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Studley Dudley

Baudrillard and Johnston

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Looking for some Baudrillard, nothing in particular just his indicts of the hyperreal etc.

 

Also looking for the Johnston 04 card that Kinkaid BS (and KS?) and OU CJ read as an alt to cap bad.

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Guest fizelly27

PM me i have a baudrillard file with a bunch of his criticisms

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JOHNSTON 04 (ADRIAN, EMORY U, “THE CYNIC’S FETISH: SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK AND THE DYNAMICS OF BELIEF”, PSYCHOANALYSIS, CULTURE AND SOCIETY, 9, 259-83)

Perhaps the absence of a detailed political roadmap in Žižek’s recent writings isn’t a major shortcoming. Maybe, at least for the time being, the most important task is simply the negativity of the critical struggle, the effort to cure an intellectual constipation resulting from capitalist ideology and thereby to truly open up the space for imagining authentic alternatives to the prevailing state of the situation. Another definition of materialism offered by Žižek is that it amounts to accepting the internal inherence of what fantasmatically appears as an external deadlock or hindrance ( Žižek, 2001d, pp 22–23) (with fantasy itself being defined as the false externalization of something within the subject, namely, the illusory projection of an inner obstacle, Žižek, 2000a, p 16). From this perspective, seeing through ideological fantasies by learning how to think again outside the confines of current restrictions has, in and of itself, the potential to operate as a form of real revolutionary practice (rather than remaining merely an instance of negative/critical intellectual reflection). Why is this the case? Recalling the analysis of commodity fetishism, the social efficacy of money as the universal medium of exchange (and the entire political economy grounded upon it) ultimately relies upon nothing more than a kind of ‘‘magic,’’ that is, the belief in money’s social efficacy by those using it in the processes of exchange. Since the value of currency is, at bottom, reducible to the belief that it has the value attributed to it (and that everyone believes that everyone else believes this as well), derailing capitalism by destroying its essential financial substance is, in a certain respect, as easy as dissolving the mere belief in this substance’s powers. The ‘‘external’’ obstacle of the capitalist system exists exclusively on the condition that subjects, whether consciously or unconsciously, ‘‘internally’’ believe in it – capitalism’s life-blood, money, is simply a fetishistic crystallization of a belief in others’ belief in the socio-performative force emanating from this same material. And yet, this point of capitalism’s frail vulnerability is simultaneously the source of its enormous strength: its vampiric symbiosis with individual human desire, and the fact that the late-capitalist cynic’s fetishism enables the disavowal of his/her de facto belief in capitalism, makes it highly unlikely that people can simply be persuaded to stop believing and start thinking (especially since, as Žižek claims, many of these people are convinced that they already have ceased believing). Or, the more disquieting possibility to entertain is that some people today, even if one succeeds in exposing them to the underlying logic of their position, might respond in a manner resembling that of the Judas-like character Cypher in the film The Matrix (Cypher opts to embrace enslavement by illusion rather than cope with the discomfort of dwelling in the ‘‘desert of the real’’): faced with the choice between living the capitalist lie or wrestling with certain unpleasant truths, many individuals might very well deliberately decide to accept what they know full well to be a false pseudo-reality, a deceptively comforting fiction (‘‘Capitalist commodity fetishism or the truth? I choose fetishism’’).

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