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Zizek: Questions, help, file work.

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Stop being such a negative nancy. Since something in this specific fashion hasn't been done before then it makes sense that we shouldn't be to negative about it. In debate turns - there's only a risk.

 

I understand if you've cut a badass article released in 2009 that says "poverty reform trumps zizeks critique of the Real' but it makes sense that when people here a new argument they can research and give input on arguments as they are developed. Your rational and rhetoric reproduces elitist debate and prevents imaginative debate. I think people call that a Turn.

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i'm sorry i've let this thread go a year without typing up my notes on subsequent chapters: http://www.cross-x.com/vb/showthread.php?t=985056

-- i'll try to do so as soon as i have some time (as far as debate stuff goes, it's right behind a post on 'how to do genealogy' for the j23-thread and a response to the new hicks & greene conference-paper).

 

also, on 'the perm' - i put that same quotation in the following edebate post back in april: http://www.ndtceda.com/pipermail/edebate/2009-April/078518.html -- and the argument can be expressed in even more biting terms than that the alternative will be "laughed off as utopian" but that it'll make the position of "those in power" stronger. take the protests in the lead-up to the iraq war - spokespersons for the bush administration didn't simply 'laugh them off', but used them: 'we are glad protesters are exercising their first amendment rights, and that's exactly what we're fighting for in iraq'. this shows how utopian idealism often operates as a 'fantasmatic supplement' to the dominant ideology - like the soft furry animal we can come home to and take care of after a long day spent performing lethal injections. zizek is fond of pointing out that the bloodiest of warriors/murderers are often the best of poets; they need poetry to escape from what they do. so he's saying simon critchley's 'infinitely demanding'-posture, and all those who call for bombarding the state with impossible demands, are serving the interests of the system; who can wage war without background music? ...in short (and for more warrants than i can develop here), it's a turn - not just a take-out - to that particular alternative.

 

lastly, i'd recommend this series of lectures on marx's 'capital, volume one' by david harvey to anyone who'll listen: http://davidharvey.org/reading-capital/ -- they're top-notch, almost essential for all of us living under capitalism, and, what's more, they're FREE.

 

oh and if you're looking for authors to cut: http://www.marxismfestival.org.uk/2009/speakers.html

 

p.s., the competitive incentive is not losing to antonucci's 'open source'-position. =)

Edited by Lazzarone
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Guest wutlol

 

PS -

Do nothing cap alts annoy the shit out of me. inb4 Blah, blah, strategy, blah, good cards, blah. I don't care it just seems absurdly counterintuitive.

 

 

Can you clarify what you mean by this? I know the Act isn't "do nothing" (as in the status quo), but isn't the whole point that we should reject the aff's call to action (by doing nothing), allowing for radical change? What would your alt text be?

 

 

 

also, on 'the perm' - i put that same quotation in the following edebate post back in april: http://www.ndtceda.com/pipermail/edebate/2009-April/078518.html -- and the argument can be expressed in even more biting terms than that the alternative will be "laughed off as utopian" but that it'll make the position of "those in power" stronger. take the protests in the lead-up to the iraq war - spokespersons for the bush administration didn't simply 'laugh them off', but used them: 'we are glad protesters are exercising their first amendment rights, and that's exactly what we're fighting for in iraq'. this shows how utopian idealism often operates as a 'fantasmatic supplement' to the dominant ideology - like the soft furry animal we can come home to and take care of after a long day spent performing lethal injections. zizek is fond of pointing out that the bloodiest of warriors/murderers are often the best of poets; they need poetry to escape from what they do. so he's saying simon critchley's 'infinitely demanding'-posture, and all those who call for bombarding the state with impossible demands, are serving the interests of the system; who can wage war without background music? ...in short (and for more warrants than i can develop here), it's a turn - not just a take-out - to that particular alternative.

 

 

Wait, doesn't this example apply more to the aff than the neg? How does the alternative bombard the state will "infinite demands"? Isn't the whole point that we should work outside the system, and not try to change it, or work within in? When Zizek gave the example of the Iraq war protesters, I thought he was criticizing the liberal idea that we should work within the existing state to try to reform it with single issue movements (because they never solve and just legitimize the exploitation).

 

 

Also, doesn't Zizek spend a lot of time writing "utopianism good"? Not utopian in that it's a perfect society where everybody is happy and does good things, but the revolution is utopian in that it's so radical that it's impossible to predict or imagine what the world looks like?

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As the file gets larger sure otherwise the dis-ad impact by tomak thread has show how this works perfectly fine.

while tomak's thread provides great resources and whatnot it's a pain in the ass to dig through. i really don't mean to be a negative nancy (as much as i think cap bad has already been cut a billion times and most successful kritik debaters only read ten or so cards a debate) i just think it'd be easier for everyone if the file were, you know, not on vb. benefits?

easier to add new cards

easier to edit (i think this is particularly true in this case as you sort of get a monopoly on this game)

easier to peruse (indexed, table of contents, not one long ass post, et cetera)

 

edit: aside, this thread is probably a great place to discuss the file as lazzarone and others are doing and should probably be kept for that reason

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while tomak's thread provides great resources and whatnot it's a pain in the ass to dig through. i really don't mean to be a negative nancy (as much as i think cap bad has already been cut a billion times and most successful kritik debaters only read ten or so cards a debate) i just think it'd be easier for everyone if the file were, you know, not on vb. benefits?

easier to add new cards

easier to edit (i think this is particularly true in this case as you sort of get a monopoly on this game)

easier to peruse (indexed, table of contents, not one long ass post, et cetera)

 

edit: aside, this thread is probably a great place to discuss the file as lazzarone and others are doing and should probably be kept for that reason

 

everyone here should check out tiddlywiki - a whole wiki in one file (through html / css / js ) - the ultimate "file" - can also sync to a tiddly server for distributed updates.

 

can anyone say oh yes?

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1. It is working. It's happening now. Peruse current debate developments and trends. Most observers at this point smell a paradigm shift coming.

 

2. I think the best collaboration would happen through either a wiki or drop box, so it produces a unified file. cross-x.com has utility for notation, not product, I think.

 

Dropbox is the shit but they don't have a great KDE-linux client solution yet. I think debate teams could really benefit from distributed version controls systems ;)

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Can you clarify what you mean by this? I know the Act isn't "do nothing" (as in the status quo), but isn't the whole point that we should reject the aff's call to action (by doing nothing), allowing for radical change? What would your alt text be?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wait, doesn't this example apply more to the aff than the neg? How does the alternative bombard the state will "infinite demands"? Isn't the whole point that we should work outside the system, and not try to change it, or work within in? When Zizek gave the example of the Iraq war protesters, I thought he was criticizing the liberal idea that we should work within the existing state to try to reform it with single issue movements (because they never solve and just legitimize the exploitation).

 

 

Also, doesn't Zizek spend a lot of time writing "utopianism good"? Not utopian in that it's a perfect society where everybody is happy and does good things, but the revolution is utopian in that it's so radical that it's impossible to predict or imagine what the world looks like?

The card in reference (that I sent in) would be very hard to spin as an advocacy of the alternative. Even the most poorly written plan text will likely be a more "precise, finite" demand than a highly articulated critique alternative.

 

Zizek doesn't really consistently advocate working "within the system" or "outside the system," and I think he might find those terms archaic. I personally have no idea what "working outside the system" looks like. Zizek doesn't have a "let's always do this" or a "let's always do that" type of theory. Debaters sometimes just pretend that he does so that their argument floats better.

 

The Iraq war example, I believe is Lazzarone's. I may be mistaken. However, if it is Zizek's example, I don't think his conclusion is that we should not protest or that protesting is bad (also, I don't think this is what Lazzarone is implying). If Zizek does conclude this I'd like to see the text, but I have a feeling that it is an extrapolation of an analysis of power that he put forward.

 

Also, I think protesting the Iraq war WAS a finite demand, the idea just wasn't popular enough in the midst of post-9/11 anti-Muslim hysteria. We'll never know what would have happened if the numbers had been inverted and a substantial majority of Americans were opposed to intervention. So I'm not sure that is the best example of an "infinite" demand, but I definitely think your analysis is valid in its own regard as an analysis of power bolstering itself through dissent.

 

Lastly, I agree with Lazzarone that you could call the card a turn, too. I just hadn't thought of it that way specifically.

 

If I were running the argument, I would read the card and explain that you are running it as 1.) a perm. 2.) case outweighs 3.) alternative turn. Best of luck to everyone involved in creating the file.

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Can you clarify what you mean by this? I know the Act isn't "do nothing" (as in the status quo), but isn't the whole point that we should reject the aff's call to action (by doing nothing), allowing for radical change? What would your alt text be?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wait, doesn't this example apply more to the aff than the neg? How does the alternative bombard the state will "infinite demands"? Isn't the whole point that we should work outside the system, and not try to change it, or work within in? When Zizek gave the example of the Iraq war protesters, I thought he was criticizing the liberal idea that we should work within the existing state to try to reform it with single issue movements (because they never solve and just legitimize the exploitation).

 

 

Also, doesn't Zizek spend a lot of time writing "utopianism good"? Not utopian in that it's a perfect society where everybody is happy and does good things, but the revolution is utopian in that it's so radical that it's impossible to predict or imagine what the world looks like?

This is the millionth time I've tried posting this so I hope it doesn't post all of these at once... EDIT: It did, but I deleted them, sorry for the temporary inconvenience.

 

The card in reference (that I sent in) would be very hard to spin as an advocacy of the alternative. Even the most poorly written plan text will likely be a more "precise, finite" demand than a highly articulated critique alternative.

 

Zizek doesn't really consistently advocate working "within the system" or "outside the system," and I think he might find those terms archaic. I personally have no idea what "working outside the system" looks like. Zizek doesn't have a "let's always do this" or a "let's always do that" type of theory. Debaters sometimes just pretend that he does so that their argument floats better.

 

The Iraq war example, I believe is Lazzarone's. I may be mistaken. However, if it is Zizek's example, I don't think his conclusion is that we should not protest or that protesting is bad (also, I don't think this is what Lazzarone is implying). If Zizek does conclude this I'd like to see the text, but I have a feeling that it is an extrapolation of an analysis of power that he put forward.

 

Also, I think protesting the Iraq war WAS a finite demand, the idea just wasn't popular enough in the midst of post-9/11 anti-Muslim hysteria. We'll never know what would have happened if the numbers had been inverted and a substantial majority of Americans were opposed to intervention. So I'm not sure that is the best example of an "infinite" demand, but I definitely think your analysis is valid in its own regard as an analysis of power bolstering itself through dissent.

 

Lastly, I agree with Lazzarone that you could call the card a turn, too. I just hadn't thought of it that way specifically.

 

If I were running the argument, I would read the card and explain that you are running it as 1.) a perm. 2.) case outweighs 3.) alternative turn. Best of luck to everyone involved in creating the file.

Edited by Danny Tanner

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Can you clarify what you mean by this? I know the Act isn't "do nothing" (as in the status quo), but isn't the whole point that we should reject the aff's call to action (by doing nothing), allowing for radical change? What would your alt text be?

 

First, he doesn't really say that doing something about various problems in the world is bad but that we have to not get seduced by the ideology that structures many of those actions and their advocacies.

 

While I'll concede we have from time to time read a "do nothing" alt for strategic purposes, when at all possible we advocate a violent revolution. Makes it much easier to deal with certain impact scenarios since you can structure the debate around the notion that violence is inevitable its just a question of how we direct violence.

 

The 1NC card for these purposes is usually the "Revolution must strike twice" card from Revolution at the Gates and the best 2NC alt extension is from the first section of Violence and ends at the Bertolt Brecht poem.

Edited by Felix Hoenikker

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zizek was involved in many protests against the iraq war. nevertheless, he cites this in several places as an example of co-option. he was not saying 'don't protest', but rather 'be aware of all the consequences of your protest'. he'd probably admit that sometimes the risk of co-option outweighs the risk of inaction; 'power bolsters itself through dissent', but the only way to judge whether this is a show-stopping concern is on a case-by-case basis.

 

"Isn't the whole point that we should work outside the system, and not try to change it, or work within in?"

 

no, this is almost exactly critchley's position - one which zizek thoroughly refutes here: http://www.ndtceda.com/pipermail/edebate/2009-April/078518.html

 

"Wait, doesn't this example apply more to the aff than the neg?"

 

it may, depending on the plan at issue, and especially if they're a kritiky 'we demand'-affirmative.

 

"How does the alternative bombard the state will "infinite demands"?"

 

well, are its demands 'strategically well-selected, precise, [and] finite' or are they unrealistic, generic, and utopian? does the alternative dismiss the u.s.f.g., and by doing so, rely on others to run things? does it presume that all government is undemocratic? does it pose no real threat to the status quo? - those are links to zizek's criticism of critchley and like-minded authors/activists (in tanner's quotation and in the parts i cited from 'the parallax view').

 

"Also, doesn't Zizek spend a lot of time writing "utopianism good"?"

 

yes, sometimes, but his utopianism is worlds apart. it's not a pie-in-the-sky image of a society without capitalism, nor an impossible demand of existing authorities. it relates to what i quoted from him in this thread: http://www.cross-x.com/vb/showthread.php?t=993561

 

true radicality does not consist in going to the extreme and destroying the system (i.e., in disturbing too much the balance that sustains it) but consists in changing the very coordinates that define this balance. Say, once we accept the social-democratic idea of the modern capitalist market economy cum welfare state, it is easy to claim that one should avoid both extremes (i.e., the total freedom of the market, on the one hand, and excessive state intervention, on the other hand) and find the right balance between the two. However, the true revolution would consist in transforming the very overall balance of the social edifice, in enforcing a new structural principle of social life that would render the very field of the opposition between market and state obsolete. ... Revolution is not the assertion of spontaneity and rejection of every discipline but the radical redefinition of what counts as true spontaneity or discipline.

 

that's page 73 of 'organs without bodies'. the full paragraph is even better, and operates as an answer 'the perm' (represented therein by kristeva). the affirmative is interested in maintaining a proper balance - a little kritik, a little policy - but true radicality consists in redefining this balance, rendering the former balancing of the two extremes obsolete. this is an authentic act.

 

in a truly radical political act, the opposition between a "crazy" destructive gesture and a strategic political decision momentarily breaks down. This is why it is theoretically and political wrong to oppose strategic political acts, as risky as they might be, to radical "suicidal" gestures a la Antigone, gestures of pure self-destructive ethical insistence with, apparently, no political goal. The point is not simply that, once we are thoroughly engaged in a political project, we are ready to risk everything for it, inclusive of our lives, but, more precisely, that only such an "impossible" gesture of pure expenditure can change the very coordinates of what is strategically possible within a historical constellation.

 

that's page 205. first, don't read that last sentence too categorically - he's not saying 'only radical gestures are worth a damn'. rather he's defending radical gestures to the extent (and only to the extent, i'd argue, considering his scathing criticism of bataillean 'pure expenditure') that they change the coordinates of what's strategically possible. it's also possible that a seemingly harmless reform could accomplish this as well, or a seemingly trivial ironic performance, and so on. {i find this conforms exactly with d&g's position in 'anti-oedipus': the schizo is not revolutionary but the schizophrenic process is the potential for revolution (page 341), or decisively, "Good people say we must not flee, that to escape is not good, that it isn't effective, and that one must work for reforms. But the revolutionary knows that escape is revolutionary - withdrawal, freaks - provided one sweeps away the social order on leaving, or causes a piece of the system to get lost in the shuffle. What matters it to break through the wall [or 'change the coordinates' in zizek's terms], even if one has to become black like John Brown. George Jackson. 'I may take flight, but all the while I am fleeing, I will be looking for a weapon!'"(page 277).}

 

second, this 'impossible gesture' is very different from critchley's 'impossible demanding' for the very reason that the critchleyean actor gets to keep all their privileges while someone else worries about the practicalities. the zizekian actor 'cuts the cord' (recall that "liberation hurts") whereas the critchleyean actor is actually in a posture of 'hysterical provocation' (or what foucault called 'lyrical indignation'), a posture that secretly maintains the master in the position of 'master-signifier'. critchley's stance, according to zizek, is thus one of 'the beautiful soul' - see second-to-last section here: http://www.cross-x.com/vb/showpost.php?p=1604507&postcount=3 - and in stark contrast, zizek's utopian "leap of faith" that "from within the space of skeptical wisdom, cannot but appear as crazy" is identical to "courageously accept[ing] the full actualization of a cause, including the inevitable risk of a catastrophic disaster".

 

also, i remember this lecture as being helpful (but can't listen to it now to make sure, as my sound card is bust), http://mariborchan.wordpress.com/2009/06/15/slavoj-zizek-different-utopian-visions/

Edited by Lazzarone

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The Iraq war example, I believe is Lazzarone's. I may be mistaken. However, if it is Zizek's example, I don't think his conclusion is that we should not protest or that protesting is bad (also, I don't think this is what Lazzarone is implying). If Zizek does conclude this I'd like to see the text, but I have a feeling that it is an extrapolation of an analysis of power that he put forward.

 

 

 

Yeah, I misinterpreted what he was saying.

 

 

 

SLAVOJ ZIZEK: No, it’s not so much that I was against the protests. I myself participated in protests. I just do not share the enthusiasm of some of even big European intellectuals, like Jacques Derrida, Jurgen Habermas, who saw in that widespread movement of protest almost a birth of the new civil society movement in Europe. What bothered me is the way the protest was in a way parasitic upon—upon—OK, the other guys, those in power who wanted the war, how they legitimized each other.

For me, that protest was part of what I see as the main failure. But it’s not a subjective failure. It’s in the situation of modern left, which all too often for me adopts this rather comfortable moralizing position of we condemn, we criticize, but like we can’t do anything more, so this safe moralizing position, which is why, as I like to emphasize, I was in Great Britain, in United Kingdom in that point. And what did strike me is how, after the big protests, both sides appeared satisfied in a strange way. The organizers of demonstrators made their point: you see the majority is behind us, people oppose war, we made our point. But silently, they knew they didn’t stop the war, nothing. Blair government, the other side, was also satisfied. You see what an open society is: even when a country goes to war, we can—and again, the best answer, I think, was provided unintentionally by George Bush when he visited at that time UK. I remember, when asked by journalists, “How do you comment on big protests against you?” he said, “I totally support them, because, you see, that’s why we are going to Iraq, so that things like this, massive protest against the government, so that things like this could happen only—will happen also in Iraq.” So, of course, this was either a bad joke or hypocrisy or whatever you want. But there is a truth in it. Everyone, in a way, all the sides, felt satisfied. And this is what often worries me, this—how should I put it?—secret, symbiotic relationship. Those in power like a certain type of moralistic protest, which does nothing.

 

And again, I think that even—of course, everybody likes them Zapatistas in Mexico—that even Zapatistas fell a little bit into that trap. At the beginning, they were a little bit of a serious threat. Then when their—this famous anonymous leader, Subcomandante Marcos, then he made the choice of playing this, how should I call it, moral authority, you know, and at that point making comments on what is wrong in Mexican society. From that point on, everybody loves him now, you know? Everybody—oh, yes, he’s our moral consciousness, and so on and so on.

But again, I’m not simply reproaching the left for it, because, how to put it, of course now then there is the cruel question: but what can the left do? What can you effectively do? So I’m not saying we shouldn’t be doing this. I’m just saying—what I’m saying is basically one simple thing. I repeat it in all my talks, and so on. It’s fashionable to make fun of Fukuyama, End of History, but even the majority of today’s left is effectively, if I may make an adverb, Fukuyamaists. Basically, isn’t it that most of us leftists silently believe capitalism is here to stay, parliamentary democracy is what we [inaudible], so the problem is simply how to make it work better? Our ultimate horizon is, again, in the same way as we were talking about socialism with a human face, global capitalist democracy with a human face. And for me, the key question is, is this enough?

 

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/5/12/world_renowned_philosopher_slavoj_zizek_on

 

 

 

 

Lazzarone:

 

Would Zizek think increasing social services is a good idea if the government realized (and admitted) that their action wouldn't create total equality and would probably legitimize the system? Why are strategically well selected, precise, and finite "demands" upon the state, which don't challenge capitalism and just make the system run smoother desirable? The plan might make a step toward equality, but what if that "finite demand" that "increased" equality made revolution impossible?

 

What arguments should you make (as negative) to prove that the plan isn't the well selected and finite demand that Zizek advocates?

 

Thanks for the other links, btw.

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Doesn't this discussion about whether an action is good or not simply break down to, "You should read both the 'working within the system' link and specific links and frame the former as a meta-argument which is proved by the fact that the specific content of the affirmative is problematic."?

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Yeah, I misinterpreted what he was saying.

 

 

 

 

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/5/12/world_renowned_philosopher_slavoj_zizek_on

 

 

 

 

Lazzarone:

 

Would Zizek think increasing social services is a good idea if the government realized (and admitted) that their action wouldn't create total equality and would probably legitimize the system? Why are strategically well selected, precise, and finite "demands" upon the state, which don't challenge capitalism and just make the system run smoother desirable? The plan might make a step toward equality, but what if that "finite demand" that "increased" equality made revolution impossible?

 

What arguments should you make (as negative) to prove that the plan isn't the well selected and finite demand that Zizek advocates?

 

Thanks for the other links, btw.

I'll give my bit here.

 

It isn't really relevant that the government realize or admit anything but rather the people advocating said policy.

 

Also, I'm not sure whether Zizek would agree or not but I don't think that preventing the system from "running more smoothly" (or keeping the poor down) makes revolution any more likely. Look at India, for example. In fact, I think the opposite might be true. If the poor had access to better education and weren't living paycheck to paycheck, for example, they might be in a better position to analyze the underlying structures that have created their poverty in the first place.

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Guest wutlol

Does anybody think it's contradictory to read the Johnston card "about withdrawing belief in capitalism" and another Zizek card about "doing nothing"?

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Guest wutlol
Nope.

 

 

Why not? I get that Johnston is basically Zizek's bitch, but I've never seen Zizek actually say "we should withdraw faith in capitalism". If he has, do you have any text of him saying so?

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Zizek should not be taken seriously – his arguments come with several contradictions – nobody can really interpret his political suggestions as serious advocacies

 

 

Kirsch, 8 – senior editor of The New Republic

(Adam, The New Republic, “The Deadly Jester,” http://www.tnr.com/story_print.html?id=097a31f3-c440-4b10-8894-14197d7a6eef)

The curious thing about the Zizek phenomenon is that the louder he applauds violence and terror--especially the terror of Lenin, Stalin, and Mao, whose "lost causes" Zizek takes up in another new book, In Defense of Lost Causes--the more indulgently he is received by the academic left, which has elevated him into a celebrity and the center of a cult. A glance at the blurbs on his books provides a vivid illustration of the power of repressive tolerance. In Iraq: The Borrowed Kettle, Zizek claims, "Better the worst Stalinist terror than the most liberal capitalist democracy"; but on the back cover of the book we are told that Zizek is "a stimulating writer" who "will entertain and offend, but never bore." In The Fragile Absolute, he writes that "the way to fight ethnic hatred effectively is not through its immediate counterpart, ethnic tolerance; on the contrary, what we need is even more hatred, but proper political hatred"; but this is an example of his "typical brio and boldness." And In Defense of Lost Causes, where Zizek remarks that "Heidegger is 'great' not in spite of, but because of his Nazi engagement," and that "crazy, tasteless even, as it may sound, the problem with Hitler was that he was not violent enough, that his violence was not 'essential' enough"; but this book, its publisher informs us, is "a witty, adrenalin fueled manifestofor universal values."

In the same witty bookZizek laments that "this is how the establishment likes its 'subversive' theorists: harmless gadflies who sting us and thus awaken us to the inconsistencies and imperfections of our democratic enterprise--God forbid that they might take the project seriously and try to live it." How is it, then, that Slavoj Zizek, who wants not to correct democracy but to destroy it, has been turned into one of the establishment's pet subversives, who "tries to live" the revolution most completely as a jet-setting professor at the European Graduate School, a senior researcher at the University of Ljubljana's Institute of Sociology, and the International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities?A part of the answer has to do with Zizek's enthusiasm for American popular culture. Despite the best attempts of critical theory to demystify American mass entertainment, to lay bare the political subtext of our movies and pulp fiction and television shows, pop culture remains for most Americans apolitical and anti-political--a frivolous zone of entertainment and distraction. So when the theory-drenched Zizek illustrates his arcane notions with examples from Nip/ Tuck and Titanic, he seems to be signaling a suspension of earnestness. The effect is quite deliberate. In The Metastases of Enjoyment, for instance, he writes that "Jurassic Park is a chamber drama about the trauma of fatherhood in the style of the early Antonioni or Bergman." Elsewhere he asks, "Is Parsifal not a model for Keanu Reeves in The Matrix, with Laurence Fishburne in the role of Gurnemanz?" Those are laugh lines, and they cunningly disarm the anxious or baffled reader with their playfulness. They relieve his reader with an expectation of comic hyperbole, and this expectation is then carried over to Zizek's political proclamations, which are certainly hyperbolic but not at all comic. When, in 1994, during the siege of Sarajevo, Zizek wrote that "there is no difference" between life in that city and life in any American or Western European city, that "it is no longer possible to draw a clear and unambiguous line of separation between us who live in a 'true' peace and the residents of Sarajevo"--well, it was only natural for readers to think that he did not really mean it, just as he did not really mean that Jurassic Park is like a Bergman movie. This intellectual promiscuity is the privilege of the licensed jester, of the man whom The Chronicle of Higher Education dubbed "the Elvis of cultural theory."In person, too, Zizek plays the jester with practiced skill. Every journalist who sits down to interview him comes away with a smile on his face. Robert Boynton, writing in Lingua Franca in 1998, found Zizek "bearded, disheveled, and loud ... like central casting's pick for the role of Eastern European Intellectual." Boynton was amused to see the manic, ranting philosopher order mint tea and sugar cookies: "'Oh, I can't drink anything stronger than herbal tea in the afternoon,' he says meekly. 'Caffeine makes me too nervous.'" The intellectual parallel is quite clear: in life, as in his writing, Zizek is all bark and no bite. Like a naughty child who flashes an irresistible grin, it is impossible to stay angry at him for long. witnessed the same deception a few weeks ago, when Zizek appeared with Bernard-Henri L évy at the New York Public Library. The two philosopher-celebrities came on stage to the theme music from Superman, and their personae were so perfectly opposed that they did indeed nudge each other into cartoonishness: Lévy was all the more Gallic and debonair next to Zizek, who seemed all the more wild-eyed and Slavic next to Lévy. Thus it was perfectly natural for the audience to erupt in laughter when Zizek, at one point in the generally unacrimonious evening, told Lévy: "Don't be afraid--when we take over you will not go to the Gulag, just two years of reeducation camp." Solzhenitsyn had died only a few weeks earlier, but it would have been a kind of betise to identify Zizek's Gulag with Solzhenitsyn's Gulag. When the audience laughed, it was playing into his hands, and hewing to the standard line on Zizek, which Rebecca Mead laid down in a profile of him in The New Yorker a few years ago: "Always to take Slavoj Zizek seriously would be to make a category mistake."

 

 

 

 

:)

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my response to the article quoted above is already in the comments section under my own name:

http://www.tnr.com/talkback.html?id=097a31f3-c440-4b10-8894-14197d7a6eef

 

any journal of opinion which would publish an article so filled with out-of-context quotations and baseless accusations doesn't deserve serious consideration or response. zizek may tell a few jokes, but he's absolutely not a jew-basher or any kind of fascist. kirsh's claim that "there is no doubt that this scale of killing is what Zizek looks forward to", if not retracted as soon as possible, should result in his immediate firing. i disagree with zizek on many counts, but pieces like this are an insult to thinking readers and an obstacle to intelligent discussion of today's political questions. if this is the kind of tripe we can expect from the new republic, then we won't have to turn to zizek to find a farce.

 

i'd add that any debater who reads such a card probably deserves to lose the round. in any case, the above card is mis-tagged: only the last line refers to 'taking zizek seriously as a category mistake' (a quotation cited to demonstrate how zizek gets away with his allegedly self-evidently immoral advocacies) - the rest of the article does claim to take zizek seriously, and thus concludes that he is actually a celebrant of terrorism, racism, and mass violence. shameless.

Edited by Lazzarone

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Kirsch takes singular points to answer Zizek – he doesn’t answer the whole thesis, or even the particulars accurately.

Dean 8 [Jodi. Professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, PhD in Political Science from Columbia. “Quick and dirty: Zizek and NR” Dec 4. http://jdeanicite.typepad.com/i_cite/2008/12/quick-and-dirty.html ]

Larval Subjects has some interesting posts on the New Republic attack piece on Zizek (he also has some links to other pieces in a similar vein that I haven't looked at yet). My two cents: the NR piece relies on tactics standard in any attack on Zizek--emphasize singular points taken out of context. The primary orientation of the piece is liberal outrage such that anything critical of liberalism is by definition totalitarian and wrong (as clear an indication of the liberal-democratic denkverbot as I've ever seen, all the way to the endorsement of Arendt's notion of totalitarianism). Is there anything, then, worth taking seriously? Perhaps. First, I don't think the best way to read Zizek is as an ironist (contra Sinthome).I think it's important to read him as literally as possible, recognizing the breadth of his examples and illustrations. Another way to put it: when Zizek uses an obscene illustration, he means the obscenity as an obscenity. Part of the challenge of current conditions is the difficulty in finding something really obscene and having it be recognized as such. Nor do I think that he somehow fails in not doing providing a detailed empirical critique of real existing liberal democracy. I don't think every author has to reinvent the wheel. Zizek is speaking within a set of discursive contexts marked by the decline and defeat of a certain Marxist experiment. Most of his readers don't need to be persuaded that there's a problem with liberalism or with capitalism (democracy, that's another story and he addresses this). Finally, I don't think it works to disavow violence or to try to absolve Zizek as not really advocating violence. Yes, as Sinthome and one of the people he links to acknowledge, Zizek is interested in expanding the notion of violence so that systematic violence is recognized as such. This isn't really news to folks who have been working in a critical left tradition where one of the problems has been the escalation of the notion of violence so that violence is everywhere but actual war zones: language is violent, gender is violence, television is violent etc. Nonetheless, Zizek's account of Bartleby in terms of a kind of violence of the object, of an objecting, disrupting materiality is worth pursuing. So what, then, is worth considering in the NR piece?

 

 

 

 

If you're terrified it's worth clicking through to another high qualified author's blog from Jodi's post. And then keep clicking. But really, it's not worth it.

Edited by Stow

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do you have any text of him saying so?

p. 303 Lost Causes.

It is in this very imbrication of brutal cynicism with wide-eyed belief that the objective irony of capitalism resides. One can thus imagine, a s a counterpoint to this virtual capitalism in which "real things" take place at a purely virtual level of financial transfers, totally disconnected from our ordinary reality, a purely virtual collapse, the collapse of virtual market as as an "end of the world" in which nothing in our material reality would "really change" — it is just that all of a sudden, people would refuse to give their trust, they would refuse to participate in the game . That is to say, the virtual status of money means that it functions like a nation: while the nation is the people's substance, the cause for which they are (sometimes) ready to sacrifice everything, it has no substantial reality of its own —it exists only insofar as people "believe" that it exists, it is a Cause posited retroactively by its own effects. One should then imagine a scenario similar to the one envisaged by Saramago in his Seeing (in which a people all of a sudden refuses to participate in voting) , only transposed to the economic domain : people refusing to participate in the financial virtual game. Perhaps, such a refusal would be today the ultimate political act.

 

I get that Johnston is basically Zizek's bitch

 

You make yourself look ridiculous when you say things like this.

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Guest wutlol

You make yourself look ridiculous when you say things like this.

 

 

figure of speech...

 

Thanks for the text.

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Guest wutlol

But all gods have a secret vulnerability: they cease to exist when people no longer believe in them. Trust is the fuel of power. As corporate collapses and financial scandals rock the markets, and the democratic deficit expands as people desert the charade of participation by voting, trust is in short supply. And failure of belief in a system spreads fast. A contagious whisper, it ripples through the multitude, rising to a roar. The roar was responded to by the World Economic Forum in 2003, when it chose “Rebuilding Trust” as the theme for the gathering. As preparation for the meeting it commissioned a massive public opinion survey representing the views of 1.4 billion people spanning every continent. The results, according to the WEF, revealed “that trust in many key institutions has fallen to critical proportions.” The least-trusted of the 17 institutions in the survey were national governments and corporations. Two-thirds of those surveyed worldwide disagreed that their country is “governed by the will of the people” and half distrusted the WTO and the IMF to operate in the best interest of society. The crisis of legitimacy has hit uncontainable proportions. According to a leaked email from a writer invited to Davos in 2003, the fear amongst the guests was palpable. “These people are freaked out,” she wrote, describing her dinner conversations with the elite. Despite their privilege and wealth, they know that their legitimacy is waning, that we have seen through them, that when trust has been eroded it becomes increasingly difficult to wield power. Refusing to Cooperate “The tap root of power lies below the surface. It is obedience, cooperation, collusion: the social glue that ensures that each day proceeds much like the last. Every single one of us has the power to give or withhold our willing participation. To ‘reproduce’ or reshape society.” – Alex Begg, Empowering the Earth: Strategies for Social Change, Green Books We are led to believe that the system of power is like a pyramid, similar to a food chain with the dominant species at the top maintaining its control over those at the bottom through superior strength and violence. But if an avalanche swept awayall at Davos tomorrow, not much would really change because the power the Davos class accrues, through their ownership of capital, extends everywhere. There is a secret, however, that those on the mountaintop rarely reveal, which is that their power exists to some extent because we allow it to. They want us to believe that they wield power over us with their weapons and armies and police forces, and although their violence is highly effective in disrupting our movements, hurting our bodies and making us afraid, violence alone can’t guarantee their continued existence. Ultimately, it depends upon us believing in their power, in their immutability, and failing to recognize our own. This was the substance of Shelley’s furious ballad of 1819 when he wrote the famous lines to Manchester’s working poor after troops fired on them in the Peterloo massacre: “Rise, like lions after slumber / In unvanquishable number/ Shake your chains to earth like dew / Which in sleep had fall’n on you! / Ye are many, and they are few.” In reality, the system is more like a huge wedding cake than a pyramid: multiple layers of dominance held up by many pillars – pillars which are institutions and individuals, values and belief systems. Successful movement strategies, therefore, are those that identify the key pillars in society, and work to weaken their compliance until they break. As we take away one pillar, others begin to wobble and the system trembles.

 

 

http://www.narconews.com/Issue35/article1121.html

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Can someone explain the "double revolutions good" alternative to me? I think its the one from Revolution at the Gates. What exactly are the first and second revolutions and how do we access them?

 

I've heard that is functions as a violent alt good card so could you explain in which instances I can use this to answer back impact turns, e.g. any ones specifically?

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