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Department of English, NTNU


This paper discusses the modalities of emancipation in contemporary theoretical discourses and shows that the persistent critique of the figure of the Two is problematic because it relies on a faulty assumption that a dualistic structure is necessarily metaphysical and therefore unfitting for the discourse of emancipation. My analysis draws on the works of Alain Badiou and Frantz Fanon in hopes of demonstrating the possibility of a non-metaphysical framing of resistance in terms of the Two. Both Badiou and Fanon affirm the prescriptive function of politics and insist that genuine change or decolonization must be of the order of production. For both, the prescriptive function of politics is structured in binary terms, except that its binarism is figured as a subjective Two rather than an objective Two. In this newly configured space of prescriptive politics, political struggle is able to redetermine the initial determination, thereby changing the representational regime governing the world. In the final analysis, to avoid the political ineffectiveness intrinsic to the action/reaction model of resistance, their solution is not to invent a third term but to think the beyond from within theTwo, provided that this Two is radically reconceptualized as the subjective Two.