‘The True Life’ by Alain Badiou (PDF)

“A true house is something you can return to when the adventure of thought and action has made you leave it and almost forget about it. A house you stay in forever is just a voluntary prison. When something important happens in life it is always like a departure, an uprooting, directed toward whatever the true life is for you. Anabasis is the idea that you’re disoriented but that you’ll move toward yourself, find your true self within this disorientation and this departure, and, together with all humanity, create the stages of an egalitarian symbolization.”

~ Alain Badiou, The True Life, p.46

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I’m 79 years old. So why on earth should I concern myself with speaking about youth?‘ This is the question with which renowned French philosopher Alain Badiou begins his passionate plea to the young.

Today young people, at least in the West, are on the brink of a new world. With the decline of old traditions, they now face more choices than ever before. Yet powerful forces are pushing them in dangerous directions, into the vortex of consumerism or into reactive forms of traditionalism. This is a time when young people must be particularly attentive to the signs of the new and have the courage to venture forth and find out what they’re capable of, without being constrained by the old prejudices and hierarchical ideas of the past. And if the aim of philosophy is to corrupt youth, as Socrates was accused of doing, this can mean…

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