Alain Badiou

In his “Translator’s Introduction” to Alain Badiou’s The Adventure of French Philosophy, Bruno Bosteels notes that when writing some of the polemics included in this volume, Badiou was a militant leading figure in a small Maoist organisation, the Union des Communistes de France Marxiste-Leniniste, UCFML. What makes these polemical texts so shocking, Bosteels suggests,

“is the fact that they go completely against the grain of all received wisdom about ‘1968 thought’ (la pensee ’68), as Luc Ferry and Alain Renault call the philosophical tradition of Foucault, Derrida, Lacan, and the others that frequently get referred to as ‘French theory’. For Badiou, in fact, this tradition of thought is complicit with the posthumous betrayal of the events of May ’68 and their aftermath in the first half of the 1970s. Whereas most readers of Foucault, Lyotard, or Deleuze and Guattari, for example, see their work as a continuation of the liberator impulse of those events, Badiou and his cohorts of the UCFML see in them an anti-dialectical, anti-Marxist and ultimately anti-political form of ultra-leftism.” (Bosteels, 2012: xli-xlii)


Bosteels, B. (2012). Translator’s introduction, in The Adventure of French Philosophy by Alain Badiou. London, UK: Verso, pp. vii–lxiii.


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