BBC Hardtalk interviews Alain Badiou about the “reality” of France, and the necessity of pragmatism during the economic crisis. He’s asked, “Are you or are you not a communist?” The BBC dismisses Badiou as an anti-Semite, a wide-eyed radical who took up a barricade in 1968, an anti-pragmatist, a communist, a romantic, and charlatan.

I think they’ve got it partly right. I am tired of philosophers answering questions about their work with the typical defense that goes like this. “The duty of the philosopher is to…” Worse still, Badiou responds that philosophy has “always done this” or “the left has always done this.” This is not what you’d expect from anyone really trying to defend the left’s criticism of Sarkozy. No more appeals to tradition, please. No more appeals to Socrates. Oh, l’obscurité de Alain Badiou…

Part 1| Part 2

Thanks to Qlipoth for the tip.