Resistance and the Politics of Truth

Foucault, Deleuze, Badiou

`The truth will set you free' is a maxim central to both theories and practices of resistance. Nonetheless, it is a claim that has come under fire from an array of critical perspectives in the second half of the 20th century. Iain MacKenzie analyses two of the most compelling of these perspectives: the poststructuralist politics of truth formulated by Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze and the alternative post-foundational account of truth and militancy developed by Alain Badiou. He argues that a critically oriented version of poststructuralism provides both an understanding of the deeply entwined nature of truth and power and a compelling account of the creative practices that may sustain resistance.

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15 March 2018, 148 pages
ISBN: 978-3-8376-3907-0

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Iain MacKenzie

Iain MacKenzie, University of Kent, United Kingdom

... mit Iain MacKenzie

1. Why a book on this subject?

Two things have always interested me: first, that truth is a thing of this world, deeply enmeshed in relationships of power and, second, that we are often motivated to resist forms of domination by claiming to have the truth by our side. How can both of these be conceptualized in ways that mean they are not in contradiction with each other without simply appealing to a higher order truth (about our nature as human beings, for example)?

2. What relevance does this subject have in the current research debates?

As far as I am aware, this is the first book to critique directly post-foundational political theory from an avowedly poststructuralist perspective, while emphasizing the deep connections between these two positions. It also speaks to those interested in resistance, generally, by offering a way of conceptualizing practices of resistance as political events, rather than simply as expressions of rights, interests or identities.

3. What new perspectives does your book open up?

There are two overlapping aspects in this regard: there is a claim about the nature of critique as a form of learning how to resist the politics of truth and there is also a claim about the role that can be played by art as a practice of resistance that expresses this idea of critique. While it will need further work to develop these ideas, I do argue that we can both ground critique in an immanent way and enact forms of resistance that do not jeopardize, indeed that support, this immanent approach to critique.

4. Who would you preferably like to discuss your book with?

I hope the book is of interest to contemporary political theorists working on post-foundational and poststructuralist perspectives, but I also hope that it will be of use to those working at the interface of creative practices and resistance, in that it seeks to provide a way of thinking about the critical value of socially-engaged and activist art practices. Generally, this book continues my work on critique and I do hope that it will spur further conversations with all those interested in this central concept of modern European philosophy.

5. Your book in only one sentence:

Perhaps it is best expressed by the closing slogan: learn the art of resistance!

Iain MacKenzie
Book title
Resistance and the Politics of Truth Foucault, Deleuze, Badiou
transcript Verlag
kart., Klebebindung
Commodity Group
POL010000 PHI019000
Release date
15 March 2018
Political Philosophy, Political Studies, Sociology
Poststructuralism, Post-Foundationalism, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Alain Badiou, Politics, Political Theory, Political Philosophy, Post-structuralism, Political Science

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