The Reading Group of the Camden Philosophical Society will meet on Tuesday, August 9, 4:00-6:00 pm in the Picker Room. The group will extend its series on the Crisis of Modernity into the contemporary arena with a discussion of works by three 21st century thinkers, Alain Badiou in discussion with Marcel Gauchet and, separately, Murray Bookchiny. All are welcome.
The readings are designed to present differing visions of a new and original political approach that could develop in the future to challenge the prevailing capitalist-supportive model and break out of the constraints that system imposes on how people see the world around them. Those constraints have been a key recurring theme during the society’s Crisis of Modernity discussions. For a link to the readings, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The readings cover a series of debates between two of France’s most prominent “public intellectuals,” philosopher and ontologist Alain Badiou and historian and philosopher Marcel Gauchet. Badiou argues for the need to revive the “communist hypothesis” as the only real alternative to “parliamentary capitalism,” to paraphrase the introduction to What Is To Be Done: A Dialogue on Communism, Capitalism and the Future of Democracy. Gauchet, in contrast, has “dedicated himself to the rediscovery of the political and of democracy, in opposition to the hegemony of Marxism…”
Bookchin, originally a New Yorker who later moved to Vermont, advocates a different if sometimes overlapping approach as a new philosophy of the political left: “Communalism and its concrete political dimension, libertarian municipalism,” to quote the introduction to a compilation of essays he wrote in the years just prior to his death in 2006 that were published in 2015 under the title The Next Revolution: Popular Assemblies and the Promise of Direct Democracy.