America prides itself on being the oldest continuous democracy in the world. But criticisms of the America system are widespread. Our system is tailored to narrow interests and wealthy elites.
Alain Badiou, one of France's premiere philosophers and public intellectuals, recently wrote a column in Le Monde commenting on the current French election. After he runs through characteristics and relative merits of the top four contenders, he comes to an ironic conclusion: there is no reason to vote.
Badiou believes that voting within the capitalist system simply re-enforces that system's conservative and oppressive hegemony. Instead, Badiou argues for a "re-invention" of politics. For Badiou, this means resurrecting communism as a viable alternative to modern Western conservative-liberal politics.
Read David Broder's translation of Badiou's argument on Verso Book's website: http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/3167-vote-or-reinvent-politics
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Thoreau, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King all engaged in civil disobedience, and are widely admired for doing so. But how can democratic society function if each person's conscience has to be satis