Here's a card. You can underline it yourself.
Slavoj Zizek, Professor of Sociology at the Institute for Sociology, Ljubljana University, 2000, The Fragile Absolute, p. 147-150
Consequently, there are two ways of subverting the Law, the â€˜masculineâ€™ and the â€˜feminineâ€™. One can violate/transgress its prohibiÂtions: this is the inherent transgression which sustains the Law, like the advocates of liberal democracy who secretly (through the CIA) train murderers-terrorists for the proto-Fascist regimes in Latin America. That is false rightist heroism: secretly doing the necessary but dirty thingâ€™, that is, violating the explicit ruling ideology (of human Rights, and so on) in order to sustain the existing order. Much more subversive than this is simply to do what is allowed, that is, what the existing order explicitly allows, although it prohibits it at the level of implicit unwritten prohibiÂtions. In short â€” to paraphrase Brechtâ€™s well-known crack about how mild robbing a bank is in comparison with founding a bank â€” how mild transgressing the Law is in comparison with obeying it thoroughly â€” or, as Kierkegaard put it, in his unique way: â€˜We do not laud the son who said â€œNo,â€ but we endeavour to learn from the gospel how dangerous it is to say, â€œSir, I will.â€â€™98 What better example is there than Hasekâ€™s immortal â€˜good soldier Schweikâ€™, who caused total havoc in the old Imperial Austrian Army simply by obeying orders all too literally? (Although, strictly speaking, there is a better example, namely the â€˜absolute exampleâ€™ [Hegel], Christ himself: when Christ claims that he is here merely to fulfil the [Jewish] Law, he thereby bears witness to how his act effectively cancels the Law.) The basic paradox of the relationship between public power and its inherent transgression is that the subject is actually â€˜inâ€™ (caught in the web of) power only and precisely in so far as he does not fully identify with it but maintains a kind of distance towards it; on the other hand, the system (of public Law) is actually undermined by unreserved identification with it. Stephen Kingâ€™s â€˜Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemptionâ€™ tackles this problem with due stringency apropos of the paradoxes of prison life. The clichÃ© about prison life is that I am actually integrated into it, ruined by it, when my accommodation to it is so overwhelming that I can no longer stand or even imagine freedom, life outside prison, so that my release brings about a total psychic breakdown, or at least gives rise to a longing for the lost safety of prison life. The actual dialectic of prison life, however, is somewhat more refined. Prison in effect destroys me, attains a total hold over me, precisely when I do not fully consent to the fact that I am in prison but maintain a kind of inner distance towards it, stick to the illusion that â€˜real life is elsewhereâ€™ and indulge all the time in daydreaming about life outside, about nice things that are waiting for me after my release or escape. I thereby get caught in the vicious cycle of fanÂtasy, so that when, eventually, I am released, the grotesque discord between fantasy and reality breaks me down. The only true solution is therefore fully to accept the rules of prison life and then, within the universe governed by these rules, to work out a way to beat them. In short, inner distance and daydreaming about Life Elsewhere in effect enchain me to prison, whereas full acceptance of the fact that I am really there, bound by prison rules, opens up a space for true hope. What this means is that in order effectively to liberate oneself from the grip of existing social reality, one should first renounce the transgressive fantasmatic supplement that attaches us to it. In what does this renunciation consist? In a series of recent (comÂmercial) films, we find the same surprising radical gesture. In Speed, when the hero (Keanu Reeves) is confronting the terrorist blackmailer who is holding his partner at gunpoint, the hero shoots not the blackmailer, but his own partner in the leg â€” this apparently senseless act momentarily shocks the blackmailer, who releases the hostage and runs away.... In Ransom, when the media tycoon (Mel Gibson) goes on television to answer the kidnappersâ€™ request for two million dollars as a ransom for his son, he surprises everyone by saying that he will offer two million dollars to anyone who will give him any information about the kidnappers, and announces that he will pursue them to the end, with all his resources, if they do not release his son immediately. This radical gesture not only stuns the kidnappers â€” immediately after accomplishing it, Gibson himself almost breaks down, aware of the risk he is courting. . . . And, finally, the supreme case: when, in the flashback scene from The Usual Suspects, the mysteriÂous Keyser Soeze returns home and finds his wife and small daughter held at gunpoint by the members of a rival mob, he resorts to the radical gesture of shooting his wife and daughter themselves dead â€” this act enables him mercilessly to pursue members of the rival gang, their families, parents and friends, killing them all. . . . What these three gestures have in common is that in a situation of forced choice, the subject makes the â€˜crazyâ€™, impossible choice of, in a way, striking at himself at what is most precious to himself. This act, far from amounting to a case of impotent aggressivity turned against oneself, rather changes the co-ordinates of the situation in which the subject finds himself: by cutting himself loose from the precious object through whose possession the enemy kept him in check, the subject gains the space of free action. Is not such a radical gesture of â€˜striking at oneselfâ€™ constitutive of subjectivity as such?
And, since it's Zizek, here's his answer to himself:
Slavoj Zizek, professor of philosophy at the university of Ljubljana, The Ticklish Subject: The Absent Centre of Political Ontology, 1999, pg. 380
So is there a third way between humanist hysterical shirking the act and the perverse overidentification with the act, or are we caught in the vicious cycle of violence in which the very revolutionary attempt to break radically with the past reproduces its worst features? Therein lies Mullerâ€™s displaceÂment with regard to Brecht: the revolutionary act of self-obliteration preached by Brecht doesnâ€™t work; the revolutionary negation of the past gets caught in the loop of repeating what it negates, so that history appears to be dominated by a deadly compulsion to repeat. The third way advocated by the Party Chorus in Mauser involves a nice paradox: you can maintain a distance towards your act of revolutionary violence (killing the enemies of the revolution) in so far as you conceive of yourself as the instrument of the big Other, that is, in so far as you identify yourself as the one through whom the big Other itself â€” History â€” directly acts. This opposition between direct overidentification (in which the violent act turns into the (self-)destructive orgy as an end-in-itself) and identifying oneself as the instrument of the big Other of History (in which the violent act looks like the means of creating conditions in which such acts will no longer be necessary), far from being exhaustive, designates precisely the two ways of eschewing the proper dimension of the ethical act. While the act should not be confused with the (self-)destructive orgy as an end-in-itself it is an â€˜end-in-itselfâ€™ in the sense that it is deprived of any guarantee in the big Other (an act is, by definition, â€˜authorized only by itselfâ€™~ it precludes any self-instrumentalization, any justification through reference to some figure of the big Other). Furthermore, if there is a lesson to be learned from psychoanalysis, it is that direct overidentification and selfÂinstrumentalization ultimately coincide: perverse self-instrumentalization (positing oneself as the instrument of the big Other) necessarily becomes violence as an end-in-itself â€” to put it in Hegelian terms, the â€˜truthâ€™ of the pervertâ€™s claim that he is accomplishing his acts as the instrument of the big Other is its exact opposite: he is staging the fiction of the big Other in order to conceal the jouissance be derives from the destructive orgy of his acts.