Skip to main content
The Chiasm of Revolution: Badiou, Lacan, and Lefèbvre
Symptom 10 (2016)
  • Allan C Pero
n summer 1968, Henri Lefèbvre hastily composed a text to address, in part, the event of May 1968 called L’irruption de Nanterre au sommet. (Unlike much of his other work, which still awaits translation, this text was just as hastily translated into English under the title The Explosion: Marxism and the French Upheaval/Revolution and was published in 1969). One of the interesting elements of this text is that he begins with a discussion of the relation of situation to event. He contends that “Events belie forecasts; to the extent that events are historic, they upset calculations. The may even overturn strategies that provided for their possible occurrence. Because of their conjectural nature, events upset the structures which made them possible” (Explosion 7).
Although Events can be “reabsorbed into the general situation” they also work to “reactivate the movement of both thought and practice”(Explosion 8). In reading this statement, I was struck by the theoretical consistency of this aspect of Lefèbvre’s thought with that of Alain Badiou; both thinkers are on the Left, both have an ambivalent relationship to the French Communist Party, and both were taken for a time with Maoist activism. [1] But perhaps most importantly, both figures are fascinated by the relation of situation to the event. 
Publication Date
Citation Information
Allan C Pero. "The Chiasm of Revolution: Badiou, Lacan, and Lefèbvre" Symptom 10 (2016)
Available at:
Creative Commons license
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons CC_BY-ND International License.