On Slavoj Zizek and Jordan Peterson: Nature, Culture, and the Displacement of Time
It appears that the people who really do use their thinking skills took a little longer for their comments. Here is another goodie. Bobby gets a little deeper into the various philosophical authorial substrates, and a couple play by plays from the debate.
Bobby points out one of the significant parts of the debate that I forgot about; namely, that Peterson definitely sees a kind of progress of history, sees history as a ground outside of human cognition, and then that cognition indeed is able to perceive this ground and make analyses of it. Then; Zizek’s rebuttal to this kind of suggestion is, basically, that though it is possible to perceive some sort of progressing lineage, the lineage itself is articulated at the same time as these articulations disrupt the continuity of the scheme, and at that, at a notably random times.
Bobby has a better version of what they actually said, and then goes into the various philosophical ideas around this idea, for example, Derrida’s trace and erase.
I Am digging his approach, but I depart from Bobby’s analysis in a couple of ways.
1) I am not sure that there is any argument that can be made which overcomes the presentation inherent of the debate. And, what I mean by this is that when we understand, say, Derrida, then there is a further development philosophically that shows us that there is no “proper truth”, As though By virtue of what Derrida proposed the nature of human existence demands that there is no historical ground that human beings can cognitively know in the manner Peterson stakes his position. I describe this particular situation and I am indicating right here some of my earlier posts, perhaps from a year or two ago; I will not rehash them here. If we understand Derrida, then much of what he says is like the wind — “the wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth…”
2) It is sufficient to say, that the argument (as a form) has only a particular bearing upon truth, and that Francois Laruelle’s non-philosophy has basically disrupted the idea that there is some sort of unity of truth that human beings can be suspended within to thereby exist in a argumentative reality. The suspension is itself, as I say, real, but not true.
In my work, I try to show how this particular method, this particular way of coming by or upon reality, that I call the “conventional method”, is but one manner, The One Route of the Two Routes. Further, these two routes do not further indicate a “reasonable or rational” route as opposed to and “irrational” route, but that this kind of argumentative way of establishing truth is indeed one “rational’ manner of coming upon objects. The routes are mutually exclusive in a non-philosophical manner, not complimentary as the early 20th century Existentialists would want people to believe: Belief is required first for the compliment to be realized.
In short, I am saying that all Bobby really does is kind of lean on supporting what Zizek is reputed to argue in relation to a traditional lineage of authorial representation. And that’s ok.
My take is that there is no reduction of this sort possible once we understand what Laruelle is saying; and indeed, this is what I think Zizek was relying upon, as it indeed accounts for why he did not plow into Peterson.
My position is that these two men represent The Two Routes upon objects. These routes do not further reconcile to another unitive, and a singular route. And this is to say that what the debate shows is that these two routes function together without necessarily reducing to either, nor to another further unity.
Indeed Petersons argument is valid by the mere fact that people — regardless of what argument I want to make to pronounce upon such ‘other people’ — indeed can and do experience and encounter reality in exactly the way that Peterson is philosophically describing in his solution. And that this particular way, or route, is not false by virtue of the fact that I may come up with an argument against what they are saying. These people are not wrong or somehow have some sort of invalid way of understanding the truth of reality. The way they (those who understand an objectively knowable history) understand it is indeed True. And this truth, while perhaps in communication with me nevertheless does not fall into falsity due to my points, nor theirs due to mind. And, our existence is not relative nor reductionary to either that or this. It is true. Period.
Objects do not require my acknowledgment or permission to be true, or otherwise have or hold truth.
And whether or not Peterson understands technically what is going on philosophically in this ‘larger’ sense, Zizek nevertheless does understand and that is why (I submit) he didn’t plow into Peterson about his ignorance, to show how ignorant Peterson might be upon these philosophical intricacies and subtleties.
(See my earlier post about what Peterson might actually be involved with.)
We can find evidence everywhere in his talks and writings that Zizek Understands what I’m talking about: when he talks about “naïve”, he is talking about that particular kind of existence which does not answer nor even fall into the category of the philosophy he proposes by his analyses as a sort of categorical imperative. The ‘common people’ do not answer to his kind of philosophy, and indeed exist outside of it in an essential sense, even to the extent that those people’s reality (truth) has nothing to do with what analysis he is making upon them. This is the nature of his philosophy and it forms a foundational ground that most people seem to miss or are unable to reconcile with their experience.
If you are interested in The exploration of the two routes, please check out The Philosophical Hack: The concluding unscientific post-script to event, by Cedric Nathaniel.
It is crazy inexpensive.
Slavoj Zizek Vs Jordan Peterson: An Assessment
Thanks Neotonos! I agree with much of his assessment. He hits on some significant turns of the debate; Im glad, because I didn’t really want to assess a play be play.
I’ll use this repost to give my final comments on the Z/P debate.
It’s intresting to me that none of the commenters saw what I saw, which is, really saw any big picture. It really is, like Neotonos said “like a bunch of people reporting on a cricket match”. To my eyes and ears, it really is like people miss the debate for the spectacle. I think Noetanos gets a little more involved that the others I’ve read, though.
First off; yeah, I get it: people wanted a WWF slam-a-thon, of whatever that WWF thing is. Zizekians wanted Zizek to take Peterson apart, and the Petersonians wanted him to show Zizek where he is stupid liberal, or something like that. These two celebrity philosophical figures represent a certain polemic in the philosophical world; people wanted a battle.
The thing is, if you have been listening to Zizek lately, and understand Peterson’s general effort (which he does use his point in the Z/P debate), both are actually more concerned with the world than they are just political voice boxes. Both actually care. They both advocate responsibility.
You can listen to and read my essay about the current state of philosophy HERE, the essay I wrote before the debate. One of the main reasons why one can tell they actually care is because they don’t give a shit about towing the political lines.
It is interesting to me that people seem perplexed about Zizek’s apparent shift from what they understand as his usually Marxism, and his basic support for capitalism. But if one is familiar with Zizek’s philosophy, he has not changed his view; rather, he had elaborated more upon the situation given the condition at hand.
In the debate Zizek even alludes to his earlier work about Marxism, of which he says he’s not going to take the debate that way; it is obvious to Zizek that Peterson has not read Zizek enough to be able to address the subtleties involved with Z’s “Marxism”. He highlights his Hegelianism. But the reason for this, I think, is because Zizek was not concerned with showing how Peterson is a ignorant fool (like many of us were hoping). Zizek’s point has always been Marxist in that the subject is a state of being which is involved with a dialectical reality which shows up in the Lacanian manner at all times. That is; through the symbolic order mediated by what is ‘imagined’, or what is the real fantasy. This fantasy is manifested in the (further) dialectic between what appears should occur due to the symbolic presentation. But there is a problem (as we understand the “barred S”). When the subject attempts to speak about what the symbolic world is presenting, a transformation takes place: similar to Derridean issues of subjectivity, what was once the true meaning of reality is noticed as a fantasy. The issue within this world, though, Is that one has to be able to notice it (clean house; think).
It is in this dialectic that Zizek locates his Marxism, because it indeed functions to supply all the multiplicity of material for and by which the subject is able to act in reality. There appears to be an element or aspect which oppresses the subject’s ability to appear in the world. This is why Lacan’s “Real” is impossible; because reality presents that which appears to not exhibit a contradiction in its terms for existing as such. It indeed shows aspects of its operation everywhere as contradiction in the, what i call conventional and what Zizek calls naive, sense, but because the withdraw that this ‘Real’ enacts occurs in the dialectical relationship with the symbolic-imaginary domain, as I just said, manifesting an appearance of real truth. As Cedric Nathaniel discusses in his book The Philosophical Hack, it is this ‘real-truth’ that is the political world.
There is no “actual” reduction to the usual traditional-conventional rhetoric or some “actual” political state where the “pure” Marxists or the “pure” capitalists exist because these supposed entities, states, or situations are –yes — already occurring in the discussion, as Nathaniel discusses, of term-object identities. The idea of ‘identity politics’ is a mistaken or distorted use of the the concept of the Term-object Identity in the same way that reality is a ‘mistaken’ apprehension of what is Real. They are dialectical mechanisms.
Now, the situation that I described above is the real political situation. It accounts for why we are having such huge discrepancy in political ideals and ability to get things done in government across the globe. It is the situation of what I call “no communication”. This situation of no communication is what Zizek refers to when he says that he does not see a way out of our capitalistic situation of inequality and exploitation, because it is exactly the ‘equality’ which is posed in the politically real estimation which is able to skim profit off of the ‘excess’ which occurs in the dialectic between what is true and what is real, between what is ‘equal’ in the dialectic of relation of what is Real, and what is ‘unequal’ in the dialectic of what is real politically. This current process of existing in which humanity finds itself now, seems inescapable because it is indeed how we function ethically, which is to say, in remaining fidelitous to what we know as true (Soren Kierkegaard defines this space, and Alain Badiou describes our activity within it).
OK. Peterson, on the other hand, sees a ways out. Both philosophers (Z and P) do not see any constructive point in continuing with the regular status quo situation which they both see in their ways. They both do not simply give up and be naive nor inauthentic (in the Kiekegaardian sense).
In another lecture, Peterson gives us a similar description of Capitalistic nihilism, of the situation that Zizek cannot see a way out of: Peterson describes the situation of larger projects losing their ability to be effective. His idea is thus that we must begin with the smallest or more local project. As he says, we must clean our own house first. We must begin with ourselves, put our own houses in order. He thus extends this manner of being able to get honest with oneself and associates it with a Christian kind of theme.
Both of these philosophers thus pose the same question, have a similar manner of understanding it, and also see that the only way through is, indeed, Capitalism; we must use what we have, and stop attempting to escape the problematic situation through all sorts of fantastic psychic mechanisms (for those kinds of ways of denial enforce the philosophical correlation). Hence, Peterson’s “see how apparently antagonistic positions can work to communicate”, and Zizek’s “think!” as their closing statements, respectively.
Yet, to focus on the small, segregated, details of the debate is exactly a capitalist manner of approaching discourse, even if one says they are Marxist. The hard Marxist activists are indeed perpetuating the capitalist agenda by constantly reifying routes of control for the capitalist congregant (all of us). It does not matter what kind of revolutionary (or fundamentalist) state would do or say to assert a proper manner to have reality because reality itself is being informed by the ontological exploitation of subjective excess. Hence, political-reality is that inescapable condition where philosophers find themselves. And yet, the move seems to be to stop attempting to be Gramsci-esque proponents for the masses, because so long as this kind of philosophically ‘enlightened’ manner attempts to alleviate the struggle of the disenfranchised, the activist has only asserted that those she would help are indeed lost, as they both become as now a positive historical cause.
Yet I am skeptical that siding with the super-wealthy (as some have already decided is best) will be any more effective, for they, as a general class, are “large scalers”, abusers of excess, exploiters of the world, creators of chaos and confusion.
Ok. I could go on, but I think Ive made my point. And if you ae really interested, you can always read mine and Nathaniel’s books.
“The recycled jokes, pop psychology, and telegenics at play in Toronto’s Sony Centre created what Žižek would call the ultimate postmodern debate: it was an injection of pure antagonism into modern life. With no purpose other than disruption and discontent, it was a performance of online celebrity and turning thought into a commodity. It was painful, but perfectly representative of our time.”
It is obvious from Meg’s article that intelligence is meaning something different now days. Meg is reporting pop intelligence to a group of people who — well — people who are not philosophers. As she is not a philosopher. She is reporting a mistaken reading of a mistaken comprehension of what occurred. And yet, her review comes up prominently when one searches for the Z/P debate.
Huh. How interesting. I wonder what exactly is being commodified here?
Hmm. What Postmodernism is where??
The perfect example of the dilemma (that Meg seems totally oblivious to) is that quote above taken from her report. A perpetuation of falsity posed as legitimate. The sign of our times: another unknowing repetition of “false news”. Ignorance posed as knowledge.
There is nothing to say to dispute it — not because she is correct about the debate, but Becuase she is correct about her own reporting of the event.
And if we want to get really philosophical (sorry pop smarties): The Leadership is exactly occurring beyond the scope of those who would think they would recognize it, and – this is the really good part — despite what those people would want.
She is unable to comprehend that, at least Zizek, knows that he cannot escape the commodification, and thus misinterpretation, of his presentation. This is the dilemma that he poses in the debate!
But Meg does not acknowledge this mistake about her informed and intelligent opinion. She is unable to comprehend what is actually occurring. So what happens is the content of her report turns out to be really about her reporting. She is talking about what she does and for a living. Meg: you are representing our time, of people who do not think nevertheless thinking that they do. 😆. This is the main inescapable feature of our (post-) modern capitalism.
Dig that irony, baby.
Perhaps if Meg actually read any of Zizek‘s stuff instead of the capitalist‘s Cliff’s notes she might have understood the situation. Maybe she should delve into some Heidegger, or Ortega de Gasset. But she’s got a career to uphold; don’t have time to actually think.
Sweetheart; maybe take a few hours out of your gentrified Brooklyn hipster scene and actually invest some time into learning how to think.
It is less a tragedy of the youth, than it is indeed the tragedy that some people recognize, and others are unable to know of.
Hence the topic of the Z/P debate.
Whoa! Philosophy is a trip dude. Hey, is pot legal in my state yet? 😄.
* “If it’s popular, it’s probably not very important — I mean, unless your into that kind of heroin.”
How Zizek Should Have Responded to Jordan Peterson
Here (Studebaker. Going forward “S”)is the perfect example of why Zizek tells us in the debate (Peterson/Zizek) why he can’t see a ways out of our dilemma.
It’s great that S has such a high esteem for Zizek, but S seems to not be able to understand how that ability of Z was actually working the other night.
The post in Current Affairs shows the laziness that current intellectualism rests within. S give us exactly the kind of lazy-fare production that exemplifies capitalism and the main reason why Zizek claims there is no way out: S analysis is pedestrian and relies upon not only his assumption of thought (And exalted at that) which goes into his essay writing, but likewise the presumption of substance which is invested already in the publication itself : in other words, what Peterson admittedly does not do a great job as defining, I have no problem making notice of: the Postmodern expert. (See an earlier post of mine).
The debate centered, as an object in-itself, the being of the debate, on indicting the status quo which argues itself as solution-oriented and progressive. The debate was indeed dialectical in its nature, two sides of different positions nevertheless working together to show a truth.
S is unable to see beyond his own Postmodern subjective privilege into what was actually pointed directly at him and intellectuals like him. Studebaker is unable to think without the ideological supports that tell him how to think. In other words: exactly what this debate was about, how one goes about viewing a debate, and what a debate is supposed to mean.
Here is, what (I don’t know?) a Harvard instructor (?) who can’t even see this simplest execution of philosophy right in front of his own eyes ??
What does this say about our institutions of higher learning and reporting? Really.
🤣. I am such a dork. Lol.
My longer analysis coming shortly.
I think it was excellent. Yeah, it was a little let down for all the hype, but the encounter itself was great.
Before I start in, here’s a couple few other people’s ideas on it.
I like that both these videographers admit that they don’t know very much about either Zizek and Peterson. ok. grains of salt.
This guy has a kind of equivocal attitude upon it, and generally thinks it was thought provoking and good overall:
This guy —
well, you be the judge.
And here is The Guardian’s editorial commentAnd here is THE GUARDIAN’s editorial take.
Oh, and wait, here’s the analysis that really gets to the heart of the debate. Here is an example of what the debate was about, if anyone missed it.
I take on the guardian first: WWE smack down: thats what this guy wanted for his dollar. Great. Intellectual GIANT, this guy. Obviously he was not listening to the debate for anything which would constitute significance for humanity.
Nick Fuentes: Yeah, ok. Very conventional thinker and commentators who admittedly does not know anything about philosophy, but indeed had a very sensible, if limited, view upon what actually occurred. And it only took him nearly a long as the debate itself to tell us about how arrogant he is.
The first vid guy: as I said, he equivocates.
Yeah, ok , it wasn’t really a debate, and it was more a discussion. I am wondering how many philosophical debates these guys have seen. This isn’t debate club.
In fact, it appears to me that this small sample of three, one of which is assumed knowledgeable of the debaters, missed the debate.
And Im gonna dig into the Guardian dude, Stephen Marche, a little. It appears to me that this guy (of the three) is deserving of the most shit giving, because obviously he doesn’t give any craps about philosophy nor was he really understanding what the hell Zizek and Peterson were doing, what was actually occurring in the debate. If this is all the Guardian has got, they really need to get someone else on the philosophy part. Maybe I should get a job on the Guardian as their philosophical correspondent. Any votes ??
Oh, and then the last guy, in The Stranger article: Can anyone say “postmodern religious congregant”? I think this post of mine will tell you what I mean: The postmodern condition: Google is Manipulating You – Putting You in Their “Filter Bubble. (Well maybe that is the wrong post to explain what I mean by PM religion. I got one somewhere though.) Id say that this opinion attempts too much and is most likely the kind of view Zizek was trying to critique in this debate with Peterson. One should keep in mind that when one discusses philosophy at this level they have stepped outside of debate club. Can I say “debate club” again? Debate club. Debate club accomplishes something else, something other that what this debate was really about. Again, one can look into my earlier post for my argument about The Two Routes.
Yes. The beginning started a little weird. We knew it would. We know that Peterson’s approach might be a little — how shall we say — geeky? Like he thought this was going to be debate club. But then with Zizek’s opening he could see that this discussion/ debate was actually going to have some meat to it. From how Peterson then responded, one could tell Zizek’s opening threw him off; it took him a couple minutes to get his bearings. And thats what I like about Zizek: He’s no bullshit. And I think Peterson also; despite my opinion about him (which I will talk about shortly, though maybe another post, if not my past ones), he gives only one or two fuks also, and I think this is why the discussion was so great:
They simply did not give a shit about the typical politic hype sandwich that everyone wants to eat. They are not the kind of people who give in to what people want or expect. Beautiful; these guys actually had a philosophical debate. They were actually discussing what is represented by Nick and Stephen, actually addressing what is usually perpetuated as “philosophy and politics”, actually getting down to some significances of out current state.
The issue is that one needs to have at least attempted to encounter the state of things in order to have seen and understood what these two guys were talking about. This is pointed out in both their ending statements:
Peterson: He hopes that everyone will see how communication takes place.
Zizek: Think. Or, At least attempt to stop playing the naive political games.
But of course, the common folk will not have this. They want WWF Smack Down.
All right. Ok..
The nay sayers got their rights to have their own opinion, of course. But it does not mean that know what they are talking about.
You’ll have to wait for my further analysis in another post.
But who the feeeuuuge. am I?
— I kinda disappointed with the Guardian dude. Im a little kind of embarrassed for the Guardian now. hhmf. It kinda shows that even the Guardian is not what it is supposed to be; my opinion of the paper just fell a few notches, I think. Quite flat thinking.
I am wondering what substance he was looking for. His accusations and general sullenness for lack of answer or entertainment shows that they were talking about people just like him.
I don’t think it was the debate that was lacking, i think it was the listeners.
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