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This paper aims to read Alain Badiou's politics of truth as a vision of establishing the political community. In his works, Badiou shows a certain ambiguity toward the notion of community. On the one hand, he designates the word "community" and its correlates—such as "communism," "communist," and "collective" as an inadequate name for what he means by politics. As his "Philosophy and Politics" indicates, the dominant political and economic climate is to celebrate community as impossible, which causes him to assume the term as improper for his political imagination. However, the idea of community recurs frequently in his metapolitical articulations. In Being and Event (1988), politics is depicted as a generic and collective process. In The Meaning of Sarkozy, Badiou even affirms twice that "communism is the right hypothesis" (97, 115). These seemingly conflicting attitudes make it worthwhile to further examine the possibility and necessity of adhering to the "community" and its cognates as effective categories in his political vision. Instead of siding with Badiou's reservation about "community" and thus renouncing its political efficacy, in this paper I insist upon understanding this term as the core of his politics. My argument is that Badiou's fundamental political prescription is to formulate politics as such in the communal form, even when other terms such as "collective" or "generic" rather than "community" or "communism" are referred to. More important, his political and communal, or political-as-communal, hypothesis has to be grasped in light of a third term: truth. Badiou's political community is after all constituted and traversed by the (political) truth, making his community a community of truth and his politics a politics of truth. To foreground the import of truth in the Badiouean politics, I further contend, is to maintain the validity of "community" against discourses that assert its impossibility.

To clarify my thesis, the paper will consist of four parts. The first section copes with Badiou's review of the several accounts that put into question the possibility of community and probes into his consequent concern about community as a valid name for politics. The second part explores Badiou's formulation of the truth procedure and explains his politics as a politics of truth. Based upon this understanding, the paper then broaches the nature of his political imagination and thereby justifies communism as the core of his politics. In conclusion, I will return to Badiou's crisis of confidence regarding the pertinence of community to politics and demonstrate how his later resumption of the faith in the collective form of politics helps to nullify his earlier doubts and the discourses exalting the impossibility of community.

KEY WORDS: Badiou, politics, community, truth

摘 要

對於「共同體」(community)一詞,巴迪烏似乎顯露 出種種的懷疑與保留。一方面,他在〈哲學與政治〉 (―Politics and Philosophy‖)一文中說到,當代的政治經濟 論述企圖否認「共同體」的有效性,使得巴迪烏認為「共 同體」與「共群」辭彙已無法涵蓋他的政治企圖。然而, 在《論薩柯奇》(The Meaning of Sarkozy)一書中,巴迪烏 卻再三強調「唯有共同體的命題才是正確的命題」(97)。 本文的基本論調是,共同體一詞實乃巴迪烏的政治想像 的核心概念,不可偏廢。同時,在政治與共同體之間, 必須還要加上「真理」這個關鍵詞才能窮盡其政治構想; 亦即,政治、真理、與共同體這三者在巴迪烏的政治藍 圖之中,實乃缺一不可。全文分成四部分。第一部分重 探巴迪烏在〈哲學與政治〉一文中所討論種種將共同體視 為不可能的論述,並說明巴迪烏對「共同體」一詞的政治 適切性所呈現的保留態度。第二部分則闡明巴迪烏真理 過程(truth procedure)的構想,釐清政治與真理的關係, 藉此廓清巴迪烏的政治學如何做為一種真理政治學 (politics of truth)。接著,本文探討巴迪烏的真理政治學 如何以共同體作為根基,證明其真理政治想像必然同時 是一種共同體的想像。最後,立基於此一共同體政治學, 本文則企圖解決早期巴迪烏對於共同體的所產生的信心 危機,並說明其政治思想如何能對抗將共同體視為不可能 的論述潮流。