Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Jeebus Horses | Who Likes the Youth Vote? »

Monday, November 12, 2007

Policy of Truth

posted by on November 12 at 12:13 PM

Alain Badiou breaks it down like this: democracy, philosophy, and politics. Democracy makes philosophy possible. Without democracy there can be no thought. And thought is the search for truths, universal truths. As for politics, something bad happens here for philosophy. Because philosophy is about truths—locating and articulating them—it finds the environment of politics hostile to its ends. Politics is the area of action, of translating thought into actuality. But politics (the area of action) is not the area of (or dominated by) truths, but about (and dominated by) opinions and persuasion—doxa and peithein.

An example: Kucinich’s recent resolution to impeach Dick Cheney for grossly exaggerating the danger that Iraq posed to American security. Though having its source in a Democratic representative, Kucinich, the Republicans promoted it; they wanted the Democrats to vote on the resolution, to take an official position on the matter—impeach for Cheney or don’t impeach Cheney. The Democrats were able to kill (or park) the resolution with a 218 party-line vote. Why did the Democrats not act on the resolution? Because of public opinion.

Such a clash would have forced Democrats to choose between their liberal base, which might cheer a Cheney impeachment, and a broader electorate…

The politicians were worried about opinions and not about the truth, which is this: Cheney fabricated “a threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to justify the war in Iraq.”

“Impeachment is not on our agenda,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). “We have some major priorities. We need to focus on those.”

The area of politics has been hostile to philosophy, and its project and policy of truths, since the death of Socrates.

RSS icon Comments


Without democracy there can be no thought? What are you thinking now, then?

Posted by Amelia | November 12, 2007 12:31 PM

Philosophy is not about truth, and never has been. Philosophy is about getting the echoes off of imaginary walls to ring in phase with each other. Truth, if it exists, lies far outside of anything philosophy has ever touched.

Posted by Fnarf | November 12, 2007 12:47 PM

democracy is overrated if it leads to the kind of thoughts you produce chaz.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | November 12, 2007 12:50 PM

Democracy is overated in any case. It is a classic example of a Veblen good. Desirable because of deceptive cachet marketing.

Unlike my loafers, which are desirable because they are hand-tooled leather.

Posted by gucci clad marxist | November 12, 2007 1:10 PM

FUCK IT ALL!!! I am going to vote Republican!! Hell, let's make America a militant police state brimming with unbridled facism NOW!!!!

I am sick of the Democrats caving! I want to vote for WINNERS!!!! Who cares if they cheat to win. I WANT TO WIN!!!! VOTE GOP!!!! And HEIL BUSH!!!

Posted by Just Me | November 12, 2007 1:45 PM

Philosophy = love of knowledge.

I believe that lesson was covered in day one of the only philosophy class I took in college.

Posted by keshmeshi | November 12, 2007 1:51 PM

You'll see your problems multiply if you continually decide to faithfully pursue the policy of truth.

Posted by Abby | November 12, 2007 4:27 PM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).