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2010 | 58 | 6 | 919-931
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Evropa vyrostla ve lži

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Europe has grown up in a lie
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At a time when global capitalism has no defensible and impressive ideas to offer, Alain Badiou, the French left-wing philosopher, has turned to historical thinkers who aimed at great and revolutionary visions. The apostle Paul is numbered among them. The thoughts presented in the text of this article go beyond a mere review of the slim, but highly instructive, book A. Badiou, Saint Paul: the Founder of Universalism. With his testimony that Christ means the downfall of the wall that divides, Paul introduced universalism. Badiou, as an atheist, reads Paul in more than just the religious sense, even if he is thoroughly at home in his theology. At the same time, however, he reinterprets Paul’s ideas with a transformed purpose. The fascinating new vision, the new revolutionary possibility, the horizon of a new age universalism is, in Paul, built on the testimony: „God raised Christ from the dead.“ This testimony stands and falls by faith, by the believing subject. Paul’s subjective proclamation founds a new age in freedom from sin, death and the law. This vision of a new world does not require the underpinning of religious or philosophical argument. Paul’s faith is a thoroughgoing faith as, to a certain extent, we see later in Pascal, Luther or Kierkegaard. Lenin was also a thinker of great, of hitherto unthinkable, possibility the abandonment of private property. He too founded this vision of a new world on the grand rising up of the subject. Lenin’s texts are still today an interesting and fascinating read, just like Pavel’s epistles. At this point I make some critical comments: Is it possible to found an ethically impressive vision on lie and self-deception, that Christ was raised from the dead or that the dictatorship of the proletariat will bring about a just society? The thesis that Paul founded universalism is also thoroughly problematic. He proclaimed universalism, but immediately in the next breath retreated from it. At Ga 3, 28 Paul does declare that „all are one in Christ Jesus“, but, you will notice, in Christ Jesus those who do not share a belief in him are excluded from the universalism. He proclaimed universalism, but in his next move retreated from it: „Don’t harness yourself to the foreign yoke together with the unbelievers!“ What has justice in common with injustice? And what kind of coexistence can light have with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and Belial? (II. K 6, 14-16) In the same way the Russian revolution drew an uncompromising dividing line between those who are „ours“ and those „who are against us“. Great visions are usually founded on illusions or lies. Multiculturalism has also been shown to be an illusion.
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  • Filosofický časopis, redakce, Filosofický ústav AV ČR, v.v.i., Jilská 1, 110 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic
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