At the heart of this discourse sits the problem that ethics of business anthropology risk becoming an oxymoron, and an impossibility. According to Alain Badiou, what we have come to understand by ethics are nothing more than blind belief in universal humanitarian rights, namely those that we invoke to fight the evil that befall on those less fortunate. Badiou aims with his philosophy to work against this idea. He wants to shows us that ethics, understood as a universal principle, is nothing but ideology. In opposition to a general consensus of humanitarian rights at the crux of ethical concerns, Badiou suggests a radically different meaning:
“<i>[...] Rather than link [ethics] to abstract categories (Man or Human, Right or Law, the Other...), it should be referred back to individual situations. Rather than reduce it to an aspect of pity for victims, it should become the enduring maxim of singular processes. Rather than make of it merely the province of conservatism with a good conscience, it should concern the destiny of truths, in the plural.</i>”
For Badiou, an ethics founded on principles of humanitarian concern, protection and security, is fundamentally a nihilism of thought, and more crucially it signifies a submission to animality and a rejection of our uniquely human capabilities to resist subjectification to roles of victim, and to push and work <i>against</i> sedimented possibilities.
For Badiou the understanding of ethics that we have come to accept as natural is suspended between a kind of Kantian ethics of reason (a universalism based on the idea of human rights) and Levinasian relativism (‘difference’ oriented concern for the Other).