Love without risks is like war without deaths – but, today, love is threatened by an alliance of liberalism and hedonism. Caught between consumerism and casual sexual encounters devoid of passion, love – without the key ingredient of chance – is in danger of withering on the vine.
In In Praise of Love, Alain Badiou takes on contemporary ‘dating agency’ conceptions of love that come complete with zero-risk insurance – like US zero-casualty bombs. He develops a new take on love that sees it as an adventure, and an opportunity for re-invention, in a constant exploration of otherness and difference that leads the individual out of an obsession with identity and self.
Liberal, libertine and libertarian reductions of love to instant pleasure and non-commitment bite the dust as Badiou invokes a supporting cast of thinkers from Plato to Lacan via Karl Marx to form a new narrative of romance, relationships and sex – a narrative that does not fear love.