This "pure politics" of Alain Badiou, Jacques Rancière, and Etienne Balibar, more Jacobin than Marxist, shares with its great opponent, the Anglo-Saxon Cultural Studies and their focus on the struggles for recognition, the degradation of the sphere of economy. That is to say, what all the new French (or French oriented) theories of the Political, from Balibar through Ranciere and Badiou to Laclau and Mouffe, aim at is - to put it in the traditional philosophical terms - the reduction of the sphere of economy (of the material production) to an "ontic" sphere deprived of the "ontological" dignity. Within this horizon, there is simply no place for the Marxian "critique of political economy": the structure of the universe of commodities and capital in Marx's Capital is NOT just that of a limited empirical sphere, but a kind of socio-transcendental a priori, the matrix which generates the totality of social and political relations. The relationship between economy and politics is ultimately that of the well-known visual paradox of the "two faces or a vase": one either sees the two faces or a vase, never both of them - one has to make a choice. In the same way, one either focuses on the political, and the domain of economy is reduced to the empirical "servicing of goods," or one focuses on economy, and politics is reduced to a theater of appearances, to a passing phenomenon which will disappear with the arrival of the developed Communist (or technocratic) society, in which, as already Engels put it, the "administration of people" will vanish in the "administration of things."
The "political" critique of Marxism (the claim that, when one reduces politics to a "formal" expression of some underlying "objective" socio-economic process, one loses the openness and contingency constitutive of the political field proper) should thus be supplemented by its obverse: the field of economy is IN ITS VERY FORM irreducible to politics - this level of the FORM of economy (of economy as the determining FORM of the social) is what French "political post-Marxists" miss when they reduce economy to one of the positive social spheres. In Badiou, the root of this notion of pure "politics," radically autonomous with regard to history, society, economy, State, even Party, is his opposition between Being and Event - it is here that Badiou remains "idealist." From the materialist standpoint, an Event emerges "out of nowhere" within a specific constellation of Being - the space of an Event is the minimal "empty" distance between two beings, the "other" dimension which shines through this gap.
Slavoj Zizek, The Parallax View