Badiou’s Revision of Sartre’s Fused Group

Daniel Tutt

In his late Marxist work, Critique of Dialectical Reason, Sartre was pessimistic about revolutionary politics. He theorized the subject of history in the figure of the group in revolt, what he termed the ‘fused group’. The fused group, through their acts of negation (revolt), develop a new interior, untranscedable position. In a Lacanian sense, Sartre’s fused group is able to persist without the big Other. They have, as Sartre would say, dissolved the inert being of alienated social existence.

In the fused group, each member inhabits the role of what Sartre calls the third party, escaping the institutional inertia and transcending (Sartre’s words) ordinary social being. I read this as an ontological change which starts a new dialectic, what he calls the constituted dialectic based in a resurgence of a new knowledge of being. The dialectic that the fused group unleashes brings the subject back into the world, a move which was counter to the dominant…

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