Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
One cannot think about change in politics without engaging in the debate between Marxism and liberalism. This entry concentrates on the French philosopher Alain Badiou's Marxist contributions to the discussion. Reform versus revolution: Broadly speaking, these are the conceptions of change found in the two camps. Liberal philosophers counsel the gradual improvement of democratic institutions, whereas the Marxists claim the problems of capitalist society lie at a deep structural level and can be resolved only through the construction of a more equitable economy. The poststructuralist contribution to this debate, at least in France in the mid-1960s, seems to come down to outbidding the Marxists and claiming that the only genuine political change is one that would affect structures even deeper than those of private property and the social organization of production. Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, and Gilles Deleuze invoke Friedrich Nietzsche in gestures toward the emergence of a new order ...