Watch: Alain Badiou Interviewed on BBC During Peak of Economic Crisis

In this tense 2009 interview from BBC’s “Hard Talk,” Alain Badiou talks with Stephen Sackur about the economic crisis, the French political situation, and then-president Nicolas Sarkozy.

The interviewer is mostly hostile to Badiou, asking pointed questions about the failures of Soviet communism and calling Badiou’s description of Sarkozy as the “rat man” anti-semitic.

Badiou later clarifies (and acknowledges a bit of a language barrier) that the “rat man” was an allusion to the Pied Piper. Sarkozy, for Badiou, was leading on the left in a manner similar to the children’s story.

In response to the failure of communism, Badiou asks “is the failure of the idea itself? I don’t think it is.”

Watch part one and two below.

Part two.