In a world such as ours, completely dominated and directed by the free market and the whims of its hidden élite architects, we eventually come to the realisation that within globalisation we are trapped in a single party state. It is for this reason that there is no substantive difference between the governmentality of England and Ireland, between Germany and the United States. Even within democratic nation states the constraints of the single party state remain; democracy and the entire electoral system are reduced to a sham. Alain Badiou puts it nicely: “The electoral process is incorporated into a state form, that of capitalo-parliamentarianism, appropriate for the maintenance of the established order, and consequently serves a conservative function.”

Here in Ireland we can take something from this reasoning, especially during this present governmental interregnum. The media has made such a hoo-hah about us not having a government that the suffix “…if we ever get one” has become the new norm in public discussion of the government. Of course we have a government, and neither this gap in the officiality of government nor the transition from one party to another will change the fact that Ireland is a constituent of this global single party state one iota. It is for this very reason that whatever we are offered, be it Fianna Fáil (the right), Fine Gael (further right), or the now defunct Labour Party (the centre right), it will only ever be variations of the same.

The underlying rationale is, of course, that of the single party: since all accept the logic of the existing capitalist order, market economy and so forth, why maintain the fiction of opposing parties?
– Alain Badiou

No matter what shade of government we end up with, as is the case all over the world, it will be constituted solely on its servility to the demands of global capital and the neoliberal project, with all of the social, political, and economic ramifications this implies. With the collapse of the failed Communism of the statist Soviet Union and the successful co-opting of the People’s Republic of China the last state form alternative to Capitalist homogenisation evaporated, and now the politico-economic machine is working to destroy the very idea of an alternative. So the task we are faced with is nothing short of a revolution; the complete turning of our imaginings and constructions of government and democracy.

How we go about this must of necessity begin with a critique of the contradictions of the prevailing ideology. For starters we can recognise that the thinking of globalisation itself is disordered; Governments simultaneously preach global unity in economics while annulling it with their language and political thought. How can we have a global market in a global political structure that is incapable of imagining the world in terms outside of ‘the West and the rest?’ At the same time as it moves wealth, goods, and services from exploited to exploiter nations it constructs barriers to stop human beings following the same silk roads. It is within these cracks that the thought and action of resistence must begin, and from here the turnabout must happen.

Badiou, Alain. “The communist hypothesis.” New Left Review 49 (2008): 29-42.

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