From Hegel to Gezi

“This idea of revolution as event is perpetuated in a new guise in the work of Badiou and Žižek, who focus on the event as a moment of rupture allowing possibilities to emerge that did not exist before. In this view, and somewhat simplistically put, the Egyptian uprising that started on January 25, 2011 created possibilities that did not exist on January 24. But while the notion of the revolutionary event as a “rupture” is potentially very useful — and we will return to it later — to equate “the revolution” as such with the event would be highly problematic. After all, such a conflation only makes sense for the type of political program that stakes its entire raison d’être upon the singular insurrectionary event leading to the seizure of state power (admittedly Badiou is more subtle on this: see his latest piece on Turkey, for instance). The problem with the conceptualization of revolution as event is that it ultimately hinges upon a mystification of the notion of possibility. Where did the new possibility itself emerge from? If it arose from the moment of rupture created by the popular insurrection, then was it not always-already a latent possibility? If popular insurrections allow new possibilities to emerge, is that not the same as saying that those possibilities had so far simply remained hidden from view as the multitude’s un-actualized potentiality for revolt?” ~ Jerome Roos, Autonomy: an idea whose time has come


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