164 Comments

  1. Posted April 20, 2009 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    There’s an Alan “BAD-YOU” book to the
    Dr W.THEAUX home and the woman who work in the hospital library “Sancte MARIA” (43) is hungry, because after his travel in China the doctor William T. don’t want to give back the bouquin:

    ” THEORIE DU SUJET” !!!!!!!?

  2. themi
    Posted April 21, 2009 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    A great post which raises some overdue questions. Lacan’s 1977 disclosure that psychoanalysis is not a science but a delusion is smashing stuff, although belated. However, the intriguing attempt then to absorb this disclosure back into 1960s comments about science being some kind of delusion as well, and hence the same as psychoanalysis, seems a bit post-hoc and contradictory. For in 1977 Lacan is clearly saying that psychoanalysis is NOT a science because it IS a delusion. Besides, science has no real relation to paranoid psychosis, and it’s no point moralising science for its success: it deserves its high ranking, or hegemony if we like. Only an anti-empiricist suturing or reduction of science could lead one to confuse it with paranoia and psychosis. All Schreber’s predictions are false; whilst science makes testable predictions which pass the test and come true. Technology, i.e., applied science, proves this every minute of everyday. There’s something to Faraday, Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, Harvey, etc, because electrical appliances are working, planes and satellites make their destinations, bridges and buildings stay up, and heart surgery saves lives, etc. Scientists have not foreclosed the Thing, they have overcome it, by and large. Likewise with much of genuine critical Freud scholarship, of which Macmillan, Grunbaum, Esterson are part of along with Cioffi, Crews, Sulloway among others. Their claim is not wholly that psychoanalysis is unfalsifiable, i.e., untestable, but that it is purposefully avoiding such requirements, following in Freud’s footsteps, by claiming to “discover” what they “imagine”, and by imagining then ways to immunise themselves from all which might reveal this. The profile of such a psychological type is already there in Nietzsche’s analysis of Christianism in his 1888 “The Anti-Christ”. And if Nietzsche had lived to see the 20th century, he would have undoubtedly said, as did Lacan himself, that like Christianity, psychoanalysis could only ever have arisen from Jewish soil. A better genealogy of knowledge comes from seeing the emergence of science and rationality from pre-Socratic philosophy, what Nietzsche calls the real philosophy of the Greeks, which was forced into slumber for a while by Christian takes on Platonism, but then reemerged in the renaissance and revolutionary enlightenment after Aquinas and Augustine were better deposed.

  3. Michael Zunenshine
    Posted April 23, 2009 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    I am drawn to the idea that the perverse core of fascist domination is unconditional love. This strictly two-way relationship between ruler and ruled adheres to the Lacanian notion of Imaginary identification. The “Fritzl family” remained in the dark isolation of their basement away from the official recognition of the outside public, or Symbolic order. They had their own language. The loved ones must submit to total domination, while the loving father must not hold back any of his demands from being satisfied on his subjects. I say “demands” instead of “desires” for the latter must be mediated through public sanction.
    Normally, as the teenage girl matures, she leaves the imaginary comfort of her family home in order to compete and sell herself on the democratic market of courtship. No longer is the father the ultimate male-figure but must now be replaced with different but equal candidates from the wider symbolic sphere. And so, isn’t fascism, especially Nazism, not in a sense a stubborn attempt to refuse to grow up, to accept competition and equality as the symbolic standard of normal society? While Britain and France were democratizing and liberalizing, in a sense, accepting their compromisingly competitive position as just a nation among others—i.e. maturing, Germany and Austria refused this symbolic castration and regressed to a former idealized form of pre-modern dualities: good vs. evil, domination vs. submission, love vs. hate, etc. So if authoritarian society is characterized by love and domination, then liberal democratic societies can be characterized by competition and compromise.
    Fritzl’s perverse fantasies were essentially then the refusal to let go, to compete as just a father against his daughter’s potential suitors, and to compromise his loving domination and his perverse jouissance to the castrating structure of free and equal men.

  4. Sean LeBas
    Posted April 23, 2009 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    And if in this new horizon of de-substantialized O, the psychotic requires being part of a mythic masterrace? That the (O)utsiders are less human? That the Market is rational? That the status quo is just? Then haven’t you managed to sustain the dangerously deluded ‘normal’ world maintained by the ego therapies: banal sinthomes in Boss suits?
    Isn’t there a structural flaw here?

  5. burk
    Posted April 24, 2009 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Mike, though you’ve already read this once, I’m reproducing it for the benefit of the public.

    What you are saying sounds like a sort of Freudian version of the 1960s Sonderweg thesis, which held that Germany underwent a perverse form of modernisation that ultimately produced Nazism. The theory was that Germany developed economically at an astonishing rate, but there was no concomitant social and political modernisation as in France and Britain.

    Apparently, as countries industrialise, the Bourgeois is supposed to rest control from the aristocracy and implement a liberal programme to reflect the changing nature of the economy [i.e. British and French revolutions]. But because German industrialisation was late, rapid and mostly done by the state, Germany was an economic powerhouse but with a Medieval government.

    This thesis was kind of taken apart by two British historians in the 1980s, though elements of it still survive. For example, and this is important for your argument, the 19th century German parliament never had anywhere near as much power as the British or French parliaments. So, whereas different sectors of British or French society were forced to compromise and moderate their views in the name of workable political solutions, this never happened in Germany – the different groups [and social classes] were free to be as extreme, to idealise and demonise each other, as they wanted, because it had no bearing on the political process anyway.

    Consequently, when democracy was finally ‘implemented’ in Germany, political activists were still used to thinking about things in black and white, utopian terms [something Melanie Klein would have described as the paranoid-schizoid developmental phase, something children must progress through before they become fully fledged adults]. I would argue that this inability to integrate good and bad is the central facet of the totalitarian mentality that proved so successful in Germany.

  6. Posted May 28, 2009 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    Well (first :) ).
    One point is not so false at all: in a regime which is kind of forced to place commissars around its people it is indeed the best to be the commissar self.

  7. Posted May 28, 2009 at 3:00 am | Permalink

    This public story circulating around the net is a symptom.
    Un symptôme encourageant… ;-)

  8. Posted May 28, 2009 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    What capital is there to be gained from such a pathetic fantasy? Is it still possible to economically and intellectually trade on this period in history? We are our own keepers, commissars of our own mind and memory…

  9. Bülent Somay
    Posted May 28, 2009 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    Thank God we have no thought police in the internet! As a result venomous gossip, unfounded rumor and blatant lying have their field day. I am wondering if I can have my 15 minutes of fame if I claimed Zizek has personally told me he was a personal advisor to Iosip Vissaryanovich himelf in his final days. Of course Zizek was only an infant then, but there is no knowing with these Stalinists!

  10. alice
    Posted May 28, 2009 at 3:34 am | Permalink

    It is a symptom, I agree, and a contagious one…
    the one to start the actual symptom was Simon Crichley a while ago, with his “violent thoughts about Zizek”
    do you have a name for it Christian Dubuls…? you know how symptoms get named

  11. PG
    Posted May 28, 2009 at 3:34 am | Permalink

    isn’t overidentification irony?
    irony aims to provoke consternation.

    the ‘true’ story has the structure of a joke,no? the structure of something that ‘Zizek’ might say…it is at that level that it could be ‘believable.’

  12. Posted May 28, 2009 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    “What capital is there to be gained from such a pathetic fantasy?”

    Yes, unfortunatly there is still, one at least can have some personal capital (=ego) from it. Additional there is still the possibility to either destroy ones personality (the imagined one) or to boost your own.

    A symptom, for sure, unsure is only the amount of the capital to gain – and on which side of the fence one is residing.

  13. Mark
    Posted May 28, 2009 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Is Slavoj becoming a liberal whiner?

  14. Posted May 28, 2009 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    I thought the exact same thing, PG.

  15. Posted May 28, 2009 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Is Ian Parker a neurology-behavioralist at Irvine, Ca.? Isn’t the Discourse Unit an assortment of cognitive behavioral and ego therapists?
    Isn’t this facetious, now squirmy tale their world projected: a structured joke! [The downward, central, counter-clockwise, circuitous flight away from S(barred A) to fantasy.]
    These desperate conformists can’t help flinging their Ratman florins all over the walls.
    And these are the Handicapper Generals in our Harrison Bergeron republic!
    Well, brother Zizek, metonynically: “You da Daddy!”

  16. Iso
    Posted May 28, 2009 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    there’s a sense of speed to the ‘a short clarification’, a kind of fastly movement, the ’short’ of it being further endowed in this regard by all we (well, I for one) have seen of zizek on you tube, on the sumptuous page–arms waving, frothing, delicious to look and hear speak zizek whose text races through the pages never once making you weary as do the other thinktankers–now, together, each–the rather obvious claim of some night call, the ’short(ness)’ of clarification, the exposure of the matter into the great big poisonous open we call the internet, all together serve to render the notion of some ‘frantic’ midnight call to some british pal very visual, very zizek.
    appealing.
    hilarious.

    I always enjoy zizek as a sort of visual/aural gift from the gods.

  17. Jonathan Mc Cormack
    Posted May 28, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Utterly absurd! Although I do have it on good faith that Zizek is actually the bastard love child of Stalin and Eva Braun…and Castro.
    ANyway, I believe making outrageous claims about Zizek to be a symptom of ATTENTION WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME, which is quite contagious among desperate intellectuals for whom the public has stopped taking seriously.

  18. Posted May 28, 2009 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Someone above wrote:

    Is Ian Parker a neurology-behavioralist at Irvine, Ca.? Isn’t the Discourse Unit an assortment of cognitive behavioral and ego therapists?

    No–he appears to be at Manchester Metropolitan University:
    http://www.discourseunit.com/arcp/editorial_board.htm

    I’m distressed by the circulation of this rumor. Part of me wonders whether it was designed to induce paranoia or was another kind of sadistic experiment. If so, then I dislike it even more.

  19. Posted May 28, 2009 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    My other thought about it is: Zizek has argued for a while that non-Eastern bloc people who accuse citizens of those countries of not doing enough to oppose the regime, etc., have no idea what they’re talking about, at best. My point being–so what if Zizek was the “Commissar”? I have enough trouble resisting the political forces in my own department…in the USA…

  20. Posted May 29, 2009 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    the mud reflects the extime of the locutor-this imbécile does not deserve any answer-
    all my support & banzaï !
    h de serrey
    philosophe (e.g.s.)
    analysand

  21. rivka warshawsky
    Posted May 29, 2009 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    I want to say to Slavoj that the slander against him arouses only the deepest disgust against the perpetrators, and that I trust that the solidity of his work and his many friends and students provide ample support and encouragement against this horrible campaign.
    Rivka Warshawsky

  22. MC
    Posted May 29, 2009 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    I’m teaching in Croatia as I write this, on sabbatical on my university back home. I have seen the remnants of the destruction of the latter decade. Perhaps Girard has it right: it’s all about the scapegoat. And one other thing: Zizek is now in the position of proving the untruth of a negative — the true realm of the Real. Whatever you think of him, this kind of idiotic character assassination does not address the substance of his thought — neither at its best nor at its worst.

  23. alice
    Posted May 30, 2009 at 12:23 am | Permalink


    Posteado por A.A.delaR. a jueves, mayo 28, 2009
    http://ampblog2006.blogspot.com

  24. Ian Parker
    Posted June 4, 2009 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Lighten up comrades! The piece Slavoj objects to, ‘Ambivalence and oscillation’, was posted on the http://www.nskstate.com site five years ago. Readers can decide for themselves whether that bit of gossip works as a joke and as hook into the discussion of connections between his work and the NSK project, or not. My ‘Slovene preface’, just published, spells out in more tedious detail my admiration for his work and political solidarity with him against seriously reactionary attempts to undermine it. An English version is available at http://zizekstudies.org/index.php/ijzs/article/view/34/250

  25. slavoj zizek
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, the only way I can understand Parker’s reply is to read it as an exemplary case of postmodern cynicism: he tries to sell as a harmless joke what the large majority of readers take as a serious insinuation. And why shouldn’t they? We are talking about the first paragraph of a long “serious” analysis of my alleged “ambiguities”: the story about my acting as a Communist party “commissar” denouncing colleagues is quoted as a starting point (or a “hook into”) the analysis of how my work relates to the NSK project. In short, Parker acts as a moral coward who wants to have a cake and eat it: to spread malicious lies about me while claiming they are innocent jokes exchanged among comrades. The least he should have learned from his visits to Slovenia is that here, stories about denouncing colleagues to the Communist authorities are NOT a joke!

  26. Posted June 8, 2009 at 4:21 am | Permalink

    Si comme Watzlawick, on reconnait l’étranger comme celui qui rit de tout sauf d’une plaisanterie, Parker démontre par sa réponse qu’il n’est par devers soi nullement étranger à lui-même (lui m’aime)…
    Marque de reconnaissance des cyniques postmodernes.

  27. Tim Schoettle
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Zizek says he wasn’t a commissar and I believe him. Parker says, “Readers can decide for themselves whether that bit of gossip works as a joke”. As far as I can tell, Parker isn’t saying that he has any solid evidence for thinking that Zizek was a commissar. I take this salient omission to show that Parker’s claim is a mere piece of unsubstantiated gossip. Whether such character damaging gossip works as a joke or not is irrelevant. It is potentially damaging to Zizek’s reputation and should never have been written.

  28. Posted June 8, 2009 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Let me have just one more turn in this unfortunately un-comradely exchange. Are there not two paradoxes here? The first is that once upon a time, until about 2004, my worry about Žižek’s work was over the way he might be read, that his flirtation with reactionary ideological themes would encourage people to take those themes seriously. I see this now as my rather queasy liberal worry about what people will do with dangerous ideas if they do not understand them correctly. I was wrong. He taught me this, as did my encounter with NSK. Žižek, meanwhile, insisted on taking that risk, working with whatever ideological stuff is to hand and trying, in the process, to seize ground from the enemy. He was right. Now, however, he says he is worried that people will read what he claims to be quite patently malicious lies and believe they are true. How could he know? The second paradox is that while he seems to be sure that he knows what people will make of such stories – that they will believe them – it could quite possibly be precisely the reverse; that it is those who really believe such a story (that Žižek said something in a phone call) to be true who wonder what the fuss is about, while those who read it as a joke, or a lie even, are those who take it seriously. Why does he take the story seriously? Why now? His ‘short clarification’ that is circulating in English is a version of a more detailed complaint about me and his ex-comrades in NSK that was published as an interview in Mladina (in Slovene) in which he accuses me of continuing to engage in intrigues against him. Yes, there was one instance (in my chapter on overidentification in the problematic edited Truth of Žižek book) where I did make a direct claim, as if it were fact, that he was asked by the Slovene government to help with their pro-NATO campaign in the referendum there. As he notes in the Mladina piece, I apologised to him when he visited Manchester last year. There was no evidence for that claim (though it was the case that he did publicly call for a yes to NATO vote in the referendum). He also in the interview accuses some in NSK of being lucky to be in the right place at the right time; rather like Duchamp’s urinal, he says, they have become an everyday urinal into which one pisses. Now there are at least two of us in this exchange who are pissed off. Now my 2004 book has just been published in translation in Slovenia by ROPOT, with a cover by the NSK design group, and I suspect that this bizarre reaction to my story is a function of a series of squabbles there. His reaction (and, sure, my response) is perhaps, as some commentators have suggested, a symptom, but this still does not answer the question: Why does he take the story seriously? Who knows? Is the worst here not that this rather ridiculous argument serves to obscure more important political questions that need to be argued through, if not resolved, and not just by us two?

  29. Nathan Coombs
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, (or fortunately?) there is a lot of hatred for Zizek’s work out there amongst the masses of post-modern scholars, post-colonialists, third world nationalists, identity theorists etc. – and every other intellectual persuasion unable to grasp the inadequacy of their politics to have anything meaningful to say in regard to the current impasse of global capitalism and the collapse of politics in the Western world.

    Zizek is one of few in the academy who has realized this and been brave enough to argue it forcefully. The very truth of many of his propositions rattles the thousands of scholars who have invested decades of their careers in post-structuralist analysis and claims that ‘teaching is micro-political praxis’ etc.

  30. Posted June 8, 2009 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Autrement dit, afin de poursuivre l’instruction dans les conditions les mieux adaptées à la situation, faisons appel au sens de la justice immanente du regretté Pierre Desproges : Ian Parker est-il un cynique postmoderne? La question reste posée. Et la question restant posée, il ne nous reste plus qu’à poser la réponse. Ian Parker est-il un cynique postmoderne ? De deux choses l’une : ou bien Ian Parker est un cynique postmoderne, et ça m’étonnerait tout de même un peu, ou bien Ian Parker n’est pas un cynique postmoderne, et ça m’étonnerait quand même beaucoup.

  31. Mark
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Zizek writes,
    “Unfortunately, the only way I can understand Parker’s reply is to read it as an exemplary case of postmodern cynicism: he tries to sell as a harmless joke what the large majority of readers take as a serious insinuation. And why shouldn’t they? We are talking about the first paragraph of a long “serious” analysis of my alleged “ambiguities”: the story about my acting as a Communist party “commissar” denouncing colleagues is quoted as a starting point (or a “hook into”) the analysis of how my work relates to the NSK project. In short, Parker acts as a moral coward who wants to have a cake and eat it: to spread malicious lies about me while claiming they are innocent jokes exchanged among comrades. The least he should have learned from his visits to Slovenia is that here, stories about denouncing colleagues to the Communist authorities are NOT a joke!”

    Isn’t Zizek the moral coward here? The defender of Lenin, Stalin and Mao is upset by a “falsehood”. Oh,, Slavoj!

  32. Posted June 8, 2009 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    I’m with Slavoj on this, no doubt. “It’s just a joke” is the current reason right-wingers give here in the USA to justify their racism, etc. To cap it all, the injunction to “lighten up” is truly obscene, and was used by McCain-Palin “excuse” their rallies against Obama last year.

  33. Posted June 8, 2009 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Thanks for pointing this out Timothy, I would not have used that formulation if I knew how it would signify in the US, it sure does give an unpleasant twist to these exchanges. My apologies for any offence it caused. Ian

  34. Posted June 8, 2009 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Look here: several marginals of the professoriate slinging epithets of “moral cowardice” and distinguishing “inappropriate” or–better yet– “politically incorrect” models of conduct by mythologizing Palin-esque attacks on Obi-wan.
    Could you brats be more whipped?
    Parker did something exceptionally stupid. Why is pathetic, interesting and repudiated. Story is over. Or should we call in Geraldo Rivera? This smells very bad!

  35. Jonathan McCormack
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Although I am on Mr. Zizek’s side on this, that the accusation is presented not as a joke and is certainly unjust, I would like to point out that Mr. Parker has apologized.
    But regardless of Ian Parker’s morals, I believe his work to be very important. Many of the things Mr.Zizek stands and fights for are also Mr. Parker’s struggles; and as such he is an extremely valuable comrade. His book, revolution in psychology, does an admirable job of describing the ways modern psychology inscribes us into the dominant capitalist system.
    Any fan of Zizek will likely enjoy Ian Parker’s work, and I implore readers to check it out.

  36. Posted June 9, 2009 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    Jonathan McCormack, your visual taste is definitely too bad to be credible.
    Lacan said “Faites comme moi, ne m’imitez pas!”
    You and Ian Parker would be more inspirated to do what Slavoj Žižek does, and really support his work and his struggle, than try to imitate him.

  37. Jonathan McCormack
    Posted June 10, 2009 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    Hey, great Santini, I’m just a fish butcher earning minimum wage, I read Lacan on my lunch break. Zizek seems to be doing just fine; I feel he ought to be supporting my struggle! Comments like yours are why the working class instinctively distrusts the intellectual elites. I don’t know what you do to support Zizek’s struggle, I do what I can with my abilities. For change sake, we need to educate and work with each other, not snipe at each other’s heels like bitchy dogs.

  38. Posted June 10, 2009 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Hey Big Jonnie, at the beginning of this page I wrote my first comment.
    So, a symptom of what?
    Slavoj Žižek is so famous than his worst enemies now are those who pretend to like him, but misread his work and betray the “cause”.
    You just cannot tell you are “on Mr. Zizek’s side” and “believe (Ian Parker’s) work to be very important”. You have to choose your side, “comrad”!
    “Comments like mine are why the working class instinctively distrusts the intellectual elites” do you argue? I dont believe in “intellectual elites”, I am not an intellectual, I am a typographer, an art director, and a reader. And working class is me.
    “What you do I do to support Zizek’s struggle?” I virtually snipe…
    So you are condamned to 2 years of reeducation camp, try learning to read… and studying visual art, too!

  39. Jonathan Mc Cormack
    Posted June 10, 2009 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I feel anyone with the name ‘Christian Dubius Santini’ has forfeited any working class claims. But seriously, the aims of Ian parker, especially in recent versions of his critical and radical psychology, seem to me to coincide with many of Zizek’s political aims, especially Parker’s use of Foucault in understanding the power relations and hidden ideological assumptions of certain western psychology movements perceived as truth within a capitalist society; so I see no reason to pick a side. I support a truth of which I see both Zizek and Parker, both in their own unique ways as revealed by their theoretical texts, as being inscribed therein. As far as my art, I’m trying my god damn best, have a heart.

  40. Christophe
    Posted June 11, 2009 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    “As far as my art, I’m trying my god damn best, have a heart.”

    …and so the original battle has been echoed, its triteness exposed, and we all come away feeling worse.

  41. Posted June 11, 2009 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Right Christophe!
    “I support a truth,” “my art” and “heart” ? “Working class claims”?
    What happened to Lacan?
    R we DEVO?
    Get me off planet Knechtshaft!

  42. Posted June 13, 2009 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    >>> All the accomplices of postmodern cynicism : I would tell you the words of Henri Michaux : “The bird’s delirium does not interest the trees.”

  43. Jonathan McCormack
    Posted June 13, 2009 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    And I’ve always wondered why Lacanian’s are said to lack a sense of humor…Anyway, I don’t know why everyone is skirting the issue and talking about me, but I still don’t see how Mr. Parker’s and Mr. Zizek’s Lacanian reading of the cultural “politics of Truth” in the west, especially in Parker’s latest work, intrinsically differ to the point of contradiction and needing to pick a side. I’m willing to learn if anyone’s up to a serious discussion. These forums always seem to end up in absurd petty bickering – yes, what happened to Lacan !

  44. fallout
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    I would like to ask Ian Parker a question. Do you believe that Zizek was a commissar in a university department? Of course, you could point to the fact that Zizek has denied it, but I’d like to know, yes or no, whether you think that this was a real possibility, that Zizek was hired by the communist party to inform on university staff.

  45. ROFLMAOZETUNG
    Posted June 20, 2009 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    “The Cause”, “working class”, “comrade”? – I must have typed “lenin.com” instead of “lacan.com”, although it’s odd as the letters don’t seem to be so close to each other.

  46. fallout
    Posted June 21, 2009 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Ian Parker perhaps would feel he needn’t answer my question, but I ask you, does a true comrade refer to Zizek’s defences as ‘claims’ i.e. “what he claims to be quite patently malicious lies”, effectively leaving the accusations open without taking a subjective stance of his own? Or does he say as quick as he can, “of course, I do not believe for a minute that Zizek, my friend and comrade, would have done this”. Ian Parker, you are a coward. What’s the expression? With ‘comrades’ like these…

  47. Posted June 23, 2009 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    A Press Conference at the Ministry of the Interior…

    More from scenes of class struggle in Slovenia. This is the last I will write on this topic for a while. I am upset that Slavoj is upset and friends and ex-comrades I met during the last few days are also upset, and this affair now needs a little time to settle down and for some dust and feelings to settle. His comments about NSK which were made in the Mladina interview alongside his complaint about me have been wounding, and I heard much speculation about who he really was pissing on in those comments. I have actually spent quite a lot of time defending him in discussions and interviews there, and arguing that he has been a progressive political force here. This is against a perception by many left activists in Slovenia that many of his interventions have been reactionary.

    The discrepancy between his activities there and those abroad may be one reason why he appears to be discomfited by the first major critical appraisal of his work appearing in Slovene, and by the translation of a story about a story about the telling of a story in a telephone conversation five years after it first circulated in English. Anyone who believes this is about him being a commissar, which he was not, is missing the point. The argument activists make is that it his stance on actually-existing capitalism in Slovenia that is at issue for them, not the many jokes he tells about being a Stalinist under the old regime. There is, for example, bewilderment at his statement of support for a corrupt minister for higher education, science and technology in the new coalition government in the last month and anger at his call in the recent elections for a vote for one of the two main bourgeois parties, this following his call for a yes to NATO vote in the referendum. These are matters that the left in Slovenia will write more about no doubt, and for me to discover this or that misdemeanour evidently just gets turned into a personalised exchange, at the level of the imaginary we might say, rather than a properly political discussion about strategy and tactics, a discussion that is, in part, made possible by his revolutionary interventions in theory.

    The press conference for the book, Slavoj Žižek: Kritični uvod, was held last week in the Ministry of the Interior in Ljubljana, on 19 June 2009. Why the Ministry of the Interior, in a grim old socialist building which it was only possible to enter with passes and official escorts? One reason is that Igor Vidmar, one-time roadie for Laibach, activist, punk and band promoter for many years was imprisoned twice under the old regime. Another reason is the story Žižek often tells, that after the election in which he just failed to win a place in the collective presidency of Slovenia he refused the offer of a ministerial post in arts and culture and declared that he wanted nothing less than the ministry of the interior and to be in charge of the police. It was as I sat in the opening of the press conference that it really hit me that in the publication of this book I was but a pawn in a bigger game, just as a comrade from Ljubljana warned me some time back. The cover of the book which I had no part in choosing shows a caricature of Žižek as a puppet and had attracted attention, delight and disgust, and needed to be addressed.

    The translator of the book was not present. Vidmar reported to the press conference in the discussion that she has been ‘traumatised’ by the book and wished she had not agreed to translate it, partly because it was too critical. And she was further traumatised by my preface which was too critical of the book, too favourable to Žižek. Is this not the best as the worst of both worlds? The head of NSK’s department of pure and applied philosophy told me that one thing Žižek told him that they were in agreement on was that we were all controlled by dark forces in the universe. Anyhow, for all the attacks on me recently by those who think they are being loyal to Žižek, loyal but losing the plot, this is the statement I made at the press conference.

    “This book gives you a way in to making sense of Žižek’s writings. I enjoyed his writing. I loved the anecdotes and jokes, the speed of movement from concept to concept. I enjoy it, but found it difficult to explain to someone after I had finished reading a book or article what the argument was. But there is an argument, or a complex cluster of arguments. Writing the book was a task I set myself to help me read it. I was lucky someone wanted to publish it. Now, to unlock these writings we need to notice three points.

    First, that Žižek is a phenomenon. As a historical cultural-political phenomenon we need to ask why this work emerges here, why now? There was a kind of crack in reality in the 1970s and 1980s when something new emerged, an opening to something new; a new articulation of Marxism, a new reading of the philosophy of history, a new take on psychoanalysis as a theory of subjectivity. And, at the same time as Žižek is a manifestation of that opening, he theorises it. He shows us that what appeared was constituted, made possible at a particular conjunction of events. NSK was also a manifestation of, and intervention into this historical conjuncture, and so I am really pleased that the NSK design group came up for the cover of the book.

    The second point is that I am concerned here with the domain of representation. My work in psychology, actually against psychology over the years has been concerned with shifting focus from what individuals think to how their words and actions function. So, here in the book I do not explain what Žižek really meant or what his intentions are. It is easy, too easy, to focus on his personality, to say he is mad or perverse or whatever. That is a convenient ideological move to dismiss the arguments in his writing; it is an ideological move used time and again. This means that identifying contradictions in his work also needs to locate those contradictions. Who is not contradictory? Psychoanalysis, Marxism and Hegelian philosophy insist that contradiction is at the heart of who we are. We are all marionettes, driven by forces we barely understand. You can see the cover of the book as a representation of that.

    Third, my account, my reading is from a position, of an anti-psychologist, psychoanalyst, Marxist, and that leads me to attend to certain kinds of contradiction; more importantly, to want to read Žižek. He provides an account of the relationship between Marxism and psychoanalysis that is very different from the romantic expressive motifs that are usually at work in such theoretical discussion. The refusal of such romantic expressive motifs is of course at the core of the interventions by NSK.

    I want to say something more about these three points, about the context for them that has become more and more important over the last twenty years, since Žižek’s books first appeared in English.

    First, this phenomenon, Žižek and the questions he tackles, is affected by increasing psychologisation, that is, the reduction of explanation to the level of the individual and the search for therapeutic solutions to political-economic problems. His work provides a valuable corrective to that psychologisation but that psychologisation still operates as a powerful ideological frame for reading his work. It invites us to speculate about why he says this or that. It is for sure powerful in the UK and America and from what I have seen it is becoming powerful here.

    Second, the representations of Žižek are embedded in the problematic of globalisation. This globalisation feeds off particular idiosyncratic local contexts and voyeuristically commodifies those local practices to sell them on the world market. Just as there is a category of ‘world music’ there is now a kind of ‘world philosophy’, and Žižek is caught up in that problematic even at the same time as he gives us the conceptual resources to challenge it, to challenge globalisation as it operates as glocalisation of places like this.

    Third, as a critical text my introduction is from a position that is also caught within the problematics of globalisation and psychologisation. This book is, of course, written from outside Slovenia. It cannot but be part of the gaze of the West on the peculiarities of theoretical debate here, as if they are peculiarities. And that orientalising, exoticising gaze is itself part of what Žižek is now. He theorises it and utilises it very efficiently. And that global context combined with psychologisation gives rise to a tendency to personalise conceptual critical work. That then expresses itself in stupid squabbles between different theoretical political positions, between comrades we might say.

    This book is the still the best ‘introduction’ to Žižek in English, so it is great that Igor Vidmar decided to publish it here. This is precisely because it is a critical introduction and because I think it will incite readers to think about the arguments, to argue with them, and to go back and read Žižek. How to read Žižek and why you should read Žižek is what the book is all about.”

  48. Posted June 24, 2009 at 5:01 am | Permalink

    Is there a book to come : “A critical introduction to Parker’s introduction to Žižek’s books (that are all critical introductions to Hegel, Marx and Lacan.)”?

    A question you should ask to yourself: who really needs an introduction to read Žižek?

  49. lucky
    Posted June 26, 2009 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    yeah zizek for dumbells like me just fake it till you make it

  50. 8klvprs
    Posted June 28, 2009 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    shut up thats funny

  51. Simon Gros
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Why does he take the story seriously?

    Because on the rare occasions that Žižek actually appears in Slovene media, there are usually some of his old and obscure statements that the Right wing is circulating in order to make him appear as a crazy Stalinist (which goes nicely with the popular theory here in Slovenia that the current left wing active in politics today are really dark forces of continuity of the old Communist regime.) The only phrase most Slovenians know Žižek by, is marking the minister for higher education Gregor Golobič as Stalin, a statement which is deliberately taken out of context in order to damage mostly Golobičes (who is an important political figure), but also Žižeks reputation. (the article from which that statement is taken can be found online for anyone interested in details). This is the same minister which you were so quickly to accuse of being corrupt (probably because you were loosely informed of the recent affair – and this really shows your lack of sensitivity to political statements), ignoring the fact that he was a close theoretical friend of Žižeks (Golobič studied philosophy and was one of the people along with Žižek that were first reading Lacan, Derrida and so on..) and that since Žižek still supports Golobič after the recent Ultra affair, that has serious implications for him.

    So if this story became public in Slovenia and Žižek would not preemptively denounce it like he did, it would surely be used as an another smear campaign against him.

    So in short, he did the right thing and you obviously aren’t careful enough in circulating information (along with the two stories you already confessed are fabricated, you proceeded in these comments to describe Golobič as corrupt which is really not for you, but the courts and the people of Slovenia to decide).

  52. Posted August 29, 2009 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Les métastases du cas Parker…

    Bonjour,

    Pour information :

    Est paru sur un site français ceci: http://www.cahiersdusocialisme.org/2009/08/23/oscillations-et-derives-des-representations-dans-l%E2%80%99oeuvre-de-slavoj-zizek-2/

    À quoi j’ai répondu, en signant comme d’habitude de mes prénom, nom et adresse, mais mon commentaire a été immédiatement censuré :

    “Et si le choix devait se faire entre:
    • un tel tissu d’approximations pseudo-philosophiques : “Cette vérité est pour Hegel dans le concept, tandis que pour Marx elle se situe dans la praxis. Représenter veut dire porter quelque chose devant soi et l’avoir devant soi, avoir quelque chose de présent à soi en tant que sujet, en le retournant à soi. La connaissance humaine consiste précisément à se rapporter à des objets, en les représentant”

    • et l’œuvre de Slavoj Žižek, ce ne serait pas un choix bien difficile!

    Sauf votre respect, pour “critiquer” efficacement Žižek, encore faut-il pouvoir s’élever à son degré de rigueur épistémologique.

    Ce qui n’est déjà pas le cas de Ian Parker…”

    Bien à vous,

    Christian Dubuis-Santini

  53. patrick jak
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    As Zizek pointed out; do not confuse historical facts with libidinal reality. Nazism might not have been implemented by a strong government but could also be heartfelt and embraced by the German populace (for the reasons Michael pointed out).

  54. rivka
    Posted October 31, 2009 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    wow. great diary form. Josefina, I am sending your succint notes on identification to the members of my reading group. They are so pertinent to what we have been reading lately on the dream of the witty Butcher’s wife. (Some of the grammar though needs correction in this interesting blog.)

  55. Tim Themi
    Posted October 31, 2009 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    There is much acumen in Lacan’s saying, in Seminar VIII,

    Calls to mind Bataille’s claim that the Christian ascetic is very much, with an eye to the afterlife, engrossed in a “selfish calculation”.

    Calls to mind Nietzsche saying how there is nothing altruistic, or “moral”, about morality — that they’re out for pleasure, now, and if not right now, then because they think so in the hereafter: that is, with the whole after life heaven fantasy!

    But Lacan also mentions the Bible’s claim that Heaven is always denied to the rich — how getting them in is like passing a camel through the eye of a needle..

    But then Lacan attributes this position to Plato!

    “Christianity is Platonism for the masses” – F. Nietzsche [BGE]

  56. Alice
    Posted November 6, 2009 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Tim Themi, Did you know Lacan’s brother was a jesuit?

  57. Tim Themi
    Posted November 26, 2009 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Alice, Yes I do. Elizabeth Roudinesco in her biography of Lacan reports that Lacan was shattered when he found out that his brother had decided to become a Benedictine Monk, that he felt, as protector, that he had let his little brother brother down. Lacan was also reading and quite enamored with Nietzsche at the time. He was in his mid 20s, and yet to discover Freud.

    There’s an interesting interview with Lacan’s brother, after Lacan’s death, conducted by Paul Roazen in ‘Journal of Religion & Health’, Vol. 35, No. 4, 1996. It’s called “Lacan’s First Disciple”, and available off the JSTOR Journal data-base.

    It’s an interesting read, though I barely agree with anything the brother says. But I would say that, I was reading Nietzsche before entering my 20s, and haven’t stopped since, despite at one point turning more directly to Freud.

  58. Hillary
    Posted November 26, 2009 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Tim, I see your quote “Christianity is Platonism for the masses” – F. Nietzsche

    did you perchance read Badiou’s “popular culture” version of the Symposia – the first part is published in Lacanian Ink 34, and “…to continue”

  59. Posted November 28, 2009 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    If there were a time to become a church-militant now feels critical as the dreaming bi-ped, as a species, appears near a critical extinction point (or invisibility)!

    But, in the US–where academics who utter the facts of atrocities are destroyed; where philosophers are hobbled, and historians blinded; where the fact of war, atrocity, the Unconscious and (in fact) the Real are taboo–one can worry that this visibility and inevitable war means entering a battlefield where you can only perish.
    Or be assimilated.

    Can truth ever accommodate politics, our commercial professions and institutions?
    Not here!

  60. Posted March 3, 2010 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    As Zizek indicates, capitalism presents only an ‘alienated-perverted’ form of species-being. That is, the exact opposite of species-being, a monstrously “unspecified” or species-less being totally subsumed under the indifferent market-logic of universal equivalents, i.e. numismatic specie. Our true “species-being” is another name for Utopia, put otherwise. Zizek’s error is thus a premature reification or foreclosure of our historical labor of specification, our being-towards-species, i.e. the path of communist revolution.

  61. Joe
    Posted March 26, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Ah, but Alain, your fear is in fact as the very problem that Zizek is asking us to confront and surmount.

    That is, the “solution” (which you are anxious to protect) and that the US (ruling classes) are currently participating in (albeit haphazardly) is NOT a solution to the crisis at all.

    We thinking people of the world need to stop censoring and editing the truth of the present crisis in order to fit into the confines of what the ruling order considers to be “realistic.”

    The material reality of global climate crisis will trump the pseudo-reality of the political ideologists who are now running things.

    The naive “realistic” outlook that makes Zizek’s argument look odd or threatening is a part of what needs to be overgrown and overthrown.

  62. TONY
    Posted July 17, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Evidently Mexican Swine Flu is the ‘turd’ of josefina’s phantasy as Lacan would say having no basis in reality. There is no ‘actual’ physical pathogenic virus at work here only something to fill the lack of knowledge to explain the flu like symptoms. Why? Because no ‘flying pig virus’ has ever been isolated , photographed or biochemically characterized to date by anyone.

    We have asked for the proof from the ’subjects-who-are-supposed-to-know(but don’t).The silence is now deafening and the fear is great that the TRUTH may yet be revealed that human pathogenic viruses only exist in the domain of virtual reality.

  63. TONY
    Posted July 18, 2010 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Why do we say that human pathogenic viruses only exist in the domain of virtual reality? Because virologists seem to have lost the plot they construct computer ‘models’of objects – alleged’pathogenic viruses’that they assume to exist independently of the discourse in which they are specified and the try to correlate the ‘virus’ with the computer ‘model’therefore presupposing both a distinction and a correspondence bwteen two realms namely, discourse and the real.

  64. lancek
    Posted August 19, 2010 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    It is very possible that I do not understand what all the words are to mean , but it is equally possible that it is a type of word play that is taken way too much as reflecting some sort of reality. I wonder if all the jusrtification of position in the world that goes into such ‘clashing of definitions’ is really noticed for what it is by the writer. It seems in an effort towards truth many of you have gotten caught by th ,glmour, of your own gloss. If anyone wants to speak about some thing, then let them continue on. It seems there are some seeds of intelligence but they have been watered by contaminated water. Please respond and thank you for your contributiuon. Lance Kair.

  65. kahil malik
    Posted October 25, 2010 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    You are egocentric.You know what you mean but you are not able to appreciate other peoples perspectives when you write. You are said by publishers to write clearly but this is BS.As a test give a group of lay people your introductory text book and ask them some questions after they read it to ascertain how well they comprehended it.Don’t listen to people who already know Lacan.Listen to what ordinary people think (not your patients).In some respects Lacan is clearer than you when he writes.He is deliberately being obscure,you are trying to write clearly but can’t.I read your books and could understand them because I had already read Dor’s introductory book which is clearly written.If I had not done so I would have ended up throwing yours in the garbage.

  66. kahil malik
    Posted October 25, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Bruce Fink seems to think that an assertion about assertion constitutes an explanation.His writing is grammatical and his sentences are not run on; but he is not able to explain what he is writing about.No doubt he knows what he means,he just isn’t able to convey what he means.Despite this he is considered to be one of the leading clarifiers of Lacan’s writings.

  67. Posted December 20, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    The truth is about unconscious desire which makes for a ranking of signifiers, but what about the real of jouissance? Do you have an idea?

  68. Ian
    Posted December 29, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Don’t get so excited! It’s only an article.

  69. Posted January 3, 2011 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    I prefer Beethoven to Wagner, mainly because Wagner was a bullying antisemite, and music has the colors of politics, (is known that his music was part of the obscure Gotten of the concentration camp cult) as is very well stated by this article. I prefer Bob Dylan to Wagner, not only because he is Jewish, but mainly because his politics. I also prefer rap music to Wagner, any kind of rap music. It is less kitsch. When Barenboim is the orchestra conductor, I forget all this, and I can also enjoy Wagner. Perhaps I am not alone in this strange feeling?

  70. Posted January 3, 2011 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    This fantastic essay builds up to an end that it does not actualize. This lack of climax is not necessary, because the necessary pieces are already present in Zizek’s text. Zizek weighs various considerations about what Wagner’s philosophy was and how it related to the creation of Das Reingold, but he never reads out the measurements.

    Zizek concludes that “The Ring’s philosophy, embodied in the plot and music, is to be taken seriously, for it reaches far beyond Wagner’s explicitly formulated philosophy.” While Zizek provides ample justification for this assertion, he never states just what the “philosophy” is. However, he does give us a clue; the “solution to this [philosophical] deadlock” is found in Brünnhilde’s final act. So, what is her final act, and what solution does it give us? Although Zizek is silent here, we can begin to find an answer in Zizek’s citation of Alain Badiou: “Do these final moments not imply a subjective position that, as Badiou suggests is paradigmatically feminine, as the three motifs are colored – transfigured – by the fourth, by love?” Yes; so in that case, love is the redeemer. But Zizek also makes clear that this is not an abstract ‘immaterial’ Schopenhauerian “love”; it is not the “negation of the will”; but is, rather, an “act” of love. Is it not a heroic act?

    If one is to concede heroism to Brünnhilde, then Zizek is wrong to state that the fourth motif re-stated in the finale represents “success” where the other three are “failures.” It is, perhaps, more accurate to take Badiou’s suggestion that the fourth motif colors the rest more subtly. It isn’t heroism that fails, but a particular heroism that fails somewhere to actualize absolute love. In this case, it isn’t the sexual death drive, human law, or heroism that fail; but all three are redeemed through the virtue of Love. Zizek is right that the fourth motif re-colors the other three with a “paradigmatically feminine” light. Is this not the “eternal feminine” of the natural world, as it defines the potential for loving? Is this not, in other words, the inherent potential of the Kantian “moral law”? If so, then this grandest of all Wagnerian finales is not a failure but a great success. What this suggests about kitsch is another question.

  71. hulya
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    I must agree with Kahlil Malik on this one.
    -unfortunately it is true!I wish he could employ someone i.e. a school teacher to at least make it understandable for students who are already studying cultural studies and acquainted with Lacan’s concepts and then turn it into an academic language if he wishes so.

    It’s just not working this way.

  72. Hector Mauas
    Posted January 9, 2011 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Horkheimer’s phrase can be moved in time, even farther away than it is thrown out by Mr. Zizek. The saying “he or she who does not want to criticize capitalism should be silent about fascism” is a melody that, like everything that is rhythmically bolero, admits innovative combinations.For example, he/ she who believes it is a duty to criticize capitalism should not think that, after completing the mission, he/she also necessarily acquires the right to always talk about anything, do not shut up once in a while, and in general to believe that the sound of his/her redeemed voice of justice will effectively add lacking justice and assessment, lacking in so many facts orphans of some kind of exegesis.
    The quoted phrase is from 1930, and the melody played a few years later, in 1937, for example, when the Moscow Processes announced that the Marx theorem about the inevitable end historic step can not be derogated bloody farce ” should have been enough incentive to check what the social gospel and its authorized representatives on earth so much slaughter and subjugation to the ferocity of the superego, heir to the death of the gods.So Max H. phrase pass through the Sieve of Kafka, a little earlier in time, a phrase which would be completed by its inversion: “he/she who does not want to criticize socialism, will not be able to silence fascism that inevitably comes when you need to impose some sort of paradise”.
    About Beethoven, an Argentine writer and literary critic, Ricardo Piglia, says Ludwig Van’s deafness was no fate but historic election, a kind of politics, and his early position against the fascist and invasive noise of mass culture, which promotes the slave belief that silence is never the highest degree of freedom. This belief is a belief of freedmen, speaking Nietzsche’s way of talking. Forever chained to his past, a freedman does not tolerate the existence of chance and indeterminacy that escape the baton that daily in his dreams reactively formed shows” the way”, “the truth”,”life”, “the good”, “the politically correct” , “the music”. It is still a lucky for so many that neither Lenin nor Stalin, (not so Herr Adolf) became interested in music. But they don’t have to worry, soon may be available a Michelin musical taste guide and it is possible to suppose who will edit the volume .

  73. Hector Mauas
    Posted January 9, 2011 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    La frase de Horkheimer puede ser trasladada en el tiempo, aún un poco más lejos de lo que es arrojada por el Sr. Zizek. Quien no quiere criticar al capitalismo debiera guardar silencio acerca del fascismo es una melodía que, como todo lo que es rítmicamente bolero, admite combinaciones novedosas. Por ejemplo, quien cree que se tiene el deber de criticar al capitalismo no debe pensar que, una vez cumplida la misión, necesariamente también se adquiere el derecho a hablar siempre de cualquier cosa, a no callarse de vez en cuando, y, en general, a creer que el sonido de la propia voz redimida agregará la justicia y la valoración que falta a tantos hechos huérfanos de exégesis.
    La citada frase es de 1930, y la melodía tocada unos pocos años más tarde, en 1937, por ejemplo, -cuando los procesos de Moscú anunciaban que el Teorema de Marx acerca de los inevitables finales históricos en paso de bufonada sangrienta no admiten excepción- debiera haber sido suficiente estímulo para revisar qué del evangelio socialista y de sus representantes en la tierra autorizaba tanta masacre y tanto sometimiento a la ferocidad del superyó heredero de la muerte de los dioses. Entonces, frase de Max H. pasada por el Cernidor de Kafka, un poco anterior en el tiempo, frase que se completaría por la inversión: quien no quiera criticar al socialismo tampoco podrá hacer callar al fascismo que inevitablemente sobreviene cuando se necesita imponer alguna suerte de paraíso.
    Acerca de Beethoven, un escritor y crítico literario argentino, Ricardo Piglia, sostiene que la sordera de Ludwig Van no fue destino sino elección histórica, política, como posición anticipada frente al ruido fascista e invasor de la cultura de masas, que promueve la creencia esclava de que nunca callar es el grado más alto de libertad. Creencia ésta última que es una creencia de libertos, nietzscheanamente hablando. Siempre encadenado a su pasado, lo que un liberto no tolera es la existencia del azar y la indeterminación que escaparán a la batuta con la que diariamente en sus sueños reactivamente formados muestra el camino, la verdad, la vida, el bien, lo políticamente correcto, la música. No deja de haber sido afortunado para muchos que ni Lenin ni Stalin, -aunque sí Herr Adolf-, se interesaran por la música. Pero a no preocuparse, que pronto saldrá a la venta la Guía Michelin del Buen Gusto Musical, y ya suponemos quién dirigirá la edición.

  74. Posted January 12, 2011 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    In typography and graphic art, we perfectly know this : form is never neutral, form is the ultimate truth we can reach, because form first represents how the content differs from itself…

  75. Alex
    Posted January 13, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    The L.A. Ring ended wonderfully, appropriately, with the final words (”Zuruck vom Ring!”) untranslated. That’s Wagner’s (and Achim Freyer’s) ultimate message to us. And the ring of course means money, capital, private property. Brunnhilde gives it away, returns it to nature, to common property. And, in igniting Siegfried’s funeral pyre, she burns down Valhalla, which is to say the state. (And here she resembles a Chechen black widow, a suicide bomber.) The mystery she proclaims is that Siegfried’s corpse and Valhalla are identical, that freedom, purity, the natural (embodied by Siegfried) are incompatible with the rule of law. (Brunnhilde is the embodiment of love, devotion, and the story of the Ring is in large part the story of the transfer of her love from Wotan–her father, the state, law and order–to Siegfried–free nature–and the double betrayals of both those loves, true love or free love being incompatible with the rule of law and private property.) Wagner was a petty bourgeois revolutionary, thus confused (in Marxist terms), a potential recruit for communism or fascism (i.e. petty bourgeois or peasant-based pseudo-revolutionary anti-communism).

    Which I guess is another way of saying what Zizek says.

  76. KRD
    Posted January 17, 2011 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    The Israelis and the Palestinians have two opposite narratives as each needs a moral narrative, to grant them moral privileges. They’re at war – locked in a dialectical struggle. For land. The Holy land. It’s universally immoral to kill or steal. So to get around this narratives must be constructed to justify the killing and stealing.

    Could a “synthesis” in a larger meta-narrative, be an unjust and false peace.

    Moral narratives give privileges. Privileged access to capital, property, power and security, to life. A “synthesis” may be a way of maintaining an unjust system. Fukuyama’s end of history narrative suits the wealthy and powerful of today.

    Our liberal democracies over represent the interests of the wealthy. Economic liberalism, has a nonsense freedom narrative as its’ justification. The liberation of the individual. In reality the economically advantaged individual is free to enslave the economically disadvantaged individual. The freedom to own slaves. Imagine if the in the instance of the Ante-bellum South, the slaves were granted the legal right to own plantations, and they accepted it, instead of being released from bondage – that’s the kind of freedom we have.

  77. Posted January 25, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    Zizek’s critique of Lenin’s philosophical writings is, if somewhat awkwardly formulated, still the most convincing of which I am aware.

    His defense of the party and the analyst, if not God (?), moreover, spoke directly to my own questions concerning these topics.

    My major concern: if the truth is indeed partisan, then how to truly act as a partisan?

    How is any partisan to evade the snares of capitalist “totalization”, i.e. participation in capitalist relations (its organization of the press and media in especial)?

    Or, in end, which party do you, Mr. Zizek, actually swear allegiance to?

  78. Peter Higginson
    Posted January 30, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Marx’s frustration with the English working class was that it could not achieve formal class consciousness in Zizek’s sense.

    But there is something disastrous about dialectical thinking in Europe which keeps abstracting the problem into a conceptual formalism which misses the three key points about the realm of England as the keystone of the global problem:

    1. As a concrete realm, it is the buildings which establish the hegemony. You can march past Horseguards Parade as much as you like to Trafalgar Square to protest, but until you understand the power of buildings (with their Upstairs/Downstairs; Front room/Back room; Sacristy/ Reception room dynamics, you will be looked upon as a foolish rabble by the State.

    2. The revolution in the realm faces the problem of the Subject of the build, who cannot conceive his class without understanding the history of how he is housed by petit-bourgeois Planning systems. How are we to occupy the build after smashing bourgeois State power? What would you do with the churches, the banks, the shops and the race courses.

    3. The last of these is apposite: England is an equine realm- a place of stables and riding to Harriers. The working class is stabled in a distributed field of horseplay.

    A revolution in Britain cannot be purely political. We must begin by facing the concreticity of every building we inhabit- all of which succeed, in a chain of Elizabethan being, from the environs of Buckingham palace.

    What we need in England is a Masonic Trotsky.

  79. Peter Higginson
    Posted January 30, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    The radical points of opening in the margin of this text are repressed:

    1. The topography of homes.
    2. Hysteria in the barred subject of The Build.
    3. The Uncanny.

    Until psychoanalysis can understand psychopathologies as related to the signifiers of the built home (a planned concrete-symbolic realm) not satisfying the signifiers of the hysteric’s desire for truth, this stuff will remain a formalist exercise.

    Why dodn’t you notice the unheimlich nature of her hysteria- at home neither in the referent of money or the referent of her disavowed home?

  80. Posted February 8, 2011 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    Speaking litle and not splaining yourself and not justifying yourself is finally a lacanian way of being in a Lacanian peace ! A possible silence after analysis !

  81. Chittibabu Padavala
    Posted February 28, 2011 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    Great. Inspiring. Unlike overcautious contribution by Hardt and Negri or even the one by Zizek, who largely confined to mock double-standards of the West, Badiou clearly notes that the protest gatherings are important in themselves. Other major thinkers seem to think of these mobilisations only as a step to some later and deeper changes. What is more, Badiou grants the status of Event to these uprisings!
    However, it is not entirely clear to me-due to my ignorance of Badiou’s work-what is the difference between the communism of movement and communism. A word or two explaining the differnce Badiou in mind would surely be of great help.

  82. Posted February 28, 2011 at 3:00 am | Permalink

    Is it possible the the United States of America has instilled such a potent and ominous fear that if we were to rebel at any given time, (just thinking about but it, writing it down is dangerous, look toward France and Tiqqun) for any given reason, that we would be individualistically, collectively, and perhaps even very personally subjected to horrors that would pale all other nations civic atrocities? At least that is the spirit from Plato to The 3rd Reich, Lusitania, to 911 the Fear procedure ensures, as a technique that it endures, a time worn coin that still spends true. But as more and more of us in the Bloom assume the final position(s), a black vaporous gorilla plume–with everywhere to go and nothing to lose, what they call tunneling in quantum mechanics, we break through… that today is the day that we join, we enjoin and say, we are not afraid of freedom.

  83. Mark
    Posted February 28, 2011 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Is this a real Revolution or just another form of “Give us what you have.” Badiou writes, “Is it not laughable to see some well-paid and well-fed intellectuals, retreating soldiers of the capital-parliamentarism that serves us as a moth-eaten Paradise, offering their services to the awe-inspiring Tunisian and Egyptian people, in order teach these savages the ABC of “democracy?” My reply, yes Badiou, your analysis of what is happening in terms of the communism of movement is laughable, especially when you are a well-fed Western intellectual.

  84. Roberto Baldino
    Posted February 28, 2011 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Of course not!
    It will be just another May 68.
    Capital will restructure its exploitation very soon.
    There is still a long way to go towards the end.

  85. Charm
    Posted February 28, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Besides, I think that as dangerous as Gaddafi is, it is the protesters who are even more dangerous with their totalizing vision of a world without problems as soon as Gaddafi is ousted. The flags in Libya pose a classic “us” vs. “them” scenario, whereby the elimination of “the other” constitutes a Utopian fantasy, which cannot but end badly.

  86. Kevin Kaelin
    Posted March 1, 2011 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    It is obvious to me that Badiou understands the politics of the middle east about as well as an industrial capitalist understands wealth that is not material, obama has not engaged because he does not want to rock the oil boat, it is true that the spirit of this movement is just the beginning but of what we cannot know and while every authority in the middle east is trying be its ambassador we must look at the highly industrialized trappings in which this movement is happening as Event.

  87. Eben
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    Mark writes, “Is this a real revolution or just another form of ‘Give me what you have’?”

    Who is the “you” you are referring to here? Is it the ruling elites of the demonstrators’ respective countries, who enjoy the privileges of immense wealth and the rights that can be bought with wealth?

    Or does it mean “you”, as in you, Mark? (And perhaps by extension, whoever you might mean by “us”)

    If you mean the former, I don’t see why it cannot be both of what you say; a revolution demanding what is being denied–their rights as people. And as Badiou suggests, the right to commonly create for themselves a collective destiny. What would be dishonorable in this?

    If however you meant the latter–i.e., a narcissistic delusion that somehow these people are demonstrating for/at you, this only makes your maladroitly cynical stab at the author’s profession seem the more suspect. Do you have a problem with intellectuals who are well-fed? Perhaps you prefer them malnourished?

    Your post sounds like you have extra calories for movement but would prefer not to go anywhere.

  88. Posted March 5, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Let’s not forget that the French Revolution eventually led to Napoleon become an “emperor” (and in between sent so many people to the guilotine).

    Masses can be exploited by cunny people and led to great wrong doings, esp. when there’s the concept that everything is justified by some “cause”.

    I prefer a democratic state, as long as there’s respect for the law in the society (same and enforced rules for all) and the law is made to be simple enough to understand and just enough to inspire respect.

  89. Faith Done Away
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 2:06 am | Permalink

    Badiou is as right as a rebel flag. Well fed or not! What matters is that he feeds us well.

  90. Joe Welcome
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    I want to say, that having been reading about lacanian psychoanalysis on and off for some time, I sort of found this text clarifying, as to what extents an analyst would want to try going for with what is called the analysand.

    However, I have good reasons to believe that psychoanalysis should not be thought of as being provided to anyone being poor, in any sense of the word.

    How will an analyst react about being confronted with another analyst, or rather, with anyone familiar with psychoanalytic theory?

    Btw, I want to mention that I am an internet guy and not any professional.

  91. David Brancaleone
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    Alain Badiou comes up trumps. Roberto Baldino’s fatalism is what plagues the non-politics of Italian politics, ever since the Riflusso and Repression years. We lost contact Roberto, don’t sit on the fence.
    Why has the US stood and watched? while the innocent die in their thousands? Because democracy is not democracy, because Mouffe and Laclau who represent the turncoated left since 1985, provide all the reasons why we should stick to agonism and drop dialectics, but egypt etc shows you cannot. read badiou’s ethics, if you want to see how the discourse of the other is just a SHAM. He puts forward a discourse of the SAME. Then you can let go of the fetish of pluralism and related agonisms (ok provided within system).
    In haste, david

  92. aporias
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    what a wonderful term is “communism of movement” the event in its pure form

  93. violet
    Posted March 26, 2011 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I loved Alain’s piece about the Arab world and its lessons that you linked us to

    did you see this poster i found by NYU ?

    kisses from London

  94. navi blue
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    it is interesting finding this little congregation gravitating around Badiou’s thoughts on current events in the middle east.

    @Chittibabu – ‘communism in movement / communism’ I think he is trying to maintain separation of Event, as an ahistoric (almost transconceptual) phenomena, from an idea (or pre-concept delimited by history/knowledge).

    i was hoping for a more critical stance from Badiou. his romantic fervor seems to have made him turn a blind eye to the original force of this ’synchronous’ event. William Engdhal, for example, pointed to similarities with orange revolution in eastern europe (Self-Liberation by Gene Sharp @ http://www.aeinstein.org/).

    but Badiou is undoubtedly right that ‘the popular uprising creates unknown possibilities for the entire world.’

    just a few quick thoughts….

  95. Games of Truth
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    So how much did you charge this poor addicted schmuck for this bit of voodoo? Seriously, we all want to know. If he dies of an overdose, you should be sued for malpractice. Even a little knowledge of the neuroscience and medicine of addiction would help. He’s be better off going to an astrologer or a voodoo priestess.

  96. David Brancaleone
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Communism of movement and communism. From memory and experience, Badiou is drawing the distinction between the shared exhilarating reality of the common in the movement as it unfolded in the 1960s and 1970s (might have been like that in earlier events, 1967 Cultural Revolution, 1917 Moscow, 1871 Paris Commune) and the idea of comunism, the comunist hypothesis, which titles one of his recent books. In that sense, I guess one is the contingent embodiment of the idea (as he explains in that text), the other an idea which the fidelity of the militant or activist. So, a sequence, following the lieu evenemental, to put it in the terms of Theory of THe Subject, the outplace versus the splace. Or, in the terms of Being and Event site of the event as opposed to the state of the situation.
    I want to retract on one thing I wrote in a hurry in my first contribution to this article. I suggested that the West was sitting on the fence. What I really meant was that it took a long time for the mainstream media and politicians to say anything positive about the radical changes going on in the Middle East. yes, of course, it stands to reason, given the vested interests of neo-colonialism (when did it ever become post-colonialism, folks?).
    I did not realise that the no-fly zone meant western military intervention, disguised by humanitarian sentiment for the people. As if! Don’t forget that the West continues to refer to citizines uprising against brutality, intimidation, and decades of fascism as “Rebels”, indicating that they are in the wrong. Meantime, the Western politicians, US included, recommend that “both sides” should exercise “restraint”.

  97. Antonio
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    @games of truth:

    One doesn’t even need a little knowledge of psychoanalysis, but just some basic reading comprehension to understand that one of the points Vaghfipour is making is about how the analyst doesn’t take the demand of the analysand at face value.
    In fact even if the analysand in question got into analysis demanding to be freed of his addiction he quickly realized that the central question wasn’t his relationship with drugs, moving on to other and more pressing matters.

    Why should the analyst be like one of those “naive” esthetic surgeons that really believe that when a fifteen year old asks them for a nose job all he or she wants is really a smaller nose?

    The opportunist position here is exactly to give him what he demands.

    I’ve seen so many times friends getting stuck in a relationship of dependency to “mental health professionals” way too eager to give to their patients whatever they wanted; each time the patients obtained what they requested they put forward another question and then another, becoming more and more disillusioned of the possibility of getting out of their symptoms and at the same time more and more dependent on those doctors.
    Those doctors that fostered this dependency hide themselves behind the principle that “no one except the person knows what’s best for them”.

    But why should it be so?
    Does the neurotic really know what’s best for him, when it is exactly this lack of knowledge that brought him to his predicament in the first place? Isn’t that the knowledge for which the neurotic goes to the analyst which is the subject of supposed knowledge?
    Shouldn’t we, as Badiou says, be taught by someone else what is good for us?
    Else we would end up, as in the Platonic metaphor, always choosing the sugar pill over the bitter medicine?

    Sometimes the neurotic is like someone rushing through an endless corridor in a panic.
    And, I believe, that the duty of the analyst is not to lead the analysand to the unreachable end, where he claims to want to go, but to stop him on his tracks and show him the doors that all the while have been opening at his sides.

  98. Posted April 16, 2011 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    You read Badiou’s response to Nancy, and you know that everyone must know this is true! And they do. And they work so hard at making up scenarios, fictions that make their phantasies, power’s fantasies, work! Forever! Incessantly!

    But, hasn’t this always been the universal case?
    …Until Lacan.
    …And Foucault.
    In NYC, now, it is easy to forget these evolutions.
    Are WE really safe now?

  99. Posted April 16, 2011 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    I have to wonder how the same author makes the concurrently contradictory statements, “it makes no sense for you or me to go with the grain of the Western consensus that says: ‘we absolutely have to remain in charge of everything happening’” AND “To oppose the destructive interventions of the powers means supporting the political independence and the future of these uprisings and revolutions. This is something we can do, and it is an unconditional imperative.”

    For Western discourse to appropriate the near-east’s struggle is a right step in the wrong direction – as witnessed by Foucault’s misappropriation of the Iranian Revolution in 1979 which simply confused the NON-western project of desecularizing a modern(izing) state with the western project of ‘revolutionary’ philosophical discourse. In effect, with all due respect, this is not something “you” can do and what is “imperative” is that the middle-east resists philosophical colonizing as well as its own internal strife.

  100. Posted April 17, 2011 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Really, who is “us”, if it includes Bernard Henri-Levy, a self-proclaimed, unrepentant,without shame, Jew?

  101. Posted April 17, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Badiou’s golden-hearted adherents will genuflect at M. Khalili’s warning to … respect difference(?), but for the rest of us, who don’t have that team cap, what naive Foucault actually observed in those early years have remained volatile tools in the hands of global puppet-masters: they are still Phyrrically pulling everyone’s strings.

    I do not dispute with M. Khalili at all. I do insist that our far blacker hearts (not those of academics, architects or artists) will always colonize, without respect or respite, and always succeed completely. Our challenge (as a finite set of Lacanians (obviously w/o B-H.L.))is to do it without delusion or distortion.

    This is only a penultimate arrogance : the capitalist’s discourse has left the master’s place to another entity entirely! And that will suck the life out of everything!

    “Yes, it’s over: profit won the game, but like an infection, killed its host. We were the host. Quality died out because we relinquished the right to filter our own choices; profit became the filter of all choice. Truth died out because we no longer filter true experience; media profit became the filter. The infection found every human receptor, bound to every protein of existence, sucking them dry to feed corporate tumours immunised against us by government. Now the host is a carcass, the market a bacterial enzyme. So adieu!” DBC Pierre (2010), 5.

  102. Posted April 19, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this article!
    This brilliant analysis can help us to think about these crisis.

  103. David Brancaleone
    Posted April 26, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Well, I am not surprised. If you read Nancy’s book on the Inoperative Community, written in the early 1990s, I think around the time of Derrida’s Specters of Marx (1993), possibly as a later response to it, what Nancy writes in his context of disillusionment after severe Postmodernist and Poststructuralist pressures, is consistent, if flawed.
    The argument went something like this: only among poets can there be commmunity, as tangible efforts have failed. Communism can only be a commonality of minds. Whereas Badiou has returned to the dialectic, especially with the exchanges with Bruno Bosteels; he has even gone back to some of the ideas in Theory of The Subject.
    I diasgree about appropriation of the West (in terms of ideas and philosophy). That does not make sense to me. If an idea is a good one, like for example, Ibn Arabi’s concept of courtly love, it does not matter where the idea came from. What matters is fidelity to principles, fidelity to the struggle, fidelity to emancipation and the fight for freedom of the working classes across the Middle East and North Africa.

    La Lotta Continua

  104. John
    Posted April 27, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    virgil the virgin.

  105. violet
    Posted April 27, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    He could be a genius

  106. Posted October 28, 2011 at 3:05 am | Permalink

    “Everything has been figured out, except how to live”…

    Sartre

    ???

  107. Posted January 20, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Zizek, you describe my father, a “salaried bourgeoisie”, or “non-productive laborer” (see Capital, vol. II) perfectly. Except, as a clinical psychotic, gully-rider, “lumpen” prole, and reader of Artaud, I have no father. Monstrous excellence as always.

    Also, please write something about Love. Thanks.

  108. Marija Krtolica
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    The question of post-modern capitalism, and its specific style of appearance, can be addressed in a way that exposes the problems, without generating quick or easily reproducible solutions which characterize today’s intellectual market with its increased accessibility of information. Žižek wrote: “What one can discern at the horizon of our historical becoming is thus a society in which personal libertarianism and hedonism co-exist with (and are sustained by) a complex web of regulatory state mechanisms”. How much are we as political subjects becoming unaware of the systemic interpolations due to shifting types of circulation within the global market? It seems that subject’s “pathological symptoms” , the antagonisms and inconsistencies cannot easily surface as they are denied through the web of substitutions. They seem to easily be incorporated and fetishized as sources of profit, and thus cannot interact with the universal.
    “In modern times…the individual finds the abstract form ready-made; the effort to grasp and appropriate it is more the direct driving-forth of what is within and the truncated generation of the universal than it is the emergence of the latter from the concrete variety of existence. Hence the task nowadays consists not so much in purging the individual of an immediate, sensuous mode of apprehension, and making him into a substance that is an object of thought and that thinks, but rather in just the opposite, in freeing determinate thoughts from their fixity so as to give actuality to the universal….” (19-20) writes Hegel in Phenomenology of Sprit (1807). The historical awareness of modernity’s struggle with the prerogatives of technological advancement, gives rise to the thought as pure negation, and can, when seen as such, problematize the present situation. As Žižek astutely stated, communism today” is not the name of a solution, but the name of a problem”. Before the problem is read as a proposition requiring a solution, the movement occurring is more a representation of the unrealized dream of the modernity’s fulfillment through the competition with the time itself, than a realistic endeavor.
    The positivist notions of truth, and the condemnation of the opposite of true (the falsehood) without the articulated realization of a truth’s dependence on that which it excludes, nowadays render the language of reason and morality unreliable for solving problems. Paradoxically, with the multiplication of individual truths in the post-modern, and the loss of the direct reference point in the universal, opposite statements compete for the role of the universal on the market of cultural products. At the same time, these produced affirmative statements taking on the role of inclusive truths share the paranoid fear of being labeled false and of committing a rhetorical error within the public sphere. The problems appear to “have to” fit into the pre-made solutions; if they don’t, the problems appearing are excluded for the sake of the problems generated to fulfill the prophesies of produced “truths”.
    It seems that to avoid the game of substitutions, it would be necessary to look into the specifics of the repressed material. Badiou writes of a truth process as “heterogeneous to the instituted knowledges of the situation” (Ethics- An essay on the Understanding of Evil, 1993) The processes, intrinsic to the specific situation, once excavated, can elude, even perhaps defy, the prescriptive generality.

  109. Marija Krtolica
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    “Confronting the symptomatic leftovers”
    When writing and not assuming a reader other than oneself, the symptom of simultaneous appearance of multiplicity of options, potentially expressing the sense of of the lack of the imagined, but assumed real Other, becomes easily overblown. The materiality of inscription invites the surrogate real into the subject’s field of consciousness. The social subject is produced at the moment when the writer/reader takes into consideration readers with a different body consciousness than one’s own, informed with variety of histories. The unconscious material, when typed out, and at least partially reduced to the interpretable signification, paradoxically loses its concealed exclusive claim on the real.
    Psychoanalysis appears related to truth-telling, and yet the question of determining the truth production within discourse with preconceived roles, requires a level of abstraction that can expel desires, already inscribed in the body through repetition that brought into consciousness in the first place, out of the smooth functioning of the thinking apparatus In my experience, the material not articulated in language, appearing in the gaps in speech or silences that the reader produces when experiencing lack of meaning in the read material, are sometimes easily incorporated into the grid of assumptions and pre-lingual structures appearing with the recognition of the interweaving of identity and difference. Or, they might re-appear, this time condensed through language, thus disappointing at the last moment the desire for manifesting the real during intellectual labor.
    Does the writer, always, perhaps even unconsciously, have a specific reader, or community of readers, in mind?

  110. Engin Kurtay
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Marvin,
    It’s very good that you also published the transcription of the speech, cause it is now possible to compare the speech word by word with my translation into Turkish. I become mad when I see all those censorings and fraudulent alterations of Zizek’s words in Turkish media. I wrote a reply to irrelevent critics in sendika.org and will translate this article into English in the coming weeks. It’s interesting to see these symptomatic reactions in ideological/political sphere!
    Regards
    Engin Kurtay

  111. Posted April 14, 2012 at 4:26 am | Permalink

    I also was shocked by “absurd” comments of Turkish media and even columnists. Communication had never been that much of mis-communication.

    Thanks for publishing this.

  112. Marvin Gonzalez
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, Engin. I am glad this is a helpful resource. Unfortunately it’s very easy to misconstrue Zizek meaning when you stuff it into soundbites.

  113. Marina V.
    Posted May 19, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Zizek is amazing! People have to believe in divine, that’s why – in my opinion – they don’t have their own identity. They are afraid of their own identity, actually!
    In addition, Europeans have got no power if they don’t defend their countries from immigrants, as they tremble in the Name of the Big Other…
    Though, as the Name of the Father is ambiguous, so is god…
    Thank you,
    Marina V.

  114. Marina V.
    Posted May 20, 2012 at 3:51 am | Permalink

    Trance evokes tension, too much, so that when listening to death metal, which is so dark with unclear lyrics and vocals, you might get angry, anxious and feel obliged to do what the song says.

    They reach their goal, their transcendence, but is this what they really wish? Maybe this is their symbolic order for something, but it might lead them to imagination…

    What is sure is that rock and metal music, as theatre critics say have got the noise of the beats of the womb while the baby is in it. I would interpret it like that even old people who are addicted to metal music have the desire to get closer to their mother, the music is their connection with them.
    Thank you.

  115. Posted May 26, 2012 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Ego wise we show all have a power trip
    on our self.
    The ego is a real important thing,
    me it’s driven by mathematic, and
    to tell you the thruth, this society
    sponsor military,police,administration,medical but the minute you show them a self
    reserch they get all mixed up
    people fear what the do not understand and i wonder if it will be better for me to turn to the evil side..? in process until maximum 2027, but i can change anyday…
    IT’S my birthay tody and iam mostly hated
    By pretty

  116. Leo
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    gee, Horowitz is about as upsetting as a dream i had where i was stuck on a desert island with Thomas Hobbes.

  117. Posted May 28, 2012 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    “People are the problem, they are greedy, egocentric, deceitful…war is the natural state of mankind…the swedes have no morals…” This guy Horowitz is sickening. He projects his own self (greedy, egocentric, etc) on to the generalized self of the world.

  118. Posted May 31, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Zizek is against melancholia, but for Kierkegaardian “works of love”. Yet who was ever more melancholic than Kierkegaard? Kierkegaard’s is the absolutely positive affirmation of melancholia, being of the Christian Love of St. Paul’s Corinthian epistle: its “never failing” and “long enduring”, especially in the loss of the beloved (or, indeed for K., “first love”). Freud’s observations on love’s loss are only an extremely well-disseminated and culturally hegemonic critique of this Christian-Kierkegaardian Love. Melancholy, which is the enduring actuality and truth of Love for the vast majority of lovers, Freud acknowledges empirically alone and only so to “diagnose” and “cure” this “symptom” of psychic “illness”, i.e. he id against the then dominant Christian ethics of love — he resents them. Enough, I’m raving, like jacking di haus, rinsing and repeating. YABA-DABA-DOOOO!

  119. Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Dr. Zizek was amazing, as always. Something that people have to keep in mind is that they want a democracy without caffeine… They desire to satisfy themselves without any satisfaction, as they long as they like coffee, of course.

    Experience can come through life, we don’t have to believe in the Absolute Masters or… Monsters… There are others who can make the change because they really wish, they desire to try.

    And, as Dr. Zizek has said WE are the Answer…, though many are not mobilized.

  120. Marina V.
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    Dear Lacan Admin,

    I am sending you an article in Greek published on the Net page of a newspaper here, in Greece, called “Avgi” meaning “Dawn”: http://www.avgi.gr/ArticleActionshow.action?articleID=693804, the title is: Slavoj Zizek: “We need political parties like SYRIZA all over Europe”.

    I would just like to inform you about that.

    Best Regards,

    Marina Veneka

  121. Antonia
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    We cannot read the article in Greek…

  122. Ken Dietrich-Campbell
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    I will try to reread Lacan’s tables of sexuation in light of your don’t drink and don’t have ‘coffee’ example of Hegelian negation of negation. Is this how the hysteric created the analyst?

  123. Posted July 3, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Warrantless criticism is bound to a reactionary kind of bitterness — I find myself thinking of Deleuze’s “Letter to a Harsh Critic,” for some reason, though I don’t think this quite reaches the same level of depravity/vulgarity. Still, accusing Zizek of being an anti-Semite is sickeningly par for the course at this point; and it is interesting that Zizek himself identifies a “turn” in reactionary critiques of his work, a shift from identifying him as simply a provocateur to indicating him as actually somehow dangerous. (He is dangerous, perhaps, to those insular dreamers that things can continue on as they have been indefinitely…)

    I’m reminded also of earlier criticism of Zizek’s remarks on the disintegration of democracy in the West at the hands of increasingly-authoritarian capitalist system — he warned we were slowly getting exported capitalist authoritarianism, euphemistically called (note, not originally by Zizek) “capitalism with Asian values”, along the model of China and Singapore.

    Instead of responding to the concern, I remember several near-hysterical articles warning of Zizek’s rampant “racism” and his “stereotype”-based reasoning — totally ignoring the fact that the euphemism “capitalism with Asian values” was hardly Zizek’s coinage, and was never intended to be a purely cultural indication.

    At any rate, thanks for this great article.

  124. Marina V.
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 4:53 am | Permalink

    The market has become a Subject! Zizek puts it so right, in my opinion! It’s like the market, something so abstruct can speak! If we combine the words of Slavoj Zizek, we’ll see that it’s just the mask which becomes a Subject… There is always something else behind it or better someone else who needs objects to survive.

    I think that in the imaginary field, we say things that we might mean…, but in the symbolic one, as Lacan says, yes, we say something, but we mean something else. Though, we would like to say what we really need to say. I think that inside the truth, we can find a kind of lie, or a piece of truth which hasn’t been expressed and inside the lie, there is something true.

    That’s why there is always something missing…, something that cannot be said, pronounced, a loss inside us…

    Thank you.

  125. Posted July 5, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Keep in mind that the New York Review of books is a flagship of the U.S. intellectual establishment, little different from the New York Times, and so, despite the liberal-Left posturing, they come from a firmly status quo orientation. Tops-down, carefully managed change only. Aristocracy, not democracy.
    A few decades ago Richard Kostelanetz examined the origins of NYRB, which was founded by support from one of the giant publishing companies. Robert Silvers, like his good friend George Plimpton, came/comes from a liberal Cold Warrior orientation and mentality. Check his biography. Ten years ago they were hostile to the Underground Literary Alliance. The “violence” tag is a tactic used to discredit those who think outside acceptable parameters. False-narrative branding. They haven’t changed, unfortunately– but they’ll have to change, because the world is changing.
    Keep fighting.

  126. Marina V.
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    Like Dr. Zizek said, answering “No” to “No” actually means that we think the same things, so this is that we want the same result.
    And, he is clear! He stated it when he analysed about the way he talks, but even when being perplexed, he is still specific. All he wishes is to understand himself, so that others will do the same, as well.

    As for the obvious, it’s like the “Purloined Letter” of Lacan, it is so obvious that we can’t see it! Though, as he emphasized with the joke of cartoonist, we might need the same thing, but with our own way each one, as unique human beings…

    Let’s think of his Words and of the big moment that all wait. Maybe the big one of each person is a different one, under different circumstances and in a different way…
    Thank you.

  127. Peter van Summeren
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    On p 5 Lacan is pushed forward as a repetition of Hegel. Consequently it must be that Lacan fails (p 18). Also, a split with Badiou pushes to a new kind of subject (p 835). The part about physics lacks the atmosphere of a physicist: a bard which likes to create Lady Natura again and again, then dress her up (with a new theory). For me as just a reader, this book is unbearable. (I could mention so much more.)

  128. Marina V.
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Dr. Zizek talks for a variety of matters. If some people stuck to their own fantasies and they need psychological revenge or war, Mr. Zizek is not the one who will feed them…
    He clearly states that we can find fantasy in the fantasy… It’s the picture that matters, the picture inside us… If some think they are pursued from others’ ideas, so they are!

    They can fix it through analysis…

  129. Diogenes
    Posted July 12, 2012 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    Gray is an exemplar of the worst in weak thought: European Buddhist nihilism negating all the emancipatory and empowering Enlightenment possibilities that have been fought for progress HARDLY an illusion Zizek as per usual is spot on with his provocative analyses

  130. Lionpsyche
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Zizek states the situation of Ethics. We have to wonder if here, in Greece, there is the word “Ethics” in the Lacanian Orientation. They all believe that they are proper to take decisions, but what kind of decisions?
    Like Dr. Zizek mentioned, decisions of fear and scare, something which make all Greeks delightful, because they really enjoy this.

    They like when someone imposes upon them his/her ideas, cause they need ready-made ones, they all have the motivation of Death and Death is being Sure for everything.

    Is this their real Desire? Even if it’s not, it’s their satisfaction with the strict term of Lacan. The easier thing for all is to feel remorse for everything!

    Thank you.

  131. Ken Dietrich-Campbell
    Posted July 30, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Excellent, especially following “the spinning plates.” Do I detect a style intensity? I’ve been reading and listening to you for decades. I was tickled when you turned up on our CBC Radio here in Vancouver. Another good one I’d like to put up against your “What does Europe want?” is Eric Laurent’s “Against Neuro-Metaphors.” They intertwine beautifully. I get a goof feeling from telling people about ‘My favourite philosopher.’
    (Sorry about the slip of the pen.)

  132. Lionpsyche
    Posted August 1, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Everyone needs a Master, but what kind of Master? Is religious the absolute one when there is war among religious people, real fight? Who is the one that can impose upon women, for example, how to get dressed, to walk, etc.?

    Each religion is just an imagination of each one of us, we have to decipher it so that we will symbolise what we need, we desire from ourselves.

    And, I absolutely agree that if we don’t try to get socialized and co-exist, we will always be in such a vicious circle leading to nowhere…

  133. Marija Krtolica
    Posted August 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Concept of the unconscious interpretation- the first person version that assumes subject’s fulfillment of the imperative to know it’s own limited perspective (sujet supposé savoir, but that of an analyzed who can be examined), within a signifying system that analyst could potentially comprehend, as a prerequisite for the analytical process, brings up, for me, a question of organization of the defense mechanisms. Which defense mechanisms demonstrate correspondences between political organizations and individual subjects; is there a limited range of subjectivities that are given within the “common knowledge” of the culture and reified by the recognizable, if often hidden, apparatuses of power? Which defense mechanisms on the other hand are obscure enough to have a pretention to manifest as subject’s “inner” working? Are the latter, paradoxically, more accessible for universal interpretations, as they might appear apolitical, but closer to drives? Do the second ones lead towards definition of one’s sense of real? Is the real always threatening when recognized as existing in a readable form in the consciousness of the other? What about split-subjects where the analytical other is internalized; can this subject ever pretend to know?

  134. Posted August 12, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Readers of this might be interested in article I recently wrote, “Memories of the Future,” on a time when there actually was still a future. Engages with a number of recent writings on the subject by Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Slavoj Žižek, T.J. Clark, Owen Hatherley, Chris Cutrone, Max Ajl, Asad Haider, Salar Mohandesi, Ben Lear, and Malcolm Harris, which have been published by AK Press, Zero Books, Jacobin, New Left Review, and others. In case anyone might want to check it out.

    Feel free to cross-post in its entirety if you’d like.

  135. Anon rnd
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Your argument is not without merit, but consider this: If we do act in a liberal and kind way, demographic trends indicate that we will be swallowed by fundamentalism.

    It’s simple maths – fundamentalists have more children – families of 4 or even 6 children are common, compared to the western average of 1.7. This means that the numbers of fertile adults double or triple each generation, and therefore x4 or x9 in two generations, x8 or x27 in three.

    We can uphold our values of freedom and tolerance of the “Muslim other” and feel virtue, but in the end it will mean that we nobly sink with the ship, as a muslim majority will not uphold these values.

  136. Diogenes
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Bravo but Capitalism with Asian values has very much to do with re-articulated elements of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucius’s thought which support and drive the mutating neo-liberal machine

  137. kamil
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    isn’t society sometimes is in complicity with power. power standing nearby and laughing, pointing on crazy ones,
    appealing to society’s conformity. i think in russia its only bolstering confidence of power. though, Slavoj Zizik’s response is encouraging, we must belief and fight. thank you

  138. JuJu
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Arrrgggh! So the woman gets to serve the man the idea, either in his lap, or at his dinner. Why doesn’t she pilfer the plate for herself if it is such an aid to thought and revolt, why doesn’t the “angel” reveal HIMself to her if this whole thing has so much potential. Somehow I doubt in this great philosophical discussion the men have about fate vs freedom that they give any particular thought to the shadowy and subordinate figure who serves them the dish.

  139. Posted August 22, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Viva Zizek! Viva Pussy Riot! The Miracolous Appearance of Pussy Riot in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour,Moscow. It`s a beautiful church made even more beautiful with Pussy Riot in it ! Pussy Riot are also the apotheosis (so far) of the situationist detournement of public and commercial spaces…by feminist artists. Their modernist aesthetic ( Suprematist!) and poetic daring and intelligence does indeed make them disciples of the poet Vvedensky and the Oberiu Poets (imprisoned and killed by Stalinists during the Great Terror). Pussy Riot state this in the closing statements of the show trial. Jesus,Kafka and Guy Dedord are mentioned. The savage provincialism and lunacy of Saint Putin and the Patriarch is now obvious. Its a public relations disaster for Russia`s cultural and spiritual economy. In Biblical terms the `disastrous abomination of the desolation` has enthroned itself in Russia. The Society of the Spectacle in Russia has shot itself in the foot. It`s next shot will be through what remains of its brain. We pray.

  140. Lionpsyche
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Sublime grandeur, yes, this is the exact word for each church, full of gold asking for more and more through love, like saying encore…

    The ones who mock are those who are believed to be in power, though they are not, as others are the ones who take control of them. And, they are afraid of the Big Other, let’s talk a bit Lacanian…

    Yes, Dr. Zizek is right that somebody cannot arrest an idea, ideas can only be understood, but did they? Also, we can help, but not give anything, like giving ourselves as I saw in Mr. Zizek’s letter and pray especially when there is no Master, no God, no invisible powers…

  141. Lionpsyche
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    I would like to refer to something I was asked. Wasn’t there a ritual, a religious ceremony for some people. Of course, Pussy Riots chose that time so that they could be heard and show their disagreement to the oppression.
    Though, don’t we have to respect others’ freedom? I would like to hear Mr. Zizek’s thoughts on this issue.
    As human beings, we don’t want others to tresspass our limits. Didn’t Pussy Riots do so? I repeat that they chose the significant moment, but some people need to believe in a Master, a Symbolic Master who is called god for them.
    Maybe we can’t condemn these people, but only those in “their power”.

    Besides, oppression is a symptom, isn’t it?…
    Thank you.

  142. Posted September 1, 2012 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    This is fabulous! Viva Zizek and Pussy Riot! On Sept 17 Strut Records re-release our `Vaneigem Mix` track(by Royal Family & the Poor) on the FAC.DANCE 02 compilation of early Factory Records. We dedicate this track to Pussy Riot and Zizek and all in the liberation miracle movement. ( its also on Youtube).

  143. Posted September 4, 2012 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    … this is (generally speaking) not related to the above text, but talking about…”This is why they wear balaclavas: masks of de-individualization, of liberating anonymity. “…hmmm…I would like to ask …(just for the sake of it and since lacan.com claims that your e mail is never published nor shared) …why it provides a link to the poster’s name on the web???

    …please offer an explanation to this — would be greatly appreciated…

  144. sarban malhans
    Posted September 19, 2012 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    That John Gray has not understood Zizek or
    his work is more than obvious. However, as an Indian I often wonder if European writers could not set forth their views more clearly, more transparently to avoid
    misunderstanding.
    Imagine the number of primers in circulation claiming to introduce the ideas of Zizek and other contemporary thinkers to all and sundry. Why are such interpositions needed
    in the first place?

  145. Lionpsyche
    Posted September 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Zizek – Year of Distraction: A great example the one with the priest. You do something, but not in the narcissist way. Though, we have to emphasize that in order to do something like that, we have to feel self-conscience, to know our own limits first and decide for our psychic Ethics.

    In addition, what is important here is that it doesn’t matter how many years we know somedody, there is always a Big Other inside him or her…, so distances are necessary for our protection, we don’t have to think similar to the mass or to be loved or liked by all…

  146. Marina V.
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Employees, employers, unemployable, they are all part of the system. And yes, what is most tragic nowadays, is that people who have studied a lot, people who desire to study even more, don’t have the chance at all, sometimes. They have to work hard…

    Their desire might win, but first of all, they have to work with themselves. Hearing every now and then about Dr. Zizek and his opinions, among Greek people can make someone mad, but would he attack to those who critisize him so negatively? I think that he has talked about censorship, so he has given us the signs…

    Pascal’s “absconditus” is right for each one who believes in a Master. We all have a Symbolic one, besides. There are signs, but not miracles, we, the real human beings can make miracles if we have our minds and eyes open.

    And, yes, people make always a contract in their lives. As Lacan has mentioned, there is no sexual relationship between a man and a woman. Imagine the political contradictions among men and women! The one gender always becomes the Object of the other for the pleasure of the Other. But, accepting is, means exactly that we love pain. Because, Satisfaction is our pain, that’s why we still admit all this political situation.

    Though, through pessimmism, we might be able to observe, not the light of the Other train (as Mr. Zizek is right), but the light in ourselves and how we can correct things for ourselves first and not massively, as they all do. Each one is unique, let’s not forget it… We can’t be ready, though, as the unexpected will be waiting for us and we are made to face such situations. I repeat Dr. Zizek’s amazing phrase he has said: “WE are the ANSWER”…

    Thank you.

  147. Posted September 23, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    This is interesting, and relevant especially for those who have done yoga philosophy inspired practice. As a vegetarian and a yoga practitioner for quite a long time, who does not find a choice between vegetarian diet and carnivorous diet on the individual level especially important except as a source of the endless narcissistic self-righteous conversational display, I find that the questions of purity, and spiritual achievement enter Western discourse in ways that are both distorted by historical and geographical difference, and somewhat potentially harmful . India of course has a history of being an idealized (in its exotic or poeticized form), or at least mystified other, par excellence. Of course, there are ways of reading ancient texts such as Bhagavad-Gita that completely internalize or in the best scenario lend literary doubling to the conflict described; however, since the book is often read as a spiritual manual, the solution to the identity crisis of the major protagonist Arjuna is often seen as unambiguous , and the question about overcoming a moment of doubt and performing one’s dharma (duty, will of God, destiny; there are many translations) is resolved through the notion of the complete surrender to the divine will. This is often interpreted as necessity of accepting karmic roles, which appear pre-given, although not completely pre-determined; there is space for decision and action at least if you are born as one of the main protagonists. Though law of karma- all the actions a singular soul performs do have repercussions, and the life one gets is the life one deserves, the logic is not empirical causality in relationship to a single life lived. However, there is no place for just change in the caste system in terms of the given dharma. Even this highly poetic text is easily used for the defense of wars, and systems of law justified inequalities system. In the West, in the so-called spiritual communities, it most of the time seems to serve to protect the status quo (and the much needed calm amongst the adventurous middle class with enough support to afford spiritual explorations, and search for release from anxieties of ordinary life in capitalism; not to mention stressed out artists without regular employment), where all the questioning is resolved through individual discipline, that does, however, involve belief in a higher power. History of transferring Indian thought, and mixing it with neo-Christian ideas of rebirth is of course highly controversial, and somewhat embarrassing (theosophy is a good source for tracing back the logic of current complexities ). But, back to the casts, they are related to nourishment, contact, and dirt as equated with ignorance. Mary Douglas observes that “ritual protection of bodily orifices” serves in the old Indian cast system as a symbol of “social preoccupations with entrances and exits”. The contact with lower cast is necessary, but ritual separation is essential for preserving the purity of nutrition for higher casts. The symbolic separation is thus reiterated through repetition of rituals. The rituals get an elaborate spiritual justification, which would, of course, become weak with time without a tradition of belief in sacred meaning beyond rational understanding. The reincarnation offers a last escape from the idea of social injustice. However, at this time, for me it is more pertinent to note how and why these ideas, beyond their intricate cultural history and politico-economic logic, become appropriated in the West.

  148. Posted September 27, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    I am wondering how much of the mental power, and fear generated by the global market have to do with the very ideals of liberalism that Žižek speaks about: nation state without the burden of the historical nationalism; transformation rather than radical break with the preexisting capitalist modes of acquiring wealth; complete individual freedom without a psychoanalytic understanding of the nature of desire. Timor mortis hyperbolized by the modern absence of the religious fear (mysterium tremendum)- the horror of the absolute lack of afterlife without the interjection of an incarnated divinity, is attributable to the surreptitious; hidden because within the global market it is almost impossible to detect the prime movers, the “real” initiators; laws of profit making. What Rudolph Otto coined numinous- the tremendous fear from a higher power, suffused in admiration, to become activated incorporates its opposite: the intuitive sense that the afore mentioned does not have any reality outside the sphere of imaginary, and that it requires a material manifestation. A system which excludes its own unneeded products displaces stabilizing ideological binaries such as truth/lie, good/evil, real/fake etc., and in this constant displacement engenders a simulation of the mysterium tremendum. The capitalist system which gives edge to the everyday impossibilities reinvented by its active members, is akin to the experiential reality depicted by Otto- unapproachable, powerful , and endowed with an urgency that easily turned into the justified wrath of the Gods of Western democracy.

  149. Maze
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Zizek,

    reading the text I stumbled into something like a rupture in your line of thought: it’s located where you put in parantheses your complaint about the ‘ideological trick’.

    You afterward claim, ‘untouchability as such’ should be discarded because the system hinges on it. At this point I feel that any system in question is consubstantial with ‘language’ and its inherent ‘untouchability’ hinges therefore on the certain taboo.

    So the thing is not so much to abolish ‘untouchability’ but to analyze what’s been put in the parantheses – the ideological trick. I would NOT dismiss those trick too quickly since it shows the mode of ‘waste transformation’, doesn’t it?

    You cite the injunction..

    1. “to recycle personal waste”:
    this means waste can be turned into value

    2. “to put bottles, newspapers, etc., in the appropriate separate bins”:
    everything has a symbolic place: as a commodity form

    Waste is sent back to the commodity chain ..! We did that to ‘protect the enviroment’ which was initially a good intention, but waste now has the ‘magical powers’ of the commodity .. !

    Finally, jouissance is waste which lacks magics powers ?

    Regards

  150. Ed Goldsmith
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    As a retired senior citizen in need of items of interest, I started to attend Lacanian events, even though, frankly, it seems incomprehensible to me.
    I am impressed that a Frenchman can get so involved in the US presidential election. Most psychoanalysts I’ve met, and I was active in the field myself in the past, hide their political opinions. Frankly, I did not read all of your analysis of the situation, but I do appreciate your forthrightness.
    As to your annoyance that Europe was not mentioned in the presidential debate, I see no reason why it should have been mentioned. I quote you, “Seen from France, the salient fact was the absence of Europe, never evoked, even obliquely, as if she did not exist. The word was not even pronounced.”
    My strong feelings are that this is a U.S.A. national election, having nothing whatsoever to do with Europe. I am surprised that you feel otherwise.
    I hope that I have not ruffled your feathers too much. All the best!

  151. frank
    Posted October 27, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Miller only says it was a ’salient fact’. I don’t think you can presume any annoyance necessarily. The debate was on ‘foreign policy’ thus one might have expected a word at least on a major continent. at least it’s absence points to a certain view of what is considered relevant at this moment.

  152. RedAllOver
    Posted November 1, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Sizek

    You have obviously worked hard and studied a lot.

    Why dont you write your revolutionary ideas in a
    style that working class people can understand?

    Shocking middle class people is easy.
    Educating the workers is difficult.

  153. Marina V.
    Posted November 7, 2012 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    The discourse “hope and change” obsolete! No discourse, no words, just a monologue like the ones presiding at Universities!

    Mr. J.-A. Miller has so cohesive language, remaining a real human being and psychoanalyst.

  154. Marina V.
    Posted November 15, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Someone could say a lot on this discussion. Dr. Zizek points out important signs and has a lot of signifiers to be analyzed.

    Though, I would stay to lazy Greeks, as he said even laughing. Most times Greeks, even though they don’t admit it are forced to be lazy here, so that they will be recognizable.

    On the other hand, there are so many people with a significant orientation even working without payment, because they really have the desire to do so. Such Greeks are never appreciated…

    Another point is “the figure of Jew” and why Syriza takes the risk. I agree with Mr. Zizek and I think that many have an illusionary figure for the Other they talk with. This figure makes them aggressive without even having heard the Other’s ideas, opinions… So, the best we have to to in this case is to stop the dialogue, even discourse has its limits, besides…

    And the Fall is something that a few can even consider as they need a Master over their head, even if they become the capitalists’ slaves, even if the become others’ object or their animal, refusing their human nature.

    Thank you.

  155. Posted November 16, 2012 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    a couple questions.

    1. Is it not more than a bit *preachy* to describe what an entire nation “has to learn” – an example, in fact, of an eerily similar preachiness which many in the US have inflicted on other countries throughout its “hegemonic” history? seems a rather glib counciling of 300 million people, in any case.

    2. If Margaret Thatcher’s triumph was New Labour, we can certainly not say, in the same sense, that Barack Obama’s is the Tea Party, can we? Actually existing Republicans in the US have not yet ’started to use the language’ of the Obama administration or Senate Democrats; indeed, many on the Left would argue that Obama (and Third Way liberalism in general) is a result of liberals ‘adopting the basic economic policies’ of conservatives. This may help explain why Obamacare is said to be nearly identical to Romneycare in Massachusetts and the Bob Dole plan from the mid-1990s. so: was group A speaking group B’s language or was group B speaking group A’s, *or were they both speaking the same language in different octaves*? and how does one tell the difference?

  156. Marina V.
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Even simple movies have their meaning behind the words and gestures… Mr. Zizek can teach us about that at each of his lectures.

    Yes, there is our outside and our inside, but we can have a connection between them, so that we will suffer less and this is the Symbolic Order, I think.

    Even the ones who claim they are not materialists, they truly are! Buddism depends on a man, not on a holy spirit, so it is worth studying about it, but as Mr. Zizek said all these transcedental promises are real?

    In my opinion, they try to attract people like a Father would do, they try to have a position in people’s lives, like melancholy has, like the sword has. And, their spiritual thoughts about swords are so admirable! But, do they really believe so?…

    Last but not least, biogenetics have really help people, but they have done the double damage on them if not much more. And this is because, nobody can control our uncoscious, no pills, no wires, nothing. Our unconscious will always speak and be spoken.

    Thank you.

  157. Posted November 23, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Is the fatal flow of the capitalist system of production relations the lack of utopian dream that would not be based on the realization of consumerist fantasies or redemption from sins through work? Apropos killing Mother Nature capitalism did radicalize incoherencies in human aspirations; especially those that mix up personal realization made possible through grounding in accumulated capital with a dream of happiness for the entire human kind consisting of ghostly copies of the one achieving individual with clearly defined self-interest. Thus, sentimentality about “pre-modern harmony” appears appropriately displaced, although it becomes a source for romantic projections devoid of subjectivity, provokes an awe for the better yesterday with all its deeply felt drama, and begets material gain through health industry. Does the intelligent spectator, bound to the screen, miss the exposure of interests in the struggles of the early capitalism where individual became an economical subject through utilizing its savage, natural aggression (survival of the fittest, big animals devouring little animals if they cannot make profit through classical exploitation of them)? This discussion made me think about the illusion of free-choice we are entertaining even as we are experiencing crisis, and about the representation mechanisms that can displace agencies, purposefully misinterpreting symbols of political power. The symbols appear arbitrary, and accurate critical analysis becomes very difficult
    The issues about local agency, focus on criticism of state (Žižek mentions Badiou’s position) vs. involvement in mainstream politics is relevant. How do left intellectuals understand the role of governing at this point? What kind of self-criticism, in terms of both its collective history and often seemingly privileged position in Western democracies would be necessary for it to be heard (understood) outside its own enclaves?

  158. Marina V.
    Posted January 4, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Actually, I agree with Dr. Zizek, as capitalism is perversity for those who express it and those who follow it. It’s the slaves, as Mr. Zizek said, following their master, but this master is the Big Other and “sheeps” obey to the orders of him, it might be a structure or a person, this doesn’t matter. What matters most is that people following such orders, people who resist to prohibition, but they impose prohibition on themselves because they want to be desired by the Big Other are like hysterics.

    Last but not least, what was referred about “Vertigo” is true, as what is hidden is obvious most of the times and the obvious isn’t, as Lacan has mentioned before…

    Thank you.

  159. Posted February 5, 2013 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Hi,

    Interesting. In my opinion, if you really want to change the corruption of western society, you change its structure of money that destroys it being made as a commodity, and becomes a unit of exchange alone.

  160. Posted May 12, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Thank you to Zizek, even for this short article which has made me revisit and re-interpret the actions of Pussy Riot. This may sound absurd but I have to say that reading it and these letters has (depite my following Slavoj for a few years now, albeit only with the interest of a voyeur) helped me understand how correct political protest can be carried out.

  161. Marina V.
    Posted May 31, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Dr. Lacan has indeed mentioned the Jouissance in Encore and has talked about Catholics and that the church will prevail again on psychoanalysis. Dr. Miller has mentioned it, as well.
    As some of us know, there is Lacan-before and Lacan-after. It is good when a philosopher and even more a psychoanalyst is ambiguous, it means that he/she searches not only Others’ unconscious, but also his/her. He/She is a speaking being meaning that he/can examine more deeply something and the conclusions might be different…

    Let’s not forget what Lacan said “language is the proof of our unconscious”.

    Language and the Jouissance of it produces symptoms on our Body, symtoms dwell us.

    As far as Mr. Zizek said about God, meaning – as I understood – the Name of the Master, his conlusion is what a sinthome might look for… We are not obliged to obey to the Jouissance of the Name of the Father, we can deny him or just fallback. Besides, the Name of the Father is not the Real Father, it might be – as well said by Mr. Zizek – the community with the laws, politics, etc. – and we, as speaking beings give this Jouissance unconsciously to this Master. Though, we can invent our own Name of the Father, which will be Symbolic and with not such a Jouissance, perpetrating our Bodies.

    Let’s not forget that we live in the “Geek” Era, where the Name of the Father has fallen. Technology and other inventions have replaced him…, of couse, having difficulties and producing disorders and symptoms, as well, as some gadges are the projection of the Phallus.

    But, Mr. Zizek gave a clue about the so-called God…

    Best,
    Marina V.

  162. Matthew Flamm
    Posted January 20, 2015 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Not a scholar of Lacan, just an armchair reader (Zizek is always interesting!) Question for those more in the know: Isn’t this persistent notion of an “original fact” problematic? Admittedly seems that Zizek is just playing with the idea himself, and with the idea of the “causal link” explanation, but still seems to me highly dubious. Seems one can say that in the case of certain relationships such as that portrayed in Lynch’s Dorothy and Frank, there is this possibility that her taunting depression/lethargy is grounding things, but that hardly merits saying it constitutes an “original fact?” (May not be getting this of course…corrections welcome.)

  163. Matthew Flamm
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Rethinking this very interesting proposal again after a few days, I also think Zizek’s use of the words “depression” and “lethargy” is problematic. Better say “stasis.” Women are apt to fall into stasis and so to pull out of men the “prodding” “electroshocks”…also, why no mention of eros? Is it not the presence or absence of eros that is going on as well? (And I still say: there are no “original facts!!”)

  164. Kenji Katsuragi
    Posted February 17, 2015 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Something is discussed in this sentence. But the position which Greece was put isn’t told.

5 Trackbacks

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  2. By law of attraction on June 14, 2009 at 4:48 am

    law of attraction…

    So, what are the benefits of self- realization? Complete acceptance of oneself, as is, and without a need to pretend otherwise….

  3. By mp3-vaulter on June 20, 2009 at 12:21 am

    That sounds too simple to me [about:Sahir Ludhianvi " Sahir Ludhianvi- by Prakash Pandit]. I get the general drift of your message but there must be something I am not seeing?…

  4. [...] Lacan affirms that his ideas are inspired by clinical practice rather than philosophy. More specifically, his ideas are directly attributable to the analytic cure or the pass. [...]

  5. […] Žižek observes, this kind of propensity to idealism within the Left tradition has come from Marx himself.  Žižek writes that underpinning Marx’s understanding of communism, is a futuristic […]