Secularism vs. Pluralism; a comment

I had the opportunity to participate in a live podcast episode with InkleDeux for the third time. Our topic was“Secularism vs. Pluralism.”We had a …

Live Podcast Episode: #3 Secularism vs. Pluralism

I didn’t listen to this whole podcast. But I listen long enough to have something to comment upon. I couldn’t really listen much longer than I think around seven minutes, because it had already brought up so many philosophical problems just in the introduction that I already knew pretty much what they were going to talk about, what vector they were taking.

I don’t mean that so much as a condemnation as I do really as an indication that there is a discrepancy involved with the use of the word “philosophy” that is not regularly recognized and in fact is assumed to be nonexistent in what I call a conventional philosophical Orientation upon things.

Anyways…

The point at which I stopped in the podcast was when they introduced the idea of secularism with reference to the US Constitution which guarantees a separation from church and state. Their comment upon that establishes philosophical ground as though it is common, and I’m not sure that we can assume the route that they took, even though they speak as if it is indeed a common ground, as it is indeed something that is “common sense”. And, I’m not arguing that it is something that I don’t understand or is incorrect as a line of reason; I’m not arguing against their further arguments. I’m arguing against the assumption that they make from which they build the rest of their discussion.

Nonetheless; the discrepancy that I am indicating could be located exactly at that point where I stopped listening to the podcast. The discrepancy arises where we understand the difference between extrinsic mythology and intrinsic mythology. That is, what actually occurs in the establishment of A government which runs according to our along or in correspondence to a separation of church and state, is a government which understands its own theology as implicit to what is common.

And this is to say that by that amendment we suddenly are able to point to something else as if we are not the embodiment of what we are pointing to. To me this is the significance of secularism: it is a faith which does not recognize its theological grounds. In a way, exactly the psychoanalytical “mirror stage” which leads to alienation as identity (Lacan/Zizek).

 The reader can find various comments about how I develop this philosophical theme further back in my posts on this blog.

But in short, America, if I can generalize, establishes its self as a global religion through the missdirection of calling religion as identified with something else. This goes to an evolution of the human being as indeed humans are evolving not separately from the universe, as opposed to the human being that has pretty much been the same for thousands of years and is evolving Only in some intangible manner. Indeed, the issue that they in the podcast argue as foundational to a secularism is is a foreclosure of bringing transcendence into what we can talk about. Again, with that motion it is actually bringing the transcendent into imminent conversation, or communion, as the case may be. The amendment there by establishes its own religion in distinction to other things that are basically “false religion”, basically believing in “false gods”.

It is not difficult to trace this kind of thinking back through Protestantism, but I am not arguing that America or capitalism is based in Protestant thinking. But indeed has been at least one author, weber, who argued Protestantism as a basis of a proper secular society. But that point is nearly moot.

I’ll stop there.

Perhaps some of your readers wanna listen to the whole podcast and see if they entertain or see if they’ve gone kind of the long way around to get to the same conclusion. Then maybe you could let me know.

Or perhaps you could see where their discussion comes nowhere near what I’m talking about.

I don’t know. Let me know either way OK?

Or you could tell me that what I’m saying makes no sense. If you cannot understand what I’m saying, please ask, and I’ll try to say it more clearly.

I’m sure the podcast is a good discussion because I enjoy listening to her philosophical things, even as I might disagree with them fundamentally.

But I’m short for time right now.



Not Emotional, but Rational?

Is there a time when you are not emotional? That is, when you’re awake at least. 😄

What is that state? Is the only time you are emotional is when you are “feeling“ emotions? What are you feeling when you’re not feeling emotional? Are you then “thinking“ emotional?

It’s kind of an interesting exploration into what rationality is when we include emotions into our state of being.

For, rationality is kind of a ethical label. If one thinks back to the beginning of psychotherapy with Freud, it is difficult to see rationality as neutral when we see a specifically sexist mental disorder of the likes called ‘hysteria’.

And in case anyone didn’t know, hysteria is this mental illness that only women had. Never mind that there’s a whole critique of Freud in as much as all these great founding psychoanalytical issues and Theories were based upon Freud sitting in a room with various wealthy women who just talked with no interruption from him. Then the three hour session would be over and they would part and Freud would go into a study and pen these great theories of how the mind works.

So I’m still wondering what an emotionally neutral state is. What is “not emotional”? And then what does that have to do with being rational?

Is there a time in my day when the ability to think is not informed by my emotional state?

Maybe the “ratio“ of rationality is a measurement or a taking an account of emotion.

A Comment on Ontological Equivocation and the Possibility of Plurality.

The thought of Plurality came to be right now in coming across
Graham Harman’s plug for a couple new Object Oriented books. In particular, the ideas of Tristan Garcia, the “Life Intense”.

Now, I have not read hardly anything of Tristan; what I have read sort of left me pondering. Now, I just read the summary of his book, I think I know why it is weird: I do not agree with his premise for the book, and, I guess, then, his philosophy. Again, just judging from what little I have read of him and then the summary, his view upon the world is totally different than what I see; I simply can only relate in as much as a believe that he is reporting on something honestly. 

This attitude of mine then is not about what argument he might be making. In fact, any argument he would make, I think, would be circumstantial, merely me considering how interesting it is that he came up with a philosophy on these equally interesting aspects of existence that I never encounter —

Or !

..that I may have already encountered. How could this be? It appears to me like he is reporting on something that I might have already reconciled. I can’t really know if this is true, though, because I will never encounter him except through his books, which already come to me as accounted for, on one hand, or, speaking of something that is merely interesting on the other.

So, I cannot discount his experience or his philosophy. It must be totally real and valid. Thus: whatever ontological proposals he makes is of another and different existence, one that is already contained in the proposals I make as a sort of foot note, a ground, if you will, but without the ontological argument. But further: That that footnote I might understand, is not a foot note in the condition of things for those who would see his proposals as significantly new. Hence: Plurality.

It is non sequitur to reduce his proposals to a necessity of mine, for, as Harman has suggested of things, that would be an overdetermination of the object at hand. His must then lay equally valid and real as mine.

OK, now that we might understand that strange coincidence…on to the significance of Ontological Equivocation…

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“Even though there is something out there that is not the world-for-us, and even though we can name it the world-in-itself, this latter constitutes a horizon for thought, alwaysreceding just beyond the bounds of intelligibility.”

It seems I am beginning to give examples of philosophical analysis. Which is to say an analysis of philosophy, that non-philosophy has granted us but also my own work has seen an ability or propensity towards.

I got this quote secondhand from a re-posting of another blog (cite), and I’d like to point out some inconsistencies that indicate a religious posture and its attempt to bring everything under one philosophical ontological envelope.

One of the difficulties that comes with taking such a posture towards philosophy is that for other philosophers I would first need to establish myself as credible through their particular methodological paradigm; I am indeed working on getting legitimization to put some letter after my name for this purpose (right now it is: MACP:)) This is to say that the first defense of all philosophies that would be analyzed in this way would be to say that I do not understand what they are talking about. So in order to get to this point, a sort of ontological pivot (or break) has occurred such that there really is no ontology that I need argue any longer, As philosophers go, one first would have to believe that I understand the argument in question.

a further quote quotation from the same author is:

“The world-in-itself is a paradoxical concept; the moment we think it and attempt to act on it, it ceases to be the world-in-itself and becomes the world-for-us. A significant part of this paradoxical world-in-itself is grounded by scientific inquiry – both the production of scientific knowledge of the world and the technical means of acting on and intervening in the world.”

Indeed, the world in-itself is a paradoxical concept, but I do not think his conclusion necessarily follows. This is to say that due to the paradox, the confusion must follow one of two paths, his path being one of the two.

This is to say, that the moment we think about the world in-itself we are left with a choice as to what we want to use as criteria for what path we should take. Then, the main issue that we face is if indeed we see a choice, and the fact that most often no choice is understood to be presented. If this be the case, then we have the basis for a contradiction which usually follows philosophers into their mistake which then demands an assertion of essential identity over the plain existence of the thing in question.

In this case, the choice is presented as a question upon the traditional philosophy of the West; namely, that the tradition has voiced and presented the situation in such a manner that makes sense such that I have only to make a choice upon this sense. The basis of the sense is not there questioned; it is intact and intutively sound: We can make no choice upon it. So, when we have done our studies and find all the secret knowledge hidden in plain sight of our sense with reference to the tradition of the Big Names, we come to a necessary conclusion: In this case, as soon as we think of the world in-itself is ceases to be the world in-itself and because a world for-us.

The non-sequitur involved in this conclusion is not found in the direct argumentation but is indeed embedded in the conclusions that have been already gleaned from the traditional understanding of the philosophers, an understanding that I say is a mistaken understanding, or more correctly, a different orientation upon things. Yet, in fact, if we are to stick with the tradition of the philosophers, it is mistaken in a manner that no argument can reclaim. Due to this phenomenological misunderstanding, what occurs through this orientation upon things is a receding of thought –indeed a withdrawing of subjectivity — into what 20th century philosophers called ‘world’, such that eventually we have philosophers involved in the assertion of ‘their’ world of sense and logic as though it indeed reflects the actual existence of the ‘our world’ or ‘whole world’. This is the paradox discovered in the above quote. We have a complete myopia of thinking for the purpose of asserting ‘world’ over ‘world’ as we understand that the intuitive meaning of terms that I have gleaned should amount to an ability to create more terms and associated definitions that will one day prove ‘true’ about the discrepancy that I have noticed of my phenomenal truth as I have faith in the given method of argument. I submit, also, that this is a mistaken understanding of what Badou has called ‘fidelity’. It is through this mistaken kind of fidelity that we have the basis of the problem that ‘patchwork’ (cite) deals with; a taking to the absolute ends the problem of the 20th century psychoanalytical philosophical mistake but without the problemization of self-reflection which should accompany all philosophical endeavors. The analyses and proposals which stem and proceed from this mistaken orientation upon things follow necessarily, even as those involved cannot see beyond their ‘intuition’ of the truth of things to say that it is ‘new’.

The world in-itself is only paradoxical under certain conditions; it is not a paradox to knowledge itself.

***

I wonder if Graham Harman or Tristan Garcia will ever read this. I suppose not: Plurality. lol

Philosophy and Racism.

The other day, I commented on a post over at Larval Subjects.

Someone replied to my last comment:

Racism is socially constructed. Just like gender. They are just signifiers without a signified. Now how do you think you can explain and convince someone who doesn’t even know this kind of thinking exists?

This is a damn good question, so I am offering my take here.
—-
While I disagree with the general form of a “signifier without a signified”, nevertheless
another way of putting her question is “How do I break into the game?”

The short, short answer is, you don’t.

I will try to not make this answer the very involved answer because if I were to do that I would be merely still playing the game, and part of the answer to her question is, indeed, that we are already playing the game. And besides, I could probably write a book answering just this question.

In the short, short answer, and without going into all the verbosity of metaphysical ins and outs, Lacan and Zizek psychoanlysis calls this game the “The Master Signifier”.

The problem with a question such as hers is, as I just said, you , we, are already playing the game. You are already part of the game of the Master Signifier.

It is not “All Good”. Zizek somewhere lately has said (had been saying) that the problem with what he calls “the Left” is that it has no balls; it is disorganized and it is failing because it has no ground, that is, because its members cannot agree on the ground. The problem is inherent to this manner. The problem, basically, is that I can have my “good” morals, but everyone else is allowed to also have what is ‘good’ for themselves: It bends both ways, and then both ways again, and then back upon itself. In short, there is no strict philosophical reasonable manner to overcome this dilemma because what I call conventional philosophy is already a part of the Master Sginifier.

I will try to show what I mean by this through an analogy.

*

Addiction.

How many of you have ever watched the show “Intervenion”?

Go watch an episode, or one of that type, or go find a freind who is addicted to something. You probably have a friend who is addicted in a bad way, or likely, at least, a freind of a freind.

Anyways,
After the set up and the slice-of-the-day-in-the-life-of-the-addict, the Interventionalist comes in and sits down with the family and loved ones of the addict. What does the Interventionalist do or say everytime? What is the point of meeting with the group of loved ones?

Often, the family is a mess also, over their loved one being an addict and all the nonsense they do. So the Inteventionalist tells them right off that this is not the place to argue among youselves. And then she says that you will not engage with the addict in argument, that this is not the place to deal with whatever direct issues are going on between you and the addict.

The point of the intervention is to disrupt the fantasy in which all the family and loved ones are involved. This is also why if one of the (interventioning) family members has issues like drugs or drinking also, or codependacy, or anger problems, then the Interventionalist will offer help to them also. The point of getting together with the famlily is to get them to behave as if from outside the Master Signifier. The way you do this is to consider the whole situation, not just the ‘subject’ or the addict in this case, and stop interacting in that situation.

While this analogy can only be taken so far, It has some good uses for our philosphical/critical race theory uses. The main thing to notice is that interaction does not cease; only interaction with a certain dynamic. Conventional philosophy would have it that everything is contained under the one rubric of infinite possibility and that this is the domain of philsophy: Everything it sees fit to call unto its own. I generalize this motion into indicting its reason, but again, with the caveat (similar to the family/interventionalist/addict situation), that I am not speaking about a category in which all human beings participate at all times.

The point is not that somehow I get to or am able to get outside of a Master Signifier; that idea merely retains the fantastic frame of the Master Signifer itself, though using the parameters of the fantsy to contruct a fantasy about getting outside of it. The main issue is reason. Here, the reason in question is the crowning government of a body of generalizable anarchists.

Just as a manner of speaking, you cannot make an argument about the problems with anrachy using the terms of anarchy and you likewise cannot effect the anarchists from being chaotic by imposing a ‘sensiblity of government’. Both manners simply play into the scheme of signification that is already occurring. The anarchists will hear such anarchistic rhetoric as supporting thier cause, and they will hear the plea to order as the reason thier ideals are founded in a ‘more correct’, manner of appropriating the situtation.

*

Catherine Malabou might be onto something with her ‘passionate enagement’ and ‘plasticity’, and even ‘climate change’.

Why do you think the family in the intervention gets all emotional in following the instructions that the interventaionlist gives them? That is, that they must not engage in argument with the addict, that they must have a bottom line beyond which they will not relent?

The intervention is not an arguement with the addict; it is not an attempt to convince through reasonable discussion that addict to get treatment. It simply places boundaries against which the addict is thus able to view the situation that is outside of the fansasy. This outside is ultimatly still part and portion of the Master Signifier, but what the intervention allows for, in L-Z psychanalytical terms,  is a viewing of the Real object. Of course, this object is not some sort of “real real object”. It is that object which the Master Signifier signifies to be the impossible case of any condition; these impossible cases are ‘suspended’ in every situation. What the intervention does is allow for a stable platform, a butress perhaps, a wall, against which the addict is able to view the impossible sitation that arises outside of the codependent and fantastic family dynamic.

The family is crying because they too are part of the fantasy of the Master Signifier and they are being asked to stop playing in it. Or rather, to bring about by Being actual subjects the Real object in the play of all possible outcomes, which is to say, “in the last instance”. They themselves must, in effect, lie. In order to be fidelitous to the truth of the situation, they must not tell the truth, which is to say, the ‘truth’ of how they see it, the ‘truth’ of how pissed off they are and why, the ‘truth’ of all the things they ‘know’ and ‘feel’. They must take on faith what the interventionalist is saying to do will reveal the truth of the situation of the fantasy to all participants. They are told to simply talk about the facts, how it used to be between them, how much fun they had together before the addiction, how they love them, and how they will not interact with them at all if they do not walk into the space of the unknown that is being opened for them at this moment.

*

Again, this analogy only goes so far. But we cannot abide someone destroying our house simply out of love for them. At some point we just accept the facts of the situation despite what argument may ensue about whther or not they are the facts, or what constitutes facts. Indeed, we do not shut them down if they wish to continue in thier way; they can do what they want. But once the facts have spoken, then things becomes really real.

We cannot convince racist or sexist people that their practices are racist or sexist if they are not willing to at least take a step into the unknown. But we also do not simply accept the repercussions of thier destructive activity.

Reality, Naivety and Addiction in 3 parts. PART 1.

A Comment Upon Zizek’s Recent Talk in Spain, June 2017.

Reality, Naivety and Addiction.

*

 

I know that everyone likes to have an opinion, and they also like for everyone else to have an opinion – no; they demand that what anyone has to say is an opinion.

I ask: What happens when someone does not have an opinion? What does that mean? Can you, the reader, think of someone saying something, putting forth a proposal that is not an opinion? What are the conditions involved with someone having an opinion? What is occurring that everyone has an opinion?

These are questions I think very few, if anyone, consider. I think most would think it useless and silly if not contradictory in its nature, to consider what conditions must exist for someone not to be proposing an opinion.

I begin this post in this manner because of the overwhelming consistency in which Slavoj Zizek comes off. It is almost spookey. How does someone not only have such a consistent approach upon matters, but then also have a theoretical platform that not only supports this consistency but is then the substance by which such a consistency indeed has consistency? It is almost magical. Maybe that’s why Zizek has been deemed the Elvis of critical theory. I love it.

My proposal here is that Zizek is conveying no opinion. His opinion arises through a kind of misappropriation of what is occurring, and by this feature, opens possibility to opinion. I will leave it to you readers to think about that and what I could mean by it while we step into a recent appearance in Spain, June 2017:

**

Now; I admit I have not listened to the whole thing; only the first 30 minutes. But enough things came up in that introduction to warrant a good post, I think, so, here it goes.

*

Consider how he begins his talk: Under an assumption of naivety. What does he mean by that?
In this moment, under this banner, it is almost as if he anticipated my earlier post where I point out the flaw of his entry in his book “Event”; it is also as if I anticipated this very lecture (above) by pointing out the contradiction. It is almost as if Zizek and Myself were involved in some sort of atemporal synchronicity, an event that would be then utterly psychoanalytical in theoretical nature – lol. But we mustn’t really think too much into this.

Ironically, if we are tempted to think into this situation too much we could be indicating just what Zizek might be meaning by his ‘naïve’ approach to this lecture. For, he is saying that, just for a moment (the moment of this lecture), he is defining a space whereby his presentation will not necessarily reduce back into the psychanalytical order. And this is to say that he is giving notice that he is going to step out of the ecstatic space where in everything will be topsy-turvy, where the slave will become master, where what seems apparent is not the case – he is making notice that for this particular lecture the ‘carnival’ will be suspended. This is to answer my post (above) by telling us that he will be standing on a stage where there are individual agents of personal thoughts, opinions and activities; basically, what he admits also: His lecture is mainly political. He is going to act like a regular critical theorist without the psychoanalyst riding along and making comments.

He is going to be naïve.

In this space, this political position, he is going to make no comments from the psychoanalytical chair about the situation. So what is he leaving out of his talk by this segregation? Can we speak to what might be occurring psychoanalytically?

His question, by which he asserts a new kind of social bureaucracy, he frames: What occurs after the carnival, after, as he puts it, that state where one is ‘eternally mobilized’, which is to say, within the ecstatic disruption? What are we to do afterwards?

Why would he need to frame things in this way? The first question that pops into my head is when the carnival was? When did this perpetual upheaval occur? We really shouldn’t look to any theoretical proposal – rather, I think the semantic argumentative contents of a theory is not the right place to look (of course we could look there). The reason we would be better looking elsewhere than back onto a theoretical position is we would not find the carnival there and commonly would not find anything upended or opposite, we would only find the quite ordered theory that was making sense of the carnival (Zizek makes note of his own manner, that he isn’t going to drop these ironic bombs on this lecture, commenting upon how sometimes he speaks upon somethings sarcastically or opposite of what he is saying). He could be referring to other theories, but I think he is referring to a particular psychoanalytical moment wherein the subject is in confrontation with its object of desire, involved in the attempt to situate the upheaval of the symbolic world by the imaginary, through the event of what is real.

In this lecture, Zizek is situating the alienation that occurs due to this confronting event within the political realm, and calls this political mechanism of subjective alienation bureaucracy: The institutionalization of that subjectivity which should remain ideally invisible to the subject, but which most often reveals itself by its dysfunction, is actually alienating the subject that is using that political system. He thus suggests a Socialist Bureaucracy as a better type of political institution than what we see of our Democratic Bureaucracy.

We can find the psychoanalytical aspect by understanding that the bureaucracy maintains the order even while the carnival is going on, that it is a kind of ‘mirror’ of the subjective alienation, that is not being recognized while the carnival is going on; the ‘substance’ or ‘material’ of the reflection is a political bureaucracy, in this case, the dysfunction of which is itself the effect of alienation. We return to our question here to find out what might be said of the subject of psychoanalysis when it is not recoursed into the political symbol. This is to ask, what of the subject of psychoanalysis itself?

The symbolic manifestation of the State Bureaucracy can be a good analogy for alienation because the confusion that brings about as well as manifests alienation as a lived experience can also be associated in the political world with the system of rules and procedures, as well as the people who uphold, enact and conform to these procedures, by which the state can accomplish things. It is a real manifestation of perceived alienation from the subject; the citizen often has much difficulty negotiating or even figuring out the rationale behind bureaucratic procedures. Likewise, the alienated subject of psychoanalysis is confused and has difficulty in discovering the sense of the ‘carnival’, of the intrusion of the Real into the Imagined sense of Symbolic order.

It is not very difficult then to look around and see what occurs ‘after’ the carnival: The carnival persists. In terms of Zizek’s noted ‘subject of trauma’, we find an immediate association with the subject of modernity; it is the post-modern subject that finds itself in the carnival. At every turn of investigation, the ordered sense that is the modern state becomes confused as the subject of modernity finds itself ‘alienated’ from the (orderly) world that was (is) known. In the attempt to get to the root of the postmodern confusion, the alienated subject of psychoanalysis finds ‘nothing’ at the end of the investigation, the nil subject. The subject under investigation finds that the very terms of the investigation are faulty: She is alienated from her own world.

But this is not what occurs right off. The subject that finds this ‘end’ is first incredulous, that is, as Jean-François Lyotard has given us, ‘incredulous toward metadiscourses’. The alienated subject of modernity searches for a ground of her alienation and finds, in the end, that there is no ground for it, that ironically this is the cause of her trauma, she thus becomes incredulous toward her world, what she knows of it as well as what is said of it, as the world is nothing but a series of discourses suspended in nothingness. It is not that somehow due to theoretical proposals everyone becomes doubtful of the world; everyone in fact has a complete world at all times. The idea that people become doubtful of their world due to some theoretical sensibility is a contradiction in terms, but a contradiction that indicates the carnival that no one can make sense out of, or rather, the sense they make complies with whatever the frame that supplies ‘questioning’, or doubt of authority of metanarratives. This is why we can speak of two routes (see my earlier posts), because so many people see theory as indicating a sort of agenda, as they are supposed to think a certain way because a theoretical position makes sense in various ways, as though their opinion is formed in segregation to the idea of the opinion.

This manner is the opposite of the psychoanalytical approach. The discrepancy in conception thus shows us that there is a disconnect occurring between what is true and what is real, a disconnect that amounts to what we understand as ‘alienation’ that cannot and will not be overcome through the symbolic mechanizations of the (current) state bureaucracy, and yet we cannot do without such a state system, eternally dysfunctional, indeed, eternally mobilized.

Zizek is speaking of certain philosophical moments wherein psychoanalysis finds occasions to use discourse. We have, though, the carnival occurring as we speak, regardless of what theoretical concepts we might entertain for a solution, for it is not the case that the theory drives psychoanalysis; it is psychoanalysis that drives theory (under certain conditions).

In this case, then, we have Zizek entertaining the notion of what might occur once the carnival stops. Of course, this is a speculative idea because he is not speaking about any actualized ending of the political dance of types but rather about a philosophical moment; this type he proposes is a contradiction in terms, and thereby unrealizable (or totally imaginable). Psychoanalysis is a constant mode based within shifting views of parallax; the political aspect of society will not go away, it will only change forms, but the only way that Zizek can speculate upon such matters is because he intuitively knows his Socialist Bureaucracy will not happen: He is speaking, making this proposal under the condition of naivety. The carnival does not stop, but indeed would require what he suggests is a kind Socialist Bureaucracy if it were to stop. But a bureaucratic socialism is a manner of situating psychoanalytical contradictory situations. As he points out, the problem with what we know (or have witnessed) as socialism is that it is, indeed, problematic; he is calling for a ‘pure’ kind of socialism, one that runs smoothly, invisibly, as he says, one that “I do not notice as it functions”; a functional bureaucracy would be one, as he says (paraphrase), ‘that determines everything I do but without me knowing it’. But it never runs that smoothly on the ground in actuality, that is why we can be sure that he is speaking, not figuratively or ‘down a hole’ (into or of nothing), but of an actual philosophical moment, which is to say, a ‘post-trauma’ psychoanalytical condition. When we remove the naivety of the moment, we are left with the ‘fully aware and cognizant’ moment where psychoanalysis must filter everything through its vanishing point. This point is, of course, the subject and due to its quality of being naught, if we are to experience this cognition, that is to say, without a certain ironic distance, it is, again of course, that moment where everything is topsy-turvy.

The question that arises here, though, is why this subjectivity does not appear topsy-turvy (like a carnival) but usually at best appears only so within a theoretical construct of critique? Yes; the on the ground political situation often appears convoluted and chaotic, but it does not usually appear like the allusion of the carnival, where, for example, the rioters are attempting to control the riot police (I am not being ironic here, lol), or the citizens are terrorizing the religious zealots. Through analysis (not necessarily psychoanalysis) all the chaos is ironed out and made sense of, even if the sense that is made can be debated as to its sense! To say that a situation may be like carnival is a theoretical (non-ironic) distance that is imposing order upon the chaos. So we can say that it is through the cognizant moment that we find the possibility of the Socialist Bureaucracy, and yet he is speaking of it in a manner as if it could or may come about, through the conditions of necessity and contingency. In this manner he is thus having to self-disclose the inherent contradiction, the ‘error’ involved in the juxtaposed discourse, and does this through the disclaimer of ‘naïve’. It is through the ‘invisible’ bureaucracy that we find the ideal situation that cannot and does not ever come to pass in the (political) world, but indeed can be believed in as a sort of utopian possibility in that effective ideological world; which is to say, the world that does not function through the ‘cognizance’ of its psychanalytical conception, but only functions ‘in the background’, albeit invisibly.

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 😉