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01 2011


Poststructuralism, Philosophy, Politics

Thomas Seibert

Translated by Aileen Derieg


If politics and philosophy cannot detach themselves from one another, this is because their eminent encounters always articulate a historical event, consequent to which neither can still be what they were before. Their last encounter of this kind to date can be named with the cypher “May 1968”; the title “poststructuralism” marks the corresponding upheaval of philosophy. Michel Foucault summarized its political use in passing in the remark that his philosophical and political aspiration was to become a “Nietzschean communist”.[1] For this reason, it is not a coincidence that the question of the topicality of poststructuralism is raised today within the debate about the topicality of communism, which is being carried out not only, but indeed substantially between Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri on the one side, Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek on the other. The strategic point of reference in this debate is the thesis of the poststructuralist proposal that today all politics are and have to be biopolitics. This thesis has been carried out by the New Social Movements consequent to the May event under the motto “The private is political!”, in which they have articulated their strength, but also their boundary.

In light of the banalization of both the motto and the issue in the meantime, it should first be recalled that and to what extent the term “biopolitics” effected a radical break not only from Marxist-Leninist, but also with all eminent determinations of the political, to the extent that politics is conversely qualified there by its unconditional primacy over the pathologies of the private.[2] In attempting to mediate this difference, it should be shown that in the debate over the topicality of communism, a third position becomes possible, which by its own right can be called dialectical. This position is to be unfolded here in a series of four moves, leading from the move of minoritarian-becoming (1) through the move of multitudes and singularities (2) to that of militancy (3), and from there to the actual dialectical move (4). This is not a matter of the final conclusion of a dialectic of the spirit, but rather of the other beginning of a dialectic of the event, in which the philosophical affirmation of an irresolvable contingency and its continued political testing enter into a match that opens up new scopes for the potentialities of the struggles.

1. The Move of Minoritarian-Becoming

Foucault’s companions Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari undoubtedly dedicated themselves to becoming “Nietzschean communists”, too. At the same time, they imbue the classically Marxist definition of history as a history of antagonistically escalating class struggles with a Nietzschean drift with the concepts of the majority, the minorities and minoritarian-becoming. Nevertheless, these terms do not mean relations of numbers, but rather constellations of forces within relations of power, knowledge and the subjectification (“dispositives”) of life, of work and of language. These dispositives are respectively regulated by a norm, a code or a constant and their concomitant procedures of discipline and control.[3] They can be comprehended analytically at any given time according to the special degrees of their normalization and de- or re-normalization, which can also be described in a specific respect as that of their de- and re-territorialization or their de- and re-coding. If the majority norm can be comprehended in the formula “human-male-white-urban dweller-speaker of a standard language”, each of the norms, codes or constants deviating from this fundamental norm represents a special minority.[4]

The difference between majority and minority is that the majority cannot be seized by a “becoming”, whereas a minority can at any time. This “becoming” can always initially be described as a movement of eluding the norm and hence as “flight”. If women, children, “blacks” or “schizos” represent minorities with a norm of their own, which function as subsets of the universal majority regardless of the number of their elements, then the minoritarian becoming-woman, becoming-child, “becoming-black” or “becoming-schizo” name subjectifiable potentialities of de-norming, deterritorializing, and/or decoding life, work and/or language.

What is politically decisive here is that Deleuze/Guattari expressly inscribe the ongoing diversity of minoritarian becomings into the perspective of a universal history, distinguishing its condition of possibility in capitalism as the meta-dispositive, which makes de-normalization, deterritorialization and decoding its rule: “In a sense, capitalism has haunted all forms of society, but it haunts them as their terrifying nightmare, it is the dread they feel of a flow that could elude their codes.”[5] Class struggle comes into play in this to the extent that Deleuze/Guattari explicitly note – although it is woefully overlooked in the history of reception – that “the power of minority, of particularity, finds its figure or its universal consciousness in the proletariat”.[6] The boundary of this power, however, is found in capitalism’s unique capacity to constantly shift its own boundary by transforming the erupting crises of its reproduction, which inevitably follow from denormalizing, deterritorializing and decoding, into just as many opportunities for an expanded reproduction through processes of renormalization, reterritorialization and recoding: “It may be all but impossible to distinguish deterritorialization from reterritorialization, since they are mutually enmeshed, or like opposite faces of one and the same process.”[7] If this capacity of capitalism, which is historically evident up to the present, corresponds, however, with an incapacity of minoritarian becomings to push their own denormalization, deterritorialization and decoding definitively beyond the boundary set for them in capital, everything depends on whether this correspondence relation is rejected as ontically provisional (empirical) or accepted as ontologically final (transcendental). In comparison with Deleuze/Guattari’s ambiguity particularly at this point, Foucault undertakes a significant shift that has yet to be politically exhausted. At the same time, he also refers to the New Social Movements articulating May 1968 and situates the becoming woman, child, black, schizo exposed by Deleuze/Guattari within the revolts against “the power of men over women, of parents over their children, of psychiatry over the mentally ill, of medicine over the population” and their position of a common front against the power “of state administration over people’s way of living”:

a) These revolts are “transversal” and erupt in all modern societies independent of their specific constitution.

b) They directly target the everyday exercise of power or the respectively closest instances of power, thus rejecting the institutionally hierarchicized access of state and non-state administrative apparatuses to individuals, groups and populations.

c) They principally do not turn against science and modern communication technologies, but rather against the asymmetrical or exclusive distribution and communication of skills and abilities and against the coalition of science, power apparatuses and capitalist exploitation interests.

d) They question the identity and the status of the individual in different ways, demanding on the one hand a right to existential autonomy, singularity and difference, rejecting on the other procedures and facilities for isolating subjects from one another, and for this reason, at a closer look they are “not carried out for or against the ‘individual’, but rather against ‘steering through individualization’”.

e) By eluding normalizing, territorializing and coding by the “economic and ideological state” and “the scientific and administrative inquisition” in this way, they evolve their potentiality not only in direct resistance against the apparative domination of certain institutions or the structural domination of a class, but rather before this in the subversion of a special “technology” or “form” of power: “This form of power applies to immediate everyday life that divides individuals into categories, allocates their individuality to them, ties them to their identity and imposes the law of a truth on them that they have to recognize in themselves and others in them.”

In a historicization that he undertakes in a second step, Foucault differentiates the biopolitical revolts according to their specific deployment as struggles against ethnic, social and religious domination, struggles against economic exploitation and struggles for subjectivity. At the same time, he ascribes a hegemony of struggles against domination to feudal societies, a hegemony of struggles against exploitation to emerging bourgeois societies, and a hegemony of struggles for subjectivity to the present – “even though the struggles against forms of domination and exploitation have not disappeared. Quite the contrary”.[8]

In the harvesting of this historicization of biopolitics, Foucault then gains a perspective of the process of changing society and history that is closer to Max Weber than Marx and which finds the strategic point of reference closest to us in the era of the Reformation:

I suspect that it is not the first time that our society has been confronted with this kind of struggle. All those movements which took place in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and which had the Reformation as their main expression and result should be analyzed as a great crisis of the Western experience of subjectivity and a revolt against the kind of religious and moral power which gave form, during the Middle Ages, to this subjectivity. The need to take a direct part in spiritual life, in the work of salvation, in the truth which lies in the Book – all that was a struggle for a new subjectivity.[9]

From here, the religious history dimension of Foucault’s “aesthetics of existence”, often too little noticed in the reception, has an illuminating effect. By taking up the “Dionysian” solution to the “problem of atheism” (Nietzsche) opened up by Nietzsche, Heidegger and Bataille in outlining his aesthetics of existence – here close to Deleuze/Guattari again – and establishing an underlying connection to Kant’s political ethics at the same time, Foucault is able to convincingly thwart the attempts undertaken from several sides of a banalizing reduction of the aesthetics of existence to a libertarian, yet a-political individualism.[10] He is all the more successful in this as he formulates a self-proviso by expressly facing possible Marxist objections:

I know what objections can be made. We can say that all types of subjectification are derived phenomena, that they are merely the consequences of other economic and social processes: forces of production, class struggle, and ideological structures which determine the form of subjectivity. It is certain that the mechanisms of subjectification cannot be studied outside their relation to the mechanisms of exploitation and domination. But they do not merely constitute the “terminal” of more fundamental mechanisms. They entertain complex and circular relations with other forms.[11]

2. The Move of Multitudes and Singularities

However: contrary to the resolution of his self-proviso that was theoretically successful in principle, as the first wave of a new Reformation, the New Social Movements failed practically with exactly the problems that this proviso was founded on. Both deliberately and indeliberately detached from the struggles against exploitation as well as those against domination, they became functional in a surge of modernization, in which the “fordist” formation of capitalism, steered by procedures of “externally” decreed discipline, was replaced by a “postfordist” formation, which is essentially steered by procedures of “internally” effective (self-)control. If the functionalization of the movements remains partial and ambivalent, because it is continually crossed by moments of effective liberation, this nevertheless strengthens making originally resistive impulses productive in capitalism, supplying it again and again with new subjective agreement. This is joined by the ambivalences resulting from the final downfall of really existing socialisms in the “system competition” of the twentieth century, not coincidentally reaching all the way into the religious history dimension of social relations just invoked – to the extent that a principal denial of transcendence belongs to the discourse of capitalist modernization, a denial that is in turn reinforced by the contempt for immanence on the part of “fundamentalist” reaction formations. This is where Hardt/Negri and Badiou/Žižek start in their respective ways. Hardt/Negri initially expressly recognize the poststructural unleashing of the critique of political economy, in the line of which they also define the current formation of capitalism (a) by the suspension of the separation of production and reproduction resulting from the primacy of immaterial (both informational and affective) labor, (b) by the accompanying transition from the primacy of discipline to the primacy of (self-)control, and (c) by the transition from a nation-state-imperialist governance to a transnational-imperial governance. In a double counter-move to Deleuze/Guattari’s thesis of the unlimited capacity of capital to productively turn its crises as well as Foucault’s relative distancing of the transformations of subjectivity from political economy, they subordinate the process of the valorization of capital to a dialectic that is again closely tied to Marx. In this dialectic, the development of productive forces leads in an antagonism to capitalist modes of production, which can only be resolved in a revolutionary explosion of capital relations.[12] Consequent to this return to Marx, they are able to detach the “flights” of becoming-minoritarian from the dilemma of the ultimate indistinguishability of de- and reterritorialization as well as from the identity politics reduction of the aesthetics of existence, and inscribe them in a “materialist teleology”, which is intended to ultimately found and fulfill the subjective potentiality of the multitudes and singularities for the autonomous self-organization of the whole of production.[13]

By tying the a-teleological becoming-minoritarian back into teleological class antagonism, Hardt/Negri are at least theoretically able to recover what Deleuze/Guattari alluded to in raising becoming-proletarian to “model” and “universal consciousness” of all minoritarian becomings, yet in the same move, they also inherit the entire history of the problem of difference, which determines Marxism, between the already given being-in-itself and the still pending being-for-itself of the subjective potentiality of the productive force development. This is evident in that they seek the eminent subjectification of this potentiality, no differently from Marx, Lenin and Lukács in the subject position of the communist militants. Yet since their interest is no longer in the being-for-itself of a class consciousness, but rather in the being-for-itself of the biopolitical multitudes and singularities, to be decided between “generation” and “corruption”, Hardt/Negri transform the classically Marxist dialectic into an “aleatoric” (from the Latin alea “dice”, “throw of the dice”), in which the release of the subjective potentiality depends on the a-subjective, because non-intendable irruption of an event. They understand this – in keeping with contemporary event philosophy following from Heidegger – as the condensation of various processes of becoming in a singular intensity, which is appropriate for radically deflecting the direction of this process of becoming or even turning it around.[14]

The weakness of this solution, however, which becomes veritably palpable in the increasing lyricism of the formulations, is that they refer in a justified turn from Heidegger’s “strong” event concept to the declared “weak” poststructuralist concept of an ongoing diversity of events that are also diverse in themselves. Yet this concept is not able to redeem the teleological escalation required of it in the field of a productive force dialectic. If the gains of the polit-economic re-dialectization of minoritarian-becoming are to be maintained as well as the attempt to entrust the closure of the gap between the being-in-itself and the being-for-itself of this dialectic to the potentiality of an event, then this is the point where Badiou and Žižek come into view. Their approach is to develop the generation of the communist militants through an event concept that remains separate from a teleology definitively determined in its origin as well as from the a-teleology of an event diversity without quality.

3. The Move of Militancy

Whereas Heidegger basically only recognizes two events with the beginning and end of the “history of being”, and Deleuze/Guattari recognize countlessly many in contrast, but ultimately lacking the dimension of their “irruption”, with Badiou the number of events is clear at one glance, at least in the field of politics, where he only allows four events, which are named with the years 1789, 1848, 1917 and 1968. Their number becomes more extensive, however, in two essential respects. On the one hand, the set of political events is to be augmented by the sets of events in science, art and love. The reason why this is important is that the truths of art, science and love set absolute boundaries for the absoluteness of politics, which Badiou expressly asserts, although it sounds disturbing not only to liberal ears. On the other hand, instead of the “rigid opposition” between the merely internal world “situation” and the world-opening (“actual”) event that was characteristic of his thinking before that, in his second main work Badiou introduces a graduation, which allows him to concede endlessly many “nuances of transformation” in the concrete investigation of concrete historical proceedings, while still, in response to the question “How does it happen that worlds really change?”, adhering to the prominence of a “point” of the highest intensity of becoming, to which alone the status and name of the event is attributed.[15] This “point” qualifies itself before the other moments of a becoming in that it designates the arrival of a singular truth at an “event site” that he concedes in the flow of becoming and thus transforms the process of becoming into the process of this truth.

This can be illustrated by the political events in the “actual” sense invoked here by their dates. They all articulate the universal and, in this sense, “eternal” truth of politics, to be equality and justice in actu, yet the articulation of truth always results, on the other hand, in a mode that can only be described a posteriori as respectively singular, historical: in 1789 in the Jacobin mode, in 1848 in the mode of the communists of the Marxian Manifesto, in 1917 in the Bolshevist mode, and in 1968 in the mode of the New Left.[16] The different modes are each named after the subjects of the truth events and processes, which are thus also designated as truth subjects. A subject of this kind is an essentially open one, because it is a figuration that is not to be unified and is necessarily inherently contentious. In the case of the Bolshevist subject, this includes the revolutionary proletariat of the large Russian cities, its connections with the rebellious soldiers and peasants, with the organs and assemblies of the Soviet power, with them the Communist party, with this the Communist militants, and in this sense with every single militant.

But who decides what and when an event is, what its truth and who its subject is? This question leads to the core of Badiou’s event philosophy, on which his ethics depends, which he unfolds through the “fidelity to the event” and its difference from betrayal, deception and hubris, and the differentiation of the subject of fidelity from the “reactive” and the “obscure” subjects of an event.[17] If this question can only be answered by “faithfully” participating in the comprehension of a truth process and consequently solely in an “engaged” perspective, then this is because the three constitutive moments of every process – event, truth and subject – refer circularly to one another, to the extent that each truth addresses its subject eventfully, in other words in a way that is not intended by the subject and thus “compulsory”, whereas conversely the event and its truth can only be articulated in the testimony of their subject – a constellation that was already evident to Heidegger: “What is decisive is not to get out of the circle, but to get in it in the right way.”[18]

Badiou responds to the immediately obvious question of how to get into the circle of a truth “in the right way” with the concept of déliason, of “dis-engagement”, which leads directly into his critique of biopolitics.[19] Dis-engagement is the subjective effect of the event and designates the process, in which any anthropological creature at all first ends up in the position of a subject. Subjectification understood in the mode of dis-engagement is an act of separation, in which a subject separates from “animal life” and its pathologies, in order to exist from this point on as the subject that it previously was not. Dis-engagement is to be distinguished from the idealistic act of the self-positing of the subject, to the extent that it is based specifically not on a subjective intention, but rather on the gift of an event. If this applies also and specifically to the political subject and thus to the generation of militants, then for Badiou it must be categorically noted: the subject of politics cannot be a biopolitical subject, because this subject is due to an act of dis-engagement from the bios, and this act as gift of an event in the bios cannot be intended. At the same time, this means that the private and the pathological cannot even be political, because the political requires dis-engagement from all that is private and pathological and is therefore solely the concern of a militant as carrier and witness of a truth.

4. The Dialectical Move

In the Logic of Worlds Badiou succinctly states the difference between what he calls “democratic materialism” as the horizon of biopolitics as well in Deleuze/Guattari’s, Foucault’s and Hardt/Negri’s sense, and his own “materialist dialectic” in the difference of their ontological general theses. If for democratic materialism, this is: “there are only bodies and languages”, then for the materialistic dialectic this is expanded by a third term: “There are only bodies and languages, except that there are truths.”[20] Badiou undoubtedly understands the difference between the two materialisms as one that cannot be mediated: whereas what they have in common is the anti-idealistic reduction of being to bodies and languages, they are irreconcilably separated in recognizing or disputing the dis-engagement of the subject from its corporeality and linguality based on the truth reference. The possibility of mediating this difference asserted here, which equally counters Badiou and Negri, starts then from problematizing the concept and matter of the dis-engagement.[21] Badiou’s error here is not found in the act of dis-engagement itself, but rather in the way it is situated, in which he posits “subjectivity” and “animality” or subject and bios in an external relation, instead of envisioning the per se inevitable separation of both as a separation within the bios. In fact, the separation does not run, as Badiou imputes, between subjectivity on the one hand and animalist, pathological or private life on the other, but rather between this life and a separated subject that is inherently subjectivity and animality and therein subject in life. The fact that Badiou skips this and thus ultimately constructs an idealist position, however, then results – as every deconstruction has demonstrated from Heidegger all the way to Irigaray – from an “oblivion of Being (Seinsvergessenheit)”, which is essentially oblivion and therein a repression of finitude. Finitude does not mean then, as Badiou suggests, the mere fact of mortality and the concomitant, philosophically rightly rejected sermon of humility, but rather the potentiality of a Being-toward-death that is first completed in being able to die and of a Being-toward-birth first completed in being able to be born as the possibility condition of the “truth of existence” to be carried out in subjectification processes.[22]

If this is the starting point for my dialectical move, then it is not by accident that it can identify its own right with the only seemingly paradoxical circumstance that Badiou’s anti-vitalism is congruent with Negri’s and Deleuze’s vitalisms to the extent that they jointly agree with Lucretius’ concept of death, which reduces death to a (non-)event that “to us is nothing”.[23] If this results for Badiou from his proposal of an “immortality” of subjectivity and for Negri and Deleuze from their proposal of an “immortality” of a-subjective becoming, this leads for all three (although in ways that differ from one another) to a division between truth politics and biopolitics: whereas for Badiou biopolitics is principally truthless and therefore no politics at all in the actual sense of the word, Deleuze and Negri balk at the circumstance rightly pointed out by Badiou that the affirmation of truth presumes a non-intended and therefore “compulsory” dis-engagement from the bios. In a counter-move to this, the possibility of biopolitics is asserted here, which is inherently already truth politics, because the subjectivity of its militants finds its unfathomable ground in the affirmation of the “truth of existence”.

“So the point is not,” according to Žižek, “to deny the specifically human mode of ‘immortality’ (that of participating in a Truth-Event sustaining a dimension irreducible to the constrained positive order of Being), but to bear in mind how this ‘immortality’ is based on the specific mode of human finitude.”[24]

This existential-materialist dialectic finds its concretion in the dispute over the truth of the May-Event and the truth-politics arising from it. If this can indeed by reconstructed as truth-politics in Badiou’s sense, its specific content must still not be narrowed down to the (post-)Maoist interpretation he imbues it with. Instead, all the moves of the May movement and the New Social Movements following it, to which Deleuze/Guattari, Foucault and Hardt/Negri are just as bound as Irigaray and feminism altogether, are to be envisioned expressly as testimony to the truth of May. Along with this – in analogy to the relation of truth and bios – the primacy of the political that Badiou continues is no longer to be understood as an external objection to biopolitics, but rather to be ascertained itself and specifically in the biopolitical field. The merely stated formula “the private/pathological is political” would then have to be reformulated in the directive “Politicize the private/pathological!” so that the dis-engagement of political militancy can be understood not as turning “against” life, but rather itself as a form of life, way of living and potentiality of life – as Foucault says: as aesthetic of existence. In this, the strategic definitions can also be found – that is the wager proposed here – to antagonistically escalate the game of de- and re-territorialization in politics – and intentionally only there. It is not by chance that these definitions follow those in which Marx and Engels frame the role of the communists in the Manifesto. To call this succinctly to mind in the end: the communists form no special political formation alongside the other formations of the multitudes and have no interests separate from the other singularities. What distinguishes them is that they articulate what is common to all struggles in all of the special struggles and thus “in the movement of the present, they also represent and take care of the future of that movement”.[25] Which remains to be proved in fidelity.


[1] Foucault, Michel:Remarks on Marx: Conversations with DuccioTrombadori”, trans. R. James Goldstein and James Cascaito, New York: Semiotext(e), 1991. When Foucault distances himself in the same breath from this “ridiculous” proposal, that is not a reference to bringing Marx and Nietzsche’s thinking together, but rather to the idea of locating this in the Parti Communiste Français, which was abandoned after only a year.

[2] Whereas Foucault’s concept of biopower comprised strategies of domination as well as resistance against domination, following from his broad concept of power, Hardt/Negri introduced a terminological differentiation and designated strategies of domination as those of biopower, resistance against domination as biopolitics. – The term “pathological” is not used here in the sense of some kind of illness, but rather in Kant’s sense, according to which it covers actions due primarily to a “feeling of pleasure and displeasure” and thus to the bios, unlike actions effected by moral law and thus primarily purely from subjectivity; cf. Kant, Immanuel: Kritik der reinen Vernunft 2, Werkausgabe Vol. 4, edited by Wilhelm Weischedel, Frankfurt/M. 1974, A534/B562 and A802/B830 respectively. Understood in this way, the motto “The private is political” can also be rewritten as “The pathological is political!”.

[3] On the terms majority, minority and minoritarian-becoming, cf. the writings of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari and Deleuze’s book Dialogues written together with Claire Parnet (English translation by Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam, Continuum, London/New York 2002). The term of the power-knowledge-subjectification-dispositive is developed by Foucault in the volumes 2 (The Use of Pleasure, Vintage 1990) and 3 (The Care of the Self, Vintage 1988) of The History of Sexuality, and in the short texts and lectures accompanying them, among which one of the last lectures takes a prominent position (cf. Foucault, Michel: Hermeneutics of the Subject. Lectures at the Collège de France 1981–1982, trans. Graham Burchell, Introduction by Arnold I. Davidson, Picador 2005). Situating the power-knowledge-subjectification-dispositive in life, work and language links Foucault’s subjectification hermeneutics to the prior genealogies and archaeologies, cf. in nuce Foucault, Michel: The Order of Things. An Archaeology of the Human Sciences, Vintage 1994. The difference between the terms discipline and control is developed by Deleuze in “Postscript on Control Societies”, trans. Martin Joughin, in: ibid., Negotiations 1972–1990, Columbia University Press 1997, p. 177–182.

[4] Deleuze, Gilles: Kleine Schriften, übers. von K.D. Schacht, Berlin 1980, p. 27, and Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Félix: A Thousand Plateaus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Brian Massumi, University of Minnesota Press 1987, p. 291 ff.

[5] Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Félix: Anti-Oedipus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Robert Hurley, Mark Seem, Helen R. Lane, University of Minnesota Press 1983, p. 140, see also p. 139f.

[6] Deleuze and Guattari: A Thousand Plateaus, op.cit., p. 472.

[7] Deleuze and Guattari: Anti-Oedipus, op.cit., p.258, cf. 222ff.

[8] Foucault, Michel: “The Subject and Power”, in: ibid.: Afterword. Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics. 2nd ed. Hubert Dreyfus and Paul Rainbow. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983. 208-26.

[9] Ibid.; see also the earlier text: Foucault, Michel: “What is Critique?” in: ibid.: The Politics of Truth, Semiotext(e) 2007, p. 42.

[10] Cf. for example, Foucault, Michel: “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History.” The Foucault Reader, Ed. Paul Rabinow. New York: Pantheon, 1984. 76-100.

[11] Foucault, Michel: “The Subject and Power”, op.cit. “Objectification” is to be understood here as the effects of norm, constants or code implemented in both discipline and control.

[12] Cf. Marx, Karl: “Kritik der politischen Ökonomie”, in: Marx-Engels-Werke, Vol. 13, Berlin 1961, p. 8. []

[13] Cf. Hardt, Michael and Negri, Antonio: Empire, Harvard University Press 2000, p. 63-66, p. 368, p. 396; on p. 396 the teleology of the multitude is even called “theurgical”.

[14] On the generation and corruption of the multitudes, cf. ibid., p. 391-392 and 357-358; on the compression of this dialectic in the generation of the militants, ibid., p. 411ff. On the concept of event, cf. on the one hand Negri, Antonio: Time for Revolution, Continuum 2003, on the other Hardt, Michael and Negri, Antonio: Common Wealth, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press 2009. Finally, Negri’s concept of event becomes concrete in the interview volume by Antonio Negri and Raf Valvola Scelsi: Goodbye, Mr. Socialism, Seven Stories Press 2008), with the very unfortunate disadvantage that it is not explicitly addressed.

[15] Cf. Badiou, Alain: The Logic of Worlds, trans. Alberto Toscano, Continuum 2008, p. 408, in this context see also p. 385; on the “Theory of Points”, cf. ibid., p. 397ff.

[16] Cf., among others,  Badiou, Alain:  Metapolitics, trans. Jason Barker, Verso 2005, S. 39.

[17] Badiou, Alain: Ethics. An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, trans. Peter Hallward, Verso 2002. On the three possible subjectifications of an event, cf. Badiou: The Logic of Worlds, op.cit. In order to make the triad of the faithful, the reactive and the obscure subject at least roughly comprehensible, it can be explained the in the example of the Bolshevist process as the triad of the Bolshevist (fidelity), the social-democratic and liberal (reaction) and the fascist (obscurance) subject, whereby all subjectifications of the event are “October Revolution”.

[18] Martin Heidegger, Being and Time, trans. Joan Stambaugh, State University of New York Press 1996, p.143

[19] Cf. e.g. in Badiou: Metapolitics, op.cit.; Badiou, Alain: Ist Politik denkbar?, trans. Frank Ruda and Jan Völker, Berlin 2010, S. 25ff.; Badiou, Alain: Deleuze. “The Clamour of Being, trans. Louise Burchill, University of Minnesota Press 1999.

[20] Badiou: Logic of Worlds, op.cit., p.4.

[21] The following argumentation continues what I explained in my essay “Figurationen der Ent-Bindung” (in: Knipp, Jens and Meier, Frank (Ed.): Treue zur Wahrheit. Die Begründung der Philosophie Alain Badious, Münster 2010, p. 11–41; cf. also Žižek, Slavoj: The Ticklish Subject, Verso 2000, p. 182ff.).

[22] Heidegger: Being and Time, op.cit., p.213, p.242 and p.234f. Luce Irigaray posits Being to birth and with it sexual difference as prior to the Being to death explicated by Heidegger, cf. Irigaray, Luce: The Forgetting of Air in Martin Heidegger, trans. Mary Beth Mader, Austin 1999.

[23] Lucretius: On the Nature of Things, Third Book, (accessed: 22.06.2011). Badiou, Deleuze and Negri have all explicitly confirmed their agreement with Lucretius, cf. Badiou, Alain: Briefings on Existence. A Short Treatise on Transitory Ontology, trans. Norman Madarasz, State University of New York Press 2006, p. 21, and Negri, Antonio: Ready-Mix. Vom richtigen Gebrauch der Erinnerung und des Vergessens, trans. Henning Teschke, Berlin 1998, p. 56ff.

[24] Žižek: The Ticklish Subject, op.cit., p. 163

[25] Marx, Karl and Engels, Friedrich: “Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei”, in: Marx-Engels-Werke, Vol. 4, Berlin 1959, p. 474ff. and p. 492 []. For a systematic development of this “point”, cf. Seibert, Thomas: Krise und Ereignis. Siebenundzwanzig Thesen zum Kommunismus, Hamburg 2009.