Advent thoughts on Badiou and the Event
So Advent has started, and I'm sitting here next to the Christmas tree reading about the advent of revolution in past moments in history and wondering when it's going to arrive next. This got me thinking about how our act of perceiving something new happening in history relates to our intervening to create that something new. For example, to what extent did people's response to the Good News of Christ's advent on earth actually constitute this event? Throughout the gospel, Jesus is unable to heal people unless they themselves make a willing choice to be healed - unless they are open to a new rebirth and a break from their past, unless they participate in an Event, something new in their lives and in history.
Similarly, when do we know a revolution is starting? At a certain point, isn't it the revolutionaries themselves who recognize something new is breaking out in their own life activity, and by recognizing and naming it a revolution they actually make it a revolution?
In this comment on a very interesting piece by Don Hamerquist, somebody named Jordan gets at this question, reflecting on the French Marxist philosopher Alain Badiou. Badiou criticizes rigid Marxist political parties of the old 20th century model that are not open to the advent of new Events in history and end up missing or trailing them instead of helping to create them. He says that in contrast revolutionary organizations today need to have a certain "porosity to the Event".
Badiou wrote a book on St. Paul and Christianity that I hope to read, and it seems his understanding of revolution is shaped partially by Paul's "porosity" or openness to the Christ Event.
Here is Jordan's comment: