We have noted the OWS treks into philosophy, and before this with figures such as Badiou. We shellacked the latter’s book on Category theory (see our archives) but that was misleading: we should be taking note of any and all French philosophy developments on the left, in the tradition since the French Revolution.
There is a problem that philosophy will confuse and retard the left. The marxist tradition is the prime culprit: I am getting worried: I think dialectics and dialectical materialism so confused the left that it has made revolution a problem. To me, Last and First Men shows the way out by endrunning philosophy: we have Kant, then Hegel, then not much of anything. So it is not an issue to cashier ‘laterly come lately philosophy’ after the early modern.
The tactic with the always elegant French Leftist philosophy is to make a garland of its many fascinating moments, and bypass the encyclopedia jawboning of jargon.
The Rebirth of History: Times of Riots and Uprisings by Alain Badiou // Amazon, is a good start for such a garland.
This is not a simple question: philosophy is glorious until bad philosophy sinks your understanding for good. We need small does of philosophy and from there a practical approach to questions on the left. Schopenhauer detested Hegel and protesting the way he had ravished the thinking of a whole generation. And that overflowed into Marx. Very smart that man, but he precipitated the Schopenhauer effect into marxists to come.
The communist left should never allow dialectic out of the history classroom, and never use it for practical analysis. The amount of bad thinking here is endless.
Just to make you cringe: bad philosophy is a tool for stupid people to disguise themselves with impressive jargon.
Try that with Kant and you will be struck dumb. So Let’s sideline philosophy. Last and First Men puts philosophy in an appendix, and then only with one paragraph of Kant. I thought about that paragraph for a decade, with a good result.