‘Greece and the Reinvention of Politics’ by Alain Badiou

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Over the last six years, Greece has provided the world with “an open-air political lesson.” The country’s deep economic and social crisis has exposed the fundamental contradictions of the European Union, and indeed the capitalist world as a whole. It has been a test case for movements seeking to put an end to the authoritarian anarchy of neoliberal capitalism. The Greek resistance to EU institutions and financial-market hegemony offered a beacon of hope. Yet the “movementist” politics of 2011 could not build anything lasting, and Syriza’s efforts as a party of government soon led to impasse. For Alain Badiou, it is not enough to mourn this defeat—we must understand why such a vigorous opposition could fail.

Greece and the Reinvention of Politics argues that an opposition of real consequence must revive the “communist hypothesis,” the vision of an alternative state structure. The “orienting maxims” that this hypothesis provides light the way for effective political action. Written in the storm of the crisis, the interventions collected in this book offer a path out of our contemporary powerlessness.