Zizek Studies:

Half-formed posts, inchoate philosophies, and the germs of deep thought.

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Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby Orbie » Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:21 pm

i think so.
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In answer to your prayer
sincere, the centre of
your circle here,
i stand ; and , without
taking thought,-
i know nothing. But i can

Full well your need-as
you be men
This: Re-Creation. With a
bow,
Then, your obedient

servant now.
One gift is all i find in me,
And that is faithful
memory
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Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby Fixed Cross » Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:17 pm

Thanks d63,
I must say this is one of the most pleasant threads I've enjoyed on ILP. I sort of regret it's over, I'm by no means done with Zizek or the Plague of Fantasies, even.
Deleuze is a whole different game, I am far less experienced in it. But I had a feeling, coming into this thread, that it would lead to Deleuze. I associate the guy most with blissful summers in Vienna, intoxicated with love, sun and smoke. That is to say, I don't remember much but I have fond memories. You'll have to give me some time to get into him. I started in Difference & Repetition, not an easy read. I was thinking of approaching it in French, but I don't think I'm quite ready for that. It is frustrating though to read a Frenchman in English.
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Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby d63 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:20 pm

Have to tip my hat to the possibility to you even being able to consider reading him in French. But as far as it goes, I'm mainly focusing on secondary sources on this run that includes William's (which can be downloaded, Obe), Hughes, Levi-Bryant, And Claire Colebrook. IF you're intimidated, as I often am (and you would have just cause for being so), I would highly recommend Colebrook's Routeledge guide which is accessible enough to give you enough to respond to as concerns Deleuze in general -which is what this study is about.

As far as Zizek, I hope to get back to him, and as soon as possible.

The thing is, FC (and you as well, Obe), don't you ever feel like you reach a ceiling with these studies? It's as if you reach a certain point and, no matter how much you read further on the subject, you will never get past the point of understanding that you, as an individual, are ready for. As has been said of Lacan: the only ones that seem to understand him are those who understood him before even encountering him.

To me, it is as if what develops through a certain thinker happens as a natural next step to my individual process while being supplemented through that thinker. You both are clearly a ways into your process. I'd just like to hear your take on how it works for you.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby Fixed Cross » Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:40 pm

I think that in a sense what is said about Lacan is true for more philosopher-psychologists. It is definitely true for Nietzsche. Not because he is so complex - he is not, rather straightfoward and unwavering - but because he speaks to a certain constitution, precisely as you clarify at the end of your OP on Difference & Repetition. One can not understand Nietzsche if one demands, a priori to any investigation, that all conception of existence must be identity-based. Existence must be flux-based, illusion/fantasy must be the interface, otherwise it's not just impossible, but unbearably boring.

I would like to participate in that thread, but feel it is folly do do so without having the Deleuze background. I might look into the sources you suggest, or I might go through with reading the book itself, at least part of it. In any case I'm very interested in the angle you take on it.

As to the ceiling: I find myself gradually elevating that ceiling every time I revisit a philosopher. Like with Zizek - I notice that I understand more of what he's implying now than three or four years ago when I started reading him. I now understand much more of what is meant by fantasy and the phantasmatic. As simple as it may seem, or be even, I suppose I lacked the experience to truly fathom the role fantasy plays in the activity of causing the world to make sense. Fantasy is the ground to most value-assessment, to be sure, even to accepting the value things such as food have for us - the difference between the tasty meal we perceive vis a vis "the slime we actually eat", so to speak.

Speaking of French, here too fantasy plays a fundamental part. What of the suggestions caused by the visceral reality of a language? In effect, can we not compare a language that we do not speak or understand at all to the Lacanian Real? And in the first instance, it is fantasy which allows us to connect to that language at all - we must firstly imagine that we understand, imagine an order, project our need of identity into the form-less stream of sound -- not sure if I am making sense. Perhaps it is a different kind of fantasy that connects me to the French language - perhaps even the opposite of it being the Real - in fact I sometimes feel that French is, to me, the real (truly viable) symbolic order, pertaining to/disclosing reality in a way that actually allows me to exist as a 'perfect' (fully self-valuing) entity. A language translates the subject to himself, and all languages do this differently, producing different subjects and different hierarchies of degrees to which subjects are disclosed to themselves.

We can only be disclosed to ourselves in ways that we can accept - value. If we are disclosed in a way that we can not value, we necessarily destroy our existence. That is to say, we either withdraw from the appearance, becoming deliberately blind, receding into the dark, or we impose violence on ourselves in order to no longer resemble that which has been disclosed. So in this sense, psychoanalysis is not the art of disclosing the subject as he is (directly mediating the Real into the Symbolic Order) but as he can accept himself. It is probing the fantasy realm belonging to that particular subject for pathways for the Real to stream into the Symbolic Order. A subjects idea of himself is always structurally phantasmatic. In this aethir-like substance, the subjects decision making capacity is suspended like a spider in a web, he walks the fine threads he has woven to devour the Real as it has been trapped in his fantasy in order to sustain - ahh, okay enough, or too much!
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Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby Fixed Cross » Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:59 pm

"Fantasy is the ground to most value-assessment, to be sure, even to accepting the value things such as food have for us - the difference between the tasty meal we perceive vis a vis "the slime we actually eat", so to speak."

Hmmm. I just wondered now about breastfeeding. If what I say/quote above here is true, then we could see how much the difference between being breast-fed and fed out of a bottle would make to a human individual. If accepting value from the Real is a case of creating a fantasy as a medium, then this first, primordial value assessment must be accompanied by a very crucial first form of fantasy.

A person who has not been breast-fed would perhaps be more capable of sustaining the "plastic society" by suitable fantasies. Meaning, he would be more used to creating fantasies to interpret plastic as a proper medium of value. A person who is breast-fed on the other hand would require 'a more human touch' to trust the origin of his value.

But this is pure speculation based on the assumption that fantasy is always required to make the Real into Value. I like the idea, certainly - the "self-valuing", as I call the subject, the entity, in value-ontology, is essentially a fantasizing-machine.
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Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby d63 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:19 am

As I return to Zizek, I cannot help but do so with a certain amount of hesitation and anxiety. As anyone knows who has occupied these boards with me: my love (maybe just like/hate (with a dash of contempt (relationship with Capitalism has often led to some rants that have been hurtful towards people who, despite my issues with their issues, I care a great deal about. As I have said before: I try to make peace with it since there is nothing I can do about it which makes it hardly worth alienating people I actually do love despite their politics. At the same time, as I once saw on an avatar that consisted of graffiti written on a broken down wall:

“Every day I wake up on the wrong side of Capitalism.”

With Zizek, I find myself approaching the beast, and everyone in between, with my finger on the trigger. And even within my start with the introducing graphic guide (and quit rolling your eyes: they are a useful summary of the issue (the notes are flowing.  The rants are sure to follow. And I apologize ahead of time to anyone who gets caught in the crossfire.

All of which kind of imposes upon me the first point to be made: the push-pull relationship I/we tend to have with Capitalism and the Jouissance it implies –Jouissance being a term that was strangely missing from the graphic guide. One of Zizek’s concerns that came up was the intimate relationship between law and prohibition and the transgression of them. In a sense, it is as if the very creation of these laws and prohibitions creates the desire to transgress them and, in turn, the very push-pull relationship that defines Jouissance.

Now what is notable here is Zizek’s Lacanian understanding of the subconscious as that which works in a way opposite to consciousness: as a kind of counterbalance to the conscious imperatives the self finds itself faced with. The thing is that Carl Jung saw the subconscious in the same sense and used it as a primary agent in the maladies that extreme introverts or extreme extroverts can succumb to. But first we have to understand what Jung actually meant by the terms as compared to the popular notions about them. The terms extrovert and introvert are actually a phenomenological issue of one’s relationship with the world of objects.  For the extrovert everything begins and ends in the world of objects (the realists (while for the introvert everything begins and ends in the self (the groundhogs of reality going into the world and bringing back objects to store in their own little hole.

Jung then goes on to describe the maladies that both can fall into because of the counterbalancing role of the subconscious.  The malady of the extrovert is that of hysteria:  the subconscious seeking to overwhelm their focus on the world of objects and them reacting by throwing themselves deeper into that world in an exaggerated way. Hence: their propensity towards dogma since dogma is basically “out there”: a product of the symbolic order.

The malady of the introvert (for which I lack the actual term (consists of the subconscious asserting an attraction to the world of objects while the individual, at a conscious level, is repulsed by it. And, unfortunately, I can testify to this anecdotally in that much of my critical stance towards Capitalism results from the push-pull relationship I find myself in with a world of consumer goods: the objects occupying my environmental and cultural space.

I hope to go into this deeper in the context of Zizek (my window has run out (but before I go I would offer a more finished piece I did on the subject:

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=179930
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby Orbie » Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:47 pm

No worries, this is what philosophy consists of; inclusion of everything imaginable in the old sense of de-differentiating every type of knowledge into it's methodology.

Chomsky had a spat with Zizek, which is not too admirable when looked at from the vantage point of professional philosophers. And yet, it had a progressive effect on the left, and that is probably worth to look at.
[size=50][/size]Allone's Obe issance



In answer to your prayer
sincere, the centre of
your circle here,
i stand ; and , without
taking thought,-
i know nothing. But i can

Full well your need-as
you be men
This: Re-Creation. With a
bow,
Then, your obedient

servant now.
One gift is all i find in me,
And that is faithful
memory
Orbie
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Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby d63 » Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:43 am

obe wrote:No worries, this is what philosophy consists of; inclusion of everything imaginable in the old sense of de-differentiating every type of knowledge into it's methodology.

Chomsky had a spat with Zizek, which is not too admirable when looked at from the vantage point of professional philosophers. And yet, it had a progressive effect on the left, and that is probably worth to look at.


Did not know that, Obe. But I can easily see it happening given the 2 completely different approaches.

And as always: thanks for sticking with me, brother. I do not show nearly the appreciation I should for it.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby d63 » Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:50 am

Iona wrote:I'm trying to understand what it is your saying here, or trying to say.

I could say a great deal about Zizek, but I'm not sure that is the point of this thread?...


Hopefully, Iona, we'll work that out as we go along. And having seen you work, I'm quite sure you can say a lot about Zizek and am looking forward to it.

The main thing I can offer now is that I am primarily working from the book Plague of Fantasies and the role that Jouissance (that push/pull relationship we tend to have with reality (can play in human cruelty among other aspects of the human condition.

However, I feel like I owe you an elaboration on the point of Jouissance. I was hoping to just come on the boards and just respond to points the peers I have collected have made: to just engage in a friendly exchange of licks: the jam. But you have turned this into yet another postcard -you bastard.

Anyway, my understanding of Jouissance came from the graphic guide: Lacan for Beginners. And know that I am mainly explaining this for the sake of intellectual curiosity. If it feels like I am hitting on you, it is only because Lacan was a bit of womanizer and tended to use his intellect towards that purpose.

But if you look at the experience of sex, it is one of experiencing pleasure at a conscious level while experiencing discomfort at a subconscious level. The argument used for this is that if you cut the sexual act off just before climax, you will experience discomfort. But I think it runs a little deeper and more subtle than this. If you actually think back to any sexual experience you have had, it is one of trying to work towards a threshold that will take you out of place you are really enjoying at the time. In other words, when you are in the sexual act, you are in a state of going in 2 directions at once.

Lacan then goes on to explain that in the case of neurosis or hysteria, the dynamic is reversed. In that case, discomfort is experienced at a conscious level while pleasure is experienced at a subconscious level. This is why we tend to repeat behaviors that give us displeasure at a conscious level. This, for instance, explains why women will stay in abusive relationships or why a guy will continue to imagine their girlfriend having sex with someone else regardless of what they’re actually doing.

Now in order to understand what I’m getting at: imagine a song that makes you want to fold into yourself: that is the very Jouissance that underlies acts of cruelty: the way Nazi’s would go home at night and listen to Wagner in order to prove to themselves that they were, after all, civilized men. As Zizek writes in Plague of Fantasies:

“It is especially important to bear in mind how the very ‘bureaucratization’ of the crime was ambiguous in its libidinal impact: on the one hand, it enabled (some of) the participants to neutralize the horror and take it as ‘just another job’; on the other, the basic lesson of the perverse ritual also applies here: this ‘bureaucratization’ was in itself the source of an additional jouissance (does it not provide an additional kick if one performs the killing as a complicated administrative-criminal operation? Is it not more satisfying to torture prisoners as part of some orderly procedure –say, the meaningless ‘morning exercises which served only to torment them –didn’t it give another ‘kick’ to the guards satisfaction when they were inflicting pain on their victims not by directly beating them up but in the guise of an activity officially destined to maintain their health?)”
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby d63 » Thu Sep 25, 2014 7:12 am

"For a man, this fulfillment is actually a being-emptied of the drive, the discomfort was an excess that needed to be released, and not at all a lack that needed to be filled. "

You make a really profound point here, Perseus. At the same time, I would add to that (from the perspective of Jouissance (that the fulfillment ultimately ends up only participating in Jouissance by ending up being temporary. For a man, the excess always only ends up being built back up.

Jouissance, as I see it, is that which can never truly be fulfilled.

To work at it in the way Zizek tends to, and to best describe it: there was an episode of Hellraiser in which an individual was walking through hell; and in one chamber a man and a woman were having sex with no promise of climax. Now imagine the pure hell that would be: to keep working towards a threshold you know is there, but will never reach.

Now the Hellraiser series, for all its campiness, bordered on genius with that scene. It showed what pure hell would feel like in terms of Jouissance.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby d63 » Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:59 am

“Let me excerpt some bits from the Primordial One thread. I think you'll find this all pertains quite acutely to the question of organism and jouissance. I propose that the very nature of being is over fullness, thus that this Hell-raiser kind of situation is in fact an existential fact, which is however not endured by humans; after the organism, the man will attain a few moments of clarity where he is able to reflect on himself, on his reality. This clarity, this calm after the orgasm, is in fact a kind of artificial space almost 'outside of existence', a state of very different conditions than what existence normally requires -- this over fullness, this constant overflowing which alone is the proof of overfullness. But nature devised a way to expend her self temporarily, so that it can climb back into itself, re-fill itself. Within this space, the capacity for thought is born, I would think.”

I would focus first on this point:

“I propose that the very nature of being is over fullness, thus that this Hell-raiser kind of situation is in fact an existential fact….”

It seems a little profound to me that you would point out that Jouissance is basically a fact of life: a cornerstone if you will. I, for instance, would like to go to my deathbed knowing that I did what I came to do: had passed the threshold of climax: but I’m almost certain that no matter how long I live I will never permanently reach that point. No matter what I manage to fulfill, that fulfillment will only lead to other things I will find myself reaching for. No matter how long I go on there will always be that one other thing I have to do.

So you’re right: it (the ongoing discomfort of Jouissance (may not (probably isn’t (just be a description of Hell, it may well be a description of life itself. At the same time, there are those momentary stays against confusion. As you describe:

“after the organism [do you mean orgasm?], the man will attain a few moments of clarity where he is able to reflect on himself, on his reality. This clarity, this calm after the orgasm, is in fact a kind of artificial space almost 'outside of existence', a state of very different conditions than what existence normally requires -- this over fullness, this constant overflowing which alone is the proof of overfullness.”

It seems to me that what you are mainly talking about here is libido: that life force which I think can be attributed to women as well, even if it takes different expressions with them. But, once again, I would use the description that Robert Frost used in describing the poem: a momentary stay against confusion. And I would attribute the back and forth relationship between Jouissance (the Dionysian ecstatic (and those momentary stays against confusion (the Apollonian (to the human capacity for creativity: that which you pointed out when you said:

“Within this space, the capacity for thought is born, I would think. “

And I think Zizek sees as much as the 2 of us: that Jouissance lies at the foundation of existence itself. But it comes with a catch: what drives our creativity is also what can drive human cruelty or the creative ways in which humans can engage in cruelty. Once again, quoting from Zizek:

“It is especially important to bear in mind how the very ‘bureaucratization’ of the crime was ambiguous in its libidinal impact: on the one hand, it enabled (some of) the participants to neutralize the horror and take it as ‘just another job’; on the other, the basic lesson of the perverse ritual also applies here: this ‘bureaucratization’ was in itself the source of an additional jouissance (does it not provide an additional kick if one performs the killing as a complicated administrative-criminal operation? Is it not more satisfying to torture prisoners as part of some orderly procedure –say, the meaningless ‘morning exercises which served only to torment them –didn’t it give another ‘kick’ to the guards satisfaction when they were inflicting pain on their victims not by directly beating them up but in the guise of an activity officially destined to maintain their health?”

I would also offer, as an example, our American right-wingers who seem to be completely lacking in compassion for the victims of their policies or seem oblivious. I would argue that they, much as the Nazi’s were with the Jews, or a serial killer is with their victim, are perfectly clear on the harm they are doing. This is why they must turn to hysteria (their expression of Jouissance (in order (through a kind of momentum (to put themselves beyond the issue of their guilt. They may seem totally satisfied with their description of reality, but it is always the result of their desire to convince themselves that their complete self interest at the expense of others could actually be justified.

Context:
http://www.humanarchy.net/forum/viewtop ... 1752#p1752
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby d63 » Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:12 am

My next experience/experiment w/ Zizek came down to 2 books that were on Kindle (I didn’t have time to wait (vacation being almost over (for a hard copy through the mail: The Parallax View and Did Someone Say Totalitarianism. The Parallax View, going by the reviews, seemed a little more abstract (almost Deleuzian abstract (than what I was ready for at this time and the latter seemed a little closer to my heart in that one of my primary focuses with philosophy, as Deleuze and Guattarri encourage us to do, is to seek out the pockets of Fascism (the cornerstone of Totalitarianism (that emerge everywhere, including and most importantly within ourselves.

And whenever I start with new philosophical text, I find it helps to start with my own instincts about what it means and play it against reality: that of reality itself which includes the reality of the actual text. Therefore, I base the following on my instincts based on the reviews, what I do know about Zizek from other books, and what little of it I have read. And I do so with full disclosure that I may well be proven wrong on much of it.

My sense of it is that words like “totalitarianism” and “fascism” are terms we tend to throw at social, ideological, and political policies we don’t like when, in fact, they are basically abstractions that distract us from the very real issue (the particulars (of just and unjust policies. And I am as guilty as anyone else of this. To put it in Deleuzian terms: they only serve as the molarization (the buzzwords (of experience that can distract us from the true molecular aspect of the phenomenon we tag as such.

To give an example from my own possibly half-assed understanding: I like to say that it’s been said that to forget history is to repeat it; but to remember it in half-assed ways is to repeat it in different ways. Now imagine what it must of felt like to be a German in the years between the treaty that ended WWI and the rise of Hitler. Imagine the hell they must have been going through. Then imagine being in a pub during Hitler’s war economy and having the time of your life. How much thought would you have given to why it was happening and at what cost? And would you have thought you were in a totalitarian system?

(And at this point, we should bring another buzzword similar to the above: Freedom. If you were a German under the supposed totalitarianism of NAZISM, how not free would you feel being in that pub having the time of your life? We tend to associate freedom with choice. But if the only choice being offered to you is the choice you would make in the first place, how would you know you were under a totalitarian regime? For instance: how would those who had insurance in America, and afraid that anything else (such as a public option or nationalized healthcare might take something from them (recognize that having access to healthcare only through the private sphere is not really a choice? Not really freedom?)

Now imagine your average sports bar in America, that sense of being on top of the world and utter indifference to whose expense it comes at, then put uniforms on them. Or imagine it with hipsters, many of which are grabbing their wealth on Wall Street.

Now the thing is this isn’t exactly “totalitarianism” or “fascism” in the same sense as Germany in the 30’s. But it does warrant concern. And terms like “totalitarianism” or “fascism” can only distract from a full understanding of how odious this all actually is, how much of a sickness, very much like that of a drug addict. It keeps us looking for socially programmed cues for socially programmed responses (such as government over-reach (when the only real evil (that which approaches totalitarianism and fascism while not actually being totalitarianism or fascism (is that which is doing the programming.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

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Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby d63 » Tue Sep 30, 2014 2:48 am

Now let’s push the issue a little deeper in terms of setting aside terms like “totalitarian” and “fascism” and focus on the term (the buzzword (“freedom” in terms of how the German’s might have seen it at the time.

Now if we were to look at it superficially, we might look at it in terms of the German’s suffering some really harsh economic times while the Jews were prospering: mainly because of their willingness to commit fully (via their close family ties (to economic prosperity: to set aside all other desires for the sake of it. And I'm sorry, but I cannot doubt that there were Jews that argued that if the Germans made the same commitment as them, they would be prospering as well.

Therefore: while we can see the anti-Semitism of the Nazi’s as a result of resentment (that is at a superficial level (we can also see it as a resentment of the message being presented (one we can all be uncomfortable with: that success in the market is a matter of committing fully to it: the opposite of freedom.

Hence the inclusion of another buzzword, “socialism”, in the acronym NAZI.

This is not to say that it was the Jew’s fault or that we should sympathize with the NAZI’s. It is simply to say that if we set aside such molar terms as “totalitarianism” or “fascism”, and actually try to understand the situation others have been in (including the Germans in the 30’s (we get all that closer to stopping it from happening again.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby d63 » Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:47 am

What taught me the most about fascism was the Rwandan genocide;

It started w/ the Belgium colony that divided them into 2 classes: the hutus that had the hard features of normal Africans and the Tutsi's (with sleeker features that were more appealing to the Belgiums (who were given more privileges than the Hutus.

Now, knowing human nature, is there any doubt in your mind that that Tutsi's (from time to time ( abused that advantage?

This is not to justify what the Hutu's did. I just want you to understand why they did it and why you are perfectly capable of it.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby d63 » Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:42 pm

"And it is useless to try to redeem ‘totalitarianism’ through division into subcategories (emphasizing the difference between the Fascist and the Communist variety): the moment one accepts the notion of ‘totalitarianism’, one is firmly located within the liberal-democratic horizon. 1 The contention of this book is thus that the notion of ‘totalitarianism’, far from being an effective theoretical concept , is a kind of stopgap: instead of enabling us to think, forcing us to acquire a new insight into the historical reality it describes, it relieves us of the duty to think, or even actively prevents us from thinking."

"– the moment one shows the slightest inclination to engage in political projects that aim seriously to challenge the existing order, the answer is immediately: ‘Benevolent as it is, this will necessarily end in a new Gulag!’ The ‘return to ethics’ in today’s political philosophy shamefully exploits the horrors of Gulag or Holocaust as the ultimate bogey for blackmailing us into renouncing all serious radical engagement. In this way, conformist liberal scoundrels can find hypocritical satisfaction in their defence of the existing order: they know there is corruption, exploitation, and so on, but every attempt to change things is denounced as ethically dangerous and unacceptable, resuscitating the ghost of ‘totalitarianism’." -Zizek, Slavoj (2014-04-08). Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism?: 5 Interventions in the (Mis)Use of a Notion (The Essential Zizek) (Kindle Locations 99-105). Verso Books. Kindle Edition.

Now think about it: given the way that global producer/consumer Capitalism is undermining our democracies while making it SEEM as if our democracies are still intact, doesn’t it seem possible that a benign dictator might actually be better at giving us an authentic experience of freedom by being able to do what they think is best for people (that is being a person themselves (rather than the system we have now that deludes us into believing we are electing people who represent our interests when, in fact, all they are actually representing is the interest of their country club buddies?

Of course, we should take pause at this because as Hollywood (the so-called leftist conspiracy (repeatedly tells us: while power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. The notion, according to Hollywood, is that no matter how well intended a dictator may start out, they will always end up in folly. But how do we actually confirm this assertion?

And this is not to assert that we should necessarily look to a dictatorship as the answer to our problems. It is simply to point out that liberal democracy may not be the ultimate antidote to oppressive social and political systems that we’re led to believe it is, especially when you consider the emerging aristocracy/oligarchy that we’re dealing with now via global producer/consumer Capitalism.

Of course, thinking this way, of thinking outside the so-called box, puts us at a risk that, as Zizek rightly points out, even the academic so-called left are willing to avoid by keeping their arguments within the perimeters of producer/consumer Capitalism.

They, like the rest of us, have fallen under the spell of defining totalitarianism as what happened in Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia when, in fact, true totalitarianism cannot actually exist. Think about it: the only real totalitarianism we have experienced is in fiction such as Orwell’s 1984 or Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid Tale.

But allow me to make a point based on personal experience: when 1984 actually came along, we all breathed a sigh of relief that it didn’t fulfill the Orwellian vision. But at that very time, L.A. was chasing the hookers off Sunset Boulevard and closing down Glendora Mountain road (a favorite party spot on weekends (while Nancy Reagan was repeatedly saying “just say no to drugs”, thereby taking part in the initiation of the war on drugs (that is along w/Joe Biden who was screaming for the creation of a drug czar (while her husband, Ronny, was overseeing the beginning of a reactionary movement (motivated by us finding ourselves in the economic shadow of Japan (and the economic movement based on the philosophy of Freidman and Greenspan: all of which haunts us to this day in very real forms of oppression.

The point is (and I believe this is the point that Zizek is trying to make in this book (we need to let go of the term “totalitarianism” (something that has only existed in works of fiction (and start focusing on the forms of oppression we are actually dealing with.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby Lev Muishkin » Wed Oct 01, 2014 11:07 pm

d63 wrote:What taught me the most about fascism was the Rwandan genocide;

It started w/ the Belgium colony that divided them into 2 classes: the hutus that had the hard features of normal Africans and the Tutsi's (with sleeker features that were more appealing to the Belgiums (who were given more privileges than the Hutus.

Now, knowing human nature, is there any doubt in your mind that that Tutsi's (from time to time ( abused that advantage?

This is not to justify what the Hutu's did. I just want you to understand why they did it and why you are perfectly capable of it.


Actually the division between Hutu and Tutsi predates the Belgians by a long time.

The Tutsi were a more pastoralist mobile and warrior-like group; whilst the Hutu were sedentary agriculturalists.
As it a common model for such situations, the Tutsi had already taken a commanding role in the affairs of the region, and had replaced the superstructure of society forming a ruling class over the sedentary Hutu, by the time Belgium came on the scene.
The racist ideology was employed by them to favour the "superior" Tutsi, as with them lay the key to controlling the Hutu. Control the Tutsi and you control them all.
It had less to do with appearance than the power structures already in place that the Belgae exploited.

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Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby d63 » Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:22 pm

“The last thing we need is a dictator. In fact that is what the oligarchy we have is. the continuation OF the dictator”

Yeah, it's a form of dictatorship based on a kind of parliament of aristocrats that over-rides and controls the democracies of the people: that which is suppose to look out for our interests.

And I understand, zz, that the word "dictator" strikes fear in the hearts of most people. I'm scared of it myself. And I'm not saying we should turn to one. All I'm saying is that the only thing that may be able to deal with the beast we are facing is the good fortune of actually finding a benign dictator that can take us out of the inverted totalitarianism we are dealing with (in which economics is given privilege over state (by casting aside the illusions that producer/consumer Capitalism has cast over us and putting state back into its proper role: that as check and balance (for our sake (to corporate power.

You need to understand that in order to push back the power that the aristocracy/oligarchy (the economic coup ( has accumulated, everything has to be on the table: running from an expansion of the public economy, to socialism, and to outright communism if that is what it takes. This is because (and make no mistake about it (the rich will do everything they can to maintain their privilege at our expense.

To give you sense of the urgency involved, you have to consider a point made by Chris Hedges: that what we are dealing with now is a kind of inverted totalitarianism (and I hate to use that term given the study I’m in now (in which the market is given privilege over state: that in which our present aristocrats/oligarchs are validated by the market: the fact that we buy the products that allow them the wealth and power they have. Now compare that to classical totalitarianism where state is given privilege over the market.

Now think about the situation we are in now economically: one in which the differential between the exchange value of everything and the actual buying power it creates is so large that there is no possible way it can sustain a respectable economy. This is why our economy is no longer based on what we can afford to buy, it is now based, via credit, on what we may be able to afford in the future. Now what happens when that flow of exchange collapses and the market is no longer there to justify the privilege of the aristocracy/oligarchy? Do you think they are just going to give it up, say “game over”, and walk away from that privilege?

Or is the more likely possibility that they’ll turn to classical totalitarianism by giving the state (which they own, BTW, along with the military (privilege? The scenario I’m waiting for is some Republican suggesting that people who are in debt, rather than turn to bankruptcy, turn themselves over to slavery until their “debt is paid”. It might also be suggested as a more practical alternative to welfare and unemployment.

(And, BTW, I do believe that the Republicans (along with the tea party (the brownshirt appendix to the repugs ( are that smug, obtuse, hateful, and evil. There is no doubt in my mind about how low they would go to protect the interests of their country-club buddies.)

Now maybe I’m wrong. And I actually hope I am. But then maybe the radical possibility of a benign dictator may be the only hope we have given where our liberal democracies seem to be leading us.

Context: http://www.shroomery.org/forums/addpost.php
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby d63 » Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:32 pm

Lev Muishkin wrote:
d63 wrote:What taught me the most about fascism was the Rwandan genocide;

It started w/ the Belgium colony that divided them into 2 classes: the hutus that had the hard features of normal Africans and the Tutsi's (with sleeker features that were more appealing to the Belgiums (who were given more privileges than the Hutus.

Now, knowing human nature, is there any doubt in your mind that that Tutsi's (from time to time ( abused that advantage?

This is not to justify what the Hutu's did. I just want you to understand why they did it and why you are perfectly capable of it.


Actually the division between Hutu and Tutsi predates the Belgians by a long time.

The Tutsi were a more pastoralist mobile and warrior-like group; whilst the Hutu were sedentary agriculturalists.
As it a common model for such situations, the Tutsi had already taken a commanding role in the affairs of the region, and had replaced the superstructure of society forming a ruling class over the sedentary Hutu, by the time Belgium came on the scene.
The racist ideology was employed by them to favour the "superior" Tutsi, as with them lay the key to controlling the Hutu. Control the Tutsi and you control them all.
It had less to do with appearance than the power structures already in place that the Belgae exploited.


Thanks for the history. But it still doesn't change the dynamic for my purposes: the Tutsi's were given privileges that they likely, being human, abused. And it, in the long run, underwrote the the Hutu's sense that what they were engaging in was an act of revenge.

It's not to blame it on the Tutsi's or to argue that the Hutu's were justified. The genocide they participated in was evil. The main point here is for us to take pause before we try to distance ourselves too far from such acts of evil: to recognize the possibility within ourselves.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby Orbie » Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:03 am

No I wasn't able to download it however I found a good article in the 'International Journal of Zizek Studies', vol.3 no.1, which is an extremely interesting article dealing with ideas You may be interested to explore.(referring to whether i was able or not to download Difference&Repetition) a no to that.
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Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby d63 » Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:36 pm

“The embodiment of this surplus is the toothpaste tube whose last third is differently coloured , with ‘YOU GET 30% FREE!’ in large letters – in such a situation I am always tempted to say: ‘OK then, give me only this free 30 per cent of the toothpaste!’ In capitalism, the definition of the ‘proper price’ is a discount price. The worn-out designation ‘consumer society’ thus holds only if one conceives of consumption as the mode of appearance of its very opposite, thrift. Here, we should return to Hamlet and to ritual value: ritual is ultimately the ritual of sacrifice which opens up the space for generous consumption – after we have sacrificed to the gods the innermost parts of the slaughtered animal (heart, intestines), we are free to enjoy a hearty meal of the remaining meat. Instead of enabling free consumption without sacrifice, the modern ‘total economy’ which wants to dispense with this ‘superfluous’ ritualized sacrifice generates the paradoxes of thrift – there is no generous consumption; consumption is allowed only in so far as it functions as the form of appearance of its opposite. And was not Nazism precisely a desperate attempt to restore ritual value to its proper place through the Holocaust, that gigantic sacrifice to the ‘obscure gods’, as Lacan put it in Seminar XI? Quite appropriately, the sacrificed object was the Jew, the very embodiment of the capitalist paradoxes of thrift. Fascism is to be situated in the series of attempts to counter this capitalist logic: apart from the Fascist corporatist attempt to ‘re-establish the balance’ by cutting off the excess embodied in the ‘Jew’, we could mention the different versions of the attempt to restore the premodern sovereign gesture of pure expenditure – recall the figure of the junkie, the only true ‘subject of consumption’, the only one who consumes himself utterly, to his very death, in his unbound jouissance.” -Zizek, Slavoj (2014-04-08). Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism?: 5 Interventions in the (Mis)Use of a Notion (The Essential Zizek) (Kindle Locations 664-681). Verso Books. Kindle Edition.

Now in order to get at what is at work here, we first have to understand the Economics 101 concept of the Paradox of Thrift. On one hand, despite the popular doxa and mythology among Republicans and Neo-Cons that investment is the driver of a strong economy, the only real driver in the real world is demand. I mean all the investment in the world isn’t going to do shit for us if no one has the money to buy the product. On the other hand, when it comes to the struggles of the poor under producer/consumer Capitalism, the Capitalist must defer to the alibi of free-will and thrift:

“If you would have spent your life “putting a little back”, you might be able to enjoy a better retirement at a younger age.”

And the problem here is rooted in an inherent contradiction that lies within the very logic of Capitalism itself. If you ask a Capitalist about the power that the rich can accumulate with their wealth and the exploitation of both consumers and producers that is sure to follow, they will resort to arguments about the god-like entity of the Invisible Hand of the market: that it will counter any negative effect on your average producer/consumer. But when you bring up the misfortunes of your average producer/consumer, the whole conversation switches to an issue of free-will and self determination. But which is it? Either this god-like entity of the Invisible Hand has the power to overcome the actions and excesses of the rich, in which case it is perfectly capable of overcoming the actions of the average producer/consumer. Or it does not, in which case the free-will and actions of the Capitalist are perfectly capable of overcoming the efforts of the average producer/consumer. Either way, the average producer/consumer is perfectly screwed –despite what the mythology of Capitalism might lead us to believe.

And the marketing strategy of “30% more” is how Capitalism overcomes the Paradox of Thrift by enfolding it within an act of consumption much as Starbucks does social responsibility.

The truth is that producer/consumer Capitalism is far more dependent on consumption than what we gain through production, to the point of not being just dependant on the buying power we have from production at any given time, but from the buying power we might gain in the future: hence our economy’s high dependence on credit. The other truth is that if everyone engaged in thrift (the moral imperative that Capitalism pimps as alibi (our economy would collapse almost immediately. I would point to the last point made in the quote:

“– recall the figure of the junkie, the only true ‘subject of consumption’, the only one who consumes himself utterly, to his very death, in his unbound Jouissance.” -Ibid

Note here, for instance, the denial that drives the willingness of Capitalists to keep the consumption going in the face of man-made global warming and the ultimate depletion of our natural resources. How can we not think of Capitalism as anything more than a sickness? We focus, in our discourses, on how despicable lawyers are. But many of them are actually working for just causes such as the ACLU and labor and environmental issues. What are business men and marketers doing but administrating the Land of the Lotos Eaters we presently find ourselves in?

The brilliant point that Zizek makes here is in pointing out how the dynamic can be traced to pre-Capitalist forms of social organization. When it comes to Capitalism as a form of oppression, there is nothing new under the sun. It simply utilizes old forms in more subtle ways: such as the old divine right theory that now manifests as “the market has spoken” when it comes to the rich.

In other words, no matter what ideological flag we fly, there will always be a handful of people who think they deserve a little more than everyone else, even if it comes at the expense of everyone else. And therefore, the role of the dissident: the artist, the poet, the philosopher, the intellectual: will always be secure.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby d63 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:54 pm

“I stand by Ayn Rand. I reread some of her writing on and she is profound and truthful. It is pointless for me to try to convince anyone of this - she is hated as the Great Satan of Greed. But she only opposed the banal form of Christian pathos, of all - consuming (literally) equality. “

First of all: as you should. I mean we all gotta find our flow.

Secondly: it seems we find some common ground in that Marx is considered the great Satan of egalitarianism as well as the primary blame for the atrocities of both Stalin and Mao Tse Tong.

And finally: what we’re both probably dealing with is the misuse (much as happened with Nietzsche (of our respective heroes. As I like to say:

Ideology does nothing; people, however, do.

The problem for me, however, is that Rand seemed pretty clear on her assumption that the only way anyone could achieve “self valuing” was through Capitalism and clearly rejected Marxism (perhaps because of her reactionary sentiment towards having come from Stalinist Russia (as a means of people finding (to put it in Maslow’s terms: self actualization. Plus that, it became pretty clear to me in Atlas Shrugged II (the movie version (that anyone who attempted to pass policy that interfered with the workings of the market was basically a “looter”: much as Jews were “Rats” to the Nazis and Tutsie’s were “cockroaches” to the Hutus. And while it may well be impossible for me to ply you from your embrace of Rand, it would be equally difficult for you to convince me that there was not a fascist element in her use of the term. Or are you going to try to tell me that she didn’t actually use it in the book?

The interesting thing here, though, is the common ground between Rand and Marx. You and Iona argue, in the typical KTS fashion of the Neo-Nietzscheian gospel , that it is ultimately about people finding their higher selves. But let’s try a perfectly valid description of Karl Marx (one that Zizek actually fits:

A guy that found his higher self and was willing to sacrifice (live in poverty (to create a society in which everyone could find their higher selves as compared to submitting themselves to the role that producer/consumer Capitalism imposes on them. And while Marx may have suggested a final end (communism ( that was egalitarian in nature, it was merely an even playing field in which individuals could freely work towards their different levels of achievement. Now granted: Zizek may not have made quite the sacrifice that Marx did. But I would far rather see a man or woman (such as Zizek, Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, or Melanie Klein (get rich looking out for the little guy as compared the sociopathic approach of entitlement such as that of Gene Simmons, Jack Welch, or even Rand. The former just seem more heroic (in a very Nietzscheian sense (than the latter. This makes the following feel like petty nit-picking:

“Every so-called progressive or leftist or socialist type is basically just operating by a fake psychological mechanism of partial denial of self-valuing in order to gain some self-value in other ways, but none had the strength to truly live their philosophy of deliberate lack and rejection of excess. Leftist and communists who rise in social position or wealth always gather luxury and vanity around themselves. “

Now here’s the problem with this: no one is denying that the progressive or the leftist or the socialist is acting out of self interest. They (like Marx (are basically seeking a world that would accommodate people like them: the intellectually and creatively curious. The main difference is that they have moved to the next evolutionary step of the cooperative model in recognizing that looking out for the interest of others is, ultimately, in their interest (of putting their baser impulses in cooperation with their higher cognitive functions: that which the meat of the brain has evolved into (and moving beyond the competitive model which puts our higher cognitive functions in the service of our baser impulses: that, BTW, which leads to the really bad reasoning above - along w/ our possible extinction via producer/consumer Capitalism.

It is, as far as I'm concerned, the distinction between using intellectual pursuit as a way to make the world better (the cooperative model (and simply engaging in a pissing contest (the competitive model.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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d63
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Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby d63 » Mon Nov 03, 2014 2:00 am

It's odd that Zizek (as far as I know or have read (never mentions Foucault: especially given Foucault's emphasis on the relationship between so-called knowledge and power: what strikes me as a form of hegemony. As I like to say:

The minute someone brings up such words as rational or reason or objective, you have to ask 2 questions:

By which criteria is an assertion deemed to rational, reasonable, or objective?

And who has the power to define these criteria?

Now as far as the last term, objective, Zizek does deal with this in The Plague of Fantasies (I believe that is the book ( when he (in perhaps a Hegelian manner (synthesizes the mind/body (subjective/objective (dichotomy into the subjectively objective and objectively subjective -which makes perfect sense to me. And he does bring up the issue of authority as defined by the power structure: the one who is suppose to know.

Still, Foucault, despite the obvious relationship, is never brought up.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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d63
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Posts: 5426
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:27 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby d63 » Tue Jun 09, 2015 4:41 am

The thing about fancy, son, is that it is a necessary and important part of our makeup. And as coincidence would have it, I'm reading Zizek's Plague of Fantasies which (once again: coincidentally (in the first few pages I have read has pointed out that fantasy is not so much a compensation for something we desire and cannot get as a mechanism for figuring out what it is we desire. In fact, no one who has achieved anything has done so without fancy. I mean its kind hard imagine how anything could start anywhere else but a daydream.

But I should first explain to you what I mean by fancy in relationship to imagination. I’m mainly working from the distinction between fancy and imagination made by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in an essay brought to my attention in a creative writing class –one that is increasingly showing significance in my philosophical process. Fancy is more primal and base of the brain, which why it gives so much pleasure. It’s what the mind does when we let it do what it naturally does. Therefore, it would naturally follow that what lies behind it are our natural drives and desires. Imagination is a little more cognitive (and therefore a little more uncomfortable (in that it is a matter of playing our fancies against the reality of things and including our findings. Unlike fancy, imagination takes a little work. We can see a correlation here with something else Coleridge said:

“It’s alright to build castles in the sky. The idea is to build foundations under them.”

However, too often, fancy that fails to make the leap to imagination can all too often end up being dangerous and destructive. To give you a personal example: I am what I am because of a lot of daydreaming (fancy. And I have spent a large part of my life building foundations under those castles in the sky. The thing is that that propensity for fancy is always there and tends to get accelerated when I’m drinking. This combination of fancy and alcohol has been the source of every embarrassing moment I have had on these boards. I, of course, always start out with imagination which results in the daily rhizome. But once I get to certain point, fancy (my primal impulses and desires (seems to take over. And that is a big part of the pleasure we get from alcohol.

And as I go into Zizek’s Plague of Fantasies for the 100th time (excuse the hyperbole: the fancy (I realize that this week will give me an opportunity to further explore the social, political, and philosophical implications of failing to make that leap from fancy to imagination. If you really look at it, son, it is fancy that our system, via media, tends to exploit to keep us passively accepting our exploitation through producer/consumer Capitalism: American Idol, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, name your poison. If there is anything that Capitalism sells best, it is possibility: fancy. Those hipsters and geeks quoting Nietzsche are not Nietzsche’s fault –anymore than NAZI Germany was. They’re the result of a one-sided embrace of the fanciful aspect of Nietzsche much as NAZI Germany was.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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d63
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Posts: 5426
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Location: Midwest

Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby d63 » Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:05 pm

“Something I need to point out: hipsters really are not problem to me.
To me, they're basically caught in the crossfire between a Marxist cynicism about Capitalism and the very fact that Capitalism has adopted (via marketers (them as the ideal producer/consumers.” –Me

“They are the product of a younger generation just going fuck it.. we are just going to live our lives... deal with the world as it is and have fun.” –Andy

“ I'll buy into that, Andy. But what it suggests to me is a kind of nihilism that if not adding to the problem, will allow it to continue. In that sense, it is as perfectly implicit in our possible self destruction through climate change or our enslavement through global capitalism. It's no wonder they are the flavor of the day for marketers.” –yes, me again……

Once again, I’m sure the hipsters are fine people with a lot of different political views. However, as Andy’s point confirms, one of the main concerns I have with them (and the term “concerns” is important here in that it is not a sweeping judgment of hipsters as a whole (is that they remind me a lot of the sports bar culture that emerged in the 90’s under the Clinton boom: a lot of people sitting around all tight fisted, flush with prosperity, and acting like they did it in a vacuum. And because of this (for reasons they will claim to be enlightened or radical: the same ones that got Jr. in (our next president will likely be republican.

And as luck would have it, my present reading of Zizek’s Plague of Fantasies sheds a little light on this on page 27:

“The lesson is therefore clear: an ideological identification exerts a true hold on us precisely when we maintain an awareness that we are not fully identical to it, that there is a rich human person beneath it: ‘not all is ideology, beneath the ideological mask, I am also a human person is the very form of ideology, of its ‘practical efficiency’.”

Now in order to crystallize this, I have to backtrack to the page before which offers up a criticism of the Robert Altman movie MASH which I consider a powerful response to right-wingers who harp on some supposed left-wing Hollywood conspiracy which completely neglects the very fact that Hollywood is run by corporations. He points to its perfect conformity in that while its anti-militarianism is expressed through a healthy dose of “cynicism, practical jokes, laughing at pompous officials, and so on,” the MASH crew performs their jobs exemplarily and thus present no threat to the military machine. It conforms while seeming to not conform. And I would humbly offer my own example concerning James Thurber’s story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Anyone who has read the story knows that it is the ultimate anti-Rand story in that it starts with a weak hen-pecked man who compensates through his daydreams and ends (triumphantly, mind you (with a weak hen-pecked man who compensates through his daydreams. But let’s take a look at what the Hollywood corporate machine has done with it so far. First we had the Danny Kaye version which basically got turned into a common Hollywood musical and dance spectacular. Enough said about that. But even more insidious (while actually being entertaining (was the Ben Stiller Ayn Rand fuck fantasy of Walter Mitty opposing all odds and actually becoming a hero. As the corporate mentality constantly reminds us: if you will it enough, you can make it happen.

To give you another personal and anecdotal example of how so-called anti-ideology can end up ideological: I was in a bar back in 90’s. One of the big movements then was thrash/rap metal that included bands like Limp Biscuit. That night, I watched a guy walk up to the bar with that Limp Biscuit look: the kaki shorts, the le tigre shirt, and the short brimmed hat turned sideways or backwards (I can’t remember which. Okay: a man trying to find his identity; nothing wrong there. But it turned comical when I watched another man walk up to the bar in the exact same dress. I had to wonder if they were wearing the same cologne. Probably should have smelled them but I think I was going nose blind by that time. And imagine how embarrassed they would have felt face to face.

The point is (and I hope the hipsters are listening (that there is no final realm of non-conformity that can put us beyond the status quo. Power will always assimilate what is available to it: even what defies it. So we have to defer to what Deleuze and Guattari referred to as a constant nomadic flight: to keep moving even while standing still. We have to keep the radars moving in the hope that they will eventually break down.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
User avatar
d63
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Posts: 5426
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:27 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Zizek Studies:

Postby d63 » Thu Dec 24, 2015 10:21 pm

“On a somewhat higher, more “spiritual” level, one usually fails to take note of how a free play of our theoretical imagination is possible only against the background of a firmly established set of “dogmatic” conceptual constraints: our intellectual creativity can be ‘set free’ only within the confines of some notional framework in which, precisely, we are able to ‘move freely’ –the lack of this imposed framework is necessarily experienced as an unbearable burden, since it compels us to focus constantly on how to respond to every particular empirical situation in which we find ourselves.” –from Zizek’s The Indivisible Remainder

“As I understand it, Zizek ties this in with the delicate balance required between contraction and expansion: the speed of the universe’s expansion which, were it too fast for gravity to keep in check, would rip everything completely apart.”

And to kick off this particular rhizome (for effect perhaps (perhaps even a cheap one:

“To give you an example, I recently started on an immersion into Zizek’s The Indivisible Remainder: On Schelling and Related Matters. What I didn’t think about going into it was that I know absolutely nothing about Schelling. I, therefore, at the “library”, for my study point, attempted to learn about him through Wiki and the Stanford page on philosophy, but only realized those would require an immersion in itself. Nor was Blackburn’s Dictionary of Philosophy much help. It just became a distracting use of resources. I therefore decided to just focus on the book, write about it as if Schelling was not involved, and leave him for another immersion.”

As it turns out, much to my surprise, while an immersion might deepen my understanding of the book, I’m actually getting by based on themes that overlap with those in other books of Zizek I have read. What I’m mainly noting here is the relationship between expansion and contraction which, as I go along, I will attempt to connect with Zizek’s emphasis on Lacan’s Jouissance: that push/pull way in which we find ourselves engaging with reality throughout many of our activities. (And please note that I am fumbling around with a lot of new material.) That said, for today’s quote I turn to page 40:

“It is the same with the couple of expansion and contraction: in Weltalter [a German term (one among many) that hopefully my German jam-mate, Harald, may be able to help me with], ‘expansion’ expresses God’s love, His ‘giving away’ of Himself; ‘contraction’ expresses His destructive rage, His egotistical withdrawal into-Self; in ‘positive philosophy’ we again have an inversion: expansion is now identified with the destructive rage which draws every finite, limited, firmly delineated being into its formless vortex, whereas the contractive force is conceived as creative, formative, as the activity of providing things with a stable form which alone guarantees their ontological consistency.”

First I would clarify that what Zizek is talking about here is the two later phases in Schelling’s process. And this, of course, goes back to an earlier point I made in this immersion:

“"Some scholars characterize Schelling as a protean thinker who, although brilliant, jumped from one subject to another and lacked the synthesizing power needed to arrive at a complete philosophical system." -from Wikipedia

“Perhaps we can think of Schelling as the prototypical rhizomatic thinker.”

But can’t we also see the old school element involved in Schelling’s obsession with expansion and contraction as well the perfectly understandable conflict (and consequential vacillation (an intellectual process might go through attempting to accommodate its religious beliefs with its philosophical ones? And we can see how both models might work for Schelling. On one hand (and I’m speaking metaphorically here, we can see expansion as God’s love in that it is what allows us to be as compared to not being and contraction as that which pulls us back to not being. (And I would note here an analogy that Zizek makes with Eros and Thanatos: the life and death instincts.) On the other, we can perfectly understand the reversal in which expansion is seen as the evil threatening to rip everything apart while contraction seems like the good that pulls everything back into order. Think, for instance, of Robert Frost’s classicist point:

“We rise out of disorder into order. I would sooner write free verse as play tennis with the net down.”

And while I consider myself more of a free verse person, I still gotta sympathize when Frost describes poetry (much as I would language (as a momentary stay against confusion.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
User avatar
d63
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5426
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:27 pm
Location: Midwest

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