Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Sense Certainty and Terror

VYSHINSKY: Accused Bukharin, were you with Khodjayev at his country place?

Bukharin: I was.

VYSHINSKY: Did you carry on a conversation?

Bukharin: I carried on a conversation and kept my head on my shoulders all the time, but it does not follow from this that I dealt with the things of which Khodjayev just spoke; this was the first conversation...

VYSHINSKY: It is of no consequence whether it was the first or not the first. Do you confirm that there was such a conversation?

Bukharin: Not such a conversation, but a different one, and also secret.

VYSHINSKY: I am not asking you about conversations in general, but about this conversation.

Bukharin: In Hegel's Logic the word "this" is considered to be the most difficult word....

VYSHINSKY: I ask the Court to explain to the accused Bukharin that he is here not in the capacity of a philosopher, but a criminal, and he would do better to refrain from talking here about Hegel's philosophy, it would be better first of all for Hegel's philosophy....

Bukharin: A philosopher may be a criminal.

VYSHINSKY: Yes, that is to say, those who imagine themselves to be philosophers turn out to be spies. Philosophy is out of place here. I am asking you about that conversation of which Khodjayev just spoke; do you confirm it or do you deny it?

Bukharin: I do not understand the word "that." We had a conversation at the country house.

(As quoted and discussed in Alain Badiou, Théorie du sujet, pp. 329-30.)


Blogger Frank Partisan said...

Really interesting post, about an intellectually challenging and principled revolutionary.

6:02 PM  

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