“Is the election of Trump a true disaster, the beginning of the end of democratic freedom, the triumph of racism, sexism, and social violence? Certainly it is a dark day for freedom, justice, and equality. I understand that, on the level of public opinion, many people feel anxious and depressed, that they are afraid for the future of the United States and finally of the world itself. I understand too that they are angry, that they oppose everything that the president represents for them: violence, vulgarity, corruption, and contempt for the difficult lives of millions of people. I am on the side of revolts in the streets by thousands of young men and women. But, in some sense, we must affirm that Donald Trump in himself is something obscure and not really interesting. We must get beyond our anxiety and reach a point of calm, of determination, of lucidity. After all, Trump is like a blemish on the face of the contemporary political world. Trump must be interpreted as an ugly symptom of the global situation, not only of the United States but of the world, the world in which we are living today. So I propose to take the election of Donald Trump as the point of departure for a meditation concerning our world today. I propose, if you like, to reconstruct Trump as a philosophical category.”
Alain Badiou is a philosopher, playwright, and novelist, and an Emeritus Professor at the École Normale Supérieure, Paris
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