semantic evolution, the word "terrorist" is an intrinsically propagandistic term. It has no neutral readability. It dispenses with all reasoned examination of political situations, their causes and their consequences. In fact, it is a term that has become essentially formal. No longer does "terrorist" designate either a political orientation or the possibilities of such and such a situation, but rather, and exclusively, the form of the act. And it does so according to three criteria. It is first and foremost -- for public opinion and those concerned with shaping it -- a spectacular, non-State action,
which emerges from clandestine networks, really or mythologically. Secondly, it is a violent action aiming to kill and/or destroy. Lastly, it is an action which makes no distinction between civilians and non-civilians. This formalism goes hand-in-hand with Kant's moral formalism. That is the reason why a "moral philosophy" specialist like Monique Canto believed she could declare that the absolute condemnation of "terrorist" actions and the symmetrical approval of reprisals, including those of Sharon in Palestine, could and should precede all critical examination of the situation and be abstracted from general political consideration. As it is a matter

It is convenient to punish without delay and without further examination. Henceforth, "terrorism" qualifies an action as being the formal figure of Evil. That is exactly, moreover, the way Bush conceived of the expenditure of vengeance right from the start: Good (factually speaking, State terrorism of villages and ancient cities of Central Asia) against Evil (non-State terrorism of "Western" buildings). At this crucial point, as all rationality risks folding beneath the immensity of such propagandistic evidence, one must be careful to be sure of the details and, in particular, to examine the effects of the nominal chain induced by the passage from
of "terrorism", explained this iron lady of a new breed, to explain is already to justify.

the adjective "terrorist" -- as the formal qualification of an action -- to the substantive "terrorism". Indeed, such is the moment when, insidiously, form becomes substance. Three kinds of effect are thereby rendered possible: a subject-effect (facing "terrorism" is a "we" avenging itself); an alterity-effect (this "terrorism" is the other of Civilisation, the barbarous Islam); and finally, a periodisation-effect (now commences the long "war against terrorism").... My thesis is that, in the formal representation it makes of itself, the American imperial power privileges the form

of war as an attestation -- the only one -- of its existence. Moreover, one observes today that the powerful subjective unity that carries (away) the Americans in their desire for vengeance and war is constructed immediately around the flag and the army. The United States has become a hegemonic power in and through war: from the civil war, called the war of
Secession (the first modern war by its industrial means and the number of deaths); then the two World Wars; and finally the uninterrupted continuation of local wars and military interventions of all kinds since the Korean War up until the present ransacking of Afghanistan, passing via Lebanon, the Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, Libya, Panama, Barbados, the Gulf War, and Serbia, not to mention their persistent support for Israel in its war without end against the Palestinians. Of course, one will hasten to add that the USA won the day in the Cold War against the USSR on the terrain of military rivalry (Reagan's Star Wars project pushed the Russians to throw in the towel) and are understood to be doing the same thing against China, by the imposition of an exhausting armament race (that is the only sense of the pharaoh-like anti-missile shield project) by means of which one hopes to discourage any project of great magnitude. This should remind us, in these times of economic obsession, that in the last instance power continues to be military. Even the USSR, albeit it ruined, insofar as it was considered as an important military power (and above all by the Americans), continued to co-direct the world. Today the USA has the monopoly on the aggressive financial backing of enormous forces of destruction, and does not hesitate to serve itself with them. And the consequences of that can be seen, including (notably) in the idea that the American people has of itself and of what must be done. Let's hope that the Europeans -- and the Chinese -- draw the imperative lesson from the situation: servitude is promised to those who do not watch carefully

Being forged in this way out of the continual barbarity of war -- leaving aside the genocide of the Indians and the importation of tens of millions of black slaves -- the USA quite naturally considers that the only riposte worthy of them is a spectacular staging of power. Truly speaking, the adversary matters little and may be entirely removed from the initial crime. The pure capacity to destroy this or that will do the job, even if at the end what is left is a few thousand miserable devils or a phantomatic "government". Provided, in sum, that the appearance of victory is overwhelming, any war is convenient. What we have here (and will also have if the USA continues in Somalia and in Iraq etc.,) is war as pure form, as the theatrical capture of an adversary ("Terrorism") in its essence vague and elusive. The war against nothing: itself removed from the very idea of war.
over their armed forces.

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LT: CAMPBELL Campbell’s treatment of ethics is a totalizing universal, despite his critical efforts. Franke, 2000 (Mark Franke, Instructor of International Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia, 2000. “Refusing an Ethical Approach to World Politics in Favour of Political Ethics,” European Journal of International Relations, Vol 6(3): 307-333. An ethos of critique looks to keep any totalizing ethics disturbed, unseated and collapsing under its own weight. But it does not necessarily seek to question the idea of a total human sphere which ethical postures claim to describe. Such critique itself easily generates its own sense of the world . For example, Connolly posits his ethos in complaint against what he sees as the inability of the American pluralist imagination to appreciate its standing and relation to different politics and political visions in the world around it (1995: xiixiii). And he frames the very project of his critical ethos in terms of the 'current world (dis ) order' that he believes underlies the problem of pluralism for Americans (1995: xix). In the case of Campbell, one discovers that the ethos of which he speaks is propelled by what he sees as the very condition of 'being human'. Being human, he contends, provokes an inescapable facing of alterity and, consequently, automatic responsibility for one's others (1998b: 520). Campbell's ethos is inherently global in outlook, demanding an ethical sense of how the politics of intervention must proceed .

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LT: CAMPBELL Campbell embodies a universalized ethics that acts as a political straight-jacket. Our alternative of refusing principles allows us to be truly responsible and respond ethically to particular situations. Franke, 2000 (Mark Franke, Instructor of International Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia, 2000. “Refusing an Ethical Approach to World Politics in Favour of Political Ethics,” European Journal of International Relations, Vol 6(3): 307-333). To place this analysis back into the language of Nancy, Campbell and his colleagues end up challenging the sense of the world perpetrated in conventions of International Relations by merely resituating the grounds of sense. The primacy of sense as a guide to conduct and social perspective is not submitted to question; the world remains the valid arena of ethical concern. Thus, ethics, even in the form of heterogeneous responsibility, is left a total problem for debate. With the exhaustion of such methods, it then appears that the fundamental challenge facing those who wish to truly overcome the totality and universality implied in traditional ethics is to develop an approach that may break from any prior recognition of an overall human domain. Following the logic I have developed here so far, though, such a goal must also entail the perhaps ludicrous-sounding task of breaking with the concern of ethics as well. To turn away from the world as a viable category or concept, be it thought in international, global or other terms, is to necessarily quit faith in developing the intellectual and practical purchase upon which either an ethics or ethos may be formed. Denying the world disables one's ability to think about either universalizable duty or the demands and dilemmas of
human beings, respectively. ... However, social engagement between humans in the absence of a universal or universalizable first principle does not inherently constitute ethical conditions. The conflict and interrelations that may and do arise from human society produce ethical features only to the extent that they are framed within the idea of the community of humans or the larger space in which humans may create society in the multiple manners they do. Otherwise, anarchy is indeed a primarily political problem. Faced immediately with the need to decide what to do, how to act, and what to assume is to be confronted with a moment of change, movement and occurrence the inescapable need to respond and relate. Surely, the making of judgements regarding actions and the manners by which these actions will be performed will itself ultimately rely upon or project a specific rationale or an aggregate of dispositions. And the rationale employed or formed in any judgement may come or sit more comfortably if it is couched within a morality or principled ethos. It may seem all the more reasonable. But the process of judging and the rational or intuitive processes that provide impetus to such actions need not be eased through such sense. And there are significant dangers in giving over the political to the ethicopolitical, however that may be read, as the appropriate response to anarchy. As Thomas Keenan reasons, it is the lack of any point on which to stand in these instances that constitutes the political (1997: 3). And to see this moment of judgement, which is preceded and succeeded by innumerable such moments, as ethical is to cast it within a human space or territory in which even the anarchical may be framed and charted, as is typically done so within the discipline of International Relations . The recourse to ethics in the face of anarchy not only

displays a basic fear of politics (Keenan, 1997: 188 ), it also serves as an attempt to confine the movement of political challenges to a transcendental situation in which it may be described or judged as such . It centres politics within a prefigured community or sphere of concern . Maintaining in one's understanding the prior political character of anarchy, though, shows how responsibility need not be lost in resisting one's sense of the world in all fashions. And, speaking directly to the second question posed earlier, one may even see how responsibility is all the more excited in the quitting of even a critical ethos towards international affairs. With neither a sense of the universal standing of humans with respect to each other nor a sense of the conditions under which any human may gain standing with respect to others, a person can do nothing but respond at all points . She or he can do nothing but make judgements in response to change and encounters. In other words, a person cannot escape the politics of her or his own living via the dictates of an assumed community or assumed processes of subject formation and positioning . Having to make judgements and act under the conditions of anarchy, with neither ethos nor ethics, is to act responsibly . It constitutes an act whereby one
takes seriously both the worlding aspect of one's actions and perspectives and the impossibility of these things from the start. It allows one to proceed from illusions of the international or world to the incessant political processes under which such ideas may ever be entertained. It may be the case that this sort of political responsibility is precisely the sort of activity for which Campbell and others hope, in tracing what they see as the obligations of ethico-political life. However, it must be recognized that framing these moments of judgement

within an ethics to begin with ultimately undermines and obscures such intent

.

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LT: AGAMBEN Agamben’s alternative re-inscribes the very humanist assumptions he seeks to displace. His obligation toward the refugee is based on the precariousness of life—which is the ethical grounding of the rights that he critiques. Meister, 05 (Postmodern Culture, "Never Again": The Ethics of the Neighbor and the Logic of Genocide 15.2, Robert, Department of Politics, UC Santa Cruz).
Proximity thus functions for Lévinas as a special case of distance--the case in which we must address our lack of any relationship to another human except the ethical one, which is exposure and nothing more.41 Not only is the neighbor someone whom we cannot really know: Lévinas believes (here following Frantz Rosensweig) that the neighbor comes before us as a stranger to himself in just the same sense that, in his presence, we too can no longer presume to know ourselves. Some Lacanians use the term "extimacy" to describe this non-relationship of humanitarian ethics, and distinguish the demands of pure proximity from the relations of closeness we call intimate.42 In this respect, Lévinas anticipates the recent

thought of Giorgio Agamben, who asks us to "imagine two political communities insisting on the same region and in a condition of mutual exodus from each other." In such an "aterritorial . . . space," "the being-in-exodus of the citizen" would oppose itself to the limitations of the nation-state (Agamben, "Beyond Human Rights" 24-5). "The political survival of humankind is today thinkable," Agamben goes on to say, "only in a world in which the spaces of states have been thus perforated and topologically deformed and in which the citizen has been able to recognize the refugee that he or she is" (26). If Agamben now directly seizes on the ethical figure of the neighbor as refugee, it is still Lévinas who insists that in responding to each
other as beings-in-exodus, our respective "stories" must not matter. The ethical point--for Lévinas the whole point--is that the neighbor is someone to whom we must respond merely because he is there. Our response, therefore, must not be to reproduce an historical narrative of our interaction: Which of us arrived first? Who must leave first? Which of us is "allergic," and which is the allergen? We must, rather, respond to the neighbor's need outside of history--we must, unavoidably, answer to his presence itself, even before deciding what to do. The face of the other in its precariousness and defenselessness is for me at once the temptation to kill and the call to peace, the "You shall not kill." The face which already accuses me makes me suspicious but already

) Precariousness and defenselessness are, of course, typical of the plight of refugees, but even more fundamentally they are the source of the dogma of the "sacredness" of human life on which human rights interventionism rests. As Agamben demonstrates, homo sacer in Roman Law refers originally to an exception from the prohibition on murder,
claims me and demands me. (167

the life that may be taken with impunity by either ruler or neighbor without having the religious significance of a sacrifice or a sacrilege: Subtracting itself from the sanctioned form of both human and divine law . . . homo sacer . . . preserves the memory of the originary exclusion through which the political dimension was first constituted. . . . The sovereign sphere is the sphere in which it is permitted to kill without committing homicide and sacred life . . . is the life that has been captured in this sphere . . . . [T]he production of bare life is the originary activity of sovereignty. The sacredness of life, which is invoked today as an absolutely fundamental right in opposition to sovereign power, in fact originally expresses precisely both life's subjection to a power over death and life's irreparable exposure in the relation of abandonment. . . . [T]he sovereign and homo sacer present two symmetrical figures that have the same structure and are correlative: the sovereign is the one with respect to whom all men are potentially homines sacri, and homo sacer is the one with respect to whom all men act as sovereigns. . . . Life is sacred only insofar as it is taken into the . . . originary exception in which human life is included in the political order in being exposed to an unconditional capacity to be killed. (Homo Sacer 82-85) Agamben here suggests that the asserted priority of ethics over politics, which is the kernel of the fin-de-

siècle ideology of human rights interventionism, is itself symptomatic of a political condition in which precariousness and defenselessness are presupposed--and which humanitarian interventions themselves both mitigate and reproduce.43

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LT: HUMANITARIANISM Humanitarian intervention must be rejected because it: a) drains situations of their potentially radical political content, b) divides the world into heroic saviors and barbaric victims, and c) defines good only in opposition to evil, which is a conservative notion that resists positive projections of alternative futures. Brown, 04 (Nicholas, University of Illinois at Chicago, Or, Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek, Waiting for Something to Happen, CR: The New Centennial Review 4.3 (2004) 289-319). Ethics—cogently translated by Peter Hallward, who also provides a pertinent introduction and appends a probing interview with the author—is, if anything, even more exhilarating than Saint Paul. Badiou begins from a critique of the discourse of human rights. This ethics has the virtue of being simple and self-evident: the ethical imperative is to prevent suffering. But Badiou exposes its hollowness by staging it. While the ethic of human rights obviously presupposes a human subject posited as universal, in practice this subject is radically split between victim and benefactor. And at this point it might raise our suspicions that the location of this split is remarkably consistent: the benefactor is always "us"—the armed Western democracies or our allies, who have suddenly acquired the right to intervene. (Badiou does not address the hypocrisy of using the language of human rights to justify intervention in situations where the "Western democracies" are in fact responsible for the situation in the first place, or of the reluctance to intervene where there is little strategic benefit. If the ethics itself were justifiable, then the hypocrisy would have to be addressed as a separate issue.) This "humanitarian" intervention, moreover, can only conceive humanity—or at least the victim—as an animal: "the status of victim, of suffering beast, of emaciated, dying body, equates man with his animal substructure" (Ethics, 11). What is foreclosed at the outset is any possibility of conceiving the situation of "abuse" as political. (Think of the current situation in Haiti.) Since what is taken into account is only animal suffering and never the political situation that determines it, the attitude of humanitarian intervention is, despite initial appearances, one of profound contempt: violations of human rights require not political analysis, but only the identification of barbarism. The ethical orientation of human rights is purely negative: it has no conception of the good other than the absence of evil, of suffering. Lacking any imperative to inquire into the good, it discourages any substantial consideration of alternatives to the status quo. The exclusive concern of human rights with the question of evil—its practical identification of the human being with "that which can suffer evil"—means that any attempt to base a political project on a conception of the good (which might, it is true, involve a share of suffering, not least on the part of those who uphold it) is deemed "utopian," doomed to transform itself into its opposite, a totalitarian nightmare. To begin from the good, therefore, leads directly to evil. For Badiou, this is "sophistry at its most devastating" (Ethics, 13), and the second half of the book is an attempt to think through an ethics that would begin from the good.

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LT: HUMANITARIANISM Infinite obligation to the other fails in the face of two political realities: 1) It becomes an excuse for permanent war against those seen as violators of the ethical order, and 2) The example of the suicide bomber renders those ethics incoherent—who is saved by allowing the determined suicide bomber to live? Meister, 05 (Postmodern Culture, "Never Again": The Ethics of the Neighbor and the Logic of Genocide 15.2, Robert, Department of Politics, UC Santa Cruz). It is, of course, possible to attack Lévinas using Carl Schmitt's argument against the discourse of humanitarian intervention following the Treaty of Versailles: that it creates a casus belli against the forces of "inhumanity," especially when they claim to be pursuing historical justice in ways that disturb the peace by treating the "other" as the "same" (Schmitt, The Concept of the Political 71). Suicide bombings would seem to be a paradigmatic example of this: encountering the other as a disguised human bomb would suggest that fear of her and fear for her are not as fundamentally distinct as Lévinas himself claims. When we rescue the suicide bomber are we saving her or ourselves? And if we murder her instead, what becomes of us? Do we reveal ourselves, like those whom Lévinas condemns, to be more afraid of dying than of killing? What does it mean for her to be equally unafraid of both? And does her self-chosen death qualify her as a martyr or a monster, whether or not she succeeds in bringing innocent others to their deaths along with her? In certain political "neighborhoods," Lévinas's concept of the ultimately unknowable human face can be both ethical and awful in ways that reopen the possibility of a horrifying response. The ethical temptation to treat suicide bombers as "inhumans" in human disguise applies a fortiori to the politics of third-party intervention raised at the beginning of this essay: when neighbors kill neighbors, whom do we rescue and whom do we attack? Is the third party in this situation just another neighbor?

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LT: HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTIONS Their ethical standards will be twisted into a cover for military strategy. This cycle of intervention replicates violence. Zizek, 99 (www.lacan.com/kosovo.htm Slavoj Zizek: AGAINST THE DOUBLE BLACKMAIL, 99). Is not this the only hope in our global era - to see some internationally acknowledged force as a guarantee that all countries will respect a certain minimum of ethical (and, hopefully, also health, social, ecological) standards? However, the situation is more complex, and this complexity is indicated already in the way NATO justifies its intervention: the violation of human rights is always accompanied by the vague, but ominous reference to "strategic interests." The story of NATO as the enforcer of the respect for human rights is thus only one of the two coherent stories that can be told about the recent bombings of Yugoslavia, and the problem is that each story has its own rationale. The second story concerns the other side of the much-praised new global ethical politics in which one is allowed to violate the state sovereignty on behalf of the violation of human rights. The first glimpse into this other side is provided by the way the big Western media selectively elevate some local "warlord" or dictator into the embodiment of Evil: Sadam Hussein, Milosevic, up to the unfortunate (now forgotten) Aidid in Somalia - at every point, it is or was "the community of civilized nations against...". And on what criteria does this selection rely? Why Albanians in Serbia and not also Palestinians in Israel, Kurds in Turkey, etc.etc? Here, of course, we enter the shady world of international capital and its strategic interests. According to the "Project CENSORED," the top censored story of 1998 was that of a half-secret
international agreement in working, called MAI (the Multilateral Agreement on Investment). The primary goal of MAI will be to protect the foreign interests of multinational companies. The agreement will basically undermine the sovereignty of nations by assigning power to the corporations almost equal to those of the countries in which these corporations are located. Governments will no longer be able to treat their domestic firms more favorably than foreign firms. Furthermore, countries that do not relax their environmental, land-use and health and labor standards to meet the demands of foreign firms may be accused of acting illegally. Corporations will be able to sue sovereign state if they will impose too severe ecological or other standards - under NAFTA (whic is the main model for MAI), Ethyl Corporation is already suing Canada for banning the use of its gasoline additive MMT. The greatest threat is, of course, to the developing nations which will be pressured into depleting their natural resources for commercial exploitation. Renato Ruggerio, director of the World Trade Organization, the sponsor of MAI, is already hailing this project, elaborated and discussed in a clandestine manner, with almost no public discussion and media attention, as the "constitution for a new global economy." And,

in the same way in which, already for Marx, market relations provided the true foundation for the notion of individual freedoms and rights, THIS is also the obverse of the much-praised new global morality celebrated
even by some neoliberal philosophers as signalling the beginning of the new era in which international community will establish and enforce some minimal code preventing sovereign state to engage in crimes against humanity even within its own territory. And the recent catastrophic economic situation in Russia, far from being the heritage of old Socialist mismanagement, is a direct result of this global capitalist logic embodied in MAI. This other story also has its ominous military side. The ultimate lesson of the last American military interventions, from the Operation Desert Fox against Iraq at the end of 1998 to the present bombing of Yugoslavia, is that they signal a new era in military history - battles in which the attacking force operates under the constraint that it can sustain no casualties. When the first stealthfighter fell down in Serbia, the emphasis of the American media was that there were no casualties - the pilot was SAVED! (This concept of "war without casualties" was elaborated by General Collin Powell.) And was not the counterpoint to it the almost surreal way CNN reported on the war: not only was it presented as a TV event, but the Iraqi themselves seem to treat it this way - during the day, Bagdad was a "normal" city, with people going around and following their business, as if war and bombardment was an irreal nightmarish spectre that occurred only during the night and did not take place in effective reality? Let us recall what went on in the final American assault on the Iraqi lines during the Gulf War: no photos, no reports, just rumours that tanks with bulldozer like shields in front of them rolled over Iraqi trenches, simply burying thousands of troops in earth and sand - what went on was allegedly considered too cruel in its shere mechanical efficiency, too different from the standard notion of a heroic face to face combat, so that images would perturb too much the public opinion and a total censorship black-out was stritly

Here we have the two aspects joined together: the new notion of war as a purely technological event, taking place behind radar and computer screens, with no casualties, AND the extreme physical cruelty too unbearable for the gaze of the media - not the crippled children and raped women, victims of caricaturized local ethnic "fundamentalist warlords," but thousands of nameless soldiers, victims of nameless efficient technological warfare.
imposed. When Jean Baudrillard made the claim that the Gulf War did not take place, this statement could also be read in the sense that such traumatic pictures that stand for the Real of this war were totally censured... How, then, are we to think these two stories together, without sacrificing the truth of each of them? What we have here is a political example of the famous drawing in which we recognize the contours either of a rabbit head or of a goose head, depending on our mental focus. If we look at the situation in a certain way, we see the international community enforcing minimal human rights standards on a nationalist neo-Communist leader engaged in ethnic cleansing, ready to ruin his own nation just to retain power. If we shift the focus, we see NATO, the armed hand of the new capitalist global order, defending the strategic interests of the capital in the guise of a disgusting travesty, posing as a disinterested enforcer of human rights, attacking a sovereign country which, in spite of the problematic nature of its regime, nonetheless acts as an obstacle to the unbriddled assertion of the New World Order. However, what if one should reject this double blackmail (if you are against NATO strikes, you are for Milosevic's proto-Fascist regime of ethnic cleansing, and if you are against Milosevic, you support the

What if this very opposition between enlightened international intervention against ethnic fundamentalists, and the heroic last pockets of resistance against the New World Order, is a false one? What if phenomena like the Milosevic regime are not the opposite to the New World Order, but rather its SYMPTOM, the place at which the hidden TRUTH of the New World Order emerges?
global capitalist New World Order)?

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LT: DISCOURSE/REPS FIRST The notion that language orders truth is merely modern sophistry that seeks to undermine reason and the universality of truths Badiou 92 (Alain, Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Manifesto for Philosophy, p. 116-117) Let me add that in my view this definition is itself an historic invariant. It is not a definition in terms of a result, or the production of a loss of sense. It is an intrinsic definition enabling one to distinguish philosophy from what is not philosophy, and this, since Plato. It can also be distinguished from what is not philosophy but what resembles it, resembles it a great deal, and which, since Plate, we call sophistry. This question of sophistry is very important. The sophist is from the outset the enemy-brother, philosophy’s implacable twin. Philosophy today, caught in its historicist malaise, is very weak in the face of modern sophists. Most often, it even considers the great sophists – for there are great sophists – as great philosophers. Exactly as if we were to consider that the great philosophers of Antiquity were not Plato and Aristotle, but Gorgias and Protagoras. An argument which is moreover increasingly defended, and often brilliantly, by modern historiographers of Antiquity. Who are the modern sophists? The modern sophists are those that, in the footsteps of the great Wittgenstein, maintain that thought is held to the following alternative: either effects of discourse, language games, or the silent indication, the pure ‘showing’ of something subtracted from the clutches of language. Those for whom the fundamental opposition is not between truth and error or wandering, but between speech and silence, between what can be said and what is impossible to say. Or between statements endowed with meaning and other devoid of it. In many regards, what is presented as the most contemporary philosophy is a potent sophistry. It ratifes the final statement of the Tractatus – “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent” – whereas philosophy exists only to defend that the whereof one cannot speak is precisely what it sets out to say. The objection will be raised that, in its essential movement, contemporary discourse itself also claims to break with historicism, at least in its Marxist or Humanist form; that is goes against the ideas of progress and the avant-garde; that it declares, along with Lyotard, that the epoch of the Grand Narratives if over. To be sure. But this discourse only draws from its ‘postmodernist’ rebuttal a kind of general equivalence of discourses, a rule of virtuosity and obliquity. It attempts to compromise the very idea of truth in the fall of historic narratives. Its critique of Hegel is actually a critique of philosophy itself, to the benefit of art, or Right, or an immemorial or unutterable Law. This is why it must be said that this discourse, which adjusts the multiplicity of the registers of meaning to some silent correlate, is nothing but modern sophistry. That such a completely productive and virtuosic discourse should be taken for a philosophy demonstrates the philosophers inability today to practice a firm, founding delimitation between him- or herself and the sophist.

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IMPACT: WAR Their politically compromised framework allows the West to wage perpetual war on those it considers ethical outsiders. Badiou 04 (Alain, FRAGMENTS OF A PUBLIC DIARY ON THE AMERICAN WAR AGAINST IRAQ Vol. 8, No. 3 Summer 2004, pp. 223–238 ISSN 1740-9292 print/ISSN 1477-2876  004 Taylor & Francis Ltd 2 http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals) From the moment we begin to live indistinctly in the war of democracies against Islamic terrorism, which is to say, quite simply, the war of Good (democratic) against Evil (dictatorial), operations of war – expeditions, bombings – don’t need to be any more solemnly announced than do police raids on petty criminals. By the same token, assassinating heads of state, their wives, children, and grandchildren, or putting a price on their heads like in a western, no longer surprises anyone. Thus, little by little the continuity of war comes to be established, the declaration of which, in times past, showed that, on the contrary, war was the present of a discontinuity. Already, this continuity renders war and peace indistinguishable. This means that the question of the protagonists of the state of war is more and more obscure. “Terrorists,” “rogue states,” “dictatorships,” “Islamists”: just what are these ideological entities? Who identifies them, who proclaims them? Traditionally, there were two kinds of war: on the one hand, symmetrical war, between
comparable imperial powers, like the two world wars of the twentieth century, or like the cold war between the USA and the USSR; on the other hand, non-symmetrical or dissymmetrical wars between an imperial power and popular forces theoretically much weaker in terms of military power – either wars of colonial conquest (the conquest of Algeria, the Rif war, or the extermination of the Indians in North America), or wars of national liberation (Vietnam, Algeria, and so forth). Today, we can talk about dissymmetrical wars, but without the political identity of the

invasion and occupation operations (Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq, and so on) are explicitly presented as liberations – and this despite the fact that the local populations don’t see things in that way at all. In fact, now the concept of war only designates the use of violence, disposed in variable dissymmetries. The only invariable trait is dissymmetry: only the weak are targeted, and as soon as the shadow of power can be seen
dissymmetry being really conceivable. The proof for this lies in the fact that (North Korea’s atomic bomb, the Russia of brutal extortions in Chechnya, the heavy hand of the Chinese in Tibet), war – war which might risk actually becoming war, and not the peace of the

American wars don’t constitute any kind of present, it’s because, being politically unconnected to any dialectic, whether interimperialist, whether according to the war/revolution schema, they are not really distinguishable from the continuity of “peace.” And by “peace” is meant American, or “western,” peace, democratic peace/war, whose entire content is the comfort of the above-mentioned “democrats” against the barbarian aggressiveness of the poor.
police, or peace/war (la pe´guerre apre‘s l’apre‘s-guerre?)–is not on the agenda. In fact, if the

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IMPACT: VALUE TO LIFE Only the alternative gives us a path to meaningful existence—striving for truth is what makes us subjects who are capable of Good and Evil. Brown, 04 (Nicholas, University of Illinois at Chicago, Or, Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek, Waiting for Something to Happen, CR: The New Centennial Review 4.3 (2004) 289-319). Now, for Badiou, the genuine problem of ethics, the question of the good, is entirely bound up with the status of truth. For the only thing that distinguishes human from animal is the vocation for truth: outside of this vocation, humanity is simply, like any other predatory animal "whose charms are not obvious" (Ethics, 12), beneath good and evil. The human subject does not preexist truth: on the contrary, there is "only a particular kind of animal, convoked by certain circumstances, to become a subject. . . . At a certain moment, everything he is—his body, his abilities—is called upon to enable the passing of a truth along its path" (41). Only in relation to truth does humanity become capable of good or evil.

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IMPACT: NIHILISM The affirmative’s ethical demands are nihilistic – their pathos relies on disaster fetishism and a silent pleasure in witnessing Evil. Badiou, 98 (Alain, Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, 34-35) We should be more struck than we usually are by a remark that often recurs in articles and commentaries devoted to the war in the former Yugoslavia: it is pointed out -with a kind of subjective excitement, an ornamental pathos -that these atrocities are taking place 'only two hours by plane from Paris'. The authors of these texts invoke, naturally, all the 'rights of man', ethics, humanitarian intervention, the fact that Evil (thought to have been exorcized by the collapse of 'totalitarianisms') is making a terrible comeback. But then the observation seems ludicrous: if it is a matter of ethical principles, of the victimary essence of Man, of the fact that 'rights are universal and imprescriptible', why should we care about the length of the flight? Is the 'recognition of the other' all the more intense if this other is in some sense almost within my reach? In this pathos of proximity, we can almost sense the trembling equivocation, halfway between fear and enjoyment, of finally perceiving so close to us horror and destruction, war and cynicism. Here ethical ideology has at its disposal, almost knocking on the protected gates of civilized shelter, the revolting yet delicious combination of a complex Other (Croats, Serbs, and those enigmatic 'Muslims' of Bosnia) and an avowed Evil. History has delivered the ethical dish to our very door. Ethics feeds too much on Evil and the Other not to take silent pleasure in seeing them close up (in a silence that is the abject underside of its prattle)(For at the core of the mastery internal to ethics is always the power to decide who dies and who does not) Ethics is nihilist because its underlying conviction is that the only thing that can really happen to someone is death. And it is certainly true that in so far as we deny truths, we thereby challenge the immortal disjunction that they effect in any given situation. Between Man as the possible basis for the uncertainty [alia] of truths, or Man as being-for death (or being-for-happiness, it is the same thing), you have to choose. It is the same choice that divides philosophy from 'ethics', or the courage of truths from nihilism.

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ALT SOLVES: POSSIBLE Truth events are not pre-determined. Subjects CREATE truth through individual struggle or ethical fidelity to an event. Johnston, 02 (Theory and Event, Confronting the New Sophists, 6:2 | © 2002 Adrian Johnston, Book Review of Jason Barker, Alian Badiou: A Critical Introduction (London: Pluto Press, 2002), Adrian Johnston recently received his Ph.D. in philosophy at SUNY Stony Brook. He is presently an interdisciplinary research fellow in psychoanalysis at Emory University).
In his fourth chapter, "The Politics of Truth," Barker is careful to nuance his interpretation of the above notions. Badiou stipulates that the status of an event as an event per se is volatile and uncertain. Whether or not a given occurrence should -- with this "should," one sees the tip of the ethico-political iceberg rear up in Badiou's thought -- qualify as an event qua emergence of a truth cannot be firmly decided during the moments surrounding it. As is the case for Lacan (a major influence on Badiou), truth is held captive by a futur antérieur. Risking a formulation in layman's terms, truth only becomes truth as such through the retroactive "verdict of history," that is to say, by proving, through its endurance, to be immune to any subsequent upheavals and

bringing the truth of an event to fruition requires what Badiou calls the "fidelity" of a subject, since the event's truth has to endure long enough in a quasi-indeterminate status to, so to speak, reap the benefits of a favorable historical verdict. The beginning of the truth-process at work between the event and its subject resides in deciding, without further ground or guarantee, that an event has, in actuality, occurred. In other words, one has to decide whether an occurrence represents a previously inconceivable break with the paradigms endemic to the status quo: Does a certain discovery really represent the foundation of a new science? Is a particular social disturbance the manifestation of a genuine revolutionary upheaval and should it be treated as such? Will a given cultural product such as a novel, painting, or film usher in an unprecedented aesthetic genre? The event is then named, assigned markers capable of singling it out and attesting to its having taken place. This process of decision and nomination involves the creation of a subject, more specifically, a type of subjectivity whose identity is conditioned by the event and its truth (using an example from above, for Saint Paul, the event of Christ is that which gives rise to the Christian subject, and this event and its truth are sustained through this same subject naming and remaining faithful to them). The subject is thereby the support of truth.
fluctuations in the state of knowledge; it becomes indispensable to thought. Thus,

They are right—our alternative does not have a fixed end point. To prescribe one is to already give up on the potentially transformative nature of the event. Badiou, 02 (http://www.lacan.com/badeurope.htm European Graduate School, August 2002, On the Truth-Process, followed by interventions of S. Zizek and G. Agamben, by Alain Badiou). Modern philosophy is a criticism of truth as adequation. Truth is not limited to the form of judgment. Heidegger suggests that it is a historic destiny. I will start from the following idea: Truth is first of all something new. What transmits, what repeats, we shall call knowledge. Distinguishing truth from knowledge is essential. It is a distinction already
made in the work of Kant, between reason and understanding, and it is as you know a capital distinction for Heidegger, who distinguishes truth as aletheia, and understanding as cognition, science, techne. Aletheia is always properly a beginning. Techne is always a continuation, an application, a repetition. It is the reason why Heidegger says that the poet of truth is always the poet

' If all truth is something new, what is the essential philosophic problem pertaining to truth? It is the problem of its appearance and its becoming. Truth must be submitted to thought not as judgment or proposition but as a process in the real. This schema represents the becoming of a truth. The aim of my talk is only to explain the schema. For the process of truth to begin, something must happen. Knowledge as such only gives us repetition, it is concerned only with what already is. For truth to affirm its newness, there must be a supplement. This supplement is committed to chance-it is unpredictable, incalculable, it is beyond what it is. I call it an event. A truth appears in its newness because an eventful supplement interrupts repetition. Examples: The
of a sort of morning of the world. I quote Heidegger: 'The poet always speaks as if the being was expressed for the first time. appearance, with Aeschylus, of theatrical tragedy. The eruption, with Galileo, of mathematical physics. An amorous encounter which changes a whole life. Or the French revolution of 1792. An event is linked to the notion of the undecidable. Take the sentence 'This event belongs to the situation.' If you can, using the rules of established knowledge, decide that this sentence is true or false, the event will not be an event. It will be calculable within the situation. Nothing permits us to say 'Here begins the truth.' A wager will have to be made. This is why the truth begins with an

. It begins with a decision, a decision to say that the event has taken place. The fact that the event is undecidable imposes the constraint that the subject of the event must appear. Such a subject is constituted by a sentence in the form of a wager: this sentence is as follows. 'This has taken place, which I can neither calculate nor demonstrate, but to which I shall be faithful.' A subject begins with what fixes an undecidable event because it takes a chance of deciding it. This begins the infinite procedure of verification of the Truth. It's the examination within the situation of the consequences of the axiom which decides the Event. It's the exercise of fidelity. Nothing regulates its cause. Since the axiom which supports it has arbitrated it outside of any rule of established knowledge, this axiom was formulated in a pure choice, committed by chance, point by point.
axiom of truth

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ALT SOLVES: OPPRESSION Badiou's open system of ethics as searching for truth is the best means of discovering social bonds that can create genuine egalitarianism-allowing us to seize power from oppressive state systems. Barker 02 (Jason, Lecturer in Communications, and a doctoral candidate in the Department of Philosophy at Cardiff University. Alain Badiou: A Critical Introduction, p. 147- 148) How does Balibar's theory of the State constitution stand alongside Badiou's, and can we find any key areas of mutual agreement between these two ex-'Althusserians'? The most general area of difference involves Balibar's 'aporetic' approach to the question of the masses. Balibar refuses to see any principle underlying the masses' conduct, since the latter are synonymous with the power of the State. Badiou, on the other hand, regards the masses (ideally) as the bearers of the category of justice, to which the State remains indifferent (AM, 114). Two divergent theories of the State, then, each of which is placed in the service of a distinctive ethics. With Balibar we have an ethics - or 'ethic' in the sense of praxis - of communication which encourages a dynamic and expanding equilibrium of desires where every opinion has an equal chance of counting in the democratic sphere. With Badiou we have an ethics of truths which hunts down those exceptional political statements in order to subtract from them their egalitarian core, thereby striking ii blow for justice against the passive democracy of the State. Overall we might say that the general area of agreement lies in the fact that, in each case, 'democracy' remains a rational possibility. In particular, for both Balibar and Badiou, it is love as an amorous feeling towards or encounter with one's fellow man - a recognition that the fraternal part that is held in common between human beings is somehow 'greater' than the whole of their differences - which forges the social bond. However, on the precise nature of the ratio of this bond their respective paths diverge somewhat. In Balibar's case we are dealing with an objective illusion wherein one imagines that the love one feels for an object (an abstract egalitarian ideal, say) is shared by others. Crucially, love in this sense is wholly ambivalent, wildly vacillating between itself and its inherent opposite, hate. On this evidence we might say that a 'communist' peace would be really indistinct from a 'fascist' one. Therefore, the challenge for Balibar is to construct a prescriptive political framework capable of operating without repression in a utilitarian public sphere where the free exchange of opinions is more likely than not to result in the self-limitation of extreme views. In Badiou's case what we are dealing with, on the other hand - and what we have been dealing with more or less consistently throughout this book - is a subjective reality. The social contract is forever being conditioned, worked on practically from within by the political militants, in readiness for the occurrence of the truth-event. This is the unforeseen moment of an ‘amorous encounter’ between two natural adversaries (a group of student mounting a boycott of university fees, for instance) which retrieves the latent communist axiom of equality from within the social process. Here we have a particular call for social justice ('free education for all!') which strikes a chord with the whole people (students and non-students alike). Crucially, love in this sense is infinite, de-finite, in seizing back at least part of) the State power directly into the hands of the people. Moreover, in this encounter between students and the university authorities there is an invariant connection (of communist hope) which is shared by all, and where any difference of opinion is purely incidental. Momentarily, at least. For Badiou, the challenge is to develop and deepen an ethical practice, not in any utilitarian or communitarian sense – since the latter would merely risk ‘forcing’ a political manifesto prematurely, perhaps giving rise to various brands of State-sponsored populism – but in the sense of a politics capable of combating repression; a politics which, in its extreme singularity, holds itself open to seizure by Truth.

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ALT SOLVES: ETHICS Rejection is essential to subverting the illusion of global politics and universal ethics – exercising our individual agency is the only responsible choice. Franke, 2000 (Mark Franke, Instructor of International Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia, 2000. “Refusing an Ethical Approach to World Politics in Favour of Political Ethics,” European Journal of International Relations, Vol 6(3): 307-333. JH) As Thomas Keenan reasons, it is the lack of any point on which to stand in these instances that constitutes the political (1997: 3). And to see this moment of judgement, which is preceded and succeeded by innumerable such moments, as ethical is to cast it within a human space or territory in which even the anarchical may be framed and charted, as is typically done so within the discipline of International Relations. The recourse to ethics in the face of anarchy not only displays a basic fear of politics (Keenan, 1997: 188), it also serves as an attempt to confine the movement of political challenges to a transcendental situation in which it may be described or judged as such .21 It centres politics within a prefigured community or sphere of concern. Maintaining in one's understanding the prior political character of anarchy, though, shows how responsibility need not be lost in resisting one's sense of the world in all fashions. And, speaking directly to the second question posed earlier, one may even see how responsibility is all the more excited in the quitting of even a critical ethos towards international affairs. With neither a sense of the universal standing of humans with respect to each other nor a sense of the conditions under which any human may gain standing with respect to others, a person can do nothing but respond at all points. She or he can do nothing but make judgements in response to change and encounters. In other words, a person cannot escape the politics of her or his own living via the dictates of an assumed community or assumed processes of subject formation and positioning. Having to make judgements and act under the conditions of anarchy, with neither ethos nor ethics, is to act responsibly. It constitutes an act whereby one takes seriously both the wording aspect of one's actions and perspectives and the impossibility of these things from the start. It allows one to proceed from illusions of the international or world to the incessant political processes under which such ideas may ever be entertained.

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ALT SOLVES: NIHILISM Only the alternative can escape the smug nihilism of the affirmative’s ethics that demand brutal domination and desire for catastrophe. Badiou, 98 (Alain, Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, 37-39) The root of the problem is that, in a certain way, every definition of Man based on happiness is nihilist. It is clear that the external barricades erected to protect our sickly prosperity have as their internal counterpart, against the nihilist drive, the derisory and complicit barrier of ethical commissions. When a prime minister, the political eulogist of a civic ethics, declares that France 'cannot welcome [accueillir] all the misery of the world', he is careful not to tell us about the criteria and the methods that will allow us to distinguish the part of the said misery that we welcome from that part which we will request -no doubt from within detention centres -to return to its place of death, so that we might continue to enjoy those unshared riches which, as we know, condition both our happiness and our 'ethics'. And in the same way, it is certainly impossible to settle on stable, 'responsible', and of course 'collective' criteria in the name of which commissions on bio-ethics will distinguish between eugenics and euthanasia, between the scientific improvement of the white man and his happiness, and the elimination 'with dignity' of monsters, of those who suffer or become unpleasant to behold. Chance, the circumstances of life, the tangle of beliefs, combined with the rigorous and impartial treatment without exception of the clinical situation, is worth a thousand times more than the pompous, made-for-media conscription of bio-ethical authorities [instances] -a conscription whose place of work, whose very name, have a nasty smell about them. IV Ethical nihilism between conservatism and the death drive Considered as a figure of nihilism, reinforced by the fact that our societies are without a future that can be presented as universal, ethics oscillates between two complementary desires: a conservative desire, seeking global recognition for the legitimacy of the order peculiar to our 'Western' position -the interweaving of an unbridled and impassive economy [economie objective sauvage] with a discourse of law; and a murderous desire that promotes and shrouds, in one and the same gesture, an integral mastery of life -or again, that dooms what is to the 'Western' mastery of death. This is why ethics would be better named -since it speaks Greek -a 'eu-oudenose', a smug nihilism. Against this we can set only that which is not yet in being, but which our thought declares itself able to conceive. Every age -and in the end, none is worth more than any other - has its own figure of nihilism. The names change, but always under these names ('ethics', for example) we find the articulation of conservative propaganda with an obscure desire for catastrophe. It is only by declaring that we want what conservatism decrees to be impossible, and by affirming truths against the desire for nothingness, that we tear ourselves away from nihilism. The possibility of the impossible, which is exposed by every loving encounter, every scientific re-foundation, every artistic invention and every sequence of emancipatory politics, is the sole principle -against the ethics of living well whose real content is the deciding of death - of an ethic of truths.

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AT: AFF ACT OF LIBERATION A PRE-REQUISITE TO THE ALT Liberation that tries to begin with a particular group is destined to fail. Only demands for universal justice, can result in true political change. Hallward, 04 (Badiou’s Politics: Equality and Justice, Peter, Professor of Modern European Philosophy, Center for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University http://culturemachine.tees.ac.uk/Cmach/Backissues/j004/Articles/hallward.htm). All genuine politics seeks to change the situation as a whole, in the interest of the universal interest. But this change is always sparked by a particular event, one located in a particular site and carried by a particular interest (the sans culottes, the soviets, the workers, the sans-papiers...). 1792 in France, 1917 in Russia, 1959 in Cuba, 1988 in Burma: each time, the event opposes those with a vested interest in the established state of the situation to those who support a revolutionary movement or perspective from which the situation is seen as for all. Other, more narrow principles and demands, however worthy their beneficiaries might be, are merely a matter of ‘syndicalism’ or trade union style negotiation, i.e. negotiation for an improved, more integrated place within the established situation. Clearly, what goes under the label of ‘politics’ in the ordinary day to day sense amounts only to ‘revindication and resentment ..., electoral nihilism and the blind confrontation of communities’ (AM: 110). The very notion of identity-politics is thus an explicit contradiction in terms. The OP regularly condemns the articulation of a ‘"French" identity which authorises discrimination or persecution’ of any kind; the only legitimate national unit is one which counts all of its elements as one, regardless of ethno-cultural particularity (‘Le pays comme principe’, 1992: 135). The left-liberal insistence on the vacuous ‘right to remain "the same as ourselves" has no chance against the abstract universality’ of contemporary capital, and does nothing more than ‘organise an inclusion in what it pretends to oppose’ (Badiou, letter to the author, 11.06.96). Political action has nothing to do with compassionate proclamations and researching more about oppression. We either engage in the situation or remain disconnected observers. Hallward, 04 (Badiou’s Politics: Equality and Justice, Peter, Professor of Modern European Philosophy, Center for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University http://culturemachine.tees.ac.uk/Cmach/Backissues/j004/Articles/hallward.htm). The status of universal political principles, like the status of all forms of truth, is necessarily axiomatic (or nondefinitional). Because equality is subjective, so therefore justice – the political principle par excellence - can only be prescriptive. Justice cannot be defined, it is a pure ‘affirmation without guarantee or proof’. Rather than ideal state that any given situation can only approximate, ‘justice indicates a subjective figure that is effective, axiomatic, immediate ...; [it] necessarily refers back to an entirely disinterested subjectivity.’ We are either subjectively disinterested, or objectively interested, with nothing in between; we either think (in justice), or avoid thought (in interest) (AM: 112-13). That politics is thus axiomatic or ‘thought’ means that it is not a representation or a reflection of something else (the economy, the state, society...) (LDP, 2.02.92: 4). When the enslaved call for freedom for instance, or the colonised for liberation, or women for equality, the declaration of freedom and equality is itself primary or unconditioned, and not a matter of investigation or confirmation. Equality is not something to be researched or verified but a principle to be upheld. The only genuinely political question is: what can be done, in the name of this principle, in our militant fidelity to its proclamation? This question can only be answered through a direct mobilisation or empowerment that has nothing to do with the condescendingly ‘compassionate’ valorisation of certain people as marginal, excluded or misérables (LDP, 19-20.04.96: 9; 17-18.10.96: 13).

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AT: NO SPECIFIC ALT Promoting human rights and democracy as the only viable politics allows millions to die from brutal inequalities. And, their demand that we have a more specific alternative dooms us to maintaining status quo power relations. Badiou, 02 (Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland Translated/Interviewed by Christoph Cox & Molly Whalen, Issue #5, Winter 01/02, http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/5/alainbadiou.php, On Evil: An Interview with Alain Badiou). Today we see liberal capitalism and its political system, parlimentarianism, as the only natural and acceptable solutions. Every revolutionary idea is considered utopian and ultimately criminal. We are made to believe that the global spread of capitalism and what gets called "democracy" is the dream of all humanity. And also that the whole world wants the authority of the American Empire, and its military police, NATO. In truth, our leaders and propagandists know very well that liberal capitalism is an inegalitarian regime, unjust, and unacceptable for the vast majority of humanity. And they know too that our "democracy" is an illusion: Where is the power of the people? Where is the political power for third world peasants, the European working class, the poor everywhere? We live in a contradiction: a brutal state of affairs, profoundly inegalitarian–where all existence is evaluated in terms of money alone–is presented to us as ideal. To justify their conservatism, the partisans of the established order cannot really call it ideal or wonderful. So instead, they have decided to say that all the rest is horrible. Sure, they say, we may not live in a condition of perfect Goodness. But we're lucky that we don't live in a condition of Evil. Our democracy is not perfect. But it's better than the bloody dictatorships. Capitalism is unjust. But it's not criminal like Stalinism. We let millions of Africans die of AIDS, but we don't make racist nationalist declarations like Milosevic. We kill Iraqis with our airplanes, but we don't cut their throats with machetes like they do in Rwanda, etc. That's why the idea of Evil has become essential. No intellectual will actually defend the brutal power of money and the accompanying political disdain for the disenfranchised, or for manual laborers, but many agree to say that real Evil is elsewhere. Who indeed today would defend the Stalinist terror, the African genocides, the Latin American torturers? Nobody. It's there that the consensus concerning Evil is decisive. Under the pretext of not accepting Evil, we end up making believe that we have, if not the Good, at least the best possible state of affairs—even if this best is not so great. The refrain of "human rights" is nothing other than the ideology of modern liberal capitalism: We won't massacre you, we won't torture you in caves, so keep quiet and worship the golden calf. As for those who don't want to worship it, or who don't believe in our superiority, there's always the American army and its European minions to make them be quiet.

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AT: ALT IS NARCISSISM Badiou’s concept of the political demands that ideas be tested by imagining their potential for universality—it is the opposite of narcissistic navel gazing. Badiou, 05 (http://www.lacan.com/badtruth.htm, Appears in Metapolitics, New York: Verso, 2005, Alain Badiou, • Highly Speculative Reasoning on the Concept of Democracy, translated Barbara Fulks). An event is political if the subject of this event is collective, or if the event is not attributable to anything other than the multiplicity of a collective. "Collective" is not a numerical concept here. We say that the event is ontologically collective inasmuch as this event conveys a virtual requirement of the all. "Collective" is immediately universalizing. The effectiveness of the political emerges from the assertion according to which "for every x, there is thought." By the word "thought," I denote any procedure of truth understood as subjectivity (prise en subjectivitŽ). "Thought" is the name of the subject of a procedure of truth. We thus recognize that, if this thought is political, the all is inferred through the word "collective." It is not, as for other types of truth, only a question of address. Certainly every truth is addressed to the all. But in the case of the political, universality is intrinsic, and not just directed. For the all, in the political, there is at each moment the possible disengagement of the thought which identifies the subject. We call those who are constituted as subjects of a political stance the militants of the procedure. But militant is a category without boundaries, a subjective determination without identity, or without concept. That the political event be collective prescribes that the all are virtually militants of the thought which proceeds from the event. In this sense, the political is the only procedure of truth which is generic, not only in its result, but also in the local composition of its subject. Only the political is intrinsically required to declare that the thought that it is, is the thought of the all. It has an organic need for this declaration. The mathematician, for example, only needs another mathematician to recognize that his demonstration is without lacunae. Love only needs the assumption of two to assure itself of the thought that it is. The artist needs no one. Science, art, love are procedures of aristocratic truth. Certainly, they are addressed to the all and universalize their singularity. But they are not in the regime of the collective. The political is impossible without the statement that people, taken indistinctly, are capable of the thought which constitutes the political subject of the post-event. This statement reveals that a political thought is topologically collective, which means that it can only exist as a thought of the all. That the central activity of the political should be rŽunion is a local metonymy of its intrinsically collective, thus principally universal, being.

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AT: ALT UTOPIAN Radical questioning produces new forms of politics—any past failures are reasons to re-dedicate ourselves and resist the savage and destructive nihilism of status quo politics. Badiou, 02 (Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland Translated/Interviewed by Christoph Cox & Molly Whalen, Issue #5, Winter 01/02, http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/5/alainbadiou.php, On Evil: An Interview with Alain Badiou). 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. Our ability to once again have real ideas and real projects depends on it. You say that, for liberal capitalism, evil is always elsewhere, the
dreaded other, something that liberal capitalism believes it has thankfully banished and kept at bay. ... My position is obviously that this "reasoning" is purely illusory ideology. First, liberal capitalism is not at all the Good of humanity. Quite the contrary; it is the vehicle of savage, destructive nihilism. Second, the Communist revolutions of the 20th century have represented grandiose efforts to create a completely different historical and political universe. Politics is not the management of the power of the State. Politics is first the invention and the exercise

of an absolutely new and concrete reality. Politics is the creation of thought. The Lenin who wrote What is to be Done?, the Trotsky who wrote History of the Russian Revolution, and the Mao Zedong who wrote On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People are intellectual geniuses, comparable to Freud or Einstein. Certainly, the politics of emancipation, or egalitarian politics, have not, thus far, been able to resolve the problem of the power of the State. They have exercised a terror that is finally useless. But that should encourage us to pick up the question where they left it off, rather than to rally to the capitalist, imperialist enemy.

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AT: ALT IS COMMUNIST Badiou condemns Stalin and Mao on the grounds that they are perversions of the truth event—their totalizing visions wipe out plurality. Rothberg 01 (Criticism 43.4 (2001) 478-484, Book Review, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil Michael Rothberg, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign). In what ways are Badiou's ethical categories useful? What are the limits of the ethics he articulates? The distinctions between terror, betrayal, and disaster do help us to differentiate between some of the different forms that historical evil has taken in recent times. For example, if Nazism seems to represent the extreme form of terror, Stalinism and the Cultural Revolution might be the extreme forms of the disaster: the pursuit of a truth that is, unlike the racist's truth, addressed to all, and yet which, by virtue of its totalizing application, wipes out the lifeworlds of its addressees. Badiou finds the radical call for egalitarianism to be an appealing feature of communism but he does not believe in historical determinism or that mode of production is the basis of politics. Hallward, 04 (Badiou’s Politics: Equality and Justice, Peter, Professor of Modern European Philosophy, Center for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University http://culturemachine.tees.ac.uk/Cmach/Backissues/j004/Articles/hallward.htm). If Badiou both rejects any direct articulation of politics with economics and tolerates a certain degree of reliance on the state, in what sense does his project still merit the Marxist label? Badiou recognises no single subject of History, no global historical movement, no priority of the mode of production – not even the ultimate political primacy of class struggle per se. Judged by the relatively orthodox criteria of an Aijaz Ahmad, for instance, there is little doubt that Badiou’s work must figure as part of the ‘eclectic’, anti-systemic trend characteristic of much Western social and cultural theory since the early 1970’s (Ahmad, 1992: 5, 70-71). The dominant feature of Ahmad’s Marxism is precisely its perception of a systematic coherence governing historical change, and its consequent presumption of the ‘universal’ as an effect of ‘the global operation of a single mode of production’ (Ahmad, 1992: 103; cf. Jameson, 1991: 380; Lazarus, 1999: 16-19). Badiou, by contrast, is certainly ‘not a historicist, in that I don’t think events are linked in a global system. That would deny their essentially random character, which I absolutely maintain’ (‘Being by Numbers’, 1994: 118).

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AT: CAPITALISM CRUSHES THE ALT Egalitarian politics of resistance to capitalism are possible when the state is held at a distance. Badiou, 05 (http://www.lacan.com/badtruth.htm, Appears in Metapolitics, New York: Verso, 2005, Alain Badiou, • Highly Speculative Reasoning on the Concept of Democracy, translated Barbara Fulks). At the moment that the political procedure exists, up to the point of the prescription on the State, then, and then only, can the logic of the same be deployed, that is to say the egalitarian maxim, proper for every politics of emancipation. The egalitarian maxim is effectively incompatible with the errancy of state excess. The matrix of inequality is precisely that the excess power of the State cannot be measured. Today, for example, all egalitarian politics are rendered impossible and declared absurd in the name of a necessity of the liberal economy without measure or concept. But what characterizes this blind power of unchained Capital is precisely that at no point is this power measurable or fixed. What one knows is only that it weighs absolutely on the subjective destiny of collectives, such as they are. Consequently, in order that a politics can practice an egalitarian maxim in the sequence opened by an event, it is absolutely necessary that the state of the situation be put at a distance by a rigid calculation of its power. The inegalitarian conscience is a deaf conscience, captive of an errancy, captive of a power of which it has no measure. It is what explains the arrogant and peremptory character of inegalitarian statements, even if they are evidently inconsistent and abject. It is that these statements of the contemporary reaction are entirely supported by the errancy of state excess, that is to say by the violence deployed entirely by the capitalist anarchy. It is why liberal statements represent a mix of certitude in regard to the power and total indecision about what is important for the life of people and the universal affirmation of collectives. The egalitarian logic cannot be broached except when the State is configured, put at a distance, measured. It is the errancy of excess which obstructs egalitarian logic and not the excess itself. It is not at all the simple power of the state of the situation which interdicts egalitarian politics. It is the obscurity and the without-measure in which this power is enveloped. If the political event authorizes a clarification, a calculation, a demonstration of this power, then, at least locally, the egalitarian maxim is practicable.

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AT: PERM Tying the truth of an event to traditional politics risks disaster. For instance, Nazism and Stalinism were both politics of absolute truth. This means that the ethical subject searches for the universal but does not enforce that universal on others. Barker 02 (Jason, Lecturer in Communications, and a doctoral candidate in the Department of Philosophy at Cardiff University “Alain Badiou: A Critical Introduction,” p. 134- 135) But there is a paradox at work here, perhaps an aporia, and a potentially dangerous one at that, since what seizes by chance and without warning can all too easily be taken up by the State and enacted as the rule of law. In such circumstances where philosophy is elevated to the heights of ethical responsibility (‘the philosopher-king named by Plato’) disaster looms. ‘Disaster in philosophical thought is the order of the day when philosophy presents itself as being, not a seizure of truths, but a ‘situation of truth’ (C. 70). There we encounter the jump from logic to ontology. As we will recall from our earlier chapters, the situation is the set of circumstances, infinitely multiple, which is interrupted and named 'after the event'. In light of what we have also said above, the situation is seized from the outside before being 'sutured' to politics, art, science or love as one of the four conditions of its truth. The 'suture' is a concept derived from Lacan, and Badiou employs it to define the tendency of philosophy to ‘delegate its functions to such or such of its conditions’ at times when its intellectual circuit becomes 'blocked' (MP, 41). In the nineteenth century for example, 'between Hegel and Nietzsche', we mainly encounter the positivist suture, which pretends to be able to manage time scientifically, thereby playing into the hands of the 'diffuse religiosity' of capitalist industry. There is also, in the same epoch, the suture of philosophy to politics, where we discover Marx's commitment to philosophy as the practical means to change the world. And of course, what has overtaken both science and Marxism in the twentieth century - largely as a result of Heidegger's influence, although continued in the philosophy of Blanchot, Derrida and Deleuze - is the suture of philosophy to art: the 'age of the poets' (MP, 42-58). The suture always brings about a reduction of thought - synonymous with a 'heightening of the void' - which turns out to have a "triple effect': truth is made I) ecstatic, 2) sacred and 3) terroristic (C, 71-2). Taken together, these three aspects add up to the concept of disaster. Although the latter pertains primarily to thought, disaster finds expression in empirical effects, while 'Reciprocally, every real disaster, in particular historical, contains a philosopheme which joins together ecstasy, the sacred and terror.’ The destiny of the German people to establish a new world order, for example, and Stalinist Marxism in its claims over the future course of history both combine a terroristic element (the persecution of ‘traitors’), an ecstatic element (a romantic sense of ‘place’ or community, e.g. German Heimat) and a sacred name (‘Fuhrer’) (C, 73). Can we assume, therefore, that every philosophy must navigate this perilous path on the brink, or at least within the vicinity of disaster? For Badiou, the answer to this question is yes, since disaster is always internal to the conflict between philosophy and sophistry. ‘Philosophy must never abandon itself to antisophistic extremism. It loses its way when it feeds the dark desire to finish with the sophist once and for all’ (C, 73). The sophist, it would seem, serves the ends of Good in stting the philosopher a worthy target, a good enemy as Nietzsche says. Evil is not the practice of the sophist, but is made possible whenever the philosopher arrogantly denies that sophistry does not exist. The sophist is the measure of Evil, the means of holding Evil within our sights. ‘The ethics of philosophy,’ Badiou says, ‘is at heart to maintain the sophist as an adversary, to preserve the polemos, the dialectical conflict’ (C, 74-5).

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AT: PERM The law cannot be the site of the event. The law fixes identity and politics ahead of time—the event can only emerge from unfixed struggle. Pluth, 99 (The Pauline Event? 3:3, Ed, Review of Alain Badiou, St. Paul: La fondation de l'universalisme, doctoral candidate in the Department of Philosophy at Duquesne University, Johns Hopkins University Press, p internet). Yet Badiou finds that there is something in Paul's work that resists this tendency. What exactly made the universality of Paul's project distinct from the constitution of a new identity? We have already seen one aspect of it that makes for this difference: the maintaining of a disjunctive "no...but." According to Badiou, the constitution of an identity articulates a pseudo-universality on the basis of a law that is always only partial (85). Universality, he claims, should be "organically connected to the contingence of what happens to us" (85). 6 The false universality of law is one that gives place to everything in advance -- it distributes and fixes regions of identity. Thus it excludes the event, Badiou's name for "the contingence of what happens to us." The law, if it poses as a universality, is always a partial universality, a universality of placement and designation: in other words, of identification . The universality of a truth-process, however, is not particularzing. The deciding question is: where is the force of universality coming from? Does it come from the contingency and perpetual resistance of the event within the situation, or does it ground itself on the placings that stem from the law of the situation? If it is the former, then the One is proceeding from the event, and is adressed to everyone. If the latter, it comes from the law, and only promotes the dominance of one group over others. Hence Badiou's first of eight theorems derived from the work of St. Paul: "There is only a One for everyone, and it proceeds not from the law, but from the event" (85). 7

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AT: PERM The permutation is also an additional link. Any calls for political compromise are what Badiou calls a “betrayal of the event.” It is to fall back into the world and become an enemy of the truth. This is a root cause of oppression. Santitli, 03 (Siena College, Radical Evil, Subjection, and Alain Badiou’s Ethic of the Truth Event http://www.isud.org/papers/pdfs/Santilli.pdf#search=%22santilli%20badiou%22, World Congress of The International Society for Universal Dialogue, Pyrgos, Greece, May 18-22, 2003, Paul C. ). From this idea of truth as a subject-making, break-through event, Badiou derives his ethics. An ethic is “the principle that enables the continuation of a truth-process” (p. 44), and consists fundamentally in a single imperative: “Do all that you can to persevere in that which exceeds your perseverance. Persevere in the interruption. Seize in your being that which has seized and broken you” (p. 47). He calls this the principle of consistency or fidelity to fidelity. It’s maxim is “Keep Going,” especially when it is tempting to forget about the Truth that has happened to you and to settle back into the ordinary way of doing and thinking about things. The ethical subject, then, is one who experiences a split in his or her being between the mundane, self-interested situations of life and the extraordinary disinterested spirit of truth and who is able to sustain this split in all its tension, without giving up on one side on the other. It is in relation to this ethic of the truth event that one is to understand evil. What then is evil for Badiou? Evil essentially consists in the subject’s violation of the consistency principle. This can happen in three general ways. First, as with the Nazis, one can give one’s allegiance to a false imitation of the event of truth, a
simulacrum or pseudo-event. Nazism structurally resembles an authentic truth event (convulsion of the ordinary, revolutionary practice etc.), but, because it doe not champion a true universal for all humanity, only the dominance of a specific tribe, it is a mere simulacrum. Its “fakeness” is demonstrated by its terrorist drive to annihilate the Jews rather than address an eternal truth to all (p. 76). Secondly, as with Stalinism, one can create a disaster by attempting to totalize one’s truth and remake the whole of Being according to its principles. Authentic truth events in politics and science, while universal and transcendent, are only appropriate for specific traditions and circumstances. It would falsify a biological discovery, for example, to apply it everywhere outside of a limited context (as was done with Darwinism for example). So truth is disastrous when it absolutizes its power: “Rigid and dogmatic (or ‘blinded’), the subject-language would claim the power, based on its own axioms to name the whole of the real and thus to change the world” (p. 83). Religious fundamentalisms, to the extent that they are based on truth events and are not “fakes” in the first place, would seem to be particularly susceptible to this kind of evil. Finally, the subject can be guilty of the simple disavowal of Truth. From fatigue,

cowardice, doubt, the unbearable tension of living that split in being, or simple self-interest, one can give up on the truth that has happened to one and “fall” back into the world: “I must betray the becoming-subject in myself, I must become the enemy of that truth.” (p. 79, Emphasis added). Let us then locate the precise difference between Badiou’s ethics and its account of evil and that of the “ethical ideology” of human rights and radical evil. For Badiou ethics originates in transformative ideals that envision new possibilities for all human beings (a requirement of universality). One’s primary obligation is to remain faithful to the transformative event and to the particular finite situations to which it applies, without terrorizing those who do not subscribe to it. For Badiou the Platonic vision of the “Good” is primary, with evil appearing only as a deviation or swerve from one’s obligatory allegiance to this Good. ... Precisely in the way that Kant describes radical evil, Badiou too speaks of the human being falling from grace by
betraying the formal imperative of consistency, by putting self-interest and self-love ahead of the immortal truth. Evil emerges for Badiou, not because of the effects of human action on others, but because of a disorder in the way the subject responds to a revelation of truth. Evil is measured in other words, not by what is done to others, that is, by the horrible suffering even well-intentioned men cause (that would smack too much of the ideology of rights for Badiou), but by failures in what Kant would call the subjective will. Badiou does not speak of freedom the way Kant does, but one would have to surmise that for him, this fall or swerve from the truth is freely undertaken: one willfully relaxes back in

to the status quo, one gives up on one’s principles, and one chooses totalizing power and contingencies, rather than the concrete universality of truth. Evil represents a contamination of the purity of one’s insight, whether it is political, artistic, religious, or amatory.

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AT: PERM Even if the affirmative is right that they are striving for situational ethics, the fact that they tie their project to the state utterly dooms it. Franke, 2000 (Mark Franke, Instructor of International Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia, 2000. “Refusing an Ethical Approach to World Politics in Favour of Political Ethics,” European Journal of International Relations, Vol 6(3): 307-333. JH) Rather than being a repository and force of political power in the world, the modern state, where sovereignty is said to rest first in the people, is a ground for ethics. And it gains its right as such via the political efforts that found and sustain it. Whether it is popularly constructed through the fabled general will and social contract or founded through the forces of conquest, terror, theology or revolution, the state provides a socially constructed human universe in which one vision and map holds sway for all. It is a space in which all individuals are required to submit to one fundamental set of principles and ideas of inter-human relations, expressed through a constitution and laws. As such, the liberal state provides a matrix in which members may and must conform to a particular set of codes of conduct, notions of responsibility and rules of judgement. The state is at base a moral order created through political conflict and cooperation to overcome the anarchy that naturally makes ethics always uncertain and open to question. Furthermore, the state functions primarily to enforce a specific and identical ethical subject position in each of its members. As beings who are understood to fit equally within the same sovereign order, citizens of a modern liberal state are required to appreciate themselves and one another as essentially the same kind of being. They must not only understand that each one of them enjoys the same world but could also partake of the same perspective of that world. The citizen of the state, in other words, must cast away particular perspective in favour of the notion that she or he may see her- or himself reflected in the attitude of the state as it exists. Moreover, she or he must accept the fact that the vision and character attributed to this human sub-universe may be changed only as permitted by the amendments acknowledged through the constitution under which each enjoys her or his identity as an ethical being. The state not only normalizes the limits and structure of political associations. It also provides mechanisms through which the normalization of humans may occur, where the title of citizenship and normalcy are coextensive and where the notion of criminality allows for the correction of citizens.6 Evil is merely good that has been turned into a fixed absolute—the dogmatism of their project destroys its potential. Badiou, 98 (Alain, Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, 85-86) The Immortal exists only in and by the mortal animal. Truths make their singular penetration [percee] only through the fabric of opinions. We all need to communicate, we must all express our opinions. It is we ourselves, as ourselves, who expose ourselves to the becoming-subject. There is no History other than our own; there is no true world to come. The world as world is, and will remain beneath the true and the false. There is no world that might be captive to the coherence of the Good. The world is, and will remain, beneath Good and Evil. The Good is Good only to the extent that it does not aspire to render the world good. Its sole being lies in the situated advent [l’advenue en situation] of a singular truth. So it must be that the power of a truth is also a kind of powerlessness. Every absolutization of the power of a truth organizes an Evil. Not only does this Evil destroy the situation (for the will to eliminate opinion is, fundamentally, the same as the will to eliminate, in the human animal, its very animality, i.e. its being), but it also interrupts the truth-process in whose name it proceeds, since it fails to preserve, within the composition of its subject, the duality [duplicite] of interests (disinterested-interest and interest pure and simple). This is why I will call this figure of Evil a disaster, a disaster of the truth induced by the absolutization of its power. That truth does not have total power means, in the last analysis, that the subject-language, the production of a truthprocess, does not have the power to name all the elements of the situation. At least one real element must exist, one multiple existing in the situation, which remains inaccessible to truthful nominations, and it exclusively reserved to opinion, to the language of the situation. At least one point that the truth cannot force.

Elliot, Lasky, Logan, Will

Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

BADIOU 59

AT: PERM A priori ethical rules are nonsense—true ethics can only take place at a distance from the state and in particular contexts. We need to search for the egalitarian lessons of each situation—what Badiou calls “fidelity to the event.” Ling, 06 (Alex, University of Melbourne, www.cosmosandhistory.org 359 Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, vol. 2, no. 1-2, 2006, BOOK REVIEW). In point of fact the whole of contemporary ethics—derisively designated by the author as ‘the ethical ideology’— appears in Badiou’s eyes to be little more than a vast synonym for negativity: today’s ‘ethical ideology’ is a fundamentally statist edifice whose principle role is to ‘[prohibit] any idea, any coherent project of thought, settling instead for overlaying unthought and anonymous situations with mere humanitarian prattle’ (E 32-33). The task is then, reductively speaking, to invent a new ethics which would radically circumvent the state’s authority. And, by happy coincidence, it is precisely this sort of circumvention that Badiou’s philosophy has been offering all along. Setting himself then firmly at odds with the dominant ‘ethics of otherness’ Badiou contrarily asserts his own ethics as fundamentally of the subject and accordingly (it means the same thing) as not of the other but of the same. Of course we need remember here that for Badiou the subject is neither transcendental nor substantial, but is rather a ‘finite local configuration’—albeit one touched by immortality—convoked through an (aleatory, unknowable) event. This means precisely (once again, in Badiouian terms) that his subjective ethics is equivalent to an ethic of truth(s)—which is what the event gives rise to—or of the same—which, emanating from the situational void (and thus from what is in-different to all situations and hence properly universal) is what truth is. To this effect Badiou’s is a philosophy that strictly opposes any a priori concept of ethicality: ‘there is no ethics in general’ he tells us, ‘there are only—eventually—ethics of processes by which we treat the possibilities of a situation’ (E 16). Further, as Badiou’s subject only comes into being by virtue of a singular event—an event which is strictly immanent to a particular situation—and subsists only by maintaining a militant fidelity to the truth of the event, his subjective ethics is then ultimately a situated ethics, that is, an ethics of the situation. In sum—and in stark contrast to the contemporary understanding of ethics as natural, objective, a priori, a-situational and fundamentally of the other—Badiou’s ethics are of the event, of the subject, of truth, of the situation, and of the same.

Elliot, Lasky, Logan, Will

Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

BADIOU 60

AT: THE EVENT IS INDETERMINATE Good and evil can be separated, just not via pre-determined principle. Rothberg 01 (Criticism 43.4 (2001) 478-484, Book Review, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil Michael Rothberg, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign). An event—whether it involves the production of art, political action, scientific discovery, or an amorous encounter —reveals what was missing in the given state of the situation. Once the event has taken place, producing truth entails remaining "faithful" to the event that has revealed the gaps in the situation. The production of truth also constitutes a subject (which, for Badiou, is more an assemblage than an individual), and helps to re-make the opinions and instituted knowledges of the situation—it is thus fundamentally a form of permanent, if local, revolution. How does Badiou move from his notion of truth-processes to the question of ethics and what he calls the "ethic of truths" [l'éthique des vérités]? In a reversal of what he sees as
the contemporary ideology of ethics, Badiou supposes that good must be posited as coming before evil. The regime of human rights sees good primarily as a response to an already existing evil;

evil emerges through the failure of truthprocesses to live up to their universalizing mission. That is, evil emerges either when a truth is not the same for all, when fidelity to the event is not maintained, or when the truth that has been produced is substituted for the totality of the social field. Positing evil as a derailed truth process is helpful in understanding one of the key questions of the twentieth century—how can ordinary people commit extraordinary acts of evil?—because it demonstrates evil's proximity to progressive and potentially liberating human projects. Evil is thus not easily ghettoized as the other of reason or humanism. Because of
hence, it remains reactive. Badiou, on the other hand, equates good with the production of universal truths and argues that the three possible sources of evil's emergence, evil is seen as belonging to one of three genres: it appears as terror, as betrayal, or as disaster. Terror involves the attempt to produce a truth that does not hold for all. Nazism falls into this category insofar as it constructs an exclusionary imaginary community, but so would various other communitarian, nationalist, and racist projects.

This argument is irrelevant—they are right, events are indeterminate. Engaging in a struggle for radical equality is all that matters. Pluth, 99 (The Pauline Event? 3:3, Ed, Review of Alain Badiou, St. Paul: La fondation de l'universalisme, doctoral candidate in the Department of Philosophy at Duquesne University, Johns Hopkins University Press, p internet). One of the major motifs of Badiou's thought is the relation between the event and what he calls the "situation," the order of possible opinions and instituted knowledge (L'Ethique 60). An event is that which is essentially unrepresentable in the situation. Badiou notes that for St. Paul it is never a matter of submitting the event to a test -that is, St. Paul never sought confirmation of the Resurrection. This may be seen as irresponsible or opportunistic, but Badiou points out that such a confirmation would have been pointless anyway, since an event by its nature does not submit to testing within the order of facts. Rather, it is proven (or if you prefer, shown to have a certain degree of validity, of worthiness) by the transformations it brings about in this order, and it is at the level of its effects that one might agree or disagree with it. What is important is not a proof of an event but the declaration of it, its promotion in a truth-process, and the transformations it brings about in the situation. This is why the form of Paul's activity is of interest to Badiou. Outside of the content of Paul's message, he is dealing with the very relations and issues that any militant, any critical thinker, and perhaps any philosopher must confront in his or her activity. This activity -- the submitting of the situation to the disruptive force of an event -- is called by Badiou a truthprocess.

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Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

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AT: OUR AFF IS THE EVENT The notion that it is possible to adopt a critical perspective towards the world still pre-supposes global ethics as an object of study. Our point is that such universals are a fiction—ethics should only be created in context. Franke, 2000 (Mark Franke, Instructor of International Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia, 2000. “Refusing an Ethical Approach to World Politics in Favour of Political Ethics,” European Journal of International Relations, Vol 6(3): 307-333. The world is a notion through which sense of subjects, their shared and respective conditions, and their standings to one another could be made. Hence, views of the world may be seen to function precisely in the service of quashing the sort of agonistic competition of global perspectives that Campbell desires. As a total or universal perspective, a worldview competes for the description of a globe. To say, then, that we must keep the worldviews, that emerge through the flux of experience, in debate with respect to one another does little more than keep at bay the decision regarding which sense or which amalgam of sense shall dominate. For, supporting a competition of worldviews as a way to maintain a critical perspective on world politics retains the world as a legitimate domain where none in fact exists, where it is itself always already a creation (Nancy, 1997: 41). To do so already insinuates a sense of human life in which humans are supposed to inform and constitute one another in the face of alterity and difference. And, as a result, it serves to continue to suppress the political activity that gives rise to world images. A world is presupposed as the given limits with respect to which theoretical and political engagements are to be globalized. If critical inquiries into international politics offer any positive position, it is that 'the world' or 'the international' and any representations of these things are first and foremost the consequences of politics. Thus, while one ought to accept the fact that any approach to International Relations is already ethically situated, one need not accept ethics or the ethical as the conditions from which politics in the world ought to be understood or through which they arise. For example, Hugh C. Dyer is quite right to claim that 'whatever facts are apprehended [in terms of International Relations] are apprehended as a consequence of normative influences' (1997: 201). But it does not then follow that 'political substance resides in values' (Dyer, 1997: 202). Neither International Relations nor the world are themselves the grounds of politics. Rather, they are ways of framing politics of human life in terms of ethics, in terms that may allegedly make sense for humans so understood. My contention is that it is the conflict of ideas and actions in inter-human encounters that produces the possibility of world politics . Experiencing the way in which one's views and actions are inhibited or even negated through contact and engagement with others produces the grounds under which a competition of views may seem necessary. And the most successful medium through which one's own views may survive is one that can claim global validity. Even where persons may decide that competition is undesirable, it is only through a general subscription to some sort of universal concept that the experience of conflict may be avoided. In this case, all, willingly or through coercion, may agree to a fundamental sense of how things are in order to enjoy respective differences, as in the social contract theory of Thomas Hobbes or Jean - Jacques Rousseau. Hence, all politics may be viewed as essentially a world politics, as politics involves constant efforts to world in one sense or another. But, paradoxically, critical inquiry must also take the position that there is no world in world politics , understood in whatever manner.

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AT: OUR AFF IS THE EVENT Ethics cannot be formulated from an armchair- they must be grappled with by a subject in the singular involvement with an event. Barker 02 (Jason, Lecturer in Communications, and a doctoral candidate in the Department of Philosophy, at Cardiff University. Alain Badiou: A Critical Introduction, p. 140) Here, then, we have the Evil variants of Good, understood as the dialectical momentum of the process of truth itself, in three stages: 1) the event which denies the void and tends towards 'terror' or 'simulacrum'; 2) the fidelity which passively yields to its desire in an act of 'betrayal'; and 3) the totalitarian accession of truth to the point of 'disaster' (E, 63). For the militant practitioner of ethics (and for Badiou there can be no other kind), given the fact that Evil remains immanent to Good - a simulacrum as it were - Good must not be regarded as the mere avoidance of Evil. The only means of truly avoiding evil, so to speak - particularly given the fact that every truth, as well as being undecidable, is also indiscernible and unnameable - is to (attempt to) appreciate the perils of not standing up to it. The act of the informed decision (or perception) is naturally perilous here and risks regression (although of course there are always risks ...). For given the ethical practitioner's uncertain attachment to the event, we might say that the subject is forced to find out for itself, this side of (rather than beyond) Good and Evil, what ethics is (E, 75). In this sense, finally, 'The Good is Good only inasmuch as it doesn't pretend to render the world good.' The notebooks on ethics are not a bible, nor must they be read as one. In highlighting the constitutive political dimension to ethics, Badiou's Ethics avoids lapsing into the kind of abstract moral reasoning which tends - in the 'analytic' tradition - to distort the field of enquiry. No longer is it a question of what the individual would do in some ideal world with adequate time tor reflection. Instead, for Badiou ethics becomes a question of being catapulted into the here and now, and or following through the consequences of its actions. Ethics, from this militant standpoint, cannot take an effective back seat when it comes to determining what is right (unlike the journalist who claims to enable the facts to 'speak for themselves'). Of course, the question which we have been dealing with here all along involves the ambivalence which returns to afflict the ethical practitioner in the service of truth, in any one of its four realms, although politics is the one which will continue to interest us for the remainder of this book.

Elliot, Lasky, Logan, Will

Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

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AT: TRUTH EVENT CAN BE MISTAKENLY EVIL The point of the alternative is not to uncover truth in the sense of verifiable by external fact. The truth that we seek is the quest for egalitarian politics that emerge from engagement with an event. Badiou, 02 (http://www.lacan.com/badeurope.htm European Graduate School, August 2002, On the Truth-Process, followed by interventions of S. Zizek and G. Agamben, by Alain Badiou). A subject is a throw of the dice which does not abolish chance but accomplishes it as a verification of the axiom which founds it. What was decided concerning the undecidable event must pass by this term. It is a pure choice: this term, indiscernible, permits the other. Such is the local act of a truth: it consists in a pure choice between indiscernibles. It is then absolutely finite. For example, the world of Sophocles is a subject for the artistic truth which is the Greek tragedy. This truth begins with the event of Aeschylus. This work is a creation, a pure choice in what before it is indiscernible. However, although this work is finite, tragedy itself as an artistic truth continues into infinity. The work of Sophocles is a finite subject of this infinite truth. In the same way, the scientific truth decided by Galileo is pursued into infinity: the laws of physics which have been successfully invented are finite subjects of this infinite truth. We continue with the process of a truth. It began with an undecidable event, it finds its act in a finite subject, confronted by the indiscernible, this verifying course continues, it invests the situation with successive choices, and little by little, these choices outline the contour of a subset of the situation. ... There is no law of physical laws. The Being of the truth of the physical is that it is a generic subset of knowledge, both infinite and indistinct. In the same way, after the 1792 revolution in France, there were all sorts of revolutionary politics, but there is no unique political formula which could totalize these revolutionary politics. The set called 'revolutionary politics' is a generic truth of political understanding. What happens is only that we can anticipate the idea of a completed generic truth. It's an important point. The being of a truth is a generic subset of knowledge, practice, art and so on, but we can't have a unique formula for the subset because it's generic, there is no predicate for it, but you can anticipate the subset's totalization not as a real totalization but as a fiction. The generic Being of a truth as a generic subset of the situation is never presented. You have no presentation of the completeness of a truth, because truth is uncompletable. However, we can know formally that the truth will always have taken place as a generic infinity. We have a knowledge of the generic act and of the infinity of a truth. Thus the possible fictioning of the effects of its having-took-place is possible. The subject can make the hypothesis of the situation where the truth of which the subject is a local point will have completed its generic totalization. Its always a possibility for the subject to anticipate the totalization of a generic being of that truth. I call the anticipating hypothesis a forcing. The forcing is the powerful fiction of a completed truth. A completed truth is a hypothesis, it's a fiction, but a strong fiction. Starting with such a fiction, if I am the subject of the truth, I can force some bits of knowledge without verifying this knowledge. Thus, Galileo could make the hypothesis that all nature can be written in mathematical language, which is exactly the hypothesis of a complete physics. From this anticipation, he forces his Aristotelian adversary to abandon his position. Someone in love can say, and generally they do say, 'I will always love you', which is the anticipating hypothesis of the truth of infinite love. From this hypothesis, he or she forces the other to come to know him or her and to treat him or her differently-a new situation of the becoming of the love itself is created.

Elliot, Lasky, Logan, Will

Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

BADIOU 64

AT: TRUTH EVENT CAN BE MISTAKENLY EVIL Events are emancipatory because they demand fidelity to something universal without trying to impose those truths on others—these simple standards make the identification of false events easy. Brown, 04 (Nicholas, University of Illinois at Chicago, Or, Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek, Waiting for Something to Happen, CR: The New Centennial Review 4.3 (2004) 289-319). If one's own support of a truth is fundamentally a matter of decision, what is to distinguish untruth from truth? Didn't, for example, at least some Germans (Heidegger is the obvious example) believe that, far from representing a monstrous falsehood, their participation in a fascist movement was fidelity to an event, the Nazi seizure of power in 1933? "[W]hen all is said and done, it is obvious that reaction, even the forces of death, can be stamped with the creative force of an event" (Ethics, lvii). Since mere predation is beneath good and evil, evil must take its sense from some perversion of a truth-procedure; and since a truth-procedure has essentially three parts (the event, fidelity to the event, and the truth this fidelity constructs), there are three ways a truth-procedure can be perverted into evil. The first is the substitution of a simulacrum for the event, the second is betrayal of a real event, and the third is to ascribe to the truth-process total power. It seems to me that these three modes of evil are meant to correspond primarily to three political evils, although only the first is spelled out. The "revolution" of National Socialism was a simulacrum of [End Page 299] the previous revolutions of 1792 and 1917: because it convokes the plenitude of an ethnic "Germany" instead of the (universalizable) exclusion on which this plenitude was founded, it blocks any possible truth-procedure. In a strange echo of Heidegger's scandalous paragraph on the gas chambers, the (ontic) extermination of the Jews appears here as the effect of an (ontological) blockage of truth: inasmuch as "Jew" names the address to all that Nazism cannot make, its referent must be eliminated. The second evil, that of betrayal, could be taken to refer to the abandonment of the revolutionary movements in the Third World—the corruption of the political class in Angola after the MPLA took power, or the strange quiescence of some Brazilian radicals in the face of the military dictatorship in the late 1960s. The third evil ascribes total power to the truth-process—as though a truth, rather than reconfiguring the situation from which it emerges, could actively become the situation, subjecting everything to a single rule. The referent here would seem to be Left absolutism.

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Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

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AT: DEMOCRACY BETTER THAN ALT Democracy is an excuse for a naked exercise of power—a narrow majority in a powerful nation is able to determine the fate of the world. Badiou 04 (Alain, FRAGMENTS OF A PUBLIC DIARY ON THE AMERICAN WAR AGAINST IRAQ Vol. 8, No. 3 Summer 2004, pp. 223–238 ISSN 1740-9292 print/ISSN 1477-2876 2004 Taylor & Francis Ltd http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals) The present situation is that of a regulation to be found – a difficult task – between the American power game (which is the reality – financial and military – of the “international community”) and the parliamentary game of the UN. The decision belongs to the realm of power (the American government and its British poodle decided to invade Iraq), but the fiction demands a parliamentary vote, at the Security Council or at the UN General Assembly. Decided without having been voted, deprived of majority or parliamentary cover, the aggression being prepared makes the supposed subject uneasy, it disrupts the consensus the post-postwar has arrived at regarding “values”: human rights, humanism, humanitarianism, democratic interventions, and other nonsense. For what constitutes the essence of parliamentary fiction, of politics as representative delegation and the counting of votes? Obviously, the existence of an opposition. Today at the UN, Chirac is making France play the saving role of the opposition. Its mission is less that of preventing aggression (the French government accepts the myth of the “weapons of mass destruction,” maintains the ridiculous suspense of the “inspections,” considers the departure of Saddam Hussein to be a great idea, etc.) than of making itself the herald of parliamentary legitimacy. In short: its mission is that of saving, against naked reality, the well-meaning moral fiction of the “international community” – renamed, by Chirac, “multilateralism.” Let’s say that France is working on the parliamentarizing of American power, a power which it recognizes elsewhere as being the only one capable of deciding and bringing off a war of aggression – a war that is, in principle, abject, but about which only the procedure of its legitimization is disputed. War must not only be decided by those who are going to wage it. It must also be voted for by those who don’t have the means to wage it. Parliamentarianism – “modern democracy” – is just that: replacing the political principles according to which situations might be evaluated, with the juridical fetishism of a majority vote. It is a consensual lack of power given the task of providing propaganda for naked power.

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Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

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AT: CEDE THE POLITICAL This argument is the essence of what keeps us docile--submission to the state results precisely when power is indeterminate and it becomes impossible to imagine alternatives. Hallward, 04 (Badiou’s Politics: Equality and Justice, Peter, Professor of Modern European Philosophy, Center for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University http://culturemachine.tees.ac.uk/Cmach/Backissues/j004/Articles/hallward.htm). Politics thus proceeds through the invention of new subtractive mechanisms of formalisation that can confront and transform this formless resistance to change (LS: 89). A true political sequence can only begin when business as usual breaks down for one reason or another. This is because what ensures submission to the status quo is ‘submission to the indetermination of power, and not to power itself’ (TA, 8.04.98). Under normal circumstances, we know only that the excess of the static re-presentation over elementary presentation is wildly immeasurable (corresponding, in the terms of Badiou’s ontology, to the infinite excess of 2N over N). Today’s prevailing economic regime indeed dominates its inhabitants absolutely, precisely because we can hardly imagine how we might limit or measure this regime. The first achievement of a true political intervention is thus the effective, ‘distanced’ measurement of this excess. Intervention forces the state to show its hand, to use its full powers of coercion so as to try to restore things to their proper place.

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Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

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AT: STATE GOOD TURNS Badiou calls for politics outside of the state but not its destruction—the occupation of farms by landless peasants in Brazil is an example of a movement that changed the state while maintaining distance. Hallward, 04 (Badiou’s Politics: Equality and Justice, Peter, Professor of Modern European Philosophy, Center for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University http://culturemachine.tees.ac.uk/Cmach/Backissues/j004/Articles/hallward.htm). Today, however, now that the ‘age of revolutions is over’, Badiou admits that ‘I have been obliged to change my position as regards the state. The guiding principle can no longer be, in a unilateral way, "de-statification". It is a matter more of prescribing the state, often in a logic of reinforcement. The problem is to know from where politics prescribes the state’ (Badiou, letters to the author, 17.06.96; 13.10.97; cf. ‘Politics and Philosophy’, 1998: 114-115; TA, 26.11.97). Recent political sequences – the Palestinian Intifada, the uprisings in East Timor and Chiapas, the student mobilisation in Burma in 1988 – have proceeded in large part as attempts to answer this question, in terms most appropriate to the particular constraints of the situation. Among the most consequential ongoing efforts is the massive Landless Workers Movement (MST) in Brazil: rather than persist in the futile pursuit of land reform through established re-presentative channels, the MST has organised the direct occupation of farmland by the landless poor themselves, allowing some 250,000 families to win titles to over 15 million acres since 1985. What the MST has understood with particular clarity is that legal recognition can only be won as the result of a subjective mobilisation which is itself indifferent to the logic of recognition and re-presentation as such. The remarkable gains of the MST have been won at what Badiou would call a ‘political distance’ from the state, and depend upon its own ability to maintain a successful organising structure, develop viable forms of non-exploitative economic cooperation, and resist violent intimidation from landowners and the state police.10

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Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

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AT: HEGEMONY OUTWEIGHS Hegemony saves lives only very selectively—millions are allowed to die from AIDS while mass interventions are justified if US interests are threatened in even a small way. The result is violence without limit. Badiou 04 (Alain, FRAGMENTS OF A PUBLIC DIARY ON THE AMERICAN WAR AGAINST IRAQ Vol. 8, No. 3 Summer 2004, pp. 223–238 ISSN 1740-9292 print/ISSN 1477-2876. page: Taylor & Francis Ltd http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals) In fact, the United States is an imperialist power without an empire, a hegemony without territoriality. I propose the term “zoning” [zonage] to convey its relation to the world: every place in the world can be considered by the American government as a zone of vital interest, or as a zone of total disinterest, according to fluctuations in the consideration of its “democratic” comfort. You could die by the thousands without America raising an eyebrow (thus, for years, AIDS in Africa), or, on the other hand, have to endure the build-up of a colossal army in the middle of the desert (Iraq today). Zonage means that American military intervention resembles a raid much more than a colonial-type intervention. It’s about vast incursions, particularly brutal in nature, that are as brief as possible. Kill people in large numbers, beat them into a stupor, smash them until their last gasp, then return home to enjoy the comfort you’ve so skillfully defended in a provisionally “strategic” zone: this is how the USA thinks about its power, and about how to use it. The time will certainly come for us to conceptualize this assertion: the metaphysics of American power is a metaphysics of limitlessness. The great imperial theories of the nineteenth century were always theories of dividing, dividing up the world, creating boundaries. For the USA, there are no limits. Nixon’s advisers, as Noam Chomsky points out, were already proclaiming this under the name of “the politics of the madman.” The USA must impose upon the rest of the world the belief that it – the United States – is capable of anything, and especially of what is neither rational nor foreseeable. The excessive quality of the interventions aims at getting the adversary to realize that the American retaliation can be totally unrelated to what was initially at stake. The adversary will deem it preferable to concede management of the disputed zone, for a time, to the “mad” power. The invasion of Iraq, currently under preparation, is a figure of that madness. It shows that, for American governments, there are neither countries, nor States, nor peoples. There are only zones, where one is justified in destroying everything if there is, in those zones, the slightest question of the idea – an empty one, besides – of American comfort.

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Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

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AT: TERRORISM OUTWEIGHS American hegemony is terrorism on a global scale. Badiou, 02 (Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland Translated/Interviewed by Christoph Cox & Molly Whalen, Issue #5, Winter 01/02, http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/5/alainbadiou.php, On Evil: An Interview with Alain Badiou). 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. It should be added that there are different types of terror. Our liberal countries know how to use it perfectly. The colossal American army exerts terrorist blackmail on a global scale, and prisons and executions exert an interior blackmail no less violent.

Elliot, Lasky, Logan, Will

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AT: REALISM Realism only proves Badiou’s thesis – that the world is constantly unstable makes the notion of universal ethics absurd Franke, 2000 (Mark Franke, Instructor of International Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia, 2000. “Refusing an Ethical Approach to World Politics in Favour of Political Ethics,” European Journal of International Relations, Vol 6(3): 307-333. JH) The grounds that propel International Relations and, consequently, the general concern of international ethics themselves, though, are surely not of an ethical character per se. International Relations and the considerations of ethics made possible within that vision respond primarily to the notion that there is no natural structure or code upon which actions and judgements in human relations may be legitimately justified in any final sense. No person or group of persons has view to any thing like what one might call the universal conditions of humanity. Each is limited to particular perspectives and cultural mappings of how a human universe may appear if local understandings could be extended globally. It is for this reason that persons are said to be naturally in a state of war with each other.' In trying to orient themselves to one another and the things that come of interest to them via experience and reports of the experiences of others, humans run inevitably into a cartographic crisis with one another, a crisis regarding how each ought to orient her- or himself to others. Even prior to any kind of base power struggle that Realists may attribute to them, people come into a conflict of ideas and representations of what the world of experience might be. The multiple images that different humans may project or adopt in trying to understand the potential range of their respective interests and movements share no natural grounds in common. There is no one place, life or vision in which all humans commonly partake. The world of humans is therefore anarchical. But it is not so because of a selfish nature identically reproduced in each individual, as the metaphysicists of Realism/Idealism proclaim. Rather this 'world' is anarchical due to the fact that there is never actually a single world to which all ideas of human life may agree. And there are no natural grounds upon which a singular world may be justifiably created from this variety of views. Instead, humans, by the fact of being particular and finite beings unable to see all things and enjoy all possible lives at once, give rise to unlimited numbers and kinds of principles upon which unending worlds may be founded and demanded. Only one universally applicable social fact must then be said to confront each and every possible person, that an ethics is not available by nature. There are at least no grounds upon which such an ethics may be assumed possible. The codes of conduct and grounds upon which judgements are to be made must, rather, be constructed and legitimized politically. The basis for shared human norms can be accomplished only through processes of tyranny, negotiation, competition and/or force. And thus it is that the liberal state emerges as it does.

Elliot, Lasky, Logan, Will

Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

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AT: BADIOU IS INTOLERANT OF DIFFERENCE Badiou is not intolerant of difference—he just does not think that it should be fetishized as politics. Brown, 04 (Nicholas, University of Illinois at Chicago, Or, Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek, Waiting for Something to Happen, CR: The New Centennial Review 4.3 (2004) 289-319). Does Badiou's suspicion of the ethics of difference imply a hostility to difference as such? No. On the contrary, differences are simply the stuff of which the world is made. The point, rather, is that fetishizing difference is as ideological as the cruel attempt to suppress it. As we saw in Badiou's version of Saint Paul, any truth will simply be indifferent to such differences that exist, while at the same time—precisely because it is addressed uniformly to all and therefore admits no tolerant "agreement to disagree"—introducing a new cleavage between those caught up in this truth and those who refuse it.

Elliot, Lasky, Logan, Will

Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

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AT: BADIOU DENIES THE HOLOCAUST Badiou's characterization of the holocaust demands that we recognize the horror of the event as a singular political disaster-it is those who treat it as an inexplicable moral aberration that risk silencing that history. Barker 02 (Jason, Lecturer in Communications, and a doctoral candidate in the Department of Philosophy at Cardiff University. Alain Badiou: A Critical Introduction, p. 132)
Anti-Platonism, rather than Platonism itself, has today surpassed itself in marking the closure of modem philosophy. However, we should resist the-temptation to believe that any philosophy opposed to Platonism (implicitly or explicitly) can be deployed in anticipation of its own collapse. For wouldn't this all too soon and all too easily lead - as in the case of the apologists of Heidegger's flirtation with Fascism - to a situation where the aberrations of a once great thinker are accepted on the grounds of a minor indiscretion (the cult of the flawed genius)? Badiou is wise to this ethical perversion which would seek to make philosophy a closed enterprise outside the realm of history. For Badiou, philosophy begins here, at the very moment when its historical and universal enterprise of truth is declared impossible. For example, consider the question of the Jewish Holocaust, which for Lyotard stands 'as an event beyond the resources of Hegel's philosophy.

Today, the idea that 'Auschwitz' is the name of an event somehow beyond the experience of human suffering, and as such one which cannot be adequately spoken about or understood, has become a cliché of modern journalism which invariably succeeds in blinding onlookers to the fact that the Holocaust was a politically motivated act. The consequences of this cliché are multiple, but virtually all are politically disastrous. For there is little difference between claiming, as Lyotard does, that only a moment of sublime silence could testify to the victims of the Holocaust, and the equally esoteric and somewhat grotesque proposition that the Holocaust, as such, never actually happened. The silence of philosophy does not in this case mark a just silence. It is a silence which proves instead that in a certain set of historical circumstances philosophy did not act. Trying to identify evil as an a priori category makes the dangerous move of removing it from its political context. It is not enough to say that the Nazis were evil—we need to understand how they gained power. Badiou, 98 (Alain, Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, 64-66) But then the whole point is to situate [localiser] this singularity. Fundamentally, those who uphold the ideology of human rights try to situate it directly in Evil, in keeping with their objectives of pure opinion. We have seen that this attempt at the religious absolutization of Evil is incoherent. Moreover, it is very threatening, like anything that puts thought up against an impassable 'limit'. For the reality of the inimitable is constant imitation, and by dint of seeing Hitlers everywhere we forget that he is dead, and that what is happening before our eyes is the creation of new singularities of Evil. In fact, to think the singularity of the extermination is to think, first of all, the singularity of Nazism as a political sequence. This is the whole problem. Hitler was able to conduct the extermination as a colossal militarized operation because he had taken power, and he took power in the name of a politics whose categories included the term 'Jew'. The defenders of ethical ideology are so determined to locate the Singularity of the extermination directly in Evil that they generally deny, categorically, that Nazism was a political sequence. But this position is both feeble and cowardly. Feeble, because the constitution of Nazism as a 'massive' subjectivity integrating the word Jew as part of a political configuration is what made the extermination possible, and then inevitable. Cowardly, because it is impossible to think politics through to the end if we refuse to envisage the possibility of political sequences whose organic categories and subjective prescriptions are criminal. The partisans of the 'democracy of human rights' are fond -with
Hannah Arendt -of defining politics as the stage of a 'being together'. It is with regard to this definition, incidentally, that they fail to grasp the political essence of Nazism. But this definition is merely a fairy-tale -all the more so since the being-together must first determine the collective [ensemble] concerned, and this is the whole question. Nobody desired the being-together of the Germans more than Hitler. The Nazi category of the Jew served to name the German interior, the space of a being-together, via the (arbitrary yet prescriptive) construction of an exterior that could be monitored from the interior -just as the certainty of being 'all French together' presupposes that we persecute, here and now, those who fall under the category of 'illegal immigrant'.

One of the singularities of Nazi politics was its precise proclamation of the historical community that was to be endowed with a conquering subjectivity. And it was this proclamation that enabled its subjective victory, and put extermination on the agenda. Thus we are entitled to say, in this case, that the link between politics and Evil emerges precisely from the way both the collective [ensemble] (the thematics of communities) and the being-with (the thematics of consensus, of shared norms) are taken into consideration. But what matters is that the singularity of the Evil derives, in the final analysis, from the singularity of a political sequence. This takes us back to the subordination of Evil -if not directly to the Good, at least to the processes that lay claim to it. Nazi politics was not a truth-process, but it was only in so far as it could be represented as such that it 'seized' the German situation. So that even in the case of this Evil, which I would call extreme rather than radical, the intelligibility of its 'subjective' being, the question of the 'someones' who were able to participate in its horrifying execution as if accomplishing a duty, needs to be referred back to the intrinsic dimensions of the process of political truth. I might also have pointed out that the most
intense subjective sufferings -those that really highlight what is involved in 'hurting someone', and often lead to suicide or murder -have as their horizon the existence of a process of love.

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AT: GENERIC AFF POMO BAD CARDS Indicts of post-modernism are totally irrelevant—Badiou stands in absolute opposition to post-modernists—he believes in the truth. Johnston, 02 (Theory and Event, Confronting the New Sophists, 6:2 | © 2002 Adrian Johnston, Book Review of Jason Barker, Alian Badiou: A Critical Introduction (London: Pluto Press, 2002), Adrian Johnston recently received his Ph.D. in philosophy at SUNY Stony Brook. He is presently an interdisciplinary research fellow in psychoanalysis at Emory University). Given his background, one might expect that Badiou would resemble other well-known thinkers who are part of the generation that matured in the continental European context surrounding the May '68 events, namely, those authors closely associated with post-structuralism and post-modernism. Instead, when reading Badiou one encounters someone virulently opposed to nearly all of the central tenets he associates with the "new sophists" (i.e., those promoting a sort of pervasive relativism inspired by such influences as Nietzsche, Heidegger, the later Wittgenstein, and the hermeneutic/linguistic turn dominating twentieth-century philosophy on both sides of the Atlantic). Pushing off against this pervasive sophistical relativism, Badiou provocatively dubs himself a "Platonist." What could he mean? Why would anyone embrace a paradigm that has fallen into such widespread disrepute? For Badiou, being a Platonist signifies, first and foremost, affirming an idea of truth as timeless and universal.

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Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

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AT: BADIOU IS TOTALIZING Badiou’s striving for a universal is not totalizing because it does not seek to impose itself on others—his conception of truth is inherently plural. Rothberg 01 (Criticism 43.4 (2001) 478-484, Book Review, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil Michael Rothberg, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign). A truth is, for Badiou, "indifferent to differences"; it is "the same for all" (27; AB's italics). How can we situate such a claim in the contemporary theoretical landscape? Is Badiou's ethics simply a return to the totalizing and universalizing thought that a combination of historical and intellectual events (the Holocaust, Stalinism, colonialism, postmodernism, etc.) had seemed to render hopelessly passé? While Badiou's understanding of truth, and thus also ethics, is uncompromisingly universalizing, it is also definitively not totalizing. The interest of his thought today lies precisely in the way he finesses this apparent paradox. When Badiou writes that truth is "the same for all" he does not mean that there is only one truth. To the contrary, truths are irreducibly plural. They are the product of "the real process of fidelity to an event" (42), and there are an infinite number of possible events. Events—to continue using Badiou's vocabulary—are immanent breaks with a given situation. And a situation is a singular configuration, an "infinite multiple" which can be "politico-historical," "strictly physical or material," aesthetic, or even defined by the relationship of two people (129).

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Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

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AT: INDICT OF ONTOLOGY Indicts of ontology are irrelevant to Badiou—he argues that ontology can only be understood in terms of local practice so it does not make sense to dwell on it as a general category. Johnston, 02 (Theory and Event, Confronting the New Sophists, 6:2 | © 2002 Adrian Johnston, Book Review of Jason Barker, Alian Badiou: A Critical Introduction (London: Pluto Press, 2002), Adrian Johnston recently received his Ph.D. in philosophy at SUNY Stony Brook. He is presently an interdisciplinary research fellow in psychoanalysis at Emory University). With reference to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, one could claim that Badiou launches a sort of "Copernican counter-revolution" through his contention, arrived at via the premises outlined immediately below, that the categorically or conceptually expressible relations between phenomena qua appearances arise immanently from being itself, as opposed to issuing from the de-ontologized understanding sitting at the center of Kantian idealism's subjectivity. Whereas Kant bars the subject from having a direct and unmediated relation to being by depriving all appearances accessible to the knowing individual of any ontological weight, for Badiou, the very nature of being is to appear. How does he reach this conclusion? His demonstration consists of five steps. First, there is no set of all sets, no being of all beings; being per se, in and of itself, is non-existent. Badiou maintains that set theory, under the assumption that mathematics is, to a greater or lesser extent, a direct expression of the Real, forces one to side with the antitheses of Kant's first two antinomies of pure reason. This first premise expresses Badiou's most foundational ontological principle, namely, that "being qua being" is "pure multiplicity" (i.e., an infinite plurality that admits of no single, encompassing totality, no Parmenidean "One"). Second, following from the first premise, every ontological investigation is local(ized), that is to say, restricted to dealing with particular incarnated beings rather than a given whole. Third, all being is a "being-there," and Badiou designates the local sites of being's disclosure as "situations." Fourth, situations frame specific appearances (of beings), with the essence of appearance defined as the being-there of being. Fifth and finally, it therefore follows that appearing is an intrinsic determination of being. What's more, appearance, which necessarily entails differential determination (i.e., each appearance takes on its meaning, value, significance, and so in connection and/or contrast with other appearances), always-already implicitly refers to the impossible, non-existent totality of being as the greatest set of all possible relations between beings-as-appearances (with this reference thus accounting for the transcendental illusion of wholeness, the specter of ontological completeness haunting human reason as a regulative idea).

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Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

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AT: BADIOU’S MATH IS CRAZY It isn’t necessary to totally make sense of Badiou’s use of set theory—the point of that whole endeavor is to separate his philosophy from post-modern relativism. Johnston, 02 (Theory and Event, Confronting the New Sophists, 6:2 | © 2002 Adrian Johnston, Book Review of Jason Barker, Alian Badiou: A Critical Introduction (London: Pluto Press, 2002), Adrian Johnston recently received his Ph.D. in philosophy at SUNY Stony Brook. He is presently an interdisciplinary research fellow in psychoanalysis at Emory University). Although Badiou's insistence on mathematizing ontology resonates with modern, post-Galilean science, it isn't simply a reiteration of this worldview. For Badiou, the recourse to set theory in particular enables an "enumeration" not only of material nature, which is as far as the "spontaneous philosophy of the scientists" (to quote Althusser) goes, but also of social formations, political institutions, economic configurations, and similar domains of human being. The groupings and orderings that take shape in these areas admit of a kind of "mathematization" too. The easiest way to understand this aspect of Badiou's endeavor is to set it in stark contrast against the background of the humanist relativism dominating contemporary theoretical discussions. Badiou, as a philosopher, dares to search for general logics and invariant structural orderings of reality in an era when the human sciences affirm their identities by repudiating the methodological tools of the natural sciences (i.e., mathematics and formalization) as inadequate to the task of thinking subjectivity and sociality. These moves on Badiou's part do indeed represent an attempt to revive a form of Platonism, especially if one remembers that, throughout the Socratic dialogues, truths just as eternal as the relations between numbers are sought in every domain of inquiry: statesmanship, aesthetics, friendship, ethics, and many other matters. (Badiou refers to four specific "conditions" for the productions of truths, namely, art, love, science, and politics). For a Platonist, broadly conceived, philosophical inquiry should be guided by an unwavering quest for that which lies beyond contingency, variability, and difference as immediately given. If nothing else, mathematics shows that subjects are occasionally touched by such truths.

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Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

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AT: BADIOU’S CONCEPT OF EVIL IS EMPTY Our alternative is based on radical egalitarianism, which makes Evil easy to identify—Evil is rooted in inequality. Badiou, 02 (Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Translated/Interviewed by Christoph Cox & Molly Whalen, Issue #5, Winter 01/02, http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/5/alainbadiou.php, On Evil: An Interview with Alain Badiou). Why do the politics of the Western powers, of NATO, of Europe and the USA, appear completely unjust to two out of three inhabitants of the planet? Why are five thousand American deaths considered a cause for war, while five hundred thousand dead in Rwanda and a projected ten million dead from AIDS in Africa do not, in our opinion, merit outrage? Why is the bombardment of civilians in the US Evil, while the bombardment of Baghdad or Belgrade today, or that of Hanoi or Panama in the past, is Good? The ethic of Truths that I propose proceeds from concrete situations, rather than from an abstract right, or a spectacular Evil. The whole world understands these situations, and the whole world can act in a disinterested fashion prompted by the injustice of these situations. Evil in politics is easy to see: It's absolute inequality with respect to life, wealth, power. Good is equality. How long can we accept the fact that what is needed for running water, schools, hospitals, and food enough for all humanity is a sum that corresponds to the amount spent by wealthy Western countries on perfume in a year? This is not a question of human rights and morality. It is a question of the fundamental battle for equality of all people, against the law of profit, whether personal or national. Liberation depends on our ability to move beyond definitions of Evil—we need to focus on the positive content the future. Badiou, 02 (Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland Translated/Interviewed by Christoph Cox & Molly Whalen, Issue #5, Winter 01/02, http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/5/alainbadiou.php, On Evil: An Interview with Alain Badiou). Were I to reverse the tables, as you suggest, I would leave everything in place. To say that liberal capitalism is Evil would not change anything. I would still be subordinating politics to humanistic and Christian morality: I would say: "Let's fight against Evil." But I've had enough of "fighting against," of "deconstructing," of "surpassing," of "putting an end to," etc. My philosophy desires affirmation. I want to fight for; I want to know what I have for the Good and to put it to work. I refuse to be content with
the "least evil." It is very fashionable right now to be modest, not to think big. Grandeur is considered a metaphysical evil. Me, I am for grandeur, I am for heroism. I am for the affirmation of the thought and the deed. Certainly, it is necessary to propose another theory of Evil. But that is to say, essentially, another theory of the Good. Evil would be to compromise on the question of the

. To give up is always Evil. To renounce liberation politics, renounce a passionate love, renounce an artistic creation…. Evil is the moment when I lack the strength to be true to the Good that compels me. The real question underlying the question of Evil is the following: What is the Good? All my philosophy strives to answer this question. For complex reasons, I give the Good the name "Truths" (in the plural). A Truth is a concrete process that starts by an upheaval (an encounter, a general revolt, a surprising new invention), and develops as fidelity to the novelty thus experimented. A Truth is the subjective development of that which is at once both new and universal. New: that which is unforeseen by the order of creation. Universal: that which can interest, rightly, every human individual, according to his pure humanity (which I call his generic humanity). To become a subject (and not remain a simple human animal), is to participate in the coming into being of a universal novelty. That requires effort, endurance, sometimes self-denial. I often say it's necessary to be the "activist" of a Truth. There is Evil each time egoism leads to the renunciation of a Truth. Then, one is de-subjectivized. Egoistic self-interest carries one away, risking the interruption of the whole progress of a truth (and thus of the Good).
Good

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Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

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AT: BADIOU’S CONCEPT OF EVIL IS EMPTY Evil cannot be pre-determined—it is always situational. No formal rule is able to stand up to the infinite situations we face. Badiou, 02 (Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland Translated/Interviewed by Christoph Cox & Molly Whalen, Issue #5, Winter 01/02, http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/5/alainbadiou.php, On Evil: An Interview with Alain Badiou). I maintain that the natural state of the human animal has nothing to do with Good or Evil. And I maintain that the kind of formal moral obligation described in Kant's categorical imperative does not actually exist. Take the example of torture. In a civilization as sophisticated as the Roman Empire, not only is torture not considered an Evil, it is actually appreciated as a spectacle. In arenas, people are devoured by tigers; they are burned alive; the audience rejoices to see combatants cut each other's throats. How, then, could we think that torture is Evil for every human animal? Aren't we the same animal as Sencea or Marcus Aurelius? I should add that the armed forces of my country, France, with the approval of the governments of the era and the majority of public opinion, tortured all the prisoners during the Algerian War. The refusal of torture is a historical and cultural phenomenon, not at all a natural one. In a general way, the human animal knows cruelty as well as it knows pity; the one is just as natural as the other, and neither one has anything to do with Good or Evil. One knows of crucial situations where cruelty is necessary and useful, and of other situations where pity is nothing but a form of contempt for others. You won't find anything in the structure of the human animal on which to base the concept of Evil, nor, moreover, that of the Good. But the formal solution isn't any better. Indeed, the obligation to be a subject doesn't have any meaning, for the following reason: The possibility of becoming a subject does not depend on us, but on that which occurs in circumstances that are always singular. The distinction between Good and Evil already supposes a subject, and thus can't apply to it. It's always for a subject, not a pre-subjectivized human animal, that Evil is possible. For example, if, during the occupation of France by the Nazis, I join the Resistance, I become a subject of History in the making. From the inside of this subjectivization, I can tell what is Evil (to betray my comrades, to collaborate with the Nazis, etc.). I can also decide what is Good outside of the habitual norms. Thus the writer Marguerite Duras has recounted how, for reasons tied to the resistance to the Nazis, she participated in acts of torture against traitors. The whole distinction between Good and Evil arises from inside a becoming-subject, and varies with this becoming (which I myself call philosophy, the becoming of a Truth). To summarize: There is no natural definition of Evil; Evil is always that which, in a particular situation, tends to weaken or destroy a subject. And the conception of Evil is thus entirely dependent on the events from which a subject constitutes itself. It is the subject who prescribes what Evil is, not a natural idea of Evil that defines what a "moral" subject is. There is also no formal imperative from which to define Evil, even negatively. In fact, all imperatives presume that the subject of the imperative is already constituted, and in specific circumstances. And thus there can be no imperative to become a subject, except as an absolutely vacuous statement. That is also why there is no general form of Evil, because Evil does not exist except as a judgment made, by a subject, on a situation, and on the consequences of his own actions in this situation. So the same act (to kill, for example) may be Evil in a certain subjective context, and a necessity of the Good in another.

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Michiagn 7 Week Seniors 2009

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AT: GENERIC LACAN BAD CARDS Badiou’s alternative is simply not the same as Lacan’s—where Lacan is accused of being politically dangerous because he denies all access to the Real, Badiou allows for real world political transformation. Rothberg 01 (Criticism 43.4 (2001) 478-484, Book Review, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil Michael Rothberg, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign). Because knowledge serves power (and this is not precisely Badiou's own language), there will always be "voids" in a given situation that cannot be known or thought according to the recognized forms of knowledge. Badiou links this notion of the unthought in a given reality to Lacan's notion of the Real. (One also thinks of the Sartre of Search for a Method.) But there is also a significant difference between Badiou's void and Lacan's Real: while the Real is never susceptible to transformation (it is the place to which one always returns), the void can be revealed and thus potentially displaced through the advent of an event (although it is never clear from where the event emerges— Badiou likens its advent to a non-theological "grace" [122-3]). An event—whether it involves the production of art, political action, scientific discovery, or an amorous encounter—reveals what was missing in the given state of the situation. Once the event has taken place, producing truth entails remaining "faithful" to the event that has revealed the gaps in the situation. The production of truth also constitutes a subject (which, for Badiou, is more an assemblage than an individual), and helps to re-make the opinions and instituted knowledges of the situation—it is thus fundamentally a form of permanent, if local, revolution. Badiou’s concept of the subject is a major break from Lacan—he sees the subject as fully capable of positive action through his alternative of fidelity to the event. Ling, 06 (Alex, University of Melbourne, www.cosmosandhistory.org 359 Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, vol. 2, no. 1-2, 2006, BOOK REVIEW). Clearly then the core of Badiou’s ethics is nothing other than the evental prescription of the subject, that is, the absolute necessity to remain faithful to a fidelity—to continue being a militant of truth—which he rather nicely summarizes in a single imperative: continuez! (in
which one should of course hear Lacan’s ethical maxim ‘ne pas céder sur son désir’: don’t give way on your desire). Simply—and one cannot stress this point too strongly— outside of the fact of the event, there is no subject, nor truth, nor ethics—there is solely difference (which is simply what is) and an otherwise inconsequential biological species counted as human, ‘a “biped without feathers,” whose charms are not obvious’. (E 12) So then in light of his theory of subjectivation Badiou accordingly reinterprets Lacan’s ethical imperative as the necessity to ‘seize in your being

. Of course, the reader of Lacan would likely wonder precisely what is to be found here that is new? Certainly the literally exceptional status of Badiou’s ethics resonates with
that which has seized and broken you’ (E 47), to remain faithful to an event, to hold on at all costs to a truth and continue being a subject Lacan’s own distinction between the moral and the ethical—between Creon’s Law and Antigone’s desire, between the good and the beautiful—insofar as morality, for Lacan, fundamentally serves to reinforce/reinscribe the statist order (qua ‘service of goods’) while ethicality is by contrast necessarily anti-statist (owing to the fact that, as an ethical subject, we must first give ourself over to ‘the cause that animates us’, a cause—desire; drive—which is in itself radically antithetical to order as such). Clearly then we are once more presented with those familiar divisions

. And yet it also at this precise point that we discern a clear break with Lacan—who we should remember is not only for Badiou an antiphilosopher par excellence (witness the role played here by desire and drive) but also the term’s true father (le nom du père)—insofar as Badiou, by virtue of his decidedly non-Lacanian (non-Cartesian) conception of the subject, necessarily presents something of a recession of orders, seeing the ethical as coextensive with (indeed, equivalent to) the good, thereby leaving morality (which is in Badiou’s thinking implicitly tied up with that truthless realm of ‘opinions’) lying necessarily beneath both good and evil. Thus the beautiful descends to the good and the good—to invoke Badiou’s reading of that other archetypal antiphilosopher Saint Paul—falls from grace. If this however seems something of a negative gesture, we should remember that one of the great virtues of Badiou’s philosophy is on the contrary its fundamental positivity, which is something we can (unexpectedly perhaps) clearly discern in his conception of evil as an ‘effect of the power of truth’ (E 61). Indeed, this simple progression—from good to evil—stands in marked opposition to the ethical
between ethical radicality and moral stasis, between revolutionary praxis and conservative polity, between truth and the knowledge through which it punches a hole ideology he so despises, in which good might be solely derived as an after-effect of evil (such good depriving itself of positive content in its reduction to the sole function of preventing evil) and which accordingly thinks ‘the only thing that can really happen to someone is death’ (35) (such negative movement accounting for the intrinsic nihilism of, for example, the discourse of human rights). Simply, if the good is ultimately truth, then evil is at base that which has a negative effect on truth; it is the corruption, in one way or another, of truth. This of course means that, as with

, Badiou’s ethics of truth means in the end that ‘every subject is guilty of all the good he did not do’. Thus the human animal, along with its concomitant predilections—be they munificent, disinterested, or just plain nasty—exists, outside of the embrace of the event, fundamentally beneath good and evil.
the good, evil is knotted to the evental subject, or, to paraphrase Voltaire

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AT: DESANTI Desanti’s critique fundamentally misses the point. Badiou under-theorizes ontology on purpose because he believes that the Event, not pre-determined ontology, shapes the subject. Van Rompaey, 06 (Deakin University, Chris, www.cosmosandhistory.org 350 Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, vol. 2, no. 1-2, 2006 BOOK REVIEW: A QUESTION OF FIDELITY). Other critics object to the minimalism of Badiou’s ontology, to its radical exclusion of the phenomenological concerns that they refuse to relinquish from philosophy’s grip. Here, it is Jean-Toussaint Desanti who comes most immediately to mind with his discussion of what he calls Badiou’s ‘intrinsic’ ontology. Badiou’s ‘choice’ of a minimal ontology, he argues, does not in any way eliminate the need for ontology to account for being in a more expansive sense. This emphasis on ‘choice’ as if it were simply a matter of personal predilection entirely overlooks Badiou’s rigorously axiomatic development and exposition of his thesis. It is only his foundational decisions that (i) mathematics is ontology and (ii) the ‘one’ does not exist that could be construed as acts of choice. Even these decisions, though, are, as Badiou has pointed out, not arbitrary but based empirically on the logical impasse generated by alternative points of departure. Another line of demarcation could be drawn between those who criticize, often from a position of fidelity to the Badiouian event, aspects of Badiou’s procedural methodology, and those who, like Desanti, attack Badiou for failing to encompass what at no stage he sets out to encompass. Implicit in most such critiques is the assumption that ontology must, by definition, account for every conceivable aspect of being, that it must contain within it the promise of boundless plenitude. But it is precisely this kind of totalizing gesture that Badiou is at pains to avoid. In a brief response to his critics, he stresses the limits of his enquiry into the nature of being: It is very important to grant a statement from the very beginning of Being and Event its full scope: ontology is a situation. Or, if you prefer: ontology is a world. This means that the mathematical theory of pure multiplicity in no way claims to inform the way we might think everything that is presented in the infinity of real situations, but only the thinking of presentation as such. This is what I call, adopting the vocabulary of the philosophical tradition, being qua being (233). Clearly, there is nothing in Badiou’s ontology that challenges the validity of Desanti’s concerns per se. When, for example, Desanti asks (60) how we are to gain access to what he calls ‘modes of presence’ (seemingly just another version of his need to know who performs the count-as-one and in what ‘realm’), he raises questions that, however pertinent they might be to the world of ‘real situations’, have nothing to do with the ‘thinking of presentation as such’. If Badiou’s ontology were to embrace these concerns by extending itself into its ‘margins’ (to use another of Desanti’s terms), it would immediately lose the rigour that sets it so decisively and productively against the grain of poststructuralist indeterminacy.

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AT: LACLAU Laclau gave Badiou only a cursory reading and distorts his concepts in order to advance a different point about his own work. His argument is therefore irrelevant to really understanding Badiou. Van Rompaey, 06 (Deakin University, Chris, www.cosmosandhistory.org 350 Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, vol. 2, no. 1-2, 2006 BOOK REVIEW: A QUESTION OF FIDELITY). Ernesto Laclau’s critique of Badiou’s ontology or, more precisely, of the extra-ontological status of the Badiouian event is at a formal level the inverse of Desanti’s. Where Desanti has nothing but praise for Badiou’s procedural thoroughness—the reader, he insists, will find ‘admirably set out, all the mathematical instructions required in order to follow [the book’s] argument’ (63)—Laclau enthusiastically embraces Badiou’s interventionist notion of ethical engagement but rejects entirely the theoretical apparatus that underpins his concept of fidelity. What for Laclau is particularly problematic is the relation between the evental site, the subject and the constitution of a truth procedure. Once again, though, it is a critique that founders on its distortion of Badiou’s fundamental categories. Rather than pursue in a rigorous way Badiou’s suturing of ethical commitment to the constitution of the subject, he persists with a focus on the curious notion of ‘filling’ the void, arguing that, even though this process is incompatible with Badiou’s ontology, it nevertheless requires ‘theoretical description’ (125). At the heart of Laclau’s protestations is a refusal of the mathematical basis of ontology, but it is a refusal that is justified by only the most cursory reference to Badiou’s use of set theory. Before canvassing the possibility of situations in which the ‘logic of representation might lose its structuring abilities’ (125), Laclau might have made a more systematic examination Badiou’s exposition of such crucial concepts as the event, the evental site, the state’s ‘prohibition’ of the event and the act of subjective intervention. It soon becomes clear, though, that what is at stake for Laclau is the inability of set theory to account for what is not included in a situation in terms other than the void. Of course, what in a given situation escapes the count is not nothing in any absolute sense and, contrary to the impression given by Laclau, set theory at no point makes any such claim; it simply has no existence for the situation. It is precisely because Laclau’s own project—the articulation of his theory of ‘hegemonic universality’ (131-2)—is rooted in what he mistakenly takes to be voided unconditionally by set theory that he finds it necessary to dismiss Badiou’s ontology .

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AT: NANCY Nancy misrepresents Badiou in order to make a point about his own philosophical project—it is irrelevant in terms of actually understanding Badiou’s argument. Van Rompaey, 06 (Deakin University, Chris, www.cosmosandhistory.org 350 Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, vol. 2, no. 1-2, 2006 BOOK REVIEW: A QUESTION OF FIDELITY). Jean-Luc Nancy is another contributor who, like Laclau, frames his critique through his own hardly inconsiderable philosophical enterprise and accordingly misrepresents important elements of Badiou’s project. In spite of being ‘close’ on certain points, Nancy insists that he and Badiou ‘inhabit utterly different sites of thought’ (39), an observation which appears to license him to ‘force’ Badiou into an entirely alien theoretical context. A prime example is where Nancy takes Badiou to task for his account of the origins of philosophy, ex nihilo, as a consequence of Plato’s foundational gesture. In disputing this account Nancy blurs what for Badiou is a crucial distinction between generic form, or discursive mode, and articulated content. At issue is not the emergence, several centuries before Plato, of ‘philosophy’ as a discursive focus on what Nancy calls the ‘deconstruction of the structures of a crumbling … mythico-religious world’ (45), but the wresting of that discourse from the clutches of the poem so as to constitute an independent, ‘properly’ philosophical mode of enquiry. Like Desanti’s critique, Nancy’s [critique] is based on the assumption that Badiou’s claims are other than they actually are.

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AFF: CEDE THE POLITICAL Badiou is not politically useful because his alternative is too vague—he says that the event side-steps the state but any alternative politics must be able to reform the state to succeed. Brown, 04 (Nicholas, University of Illinois at Chicago, Or, Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek, Waiting for Something to Happen, CR: The New Centennial Review 4.3 (2004) 289-319). Badiou's ontology cannot usefully displace the dialectic. Because the Event must descend like a grace, Badiou's ontology can only describe situations and never History. Since the event emerges from outside of the state of the situation, it is rigorously untheorizable: as we saw above, it is theorized as untheorizable. Despite every protestation to the contrary, Badiou's system cannot address the question "What is to be done?" because the only thing to do is to wait for the Event. What happens when the precipitation of the Event is precisely what needs to be done? Yes, we can be faithful to a previous event, as Badiou says Lenin was to the Paris Commune. But surely this solution mitigates the power of the Event as the irruption of the void
into this situation. The dialectic, on the other hand, conceives the void as immanent contradiction. While both contradiction and void are immanent to the situation, contradiction has the tremendous advantage of having movement built in, as it were: the Event does not appear out of an immanent nowhere, but is already fully present in itself in the situation, which it explodes in the movement to for-itself. Meanwhile, the question of the dialectic leads us back to the twofold meaning of "state": both the law and order that govern knowledge, and law and order in the everyday sense. This identification authorizes Badiou's antistatism, forcefully reflected in his own political commitment, the Organisation Politique (whose members do not vote), which has made limited [End Page 306] but effective interventions into the status of immigrant workers. In Badiou's system, nothing can happen within the state of a situation; innovation can only emerge from an evental site, constitutively excluded from the state. But can a principled indifference to the state ground a politics? The state surely has the function of suppressing the anarchic possibilities inherent in the (national) situation. But it can also suppress the possibilities exploited by an anarchic capitalism. It is well known that the current rightist "small-government" movement is an assault on the class compromise represented by the Keynesian state. To be sure, one should be suspicious of that compromise and what it excluded. But it also protected workers

, Badiou is certainly describing something: the utopian moment of a total break with the state may be a part of any genuine political transformation. But, unless we are talking about the sad old interplay of transgression and limit—which posited the state as basically permanent, with transgression as its permanent suspension—this anarchic moment says nothing about the new state of affairs that will ultimately be imposed on the generic set it constructs. Surely the configuration of that state will be paramount—in which case state power has to be fought for, not merely evaded.
against some of capitalism's more baleful effects. As with Ethics

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AFF: ALT FAILS Failure to cope with the power of capitalism dooms any ethical system to failure. Brown, 04 (Nicholas, University of Illinois at Chicago, Or, Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek, Waiting for Something to Happen, CR: The New Centennial Review 4.3 (2004) 289-319). The problem with this ethics—as Brecht showed us, with ethics in general—is that, under capitalism, the only fully consistent ethical position is ruthless self-interest. There is no ethical position that is both minimally compassionate and fully ethically consistent. Mauler in Saint Joan is doomed to make money from all of his generous impulses; the good woman of Szechwan can only help her neighbors by taking advantage of them. In fact, this split constitutes part of capitalism's dynamism. The ideological force of capitalism is that so many people are given a subjective interest in maintaining the stability of capitalism, even if this interest involves competing with neighbors who share an "objective" interest in ending it. Any "opting out" is at present simply quixotic, and only possible on the basis of substantial privilege. Plainly, professors want tenured positions, for the same reason the unemployed want jobs: because they exist. (As for playing the stock market, this criticism
buys neoliberal rhetoric hook, line, and sinker: most academics who "play the stock market" do so because universities, like many other U.S. employers, have shifted the burden of risk from their own retirement systems onto the individual employees.)

Badiou’s system fails—he has no way to overcome the enormous power he attributes to capitalism. Brown, 04 (Nicholas, University of Illinois at Chicago, Or, Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek, Waiting for Something to Happen, CR: The New Centennial Review 4.3 (2004) 289-319). But what is strange is the vehemence with which Badiou maintains his distance from the economic—from what classical
Marxism called the "base," the elements of a situation that pertain to its own reproduction. It is perfectly orthodox to say that there can be no purely economic intervention in the economy: even with the best intentions, the World Bank could not solve the problem of Third World poverty. However, in Badiou's system the economy is not merely reduced to one aspect among many, but actively dismissed from consideration. Material reproduction is reduced to the sneering Lacanian contempt for "le service des biens," the servicing of goods which pertains to the human animal beneath good and evil. Why should Badiou fully endorse Marx's analysis of the world economy ("there is no need for a revision of Marxism itself," [Ethics, 97]) while keeping Marx's entire

In fact, capitalism is the point of impasse in Badiou's own system, the problem which cannot be actively thought without grave danger to the system as a whole. Capital's great power, the tremendous ease with which it colonizes (geographic, cultural, psychic) territory, is precisely that it seizes situations at their evental site. In
problematic at arm's length?

their paraphrase of a brilliant but much-maligned passage in Marx's Grundrisse, Deleuze and Guattari insist that "capitalism has haunted all forms of society, but it haunts them as their terrifying nightmare, it is the dread they feel of a flow that would elude their codes."2 Is this flow that eludes every society's codes not identical with generic multiplicity, the void which, eluding every representation, nonetheless haunts every situation? Does not capitalism make its entry at a society's point of impasse—social relations already haunted by variously dissimulated exploitation—and revolutionize them into the capital-labor relation? A safely non-Orientalist version of this would be the eruption from modernist art's evental site—the art market, which belonged to the situation of modernism while being excluded from its represented state—of what we might call the "Warhol-event," which inaugurates the transition from the formal to the real subsumption of (artistic) labor under Capital. It makes perfect sense to say that this transition is the truth of the [End Page 308] Warhol-event. As we saw earlier, the real subsumption of labor under Capital, the conversion of every relation into a monetary relation, is the origin of formal equality: that is, the foundation of universalism. And far from pertaining to

capitalism itself fits perfectly the form of the revolutionary Event. It would then appear that capitalism is, like religion, eliminated from the art-politics-science-love series only by fiat. And why is this? Because the economic, the "servicing of goods," cannot enter Badiou's system without immediately assuming the status of a cause. Excluded from direct consideration, capitalism as a condition of set theory is perfectly innocuous; its preconditional status belongs to a different order than what it conditions. It opens up a mode of presentation, but what is presented existed all along: look at Paul, for example. But included as the product of a truth-procedure, capitalism immediately appears as the basis for all the others: it is, in fact, the revolutionary irruption of Capital (in whatever society) that conditions any modern process of science, art, love, or politics. If Badiou's system were to consider capitalism directly, some elements, those pertaining to the "base," would appear to have more weight than others—the "superstructure." The effects of such an inclusion of capitalism in Badiou's system—an inclusion which nothing prevents—would be catastrophic. Radical universality (as opposed to the historically conditioned universality imposed by the emergence of capitalism) would become unthinkable. The "eternity" of truth would yield to historicism.
mere animal life beneath the level of the truth-procedure,

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AFF: ALT FAILS Badiou’s great enemy of capitalism fits perfectly within what he considers a truth event—the alternative merely re-creates the status quo. Brown, 04 (Nicholas, University of Illinois at Chicago, Or, Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek, Waiting for Something to Happen, CR: The New Centennial Review 4.3 (2004) 289-319). Badiou cannot think Capital precisely because Capital has already thought Badiou. And let's face it: despite Badiou's inspiring presentation, nothing is more native to capitalism than his basic narrative matrix. The violent seizure of the subject by an idea, fidelity to it in the absence of any guarantee, and ultimate transformation of the state of the situation: these are the elements of the narrative of entrepreneurial risk, "revolutionary innovation," the "transformation of the industry," and so on. In pushing away material reproduction, Badiou merely adapts this narrative to the needs of intellectuals, who, in Badiou's conception, have a monopoly over much of the field of truth. Badiou wrongly universalizes, destroy any chance for a successful alternative Rothberg 01[Michael, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. “Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil” Criticism 43.4 (2001) 478-484]
Another sort of problem emerges when we consider Badiou's attempt to [End Page 482] surpass the discourse of victimization that he and many others see as defining the contemporary moment. While this critique of victim-centered ethics is crucial, and works well with respect to many situations, it risks overgeneralization. In his laudable insistence that humanity "does not coincide with the identity of the victim" (11; emphasis in original), Badiou leaves out of his system the possibility that a human being could be reduced

precisely to the status of victim. Such a case has been investigated by the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben in Remnants of Auschwitz under
the heading of the "Muselmann." Muselmann, or "Muslim," was the name given in certain Nazi camps to prisoners who had been so overcome by hunger, beatings, etc. that they became zombie-like, incapable of human communication or response, trapped in an indeterminate zone between life and death. While surely the product of an extremity not conducive to generalization, the Muselmann nevertheless constitutes the unthought of Badiou's own project: the potential of a victimization so radical that it really does exceed the possibility of any human project or truth-process. Whether this case is at all conducive to ethical or political elaboration must remain open here, but what the counter-example of the Muselmann suggests is the limit of Badiou's will to universality. The problem with universality surely also returns in the insistence on ignoring questions of cultural difference . Badiou's

absolute commitment to the ethical value of the Same—the fact that truths are addressed equally to all—demonstrates a provocative and radically democratic spirit. In presenting truths as simultaneously multiple and universal, Badiou poses an imaginative answer to what may be

the most intractable antinomy of contemporary left social theory: the difficulty of adjudicating claims for universality and particularlity. (For other attempts to think through this problem, see the contributions to the recent collective volume by Judith Butler, Ernesto Laclau, and Slavoj Z;akiz;akek, Contingency, Hegemony, Universality [London and New York: Verso, 2000]. And yet, is his notion that the universality of truths is premised on the simultaneous local nature of truth—its immanence to a particular situation with which it breaks—sufficient to ward off fears of homogenization, if not cultural imperialism? How can we differentiate between the Sameness of truth and the homogenization produced by capitalist commodification? Is there an alternative formulation that would respect the universal address of truths while still allowing for a valorization of or commitment to difference? The unease that Badiou's dismissal of cultural difference provokes , despite the freshness of his formulation, suggests that the antinomy of the universal and the particular is as much a symptom of the post-Cold War historical moment as a problem solvable in theory.

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AFF: ALT FAILS Badiou’s alternative fails—his concept of the truth event is too indeterminate to be used as a real political strategy. Ingram 05 (James, PhD candidate at the New School for Social Research, “Can Universalism Still Be Radical? Alain Badiou’s Politics of Truth,” Constellations Vol. 12 No. 4, 2005, p. 568-569) By insisting that an event can be ‘singular’ rather than merely ‘particular,’ Badiou asserts the possibility of real innovation, of bringing something new to the situation that fundamentally transfigures it. Moreover, he considers the process of universalization from a practical perspective: for an actor, it is paradoxical to see a universal as ‘in fact’ merely particular. Indeed, the resurrection was merely particular, in the sense that it ostensibly involved a particular man at a particular place and time. But for Badiou this does not
undermine its universal significance, which lay not in the content of its truth but the transformative, universalizing effects of the process it unleashed. When we ask what exactly those effects are,

.’ Badiou reclaims the event for active subjects, rather than have them waiting around, late Heidegger-style, for something to happen. This seems to me an advance. The problem his event seems to share with these ideas, however, is that it appears to remain universal only by remaining indeterminate. Take Badiou’s reinterpretation of Christian categories. Faith, he explains, “merely declares a possibility for everyone” (88); grace (‘hope’ in the standard English catechism) “is no more than the indication of a possibility” (91). These culminate in love (agape or ‘charity’), but it too looks suspiciously empty: “The commandments…are summed
however, we encounter a difficulty, and here a more illuminating comparison may be to Jacques Derrida’s messianic event or Giorgio Agamben’s ‘potentiality up in this sentence, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.… [L]ove is the fulfilling of the law’” (Rom. 13:9–10). As Agamben puts it, the law is suspended yet remains in force.12 Everything changes, everything stays the same. This need not be a problem so long as the new principle simply adds something new to the situation. A newly enfranchised citizen can remain a

. Difficulties arise when we confront choices between mutually exclusive options – which is, of course, the normal case in ethics and politics. As Badiou sums up his reading of Paul’s agape: “the impetus of a truth, what makes it exist in the world, is identical to its universality, whose subjective form, under the Pauline name of love, consists in its tirelessly addressing itself to all the others…” (92). The injunction to love one another, and to enjoin others to do so as well, seems universal enough. But as soon as it ceases to be potential and becomes a matter not of addressing or propagating but of concretely changing things, this universality vanishes. And this is of course what happened. Not long after Paul – some would say with Paul, who had definite views on which kinds of love were compatible with agape and which were not, among other things –
farmer (though not a serf); Schönberg does not revoke Brahms; a century after Einstein’s breakthrough, we still build skyscrapers and navigate to other planets in Newton’s universe Christianity lost its open, processual character, becoming an identity, a faith among others, until Constantine finally made it identical with a law and an empire. Paul may have been open to

The ‘concrete inscription within a world and within society’ that makes Paul’s career of particular interest turns out to have been, in Badiou’s terms, a disaster. This leaves Badiou in the awkward position of admiring Paul’s preaching but opposing the Church it built. And it fosters the suspicion that while Badiou has devised an ingenious way of theorizing the revolution, he has no idea how to realize it, let alone institutionalize it.
everyone; his Church was not, and has hardly contented itself with ‘tirelessly addressing’ those outside it.

The radical break of the truth event is impossible—slow reforms are a more effective politics. Ingram 05 (James, PhD candidate at the New School for Social Research, “Can Universalism Still Be Radical? Alain Badiou’s Politics of Truth,” Constellations Vol. 12 No. 4, 2005, p. 571) It could be replied that this is the realm of practical judgment, about which theory can tell us little. But the problem seems to stem from Badiou’s approach, in particular his attempt to combine radical subjectivism with abstract formalism. For Badiou, the contribution of philosophy (which is universal and formal) to politics and ethics (which are singular and situational) is to discover the generic logic by which events happen. The problem with his empyrean perch is not only that it suspends the actor between two irreconcilable attitudes; it is that no historical event could correspond to his theory. No less than otherness, no event is completely foreign to the situation it interrupts. Even if we allow that new things do happen, they do not emerge all at once, out of the blue, in stark relief to everything that exists, immediately changing everything. In this respect, the purism of Badiou’s event, like his activist, seems too wedded to a romantic notion of total transformation. Suppose Bertolucci’s teenagers tidied up, went to the supermarket, and
eventually took jobs to support their love nest; one suspects their tryst would cease to be an event and become an alternative lifestyle. Yet some such adaptation is surely involved in the realization of a new possibility. The pacte civile, which we can imagine our lovers availing themselves of as their thoughts turn to insurance and retirement, is a long way from the liberation of

global equality will not come about in a single stroke. Seattle does not lead straight to global revolution, but to Porto Alegre and Cancún – the difficult forging of new solidarities and the contestation, with imperfect means, of the system’s more glaring injustices.
desire.16 But the question should be what it changes and what further changes it makes possible. Analogously, universal citizenship and

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AFF: ALT FAILS/LINKS TO CAP GOOD Badiou’s alternative of radical egalitarianism is unworkable and is based on a failed model of communism. Hallward, 03 (Badiou: a subject to truth, Peter Hallward, University of Minnesota Press Minneapolis / London 2003, Professor of Modern European Philosophy, Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex Univeristy). Badiou's politics have always been about “collective emancipation, or the problem of the reign of liberty in infinite situations” (DO, 54; cf. TC, 60).
His political goals have remained consistent over the years, since “every historical event is communist, to the degree that 'communist' designates the transtemporal subjectivity of emancipation, the egalitarian passion, the Idea of justice, the will to break with the compromises of the service des biens, the deposition of egoism, an intolerance of oppression, the wish to impose a withering away of the state. The absolute preeminence of multiple presentation over representation.” 84 What has changed is communism's mode of existence. In Badiou's earlier work, the practical (if

Badiou has had to let go of almost any sort of political engagement with the economic and the social. He continues to declare a wholly egalitarian politics, but as reserved for a strictly subjective plane. The unqualified justice of a generic communism, first proposed in Marx's 1844 Manuscripts and conceived in Badiou's own terms as the advent of “pure presentation, ” as the “undivided authority of the infinite, or the advent of the collective as such” (AM, 91), remains the only valid subjective norm for Badiou's political thought. This subjective norm has become ever more distant, however, from the day-to-day business of “objective” politics: the programmatic pursuit of the generic ideal is itself now dismissed as a “Romantic” dream leading to “fraternity terror” (AM, 101).
ultimately unattainable) goal was always to effect the actual, historical achievement of stateless community. Today, in order to preserve politics' “intrinsic relation to truth” (DO, 48),

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AFF: ALT FAILS TO IDENITFY EVIL Badiou makes is impossible to make distinctions between the types of Evil—concentration camps are seen as nothing special. Brown, 04 (Nicholas, University of Illinois at Chicago, “Or, Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek, Waiting for Something to Happen,” CR: The New Centennial Review 4.3 (2004) 289-319). Further, Badiou has no way of sorting out different evils beyond his tripartite division. Ethics tells us what Nazism and scientific obscurantism [End Page 300] have in common. But an ethics would have to be able to tell them apart. The distinction between, say, the abandonment of a social movement by its leader and the abandonment of a poem by its author cannot be made without some kind of qualitative supplement. Since, as we shall see, Badiou's philosophy is predicated precisely on the subtraction from consideration of all qualitative predicates, this supplement can only be vulgar, nonphilosophical. Perhaps the supplement it requires is the language of human rights, which, whatever its faults, can tell the difference between a concentration camp and a creationist textbook. (What if, as Žižek suggests, the international war-crimes tribunal were simply to refuse the de facto bifurcation of the subject of human rights which is currently written into its constitution: "arrest Kissinger or shut up!" [Revolution, 266]?) Or perhaps, genuinely spurning such a supplement, it is really no different than Pauline faith. Since Badiou himself uses the language of grace when speaking of the Event, he cannot regard it as very damning that his conception of the Event shares something with religious revelation. But can we be satisfied with an Ethics that remains in the "category of pious discourse"?

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AFF: PERMUTATION Permute – do all of the plan and all parts of the alternative that don’t explicitly reject the plan. The state and the revolutionary political subject can cooperate in Badiou’s conception of the alternative. Hallward, 03 (Badiou: a subject to truth, Peter Hallward, University of Minnesota Press Minneapolis / London 2003, Professor of Modern European Philosophy, Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex Univeristy). We know that Badiou's early and unequivocally hostile attitude to the state has considerably evolved. Just how far it has evolved remains a little unclear. His conception of politics remains resolutely anticonsensual, anti–“representative, ” and thus antidemocratic (in the ordinary sense of the word). Democracy has become the central ideological category of the neo-liberal status quo, and any genuine “philosophy today is above all something that enables people to have done with the 'democratic' submission to the world as it is.” 66 But he seems more willing, now, to engage with this submission on its own terms. La Distance politique again offers the most precise points de repère. On the one hand, the OP remains suspicious of any political campaign—for instance, an electoral contest or petition movement—that operates as a “prisoner of the parliamentary space.” 67 It remains “an absolute necessity [of politics] not to have the state as norm. The separation of politics and state is foundational of politics.” On the other hand, however, it is now equally clear that “their separation need not lead to the banishment of the state from the field of political thought.” 68 The OP now conceives itself in a tense, nondialectical “vis-à-vis” with the state, a stance that rejects an intimate cooperation (in the interests of capital) as much as it refuses “any antagonistic conception of their operation—a conception that smacks of classism.” There is no more choice to be made between the state and revolution; the “vis-à-vis demands the presence of the two terms and not the annihilation of one of the two.” 69

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