Letter to Alain Badiou

At the last plenary session held on October 6th, the students were informed that the famous French philosopher Alain Badiou, who was supposed to come to Zagreb and meet with the students on October 16th, has fallen ill and will not be able to come after all. The plenum has decided to write a letter to Mr Badiou wishing him to get well soon and expressing desire to welcome him in Zagreb some time in the future.

Letter to Alain Badiou

We are very sorry to hear that you will not be able to realize your planned visit to “our region”, i.e. the geographical and political consequences of the violent death of what you seem to defiantly continue to call “Yugoslavia”.

No doubt, it is a region in dire need of new emancipatory projects, of theoretical and political events with the power to upset the logics of a situation whose foremost mark is that the freedom of choice it grants us is the freedom to chose between two equally false choices: the obscurantist withdrawal into the confines of ethno-chauvinist autisms on the one hand, and the euphoric surrender to the false universality of capital’s free roaming on the other. The first project bears the name of “the Nation”, the second that of “Europe” (or of our “becoming European”). One subordinates the idea of collectivity to the dictate of traditions, identities and places (regardless of whether “authentic” or recently fabricated), the other rejects the notion of the collective as such, proclaiming it the dangerous residue of a fallen and now defunct “totalitarian” promise.

You will of course have no difficulty recognizing the impasses we have just tried to sketch, since your voice has been amongst the most distinct and intransigent challenges raised against its logic and coercions. This only deepens our regret that you will not be able to realize your plan to visit us next week. Yet, we do not give up on the hope to be given a future chance to learn from you (or with you) in person. And catch something of that virus of your persistent rejection to make peace with the status quo.

In the firm belief that we will be your hosts in the future, we wish you a quick recovery and swift restoration of your full strength. We intend to continue drawing from it in the future.

The Plenum of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb, October 8, 2009

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