Rhodes University Logo
Rhodes > Philosophy > News and Resources > Seminars

Our weekly seminars take place on Thursdays at 15:30 in the departmental seminar room. All are welcome to attend


This week's seminar: 

'Against Managed Corporate Democracy: Toward a Politics of Truth'

Bartosz Lubczonok

Philosophy Department Seminar Room

The rightward shift in US politics over the past century (Chomsky, Chris Hedges) has resulted in “inverted totalitarianism” (Sheldon Wolin): the State-corporate depoliticization of the citizenry through the latter’s atomization and precarization. Managed corporate democracy erodes collective popular willing by obfuscating real demotic cleavages via synthetic ones contrived for exploitation by corporate lobbies to aggrandize State executive power. For Maurizio Lazzarato, the neoliberal credit institution ‘governs’ the ‘entrepreneur-of-the-self’ by debt, instilling self-monitoring, guilt and bad conscience. Badiou rails against parliamentary democracy as a regime of opinion organizing an authoritarian consensus sans truth. Underpinning the latter are two conservative ideologies: multiculturalist respect for the (domesticated) other, and ‘democratic materialism’ (only individuals and cultures exist). I shall polemicize against these two. For Badiou, any verily emancipatory politics must proceed from an event: that is, when the Rancièrian “part-of-no-part” (a Hegelian ‘singular universal’ embodying the universality of an entire situation/world), demands an inclusion that changes the very rules of inclusion. An event is a Lacanian ‘act’, an instance of Kantian ‘diabolical evil’: a subversion of the law at the level of the law, an intervention in social reality that changes its co-ordinates— presaging a redefinition of the Good. A political truth issues from the “part-of-no-part,” through the labour of a ‘transversal’ collective subject, which must produce it through ‘organization’, wherein the Rousseauian ‘general will’ is maintained. ‘Organization’ must inscribe division to maintain its political stance (Bruno Bosteels, Jodi Dean, Georg Lukács). So, Hardt and Negri’s ‘multitude’ is rejected here. Truth in Badiou, Lacan and Žižek differs from truth in Plato, in that, though it is likewise heterogenous to opinion, “punches a hole” in knowledge as well. Its temporality is that which ‘will have been’ (Aristotle’s Poetics), given a conferral of necessity (truth-procedure) onto a contingency (event). Finally, I shall speculate as to what is to be done with the indebted ‘entrepreneur-of-the-self’ (who ‘sins’ against capital), that is, how to make him a militant of truth. Interestingly, Paul of Tarsus (plus Badiou, Agamben, Henry) shall help us here.



Below is a list of our upcoming Seminars for the term:

8 March: Bartosz Lubczonok 


15 March: David Pittaway 


22 March: Keagan Pretorius



Last Modified: Wed, 07 Mar 2018 23:30:56 SAST