Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange: our new heroes

We all remember President Obama’s smiling face, full of hope and trust, in his first campaign: “Yes, we can!” – we can get rid of the cynicism of the Bush era and bring justice and welfare to the American people. Now that the US continues its covert operations and expands its intelligence network, spying even on its allies, we can imagine protesters shouting at Obama: “How can you use drones for killing? How can you[ …]

Freedom in the Cloud

We all remember President Obama’s smiling face, full of hope and trust, when he repeatedly delivered the motto of his first campaign, “Yes, we can!”—we can get rid of the cynicism of the Bush era and bring justice and welfare to the American people. Now that the United States continues with covert operations and expands its intelligence network, spying even on their allies, we can imagine protesters shouting at Obama: “How can you use drones[ …]

Why Cynics Are Wrong

Days before the election, Noam Chomsky told progressives that they should vote for Obama, but without illusions. I fully share Chomsky’s doubts about the real consequences of Obama’s victory: From a pragmatic-realistic perspective, it is quite possible that Obama will just do some minor face-lifting improvements, turning out to be “Bush with a human face.” He will pursue the same basic politics in a more attractive mode and thus effectively even strengthen U.S. hegemony, which[ …]

On Divine Self-Limitation and Revolutionary Love, with Joshua Delpech-Ramey

Joshua Delpech-Ramey: Of late, the writings of St. Paul have become for you, as well as for Alain Badiou and Giorgio Agamben, a touchstone for radical thought. You seem to see in Paul’s works something of a revolutionary manual, and in the founding of the community of believers a supreme example of the structure and effect of an authentic revolutionary act. For Badiou, Paul articulates a general structure of universality. But how separable is Paul’s[ …]

The Parallax View

[Extract. Appeared in New Left Review 25, January-February 2004] Abstract: The philosophical basis for social action, as recast in Kojin Karatani’s striking Transcritique. On Kant and Marx. Slavoj Žižek investigates the irreducible antinomies of production and circulation—or economics and politics—as envisioned from the gap in between. In today’s English, ‘pig’ refers to the animals with which farmers deal, while ‘pork’ is the meat we consume. The class dimension is clear here: ‘pig’ is the old Saxon[ …]

Kant and Sade: The ideal couple

Of all the couples in the history of modern thought (Freud and Lacan, Marx and Lenin…), Kant and Sade is perhaps the most problematic: the statement “Kant is Sade” is the “infinite judgement” of modern ethics, positing the sign of equation between the two radical opposites, i.e. asserting that the sublime disinterested ethical attitude is somehow identical to, or overlaps with, the unrestrained indulgence in pleasurable violence. A lot—everything, perhaps—is at stake here: is there[ …]