A Tunisian Renaissance – Interview with Mehdi Belhaj Kacem here (thanks to Clive at Pop Theory for the link). MBK is French-Tunisian, and offers some critical thoughts on French intellectuals and the revolution:
This is a fact that the Badious and the Zizeks of the world mustn’t make us forget, and especially not a Tunisian in 2011: the Stalinist and Maoist regimes were thoroughly abominable. A Chinese woman whose family actively participated in the Cultural Revolution told me that for her it was worse than Auschwitz. As far as that’s concerned, one really has to beware of the shortcuts one takes, playing at a trendy leftist in the comfort of a bourgeois academic apartment. The “Badiou affair” may very well blow up in our faces just as much as the “Heidegger affair.” What I’ve read from Badiou and Zizek on the Tunisian revolution is absolutely useless. Tunisian philosophers have told me they regret that a Deleuze, a Foucault, a Derrida isn’t still around. They would have found the right, resonant words to take the measure of the event. I find the silence of people like Nancy and Rancière regrettable. Their sensitivity is totally right for what has happened.
The whole thing is worth a look, though I couldn’t vouch for the translation – anyone know the link to the original?
[Update, in comments Antoine provides the French original of part of this interview, which is here. Thanks Antoine!]