AMOREINOBLOG commented in part one and asked me a question, the answer to which, I think helps clarify what Im saying in the original post. So I am posting it here.
AMORINOBLOG: “I find this post really interesting. But I need clarification, because I’d like to defend Zizek vis-a-vis the quotes you gave. But I understand where you are coming when you say “discursive gymnastics”, so rather than be a mindless sycophant for Zizek, I need to understand more about why you say his discourse is breaking down here. Is it because he’s just stretching how much the psychoanalytic theory really applies to reality? It seems to me he is definitely being metaphorical to a certain extent. For example, with the Event changing the past- its just a more complex version of “who controls the past, controls the future”. Or is it the apparent lack of self-awareness about the metaphorical aspect of this discourse?”
LANDEK: I am not exactly sure where your quote comes from, but I feel Ive heard it before and with my understanding of Z Id say it is similar. That being said, there is little that Zizek says that doesn’t come right around into everything else he says; it doesn’t really matter what occasion is presented to him. Also; I think I could agree that he evidences a certain ‘lack of self awareness’, but Im not sure what you mean by metaphorical. Could you elaborate on what you mean there?
There a lot going on in your question, I will try to be specific and brief but Im not sure how well I am able to stick to that ideal. Lol.
First off, I should admit that I am a sort of Zizekist. lol.
Second; Id have to admit that Im sure there are other instances of this ‘breach of protocol’ throughout Zizek.
Third; Id have to ask, how familiar with Zizek are you and have you read “Event”? You don’t have to answer that, but that’s the first thing that comes to mind, because I might naturally refer to things that are native to his ideas.
Second Third; I would have to ask into psychoanalysis. I think that Z uses a certain kind of vagueness in using this term, but he wont deny it; the cool thing about Zizek is that there is really no ‘getting one over on him’ because hes got an answer for everything. And he knows it; I think there is no comment that can be made about his work (his philosophy, critical theory, discourse, etc..) that he has not accounted for in his work itself somewhere. So see that my post concerns this aspect of him: That so far there really isn’t anything that one can successfully argue against what he says because hes already got an answer for why his discourses say what they do. It’s a kind a intrisicity. My answer to this second question is that it is this intrinsic and innate aspect to Zizek that defines what he means by psychoanalysis, and also in the sense that I have of him (and it).
See that he is not talking about Lacan; he is not merely saying again or putting forth some belief he has of Lacan. Zizek accounts for this in various places: He is using Lacan psychoanalysis to position himself, to gain a footing for what he has to say, which is, quite ironically, quite coordinate with Freudian and Lacan psychoanalysis.
I am not a scholar of Lacan or Freud, btw, but I know a little bit, enough to be able to read through Zizek to Lacan and Freud. Again, Zizek is using Lacan’s theory, but he is not expressing what Lacan was saying exactly: He is expressing what Zizek has to say.
Likewise, Zizek is not ‘speaking Hegelanese’; he is using Hegel. He is speaking Zizek.
This is the point of why he uses these discourses: Because together they, the three of them, their discourse, indicate a certain condition of discourse in its totality. To be brief: This is what I call the ZLH scaffolding, for which I am comfortable in replacing with psychoanalysis.
Yet also this is why he wants to make the argument about how the event changes the past even while the unchangeable (and transcendent) past remains unchanged: Because this is the condition that he finds himself within, this is the bearing of his discourse, how his discourse comes about. He is speaking only the truth, yet the truth is contingent upon there having been a condition whereby he could be Zizek: Two basic conditions are Hegel and Lacan. The truth then is not stable, it is developed in the event that is Zizek coming upon discourse in the manner that he does, such that he can only express his subjectivity through those conditions, conditions which he argues from as he is changing them.
The issue is that psychoanalysis is and is not a theory. It is in so much as he references it; it isn’t in as much as it is indeed describing the situation at hand.
I am saying that if we can understand the totality that Zizek is expressing at every juncture, then for him to be able to reach outside of it to say that the ‘act’ in a general human sense – that is to suggest that he is talking about all human beings – changes the past which allows for the event itself, he has then made a metaphysical statement, a statement that shows that psychoanalysis is no longer in operation for that moment and has been transformed, right at that moment, briefly, so he can quickly dodge back into the psychanalytic a moment later. It is not that he is not allowed to do this, though; it is that psychoanalysis does not admit this.
Usually Zizek stays comfortably right in the psychoanalytic, using every occasion to speak about himself and his condition. But right at that moment, the moment where he reaches outside to admit that there is another human being(s), but one who thus falls into his psychoanalytic as an agent who is also subject to a psychoanalytical condition that is not Zizek’s and yet is, right there he opens up his discourse to critique that cannot be repaired back into the totality that is the psychanalytic method without admitting that psychoanalysis is merely another theory, and thus not reflecting a totality, but merely an opinion that is partial.
The reason why this is important is because Zizek is the subject of psychoanalysis that exists within a space that is excluded in its inclusion (Parallax). To suggest that his condition is repeated for all human beings is simply not true; it is not repeated in every human subject in the multiplicity of subjective possibility; it is repeated in non-philosophical objectivity. The simple fact is that for psychoanalysis, contingency is not a real aspect, it is a symbolic and imaginary aspect. Yet, he is suggesting that a pure past is contingent upon the act. Anything that is contingent is real; all anyone has to do is reflect upon their own experience: I am not a metaphysician nor ‘believe’ that metaphysical speculations approach truth, but it does not take a genius to look around and see that everyday, throughout the day, we make choices upon definite situations. If there is a psychoanalysis that accounts for experience, then we understand that choice (the act, or choice-act) is determined by the condition in which it arises, totally. And that to view choice as an aspect of contingency is to admit the reality of the greater human species of individual human beings that all behave through the same basic mechanisms, albeit individually, essentially: Thus psychoanalysis in the theoretical sense, but not in the total sense.
From my window, Zizek is using the situation that is naturally (commonly) excluded through the theory of psychoanalysis; this is to say, he is betting that no one will look at crucial moments, and no one will see when he must ‘suspend’ his true and total psychoanalytical situation for the theoretical one.
Zizek usually does not let such contradictions lay; that is, if they are noticed.
Im not entirely sure what this option below does, but please try to use it. And then tell me what happens 😉