The Matter at Hand, part 4: Zizek

The very short version of how the PMG and Zizek are related is they both present discourses that are offensive. We have already described how that may be the case with the PMG. The works of Zizek, though, are different. In short, they arrive from nowhere, that is, they arrive from the exact place that Zizek describes and or attempts to indicate all through his writing.

This is to say that he is saying nothing of some world that is an objective feature wherein we have subjective human beings. Indeed, he can be taken to be saying something of the situation as presented in this way, but it is more that he is merely describing the view that he has; his works and motions are a direct effect of being In the world, but more: That is all one can really say, it is not an effect per say, it is merely being in the world.

Now, this is as offensive as it is awkward to describe. The terms by which we propose to be able to communicate are taxed when we try to describe the event of Zizek and his productions. This is why we have a cultural or political analysis, when he approaches from those vectors: Because there must be an object to occasion the subject, and there is no separating him, Zizek, the subject, from the productions that appear as mediations of an object, political and cultural. The discourses appear as having to do with analyzing objective situations, but because these situations only occur for the subject of discourse, the distance that is enacted is the objective case as a type of fetish, a magical thing that is this segregate neutral object yielding up information of itself to the likewise segregated essential subject. This is the Kantian reality extrapolated in historical discourse to the Hegelian and later Lacanian reality, but essentialized as a subject: The inuited transcendent. Zizek negates this by his discourse because through his philosophy he is describing the negation of the objective case, the contradiction inherent the knowledge of the object. It is this contradiction that is upheld by a distinction between what is real and not real, and re-solved in the real reduction allowed for through faith in the True Object.

Zizek describes every situation I am explaining of him here, but he does not recognize any segregation involved with a subject, and instead makes the real reduction to a sort of revolutionary agent negated in the being presence that is Dasein, the same way as Badiou and Laruelle (and others) posit a convergence of sorts of thought and universe, a thus true-reality. Yet typically, conventionally, very few really dare to get to the meat of what he is saying, and if they do, often they react as the blogger I reference in the previous segment. They get a feeling against what he is saying because the meaning of his discourses offends, what we might call, ‘regular’ reality, or how most people come upon reality. They therefore do not take that crucial step to see how it is possible for him to make such statement, and instead analyze the objective representation and organization of symbols as these appear to occur ‘outside’ or ‘extra-subjectively’, at once, verifying that what Zizek is saying is true, as well as implicating that Zizek’s presumption toward offering a total inclusive explanation of the world somehow is missing a part. This excluded part can be said to fall into what Graham Harman calls ‘accidental’ but is perhaps more suited to fall into the blank spot of the Parallax view, the gap ‘between’ such angles of view.

To be grateful, I can only notice where Zizek is blind because he is describing the situation that is not offensive to me, indeed, he is describing the world how I would describe it if I were Zizek, and thus it is just this paradox that allows me to offer a shift in view whereby the subject does not remain in a field of objects as a point of nil, requiring this a complete and total submersion of agency unto view, or as well an equation of elements. Instead, while fully acknowledging the veracity and good description of the situation, I say the parallax view is a real description, and that the gap or blind spot offered is and accounts for or allows for reality, i.e. That place where ‘accidents’ happen, that contingent place of causality and multiple individual agents. Thereby we can say that this place from where Zizek gains a solute meaning is not real, and be able to justify his ideological claims as real without negating the fact of the alternate agent who does not or barely understands Zizek’s position as well as the human who understand him completely. For Zizek’s tends to negate alternate agents in a reduction to the view as if such a view indeed accounts for all reality, that is, as if other agents also fall into his description — they most often don’t, but they can only if Zizek (and Badiou and others) takes a certain tact and applies a certain strategy, and this strategy is exactly the cultural, ideological and political analyses. He (they) must withhold (Harman, Hiedegger) the bare fact from his assumed audience. This is why Badiou in his latest book (it seems, I have not read it because it just came out in French, but it seems obvious where B is going) speaks of particular philosophers as opposed to others. The mark that Zizek (and Badiou) makes by his discourses is an indicator by which a true historical movement may be reckoned, not as some particular idea of whatever time or period as opposed to and amidst a certain era of various thinkers, but rather an a signal or beacon for those who completely understand the position from which such discourses arise in their particular manner, that indeed we are not dealing with some segregate, essentially transcendent subject that causes any sort of progress in the universe whatsoever — but that this view is no longer making a claim about what is more real.

This is the situation that is offensive to those who are oriented upon the True Object of reality; we can tell already who is offended and who is not. The mistake of post-modernism is it wanted to bring Dasein into a known and acknowledged state of living in reality, as if now (then) such knowledge could be (finally) put into terms people would understand, as if various people had not for centuries already been putting the same situation in terms they thought should be readily comprehended by everyone! But (again) it achieved only balk, offense and nonsense — but at most, another way to talk about things. Hence we have the post-post modernist apologists like Badiou and Laruelle who come up with the (hardly) novel idea that some truth function can be a universal function without the agent being privy to how the function may manifest in anyone or anyplace else but him or herself, such that the agent has only to express the truth that is particular to her agency, such that what returns cannot be foreseen nor compensated for its lacking truth, since itself as a function of the same truth is truth likewise. We hear in this an echo of the bodhisattva who said that enlightenment is a strange thing for if two people who were enlightened came together, they would have nothing to say to one another to be able to let the other know that he was enlightened. Indeed, Zizek can’t help emitting his ‘enlightened’ self, though I doubt he would put it in such terms, and we have to see also that it is the nature of being a bodhisattva that each is enlightened to his own truth in his own way, and that is why we have such an extensive literature of the eastern philosophies, none of which say it all, but together often can they contradict each other, yet neither miss anything, and all this over hundreds if not thousands of years.

The issue at hand is the exposure of this process evident in both east and west.


Another aspect of Zizek that should be recognized is how the blogger mentioned in the previous segment critiques him to rebut by pointing out his method. Zizek appears to offer an antithesis to situations and show how they are not what they seem, but then also pull a surprise by showing how this subsequent situation is also not what it seems. The blogger suggests that Zizek now has had his covers pulled, and so one can play his game (Zizuku! Lol) by doing the same method with any situation. I would say go ahead and try; its easy to say “oh, he’s just doing this”, but it is another do actually do it. And I’ll bet even if someone tries, it will appear inauthentic and trite. And this is because they do not understand him, are offended, and are reacting in the way I described above.

But the real offensive point is indeed that every situation, every object, can be situated discursively in the fashion Zizek enacts. (Zizuku! But I think in a spirit missed by our said blogger.) It is more that Zizek is but a real occasion for meaning, and so activates a particular world as various occasions for meaning. But this does not mean that it is merely a parkour trick; hardly. It means that the reaction of the said blogger is typically real given the condition that reality exposes itself to when it’s objects (of knowledge) are taken to their sensible ends: Nonsense. Yet, what this means is not merely the reductive conventional veracity of Sartrean revolt from which arises true agency; it means that now what is real is able to be seen as a contrivance, a convention, a decision, but in a way such that it’s reality is not so much reducible to it being some sort of illusion, not that reality as we see it is not in itself true or not real; that is ridiculous. The post-modern assumption in argument that it was or is somehow getting to a more real situation of reality has already been shown historically as incorrect; this is the lesson condensed into an actual as opposed to conceptual object of the PMG. On the contrary: The situation shows that reality is true unto itself essentially, really-true; but also, that it itself there by its particular discursive method is not true, but merely real, and that we can thereby speak of truth as not reducible to a real contingency except in the manner of extending the means of the human being beyond its rightful occasion, that is, over (and under ?) determined conceptual objects, which are, as we just said, ideological, political and cultural, and this, viable through a transcendental deception.


Again: What this whole process amounts to, what the Zizekian subject announces in-itself, is that the real historical process that preoccupies and concerns itself with subject agents of psychology and free will must be left to its determinations, its own laws of how the individual should procure its place in the world. But not only this; what we can say is a ‘deception’ qualifies to this meaning outside of what real meaning dictates; we are dealing with two mutually exclusive manner of knowing. We speak of ‘conventional faith’, this that limits one’s ability to know anything in particular. Yet what has been a move for a truth of polemical reduction (often called ‘dialectical’) is non sequitur to the results of the investigation at the ends of discourse, aka. contradiction. Faith here breaks down, but as we said above, it does not mean that the reality of faith is some sort of illusion or not real. One only has to look, but no one wants to, and this is because it is offensive to come up to nothing in-itself.

3 thoughts on “The Matter at Hand, part 4: Zizek

    1. landzek Post author

      That is pretty great. I can appreciate this view as a real possibility, a type of lived possibility or approach to attitude and behavior.

      Another type says that such a conception is dictated by objects, that such conceptions are justifications of separation, ironically placing the human being ‘upon’ such a base so as to allow particularly human approaches of agency and suppositions of a particular order of power.

      In this alternate view, the mind should reach for its pinnacle of self centeredmess for then the mind becomes caged within the objects it is trying to negotiate, as it attempts to assert rightful place as an imperative. Thereby the mind loses its kether of importance and the great progress of inspired transcendental agents loses it’s truth; the self then becomes truly a servant of others, and abandons the pretentions of definitive identity.

      The world becomes small and intimate. Humble.


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