Abstract

Alain Badiou refers to his translation of Plato's Republic as a “hypertranslation.” In Plato's Republic: A Dialogue in 16 Chapters (2012), Badiou contemporizes Plato's Republic, and reinvents Socrates into a Maoist philosopher who constantly quotes Mao. This paper conducts a textual analysis of Badiou's references to Mao and Maoist Revolution and discusses these quotations as part of his philosophical speculation. Badiou's deployment of Mao reveals his post-structuralist understanding of revolution, echoing Lacan's notion of the forever-negating “void” and Foucault's “thinking from the outside.” By contemporizing Plato's Republic with a Maoist Socrates, Badiou claims that the essence and relevancy of Mao's Revolution lies in its consistent defiance of any institutional stabilization, and in its incessant drive for social, political, and spiritual renewal.

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