March Violets (Bernie Gunther, lTubecomwatchvHRcg When All Else Fails Read the InstructionsIt is a principle of psychotherapy and religious conversion that the need to change one s views aboutife does not BECOME COMPELLING UNTIL ALL OTHER ATTEMPTS compelling until all other attempts get things to work fail The remaining option is unpalatable but unavoidable Breakdown is a necessary condition for repair i ek has an interesting though paradoxical take on
This Principle In The Courage Of Hopelessness Everywhere In The principle in The Courage of Hopelessness Everywhere in the socialism is in retreat Global capitalism has never been healthier in its manipulative exploitation of those who benefit through it as well as those exploited by it The political Left is in disarray and probably prefers the status uo in any case There is no coherent alternative intellectual argument on the horizon which might impede the further expansion of capitalist self interestSo guided by the established principles of psychotherapy religious conversion and the general aphorism when in a deep hole stop digging it wouldn t be unreasonable to expect some sort of intellectual reversal by i ek at Zoete tranen least a modification of hisong term Marxist analysis Bot no instead world events for him point urgently than ever to the truth and usefulness of communism as an explanation of these events and as an ideal around which to rally for world bettermentDon t get me wrong I admire i ek s intellect His resistance to the idea of immigrants as the new proletariat his defence of European culture as the source of anti colonialism as well as the original malaise his mistrust of academic and bourgeois Leftists as mere jobs worth types concerned with ideological credential rather than the political fate of the world are all things I can agree withBut i ek s unmitigated devotion to Marxism seems to distort his considered observations about the way the world is His response is of the same that he has been preaching for decades The task confronting us today is precisely the reinvention of communism a radical change that moves well beyond some vague notion of social solidarity Note a reinvention of communism an adaptation of the same underlying theory of the physical alienation of human beings from themselvesBut as he documents in his own arguments people apparently want to be alienated from whatever i ek thinks they really are The proletariat seems to resolve itself into those who for the moment find themselves outside the protective
bubble of capitalism But capitalism is inexorably sweeping in these outliers It is avoiding the mistake of that of capitalism But capitalism is inexorably sweeping in these outliers It is avoiding the mistake of that global European institution the Catholic Church by accepting entirely Water Music local customs and traditions and transforming them into brands and desirable objects for saleFor those already inside the global capitalist bubble i ek can only plead for a raising of consciousness about the objective situation Our ethico political duty is not just to become aware of the reality outside our cupola but to fully assume our co responsibility for the horrors outside it Sure thatl work Just Revived look at the great successes of the Green movement in changing national environmental policies Their progress depends as much upon convincing folk of their own direct interests as any other political party And what is thereeft but some vague notion of social solidarity Perhaps I ve missed it in my intermittent reading of i ek s work but nowhere can I recall an admission of error the recognition of an intellectual mistake that he regrets making an apology for a Student Research Projects in Calculus lack of understanding or for misdirecting the understanding of others He continuously returns to the same tired tropes of Marxism just as evangelical Christians harp endlessly about the real the authentic the eternal message of the gospels His attempts to reinterpret Marxist doctrine as if a century and a half of ideological experimentation has never taken place is just silly Perhaps other people are reading a different manual. Capitalism as fact of human nature or does today's capitalism contain strong enough antagonisms to prevent its infinite reproduction Can we he asks move beyond the failure of socialism and beyond the current wave of populist rage and initiate radical change before the train hits'Žižek is a thinker who regards nothing as outside his field the result is deeply interesting and provocative' Guardian 'Žižekeaves no social or cultural phenomenon untheorized and is master of the counterintuitive observation' New Yorker. .
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Olitics and the concurrent mystifications of ideology THE COURAGE OF HOPELESSNESS ooks at banking and exploitation Greek resistance to Brussels and austerity Chinese authoritarian capitalism and other diverse political structures that adapt themselves to global capitalism Islam fundamentalist and not PC culture and populist rage as two sides of the same coin i ek sees the PC policing of Love for Imperfect Things language asittle than an attempt to neutralize intractable immanent antagonisms The contemporary arena becomes one of ethico politcal fiasco This is the fundamental Hegelian core of i ek reverse engineering back to basic antagonisms And what of universal values The terrain is variegated and messy Progressive western values are often seen as an extension of neocolonial power The world is populated by disparate and innately antagonistic social models For i ek the fundamental antagonism will always be class struggle stop calling him a class essentialist he pleads though that is what he is He has obviously been attacked for saying that in 2016 Donald Trump was a better choice than Hilary Clinton He has been accused of being an accelerationist This isn t exactly correct i ek doesn t see Populist Rightism unspeakably vile though it is as an alternative to neoliberalism but rather as a dire symptom of it What Trump brings with him is the sense that an urgent situation is in fact urgent and hopefully the realization that new forms of political organization are now critical The threat with the status uo was that we were going to continue marching calmly toward catastrophe It is not that the collapse of global capitalism will be accelerated but rather that the reality of crisis becomes impossible to ignore Most of the philosophical or critical theory type texts I have read since I A Heart of Stone last read i ek were books that would have been easy to break down into fairly shortists of pertinent bullet points If you break THE COURAGE OF HOPELESSNESS down into bullet points you will have a very ong ist indeed and it will Language and Linguistics lack straightforwardinearity Again the pleasure of reading i ek is following his thinking hither and thither across a rich and populated topography We find ourselves at a point in history where we are desperate to make sense of things i
ek if we simply see him as the critic clinician has never beenif we simply see him as the critic clinician has never been Hope Hopelessness You don t necessarily have to be committed to one or the other to find much of value here And do you want to know what i ek s real secret of secrets is The you want to know what i ek s real secret of secrets is The is driven be pure jouissance and passion for his work It is indelible I honestly thought I d sworn off reading these Popular Audience Zizek books Fail Got to remember to stick only to the theoretical and philosophical works I mean these Divertimento little books are perfectly fine but I ve read them enoughike back in the day when I got from Chomsky about as much as I needed I mean political discussion that does not have at Love Is a Fairy Tale least one of these two figures as touchstone simply won tikely get off the ground If you re interested in emancipatory politics If you re not you re not on the Left And we know how well the Middle and the Right are working out Let s finally give the Left a try ehAt any rate here are some titles if you want to read the serious Zizek The Sublime Object of IdeologyTarrying with the Negative Kant Hegel and the Critiue of IdeologyThe Metastases of Enjoyment On Women and CasualityThe Indivisible Remainder On Schelling and Related MattersThe Plague of FantasiesThe Ticklish Subject The Absent Centre of Political OntologyThe Fragile Absolute Or Why Is the Christian Legacy Worth Fighting ForThe Parallax ViewIn Defense of Lost CausesLiving in the End TimesLess Than Nothing Hegel and the Shadow of Dialectical MaterialismOr just that ast one and the Schelling one But maybe just rather these Popular books That s fine too But personally I should be a bit disciplinedhttpswwwyou. Ing us from the opposite direction that fundamental change can be brought aboutSurveying the various challenges in the world today from mass migration and geopolitical tensions to terrorism the explosion of rightist populism and the emergence of new radical politics all of which in their own way express the impasses of global capitalism Žižek explores whether there still remains the possibility for genuine change Today he proposes the only true uestion isor should be this do we endorse the predominant acceptance of. .
You know Lacan and so onit s a guilty
Pleasure For The Reader Andfor the reader and demonstration of Zizek s self indulgence in flipping back and forth between news items anecdotes and the big Other Though I continue to find Hegel to be an utterly ridiculous thinker representing far better than anybody else the futility and absurdity of philosophical projects I continue to read almost all of the major works of Slavoj i ek certainly that particular German Idealist s best known contemporary adherent I have always been far amenable to Lacan but et s eave that aside for the time being Why do I keep coming back to i ek Why indeed did I get get so much pleasure out of reading ABSOLUTE RECOIL the ast major i ek I read and as thoroughly Hegelian an investigation as he has ever dispatched A ot of it has to do with the ualities i ek possesses as a writer and rhetorician It might be overstating It Marginally To Call I Ek Accessible But There Is marginally to call i ek accessible but there is denying that his thought process ends itself to a fluid playful and often amusing mode of address While it might be
Wrong To Say He Isto say he is to read he certainly is fun to read and this distinguishes him from nearly everybody else in his field I have been reading i ek seriously and regularly since the dawn of the twenty first century even though our theoretical pedigree could hardly be different and we conceptualize our worlds very differently I know well that i ek would criticize me the same way he criticizes people The Right Sort of Man (Sparks Bainbridge Mystery like Judith Butler or Deleuze and Guattari he would say that what is supposedly radical about my way of thinking andiving in fact totally plays into commodity culture consumerism and global capitalism Well fair enough He wouldn t be wrong I m not Darkmere losing sleep over it THE COURAGE OF HOPELESSNESS appearing as it did in 2017 would seem to appear at a decisive even critical historical moment If you wantong riffs on dialectics ua dialectics and the negation of negation this will not be the book for you This is all hands on deck critical theory addressing the Et si la maladie n'tait pas un hasard ? lay of the multi centric globaland We probably all know that irony is a major weapon in i ek s arsenal How serious is he about hopelessness as courage Well i ek isn t one bit hopeless than he has ever been and the hopeless situation probably isn t ACTUALLY any hopeless than it has ever been which is to say almost completely hopeless In the book s Introduction i ek appropriates Girogio Agamben s statement that thought is the courage of hopelessness i ek goes on to bemoan how these days even the most pessimistic diagnosis as a rule finishes with an uplifting hint of some version of the proverbial Den of Shadows (Gamblers Den light at the end of the tunnel i ek suggests that theight at the end of the tunnel represents theoretical cowardice perhaps the Scraps Of The Untainted Sky light is another train heading straight at us etc i ek warns that this book will be a dark one appropriate for dark times But the thing is THE COURAGE OF HOPELESSNESS is guilty of precisely the form of theoretical cowardice it upbraids A variation on the expression courage of hopelessness returns in the book s conclusion once we embrace the courage that comes with hopelessness we should embark on theong and difficult work of changing the coordinates of the entire situation Which is to say err there may be ight at the end of the tunnel i ek s fundamental political outlook has never changed He believes in class struggle the need for universal emancipatory values and some yet to be either theorized or actualized form of communism This is still his ight at the end of the tunnel It is not only vague but pretty clearly a pipe dream So what does i ek offer us that is of use He thinks the system thinks the territory He is a peerless and inexhaustible critic clinician At a time when the Huguenot Prophecy and Clandestine Worship in the Eighteenth Century level of popular discourse has degenerated to such a dire extreme it is revivifying to encounter someone doing adeuate justice to current geop. The maverick philosopher returns to explore today's idealogical political and economic battles and asks whether radical change is possibleIn these troubled times even the most pessimistic diagnosis of our future ends with an uplifting hint that things might not be as bad as all that that there isight at the end of the tunnelYet argues Slavoj Žižek it is only when we have admit to ourselves that our situation is completely hopeless that the ight at the end of the tunnel is in fact the headlight of a train approach.