Judith Balso Agrees: Politics without the State

In her contribution to The Idea of Communism book, Judith Balso (whose work I was not familiar with–that will change) agrees with Badiou (see my last post) that we must forge ahead politically without the State.

Politics…must be organized without reference to a party.  The Stalinist party-State and the democratic State parties are proof of the fact that party fuses with State, and politics grows corrupt and criminal when it fuses with the State.

She admires the Shanghai Commune precisely because in it

all links between the working class and the socialist State that was supposed to express their interests were broken; as they were between the workers and the party supposed to represent them.

Similarly, Paris 1968

separated and distinguished workers and the Communist Party, workers and trade unionism, and opened up the question of the political capacity of the workers…

We can think of other cases as well, the Paris Commune, or Hungary 1956, or Argentina in 2001…

Badiou’s Communism: No to the Party, No to Anarchism

The picture of Zizek is just for laughs.  Badiou says in The Communist Hypothesis (p. 155):

We know today that all emancipatory politics must put an end to the model of the party, or of multiple parties, in order to affirm a politics ‘without party’, and yet at the same time without lapsing into the figure of anarchism, which is never been anything else than the vain critique, or the double, or the shadow, of the communist parties, just as the black flag is only the double or the shadow of a red flag.

I think Badiou is outlining an important and very difficult political problem here, one for which the solution is not immediately apparent.  I agree fully on the party, but I think he is too dismissive of the black flag…