Alain Badiou and Patience

As a follow up to my last post on Badiou, I figured I should comment on his recent essay, “The Communist Idea and the Question of Terror” in The Idea of Communism 2 (2013). While Badiou may be the philosopher of communist miracles, he apparently also seems to be an advocate for patience concerning the arrival of these “Events.” In the essay, Badiou addresses the controversy of whether or not there necessarily exists a relationship between communism and terror. Badiou attributes at least some of the historical appearances of terror during revolutionary efforts to impatience. As a counter example, the Chinese revolution is explained in terms of military strategy and timing: “The Chinese revolution, on the contrary, was bound up with the concept of ‘protracted war’. It was all about process, not sudden armed takeover” (8). I agree with Badiou that terror need not be associated with revolution, but I don’t know enough about the Chinese revolution to judge its success.

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