We know that communism is the right hypothesis. All those who abandon this hypothesis immediately resign themselves to the market economy. The Communist Hypothesis has ratings and 42 reviews. Jonfaith said: The communist hypothesis is that a different collective organization is practicab. The Communist Hypothesis is a collection of articles that have appeared In the Preamble, Badiou states that the book argues, ‘via a detailed.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us co,munist the problem. Return to Book Page. The Communist Hypothesis by Alain Badiou.
The hypothesis is a fresh demand for universal emancipation and a galvanizing call to communit. Anyone concerned with the future of the planet needs to reckon with the ideas outlined within this book.
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Nov 15, Jonfaith rated it it was ok Shelves: The communist hypothesis is that a different collective organization is practicable, one that will eliminate the inequality of cokmunist and even the division of labour. The private appropriation of massive fortunes and their transmission by inheritance will disappear. The existence of a coercive state, separate from civil society, will no longer appear a necessity: I fear my response to this book, The communist hypothesis is that a different collective organization is practicable, one that will eliminate the inequality of wealth and even the division of labour.
I fear my response to this book, particularly badio Badiou’s horrific hagiography of The Cultural Revolution will lead to my expulsion from Zizek’s cool kids club. Some matters are indefensible.
That may not be philosophically progressive, it certainly doesn’t coincide with Badiou’s living for an Idea.
Alain Badiou: The Communist Hypothesis. New Left Review 49, January-February
This text isn’t John Carpenter’s They Live, if I wear the shades, Mao doesn’t become decent, the denouncement remains too human and the idealism in the Cultural Revolution is negligible at best. The section on the Paris Commune is easier to address. Strange how Badiou begins the book with pages of citation from his own play.
Dec 19, Joseph rated it liked it Shelves: The Communist Hypothesis by Alain Badiou is a work of political philosophy even though the author denies it. Communism failed and that is a given, but what is failure?
There is a saying that goes “Failure is not falling down. It is refusing to get back up. As a Marine in the Cold War, I was committed to defending America and its allies from the communists.
Since that time, I have gotten older, more read, more educated, and more aware. Badiou spends a great deal of time discussing the Chinese and Soviets. I have a problem with that. Marx and Engles explained what was needed for communism to start. Communism needed to rise from industrialized societies, not underdeveloped and agrarian societies. Both examples, China and Russia, occurred in undeveloped countries.
In fact, every example of a communist revolution has happened in an undeveloped country. The Soviet Union and China were, and in China’s case still is, a totalitarian state.
There no doubt that a class system exists or existed in both systems. Both systems are failures even without competition from the West.
China has even joined the west in limited capitalism and foreign investment. Communism in theory is very different than how it has been practiced. Badiou seems to want to defend the failed system. He looks down at the successful democratic socialist governments in Europe as being polluted.
It would seem that system has done more to bring equality to a society than the “communist” systems.
When you fail, you want to learn from your mistakes, not repeat them. By defending the Maoist and Soviet systems, Badiou is just repeating the same failures over again.
THE COMMUNIST HYPOTHESIS
I understand his passion, but not his direction. I am glad Badiou mentions Hegel. Hegel dialectic is known to every political science student. It works like a pendulum. If this exercise is run with communism as the thesis, capitalism as its antithesis, democratic socialism is the result. That is the position of most of the successful and content countries of the world. There may be a reason revolution does not happen in industrial societies. These members of those societies regardless of class know they are pretty well off in a world view of their situation.
Also, the producers in these societies depend on the workers to make their products as well as consume them. No workers mean no consumers which mean no profits. Many people realize that unregulated capitalism is a bad thing, but few are willing to take up arms. We vote, we make our voices heard, but little else. The Occupy movement started quickly but lost steam as people realized that they were not threatened by the system enough to make an effort to change it. Industrialized countries have become complacent in their consumer culture.
If they can buy, things are well.
Communism failed more from its method than its message. Jul 23, Malcolm rated it really liked it Shelves: The underlying premise of this book seems to be threefold: In this, Badiou’s work sits in an interesting and productive relation The underlying premise of this book seems to be threefold: Badiou’s Maoist past means that he is unlikely to see the collapse of the Soviet Union as evidence of the failure of communism, because the structure of the Soviet Union and the equation of the State with the Party is evidence of its departure from building communism there is an often unaccepted parallel between Maoist and Trotskyist analyses of the Soviet Union here although they tend to part company after this point.
This view of the Soviet Union means that Badiou was never likely to select it as one of his cases to explore — and he doesn’t, focusing instead on the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in Chinathe events of May ’68 in France, and the Paris Commune of But this is a book of philosophy not a how-to-stage-the-revolution manual so you won’t get a sense of suitable tactics here although there are references throughout to the importance of practice — Badiou is, after all, still in a Maoist camp, which has much that is sound to advise about ways-of-struggle.
There is, however, much that is useful about analyses of struggle and hierarchies of actions within those actions — this sense of a hierarchy of importance is most clear in discussion of the Paris Commune, both in his analysis of it, and the argument that the Bolsheviks’ tactics can, in part, be explained by what they learned from it.
The point here is that not only do we need to learn from the Bolshevik’s mistakes, but understand the problems they were trying to avoid that led to those mistakes. There is much to disagree with here although this for me is at the level of detail and does not undermine the overall argument as both coherent and for most part correct. It is also an optimistic book: You don’t need to agree, but it is an important book for those of us on the left and I’ve not even considered the crucial methodological point about the centrality of the ‘event’ as a moment of choice.
Oct 05, Brixton rated it did not like it Shelves: Let’s say you’re invited to a dinner party. It isn’t worth it. Badiou is going to dominate the entire evening’s conversation, and he won’t say anything that has a damn bit of impact on anyone or anything in the world outside his own head.
This is exactly the kind of material that filters thinky, introspective kids with exciting ideas out of every philosophy department in baviou nation, and l Let’s say you’re invited to a dinner party.
This is exactly the kind of material that filters thinky, introspective kids with exciting ideas out of every philosophy department in the nation, and leaves only those career vommunist who desire nothing more than to get their Masters of Incomprehensible Gobbledy-Gook and P ompous h abitual Diatribing so that they may someday become a department Head of Alienating People Through Verbosity and be alone with their books, their tenure, and their inflated egos.
I was reading this book on the bus the other day when a friend of mine got on at the university. They have a professor who just told the class, “Any paper longer than five pages is bullshit. The Cmomunist Manifesto was a fucking pamphlet, and it changed everything in the world. The Baddiou Hypothesishowever, doesn’t lay down a single sentence in pages that is going to have any effect on anything.
I see Jesus and Gandhi at that dinner party exchanging sideways glances of patient discomfort, Marty comkunist his head and chuckling to himself, and myself throwing the fork down and groaning “Oh, shuuut the fuuuck uuup!
Wait, I did actually say that in a few waiting rooms and on the bus Despite the amazing company, if Badiou were present at such an event I’d only go in order to show off my new custom T-shirt, which I’m having made to wear while stuck with books like Badiou’s that really needn’t ever be distributed outside the university lecture circuit: View all 6 comments.
Jan 08, Anna rated it really liked it Shelves: As to the book itself, Badiou is adamant that it is philosophy, not critical theory or political analysis, or indeed history.
Within I found it a mixture of all four, but I suppose philosophy sounds more exalted and can cover a wide space. Quite early in hypohtesis reading process, I was reminded of Combined and Uneven Apocalypse which approaches similar topics in a different way.
Broadly, if I am not misinterpreting, Badiou is calling for a new Idea to counter the pervasive narrative of there being not alternative to representative democracy subordinate to free clmmunist capitalism. Meanwhile, Evan Calder Williams argues that, in the absence of any such big idea, all we can do is cobble together an alternative system from the wreckage of experiments with alternatives.
What unites the two is an emphasis on the value of failed experiments in what can broadly be referred to as Communism. He bwdiou states nadiou a particular point is composed of, say, three elements, then goes through each in turn.