File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0111, message 119

Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 10:37:55 +1000
Subject: Re: We have always been cultists


O.K. I'll comb thru your posts, read quotes from Badiou, and try to explain
why avoiding Badiou is as important for me as not reading Derrida.

I took the time to scan some of Derrida's book s in th university library,
but never checked one out.

 I read several Foucault books, learned and absorbed some of his special
terms and concepts, and am glad I did, but much of that reading was time

If you or anyone else can explain to me in plain English without mentioning
all the others I must read to understand Badiou, and I am convinced, fine.
Otherwise, I hope we can agree to disagree.

I did many hours of work, posting excerpts, after you suggested  we study
"The Empire" seriously.  When I found it devoid of facts about the
populations, investment, imports and exports I accumulated and posted
factual material. Since that was about the so-called "real" world, it is
(for me) useful knowledge, and I don't consider the time wasted..

If  Badiou's concepts present us with an interesting (productive?) vision of
the world we live in I'll read.



P.S. There are a lot of definitions of cultist. This is the one I favor

5 a : great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film
or book); especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual
fad b : a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion

> Hugh:
> I have to admit I am at a loss here.  I spent a fair amount of time and
> energy these past few weeks summarizing the first four chapters of
> Badiou's Ethics. I included a number of direct quotes in them as well.
> Now you want me to go through Badiou once again and select some
> additional quotes, so you can simply pick them apart with your usual
> random and sporadic comments.
> Frankly, I can't see what is to be gained by doing this again! I already
> did it once! Didn't you read what I wrote the first time?
> You said in a previous post that you reacted negatively to what Badiou
> was saying.  All I was asking was for you to clarify what you meant by
> this remark. I wanted to understand your personal reaction to these
> concepts, and, also, perhaps some articulation of what you understand by
> ethics.
> Because I really don't think it is appropriate to simply throw out
> comments like: "As you know, I think cultism when I read the names,
> codewords and endless abstractions of Badiou and those other guys."
> Do you have the name of good de-programmer you can put me in touch with
> since you obviously hold these discussions, and apparently me as well,
> in contempt?
> Explain to me exactly why I am a cultist and what meaning cultism might
> have in such a context?  Also, how it is again you consider yourself
> immune to all this?
> Furthermore, Negri and Hardt do not simply discuss the concept of Empire
> in isolation. They discuss it in the context of the Multitude and
> counter-Empire. Personally, I don't consider myself the Empire and I
> certainly don't think Empire simply means anything goes, so your entire
> argument along these lines seems like nothing more than specious
> reasoning to me.
> For the record, my wife has dual citizenship in Ireland. So, actually,
> this issue of citizenship is something I have discussed with her and
> considered, but never acted upon.
> I am a native born American and frankly don't give a damn for your
> "America, love it or leave" attitude.  I'll stay here if it suits me,
> thank you very much and critique it for its bad faith, if it suits me.
> That's the difference between patriotism and fascism.
> Tell me, does the living presence of a native-born cultist with
> abstract, foreign (French) ideas scare you? Do you consider me a
> terrorist as well? I'm just curious.
> Why do you continue to participate in a group like this, discussing the
> abstract ideas of a dead white guy, if you hold it all in contempt or
> think it is merely a form of cultism?
> Send me a dozen quotes why.
> eric
> PS - For the record, I enjoyed reading the Baudrillard essay.


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