2011/05/25

Badiou's open letter


An open letter from Alain Badiou to Jean-Luc Nancy

Alain Badiou responds to Jean-Luc Nancy's Libération article “What the Arab peoples signify to us”:
Yes, dear Jean-Luc, the position you adopt in favour of ‘Western' intervention in Libya was indeed a sorry surprise for me.
Didn't you notice right from the start the palpable difference between what is happening in Libya and what is happening elsewhere? How in both Tunisia and Egypt we really did see massive popular gatherings, whereas in Libya there is nothing of the kind? An Arabist friend of mind has concentrated in the last few weeks on translating the placards, banners, posters and flags that were such a feature of the Tunisian and Egyptian demonstrations: he couldn't find a single example of these in Libya, not even in Benghazi. One very striking fact about the Libyan ‘rebels', which I'm surprised you didn't note, is that you don't see a single woman, whereas in Tunisia and Egypt women are very visible. Didn't you know that the French and British secret services have been organising the fall of Gaddafi since last autumn? Aren't you amazed that, in contrast to all the other Arab uprisings, weapons of unknown origin emerged in Libya? That bands of young people immediately began firing volleys in the air, something inconceivable elsewhere? Weren't you struck by the emergence of a supposed ‘revolutionary council' led by a former accomplice of Gaddafi, whereas nowhere else was there any question of the masses who had risen up appointing some people as a replacement government?