Event and Substance

Various philosophers have already discussed the “event”recently. I generally consider three philosophers contemporary that are significant to the discussion of truth. I talk about them all the time: Zizek, Badiou, Laruelle; The indivisible remainder, void, and void qua void as implicated in non-philosophy, respectively. Which is to say, in a very Witgenstein manner, that whatever might be nothing is nothing to be concerned with. There’s nothing even we could begin to say about it that has anything to do with what we name it. Nothing here becomes foundational as opposed to merely speculative.

It is this last significance that encompasses the event. The event is nothing that we can talk about, but it is everything that we must be concerned with. In this way it is not fully present, as various sorts of random occurrences filled with content That occupy as well as catalyze change due to the fullness of their content that we unpack meaning from. Rather, it is very much like Rudolph Otto’s slight mention in his book The Idea of the Holy where he quickly suggests that the “mysterious tremmendum”, the “awe-full-ness” Which motivates our very being, which in his discussion is really the root of the holy, is that center of vacancy around which religion arises.

But the event is also not pure nothingness. Zizek points to this contradiction of speaking about nothingness as “a catastrophe” Which arises at the beginning of the universe, where everything is turned on its head, and what we understand is love becomes the manifestation of real evil. With Zizek, Nothingness inscribes us from all sides and indeed it is the event which brings us into the middle to form political identity, as one might say, out of nothingness, or, in the middle of nothingness, stretching backwards to a moment of pure absurdity, and extending forward into a ‘Master signification’ which avoids all scrutiny.

Badiou attempts to tell us what being and event actually is. Indeed his masterwork book is called “being and event”. We find, though, that he too must take up a sort of Zizekian tack and move everything into the political realm. In very short, Babiou says that the event is where being irrupts into the world. The event “begins the count” of reality. And I imagine we are supposed to gather that this “count” is quite similar to the generation of meaning by human beings. And so where else do we generate meaning but in the political realm, I guess.

Laruelle is really the only one of these three that actually takes seriously the idea of nothingness. He takes it so serious that it becomes a foundational feature of existence. Like I said, there’s nothing even to say about it; it is being so effective. One could even speculate that if I had anything to say about nothingness, it must not be very effective. One could also gather that where nothingness is effective thereby do we find Truth; and indeed I’m pretty sure that this is why many people have accused Laruelle of conspiring toward a religion. Indeed, many people that really enjoy this philosopher sound like religious fanatics, but I would say, honestly, it’s because those people really don’t understand what he’s talking about.   When nothing becomes substantial, when nothingness is indeed a foundational term of a universe, Then something changes in the way that we reckon the universe. This is to say, as opposed to the invisible given that what we understand is the regular or conventional philosophical approach, what Laruelle calls “sufficient philosophy”, Understands as an essential substrate, a criterion of truth where everything revolves around everything else, all the while assuming that there is this fundamental “truth of the universe” that we are finding through experimentation, empirical science, academic philosophy — I’m not really sure what label we would put on this given. Badiou I think makes the best proposal for this kind of real philosophy, because it gives everyone involved a legitimate stake in the game by allowing their being, they’re thinking, their efforts in reality, to arise from nothing without ever having to admit that indeed nothing is what is informing their activity. How offensive to my being in the world to consider that everything that I’m doing is based in nothing! (It is devastatingly offensive, in fact. What the hell is alienation if it isn’t an identity which understands itself in the context of nothing and thus meaninglessness?)

In truth, this is why I believe it is more justified to call such a real activity thus “religious” in nature. Because in reality we can talk about whatever we want to as if it has substance, for example, we can talk about nothingness and what it might be and how it manifests in various this and that, but all the while never recognize or rely upon that nothingness as indeed as that which is informing the activity again. Instead, people point to the effects, and use that as an argument for an ontological foundation of relativity and eternal interaction of thinkers which establish for themselves and for each other the world, the real universe, etc. Such approach I call religious because it requires a certain amount of energy, or force, in order to overcome the contradiction involved in having all efforts actually based on nothing. Because most people will quickly retort “well, what is nothing?” And begin the cycle of eternal recurrence again.

There’s is a faith because they (we) are involved with what the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre Proposes that every good being does when they encounter the “abyss” of freedom: we “revolt” from it to gain our freedom. There is no freedom in nothingness, though; nothingness is really nothing else but nothingness, And the “…of freedom” part of the encounter is really the ability and capacity to deny what offends us.

It is the ability Part that is most significant for me, because it indicates to me that this is not some essential truth of existence, something that all humans do automatically or something, or how the universe actually is or — again I don’t even know how I would talk about it in the short venue right here on WordPress…

But it is an ability of consciousness, an ability of the human being to revolt from that abyss to create our own worlds of intention, worlds that we want to have. Worlds that we desire, worlds that we use desire to make. Etc.

This context from which I’m speaking here on this post, this particular post, I am just saying that while I might be able to revolt from the Abyss , I don’t have to revolt in order for the universe to remain viable and for me to be an actual person in society. And in fact I think that is a significant issue is whether or not I’m revolting from anything. Here and there are use the term “acceptance”. Indeed, human beings have an ability to revolt from the abyss of nothingness in order to gain their freedom in society, but this freedom is not essential in the sense that it somehow is implicit in the nothingness. The nothingness is nothingness. It is nothing. It’s nothing to talk about. It is in our effort to speak that we find freedom in denial that such speaking is based in nothing at all.  The overcoming of this contradiction I call faith.

It is a particularly 20th century industrialized capitalist democratic religious congregant which finds its identity in revolting from the abyss of freedom in order to make choices about who and what they want to be in the world.

Presently, it is this particular mode of reacting that we call “modern”, and what I described amounts to a reason why it is so difficult to think beyond capitalism. It is just one particular mode of being human, but being in general, though, and that indeed it projects itself both forward and backward, we must necessarily understand that it is not some essential human trait, or some essential human way of being that has gone on since the beginning of humanity — But it is indeed the “beginning of humanity” that is arising as a psychic component within the modern individual around the event.

When these parameters and limitations Are realized, are comprehended and accepted, Then we find the only truthful way to discern what we are involved with in our current situation is a religious faith, A mythological cosmology which is actually effective.

X



The first part of the philosophical hack

The concluding unscientific post script to event.

The First Part concerns the defining of a space that is regularly understood as having no boundaries.

The Second Part, out soon, concerns the conditions for something existing outside of the political world, thus, opening knowledge (hacking into the space discovered in the first part) to the truth of the object in-itself.

Open to your consideration and coming to mind near you.

THE SECOND PART * crossing your mind near you.

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The Philosophical Hack: The First Part. On Sale Now !

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Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.<>CLICK HERE to BEGIN THE HACK !

(hopefully the link will work.)

 

This is the First Part of a Six part series by Cedric Nathaniel.

Using Slavoj Zizek’s book “EVENT” as a platform, this essay is a hack into conventional philosophical reality.

It is indeed a hack: A repeated application of an algorithmic protocal upon a closed system. What is this closed system? Through the compromises developed through the Hack the closed system is defined while simultanously creating an opening to that situation many currently see as unescapable, which is to say, immenently and infinitely contained.  As part of this endeavor, the beginnings of a science of philosophy is thus put forth.

Mr. Nathaniel feels that philosophy which concerns the world should be able to be accessed by it. He thus opted to give readers bite-sized pieces to be able to enjoy and digest well.

What is The Truth?

 

Quite soon The First Part of The Philosophical Hack: The Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Event will be published.

The truth of the situation is that the notion of our “post-truth”, or the incredulity involved with not knowing how to discern what is true, is itself true.

So, what does that mean?  It means that the theoreticians which would back-step to say any thing assertive about post-truth are caught themselves in a synthetical theoretical suspension of reality which is not truly encountering the facts of the matter.

Who said that?

Truth?  Facts? No one is allowed to say these things and be speaking of the present critical-philosophical situation. At least, say it an expect to be taken seriously.

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Using the platform of Slavoj Zizek’s “EVENT!”, the essay “The Philosophical Hack” is a hack into philosophical reality. An attempt at legitimacy.

It will be offered in, I believe at this point, 5 parts.

The author Cedric Nathaniel feels it is better for digestion to take small bites and be able to chew and enjoy thoroughly, but also to have the time to eat the whole meal.

We hope you will want to be part of the feast.

140 pages. pocketbook format. estimated price: $7

Published by Od Parcel.

Badiou’s seminar on Lacan and The Philosophical Hack.

Badiou’s seminar on Lacan

https://doctorzamalek2.wordpress.com/2018/11/26/badious-seminar-on-lacan/
— Read on doctorzamalek2.wordpress.com/2018/11/26/badious-seminar-on-lacan/

One of the next books I’ll be getting. But From the Amazon description, it sounds in line with my long awaited book, “The Philosophical Hack”,which I will be start releasing soon.

The subtitle of my book is “Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Event” and is somewhat a filling out more-or-less what Zizek leaves aside primarily as room for discussion.

Being that I am not a Big Name, Nor have a cohort of thinkers who support my work, I have to start small and consider how best to market my book to reach people Who I know would be interested and indeed would find it compelling, but who might not otherwise give my book a second look.

So, I will be releasing my book in Parts. Part 1 should be available by February 2019, merely 6 months later than anticipated. 🤘🏾

I will keep you posted on the unfolding developments.

The coincidence of knowledge is not a matter of singular reason.

Reality, Naivety and Addiction; Part 2: Google and the failure of communication.

(Note: These posts refer to Slovoj Zizek’s talk he did in Spain a few months ago; this one:

 

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This ‘post-traumatic world’ that might exist in a utopian dream, if it were not for the naïve subject who is able to have a view where by hope can reside, does not occur within the Symbolic and Imaginary frames; or rather, such a utopia is possible as a political empiricality within such effective frames. Where the ‘post-carnival’ state is possible, there do we find what is ‘the carnival’ itself, the moment wherein things are not what they seem and indeed shift and change in the single view. This is what Zizek (Lacan) calls ‘the impossible’, or, the Real order. The manner by which we make sense of what is impossible is called, for Zizek, psychoanalysis. When we see that these states do not change through subjective agency acting upon some actual empirical object but rather are only changes in view, then we must ask: What is this state wherein Zizek must disclaim his lecture in order to be understood, at once, to be not contradicting his innate imperative for logical consistency, and then as well not offending the sensibility that is discovered through psychoanalysis? Or more precisely: What is occurring such that this state, that he would have to qualify his subjectivity as naïve, against which a Socialist Bureaucracy seems preferable, or, what might be best to deal with things ‘after the carnival’ , needs be stated? Does not a state reflect itself de facto, automatically and axiomatically in the presentation?

What is occurring in the naive state is an inability to be dismissed from the carnival; an inability to make the next move; hence, for Zizek to communicate at this level and be honest he must qualify his presentation: What is naive is that which understands itself as not subject to psychoanalysis. So, the trauma continues and the carnival goes on; this is reality, the effect of the various periodic failures of the Symbolic and Imaginary Orders, and the solution to these evental failures is usually and commonly to resource the Symbolic and Imaginary orders, the orders by which the political world gains veracity, or the semantic scaffold by which what is political may be known.

One does not simply decide to give up on their world and then the world goes away; the world must be destroyed without consent. This is a fact. If we must speak of effective ideologies, we can hear Zizek through his book “Living in the End Times” (paraphrase): It is only at the time we notice the impending failure of an ideology that we fight hardest for its truth. We do not simply give it up, even if we know the battle is lost; we still man our stations and fight for the state. We do not simply and easily relinquish our world because we have a conception that it is ending. Notice the general responses to global warming. The rhetoric is not a condemnation of our system, rather the reaction is either flat denial or a call to adjust how we approach our modern living.

*

Likewise the recent Google diversity scandal. Notice that there is nothing terribly irrational or non sensible in the manifesto. In fact, his essay makes good sense from a open-platform ideal: Every voice should be heard, even the voice that has been marginalized in the popular political environment. He is not saying that Google should not address inequalities in the workplace; he is saying that the manner that they are being addressed may be based upon an incomplete consideration of the facts; a more complete rendition of the facts of inequality or structural misrepresentaion or skewed hiring and promoting practices being the logical and rational ideas that he presents, which are, actually, not too radical. He is not saying anything that I haven’t heard; whether or not I believe them or not, the various notions about gender he produces are indeed valid — but in a certain light.

Then look at the answer that is made by Danielle Brown, Googles new diversity manager.

…I found that it [the anti-diversity manifesto] advanced incorrect assumptions about gender. I’m not going to link to it here as it’s not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.

Does anyone notice anything peculiar between the two discourses?

At risk of putting myself in either camp and looking as if I am defending the manifesto, the anonymous writer is merely putting forth his view under the ideal that everyone should be heard, he is saying that perhaps Google’s diversity policy should be put on hold until everyone is heard. There is nothing radical about this ideal; it is a very democratic and American ideal, liberal as well as conservative.

How about Ms. Brown? Her decision has already been made. The judgement of the diversity manager is that he is “promoting incorrect assumptions about gender”.  Is that really true? It kind of sounds to me that it is the diversity manager that is promoting assumptions that are not true, namely, that the dude is promoting incorrect assumptions. But as Lyotard noted,by what ground shall we legitimate either of these discourses?

Nevertheless, this (his, the Manifesto) incorrect assumption is one that Google does not endorse, and indeed is why he ended up fired.

I don’t think there is a better indication where this world of ours is headed: Nationalism is on its way out; Corperatism is in. Democratic ethics is no longer the standard but is indeed being commandeered by corporate policy, policy that will decide what is ethical for the future.

Just from a (fair) neutral position: I am curious what exactly his manifesto says that is an incorrect assumption about gender. Are we not allowed any more to suggest that men and women are different? I thought in the discussion about race, at least, we are supposed to embrace difference, acknowledge difference and not be blind to color of skin and cultural expression. Any considerate and intelligent person is left to wonder why difference in gender is not to be acknowledged and embraced? Don’t we do that when we fuck?

In the corporate world we do not fuck each other, we fuck other companies. Competition defines the space of ethics; a meta-narrative of ethics does not yet define an umbrella space of companies. Difference, it seems, is not to be abided in the consideration of the workers value: Only the overt potential involved in the equality and sameness of human beings in general is to be considered in the place of production. The ability to produce is the standard, and we, as corporate subjects, cannot afford the inefficiency that can arise in the a priori classification of workers ability: All workers are equal in the potential to produce. That is the (post-) modern ground of ethics.

What do we have? We have the very postmodern condition coming to fruition. The Manifesto Man speaks of a Google echo chamber. What could be a better description of his very condition: He is speaking about a kind of ethical space that we all know of, but because the our existential condition (for lack of a better term here), the ethical condition that is the liberal agenda of freedom and equality that has been with us for at least 200 years, he cannot be heard, indeed will not be heard. Knowledge no longer exists as some source  or conduit for access into an essential and ideal ground for ethics; knowledge now is determined along lines of which knowledge is valid, and so which knowledge is able to be heard. Lyotard puts it in terms of which knowledge is efficient. The Manifesto Man is speaking, and we all (but do we?) know what he is meaning, where he is drawing his knowledge from, but it is mute. Such knowledge is invalid: It is no longer a kid of knowledge that is included in what is valuable. The ‘experts’ have agreed and they have decided.

*

What better description of this world: carnival. And as well: dialectical. So what happens after? The discussion by two or more people is shut down and the discussion continues as if in an echo chamber, which is to say, the movement merely occurs and everyone just rides along, regardless of what sound is made. The Dialectic continues but under a new semantic rubric that is understood to not be new. Indeed; there is an irony occurring. For, while the point I make in my recent essay about ‘the event of the past’  and Zizek being naive, I find that around the same time (well, relatively speaking I suppose, lol) I was writing that post, Zizek himself was in Spain speaking about how he was going to proceed as naive (listen to the youTube above).

In this sense, we find a certain psychoanalytical significance to what is occurring at Google, but in the context of addiction as well. The naive subject has a voice that is always heard in the context of the times as a political voice, able to bring change to the world, in various potentialities, at various moments. But what occurs is that voice is automatically referred to a context that is outside of the communicative potential of the subject: She speaks, but it is as if in an echo chamber. The dialectical subject of ethics speaks of justice, but her voice resonates only in its own space, the sound that is heard in reality is offensive and indeed (now) incorrect, and actually promoting assumptions that no longer reflect what is true, except in as much as this echoing voice affirms the present justice; the past has been changed. As Zizek describes in his book “Event” determined by the facticity of the past itself, the present act alters the very condition by which it has come about to reflect the actuality of the present moment.

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The addict in his cups is not privy to the change; she is determined by her past as she works to keep the past constituent to that ideal and dialectical moment. The addict sees the material as being unchangeable and essential, and ideal world or “musts” and “is’s”. Reality never breaks into the Imagined world to disrupt it and the addict stays in her echo chamber yelling for someone to hear her. But the world only hears a sound that no longer reflects the true of reality. The two exist within a dialectical moment that is denied for the purpose of asserting a justice that is already occurring, indeed has been occurring, albeit, to challenge the past which determined the criteria by which such justice has been ascertained.

Time behaves atemporally, as witnessed not only by Lyotard 40 some years ago, but in the movie “Fight Club” some 25 years ago:

This is no figure of speech, metaphor, or interesting artistic juxtaposition. It is the actual psychoanalytical situation that occurs.

(This clip is just so perfect ! lol)

Zizek and the Event of the Past: Part 2.

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.

Please comment.

from-body-to-spirit-from-illusion-to-reality

 

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.

 

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Im not entirely sure what this option below does, but please try to use it. And then tell me what happens 😉

Zizek and the Event of the Past.

In his book “Event”, the chapter section ‘Connection 5.2’, Slavoj Zizek, in his usual manner of changing the stakes of the game in the middle of the game, discusses what he notes Delueze calls the “pure past”.

I think Zizek kind of fails at this attempt (at least we can safely excuse Delueze’s ‘Zennnnnnnnnnnn Ohhmmmmm’ descriptions for being too close to the Event). And this is significant because Zizek is famous for keeping his juggling balls in the air; I think he dropped one.

(around page 126)

…”eternal pure past which fully determines us itself subjected to retroactive change.”

“This perhaps, is the ultimate meaning of the singularity of Christ’s incarnation: it is an act which radically changes our destiny. Prior to Christ, we were determined by Fate, caught in the cycle of sin and its payment, while Christ’s erasing of our past sins means precisely that his sacrifice changes our virtual past and thus sets us free”

“…the real task of Caesar is to become worthy of the events he has created to embody.”

“…a kind of folding back of the condition onto the given it was the condition for: While the pure past is the transcendental condition for our acts, our acts do not only create new actual reality, they also retroactively change this very condition. “

First of all: When does this happen? I say, it doesn’t happen for everyone, that it only happens for some people. Explanation, even if it makes sudden sense to many people, does not ‘make it happen’ to them. It may allow them to deeply ponder the possibilities, but it doesn’t ‘make it happen’. More on that later.

Here (the quotes) is one moment where Zizek is just about losing it, has really no argument to make and such ‘fudges’ discourse to ‘push’ out a meaning. It really is discursive gymnastics, but this time he didn’t nail the landing. But it’s Zizek, so he can do those things and people just oooo and aaaa.

He is saying nothing there: He is putting out and taking away as if there is some residue of substance that remains in the motion.

The pure past as a condition which exists as a transcending condition which determines outcomes (eternally, atemporally), that actually places acts in the non-transcending reality, becomes changed by the very act of the act taking place as an act.

Sounds profound. But when one considers what it can mean as a possibility, which is to say, if we bring the meaning of the statement(s) into a field of meaning to try and have it compare to what is occurring in our consideration of it, it is actually saying that there is no ‘pure past’, or that the very notion of the ‘pure past’ that occurs in this way is utterly theoretical, and unconditional by its very nature (it is transcendent). We have to wonder then how we are even able to come to any understanding at all of what that can mean, since if the pure past is transcendent to the situation of the act, then how in the act can there ever have been a condition which transcends it? Only in a partial reality, one that defies Zizek’s psychoanalysis, can there be an aspect of something which transcends that same something.

We have only to conclude that we have found the opposite of what Z says earlier of the philosophical police that he talks about earlier: We are not in the business of finding where ‘nothing’ has been committed, in the effort to find the proponent of totality.

Our effort here is to find out where that totality has been breached, where ‘nothing’ is being posited as ‘actually something’. He has made an error by conflating his philosophical psychoanalytic with real (impossible) determinations. He has come upon an overt instance where, for his discourse to have weight, a totality and partiality must intertwine; so, where his psychanalytic is the situation of totality, he must be able to bridge totality into partiality in philosophical discourse. The problem here is that the only way he can do it is to resort to the transcendental aspect by which partiality is able to be partial; this is to say, he must leave his total psychanalytic world and admit that it is not a totality. In most of his discourses he does well at translating what is inherently partial (symbolic, imaginary) into what how it is not only real (unattainable and impossible to estimate or transcribe) but true (the description of the total system); his philosophy is that his Lacanese phychoanalysis can account for the totality in partial terms, which is to say he proposes to be speaking of reality but as well and most pertinent, all of human reality; this is his cultural theoretical part. But, in the effort here to describe how acts change the condition of past determinations, he has stepped too far out into the partial world that it becomes noticeable; the suturing, the discursive stitches can be seen.

We might come upon this view when we consider that we are not caught in an illusion of any sort, that from the psychoanalysis point of view, we come upon subjectivity through a total sense which designates as it marks off, coordinates as it distinguishes, every aspect of what we call reality. In this, we know what the past, present and future is, if only by mere convention.

Consider what Z is presenting here and what he is attempting to show. The Event, in this case, is the case of subjectivity as it has a past that determines the field of contingency which shows up in a life a reality. He is trying to show or describe that the past is changed as a necessary element of its constitution for a present subjectivity, and that this change is an Event, that this is what an event is. He is attempting this feat in light of what is usually understood as temporal order. The regular uncritical version of things is that events are understood laid down and fixed in their place, they occur and become manifested against the contingency of the present which occurs mediated through choice-act. Choice is commonly understood to fix variability into a specific and unchangeable state. The manner by which we go about life is that we make choices upon fixed situations, and these choices determine the condition of ‘future presents’ upon which choices will be then made.

Zizek, as usual, is disturbing this notion. He is saying that the act of choosing does more than determine a set of conditions for the future; he is saying that present acts change the past even while the past remains fixed in its determination, that the act (of choosing) also changes the condition of the past whereby we have a decision to make. In short, he is positing a blatant totality as partial, which is a weak move in one sense, and negating of the psychoanalytic he wields so well.

That is contradictory. If we are to remain in the true telling of a total reality (what Zizek does so well), we would like to be able not to notice blatant, unresolvable contradiction. What Zizek has done is presented us with such a contradiction and then fails to resolve or resituate it like he is famous for. He merely states the same contradiction in various ways, but he cannot get beyond the quite stubborn condition that the only way you can change an unchangeable state is to talk about a different state. Zizek is a master of transformation; the only way he can transform this particular state is to deny it, to use a smudging of discourse to appear like he is not merely saying outright that ‘here is another contradiction that I am resolving’; his talent is in showing us and thus transforming a state into a different state. Here, Zizek has merely used different phrases to show us that one and two are mutually exclusive but while saying that they are uniformly intersectional and interdependent. That is hardly the level of what we usually expect from Zizek and, frankly, clumsy and premature. But some situations cannot be glossed over, even by an expert glassier like Slavoj.

Good try.

A Bit Comment well into Zizek’s “Event”: The case for philosophical divergence.

from my notes:
Absolute knowledge?

Not that everything is madness, as we live through a sort of illusion, rather, that ‘normality’, the reign of reason, is a self-annihilation of madness.
In the same way as the rule of law is the self-annihilation of a crime.

Politics crime= totalitarianism.

Philosophical crime = totality.

(91) There is an [overdetermination] straight line from philosophy to politics [conventional reality]:
• The task of the philosophical police is to discover from philosophical books that a political crime will be committed.
• The philosophical police goto philosophical symposiums to detect proponents of totality.
o They try to detect those about to deconstruct the religious and moral foundation of our societies.
o “universal(ized) crime is no longer a crime – it sublates (negates or overcomes) itself as crime and turns from transgression into a new order”(91) [Idempotence]
♣ crime is essentially a moral situation [is there a teleological suspension?…]
♣ ‘property is theft’
o the external opposition is transformed into the opposition, internal to the transgression itself, between particular transgressions and the absolute transgression which appears as its opposite, as the universal Law. (92)
♣ ex: a marriage without love is already a divorce
• true adultery is not to copulate outside marriage, but to have sex within marriage without love.
o Simple adultery is a violation from outside, while marriage without love violates from inside.

And my comment:

The significance to be found here is in the very conception itself, for similarly, it would be a violation of natural law to conceive without conception. Hence we return from philosophical honesty and direction back into, what we properly may call, conventional philosophy that wishes to apply a certain conception without conceiving first the situation at hand, which is, that there is and has been a violation in the ‘natural order of things’ in some investments and applications of conception itself.

What we mean by this must then be told outright: This is not game of argument, not an appropriation of meaning actively and with intension made upon conceptions that already existed as objects to be appropriated along a particular correct manner of ‘Being-there’, or as an object to manipulate. The obscenity arises in so much as we might have to tell people that we had no baby there already upon which we can now experiment. It is nearly ridiculous if it were not so serious and life-threatening (in as much as the response to such an ethical breach is to kill the perpetrator (in old times) but at least to incarcerate them) that we must appeal to that ‘natural philosophical order’ that would behave as if the baby was already there, that no conception was needed, or that the conception could take place in a sort of ‘baby factory’ or someplace other than the center of reproduction that is the site of conception itself. And the further absurdity comes when we indeed have to tell them this, that their conception is unnatural [the universal is the ethical], because for them it is the most natural thing that could occur: They simply do not, indeed, are incapable of grasping what is ‘not ethical’ in this sense!

This is why we need to clean up what we typically generalize into ‘philosophy’; we need to begin to talk about what philosophy is doing and specifically what applications particular moments of philosophy can be used for. Because right now we have a bunch of people (of letters, money and institution) talking through and over one another and oblivious to what one another is saying.

Take the example of the Zizek/Harman talk.

I think the most telling example of what I am saying in my post here occurs toward the end, when Harman says to Zizek (I can’t seem to find the time marker, sorry — so I paraphrase) “I don’t think we mean the same thing when we say ‘reality'”.

This is interesting, for I think I have a pretty good baring on Zizek and Harman and I would say that they really are meaning the same thing with the term ‘reality’. For Zizek, the Event that he frames through his book “Event” is a disruption of the Symbolic Order by the Real, a radical break in the continuity of sense that is the Symbolic polemical structure, but also a terrifying confrontation, and intersection, if you will, of the Imaginary with its distanced other, a meeting of sorts between what is the Imaginary world (with all its Symbolic scaffold structure) and its ‘imagined’ reflection. The Real is that which, as he says somewhere, occupies the spaces in between the polemical structures, yet identified in the withheld imaginary reflection.

The simplistic ontology of Harman is summed up in “real objects withdraw from sense”. Now, to me, this sounds like the same thing as Zizek. Granted, all the details that Harman may wish fill into the withdrawn area (how is Harman able to know what is withdrawn if it withdraws from sense? is the typical question) will inevitably fill out the difference between them, but this is exactly the kind of difference that I think Harman won’t allow, and indeed cannot see.

But also, we can notice the whole of the discussion. Aside from personal demeanor and style, if we entertain a certain view, we can see that Zizek is being strategic in his comments, while Harman is playing more to the strength of his theoretical position an opinions. While it appears that Zizek is answering the various questions by the mediator and Harman himself, it becomes pretty obvious that Zizek neatly avoids answering the direct questions and instead gives answers that really, often enough, if one is being attentive, route the listener back into questioning the basis of the question itself. But I think Zizek knows this tendency of himself (maybe not), and so really tends to hold back, often in mid-sentence and thought,from the direction of his response, and change what he was really going to say, because it seems, or one gets the impression at least, the first response would either bring into question the arena itself (which them shuts down all discussion) or directly implicates the questioner as well as the colleague (Harman) to their faulty position (which directly brings into question the Event of their discussion, of why it is even occurring).

What we have there is an example of two philosophers who are not communicating. Harman does not really understand Zizek, but thinks he does, and Zizek has fully accounted for Harman but is not allowed (ethically) to let on that this is the case.

It is easy to get offended in this kind of analysis, but it is just this kind of offense that keeps philosophy in its ‘institutional whole’, and misses the productivity that could occur if only we had an open way to allow our philosophical egos to be hit and not respond with denial and obstinacy, but respond with acceptance and thus be able to approach the tasks at hand in a coordinated division of labor (as opposed to a sport of oppositional competition where we are never really sure if we have gotten anywhere even after the victor takes her laps). 3003_pia20521_16x9

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