maoism meets chavismo? a review of badiou workshop ‘subject and appearance’

by Nathan Coombs

Nowadays it is hard to find many examples of academic leftism crossing paths with real left wing politics. One could even argue that the former might have a negative effect on the latter – the UK is, after all, home to one of the strongest left wing publishing empires and conference circuits in the world, and yet its organised, political left is drearily weak by all continental comparisons.

There was something a bit edgy, then, about the recent workshop on the philosophy of Alain Badiou  taking place in the Venezuelan Embassy’s Bolivar Hall on 20th November. One half expected to be spending the day staring at an enormous portrait of Hugo Chavez hung at the back of the hall during the proceedings. Thankfully, the large hall was graced by a more tasteful/less piece of generic modern art and there was not a trace of Chavez propaganda in sight. Continue reading “maoism meets chavismo? a review of badiou workshop ‘subject and appearance’”

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report of conference ‘on the idea of communism’

by David Broder

This weekend Birkbeck in central London played host to a conference “On the Idea of Communism”, featuring such luminaries of Marxist academia as Slavoj Zizek (the main organiser), Toni Negri, Michael Hardt, Alain Badiou and Terry Eagleton.

The conference attracted nearly a thousand people, reflecting both the notoriety of the speakers and the renewed interest in communism and Marxist philosophy resulting from the economic crisis. There was even a session on ‘communism from below’. And the registration fee for anyone who wanted to discuss the future communist project was a mere… £100.

Strapped for cash, I did seriously consider just buying a ticket for the World Cup final instead. Continue reading “report of conference ‘on the idea of communism’”