The Obliteration of Truth by Management: Badiou, St. Paul and the question of economic managerialism in education



This paper considers the questions that Badiou's theory poses to the culture of economic managerialism within education. His argument that radical change is possible, for people and the situations they inhabit, provides a stark challenge to the stifling nature of much current educational debate. In Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism, Badiou describes the current universalism of capitalism, monetary homogeneity and the rule of the count. Badiou argues that the politics of identity are all too easily subsumed by the prerogatives of the marketplace and unable to present, therefore, a critique of the status quo. These processes are, he argues, without the potential for truth. What are the implications of Badiou's claim that education is the arranging of ‘the forms of knowledge in such a way that truth may come to pierce a hole in them’ (Badiou, 2005, p. 9)? I will argue that Badiou's theory opens up space for a kind of thinking about education that resists its colonisation by the cultures of management and marketisation and leads educationalists to consider the emancipatory potential of education in a refreshing new light.