A Malady of the Left and an Ethics of Communism

Badiouian Diagnosis, Lacanian Cure, Sartrean Responsibility

in Sartre Studies International
Andrey Gordienko PhD, Cinema and Media Studies, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, USA

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One cannot be responsible for a generic truth, argues Badiou in his critical rejoinder to Sartre; one can only be its militant. Challenging Badiou's formulation, I propose that his plea for a new stage of the communist hypothesis, which unfolds in the wake of subjective decomposition of the Left, must draw upon the Sartrean notion of collective responsibility to affirm interminable inscription of the egalitarian axiom in a novel political sequence without forcing a violent realisation of equality. Encapsulated in an enigmatic formula, ‘one and one make one,’ Sartrean ethics of the Same compel the Badiouian militant subject to heed the excluded demands of the new proletariat insofar as the latter occupies ‘a point of exile where it is possible that something, finally, might happen.’

Contributor Notes

Andrey Gordienko holds a PhD in Cinema and Media Studies from UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, where he has taught a graduate seminar on contemporary film theory following his graduation. He has been a Mellon Graduate Fellow in the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University and has completed a doctoral thesis on the political consequences of Georges Bataille's philosophy. His recent essays have appeared in SubStance, Paragraph, and Continental Philosophy Review. A participant in the UCLA Program in Experimental Critical Theory, he is currently working on a book project provisionally entitled The Acephalic Community.

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Sartre Studies International

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Existentialism and Contemporary Culture