Tag Archives: reality

Problematizing Whiteness; Correlation and the Two Routes.

In my very early and preliminary reflections on whiteness and being white it seems obvious to me that two issues are present in the philosophical reckoning.

1) The theoretical postmodern maxim of discursive reality.


2) The fact that no human Being is actually white. At best, even an albino is not truly white.

If there is a reduction or a larger meaning between these two aspects then it must fall into one of those categories. While it is not properly truthful to say that they are mutually exclusive, it is, so far, sensible to see that any argument that would be made would have to get its footing in one of these choices, ie either the argument is making a point about discursive reality and the manifestation of power, or, it is not making an argument.

Not making an argument? How can that be? You say.

There is no tension. Rather, the tension is come upon when both statements are understood within a methodological axiom where they occur in equal stature, both in the same existential space to be or as a question, both equally allowable and accessible to questioning. For example, each term of both phrases can be looked into to find its specific meaning, and at each step of inquiry, the results themselves are allowed to be questioned. This is usually what is meant by philosophy; this standard method has brought about a historical-traditional liturgy of reductionary theory and philosophical systems put forth by various free thinking and inspired people.

Yet when there is no tension, then the statements are seen to be describing what is obvious: 1) the post modern condition has to do with the organization of discursive structures and the corresponding belief that these structures reflect essences and or basic and operative realities ; 2) no living human being has ever been truly the colour white.

The sensible question should be what is the purpose of asking into these statements. For (1), the method is implicit: In bringing out Postmodern there is a invitation into discussing and debating what the statement means and whether it is true. (2) is not implicit; questioning into this statement would be more like a philosophical exercise , yet one that would seem to point out how the philosophical method can sometimes be taken too far, or be used for merely pondering and wondering; like the speculation that our universe could be but a speck of dust under the fingernail of a inconceivably large giant creature.

But again, the distinction of these into categories like I easily explained above, has shown us how argument falls into one of the categories themselves: Either it is relative or it is true; the discussion that takes place in the category that contains all humans, within the common category of human mental ability, has therefore already fallen into the meaning of the first statement, which, due to this seemingly automatic motion, can be come to be seen as a kind of religious dogma. It can be understood as areligious dogma because the plain fact of the two statements have already been tested. We have already found out that they are true beyond what argumentative proposals might confront them: The arguments necessarily fall back into the meaning of those statements unless we adhere to a special condition of the first statement, a condition that we automatically understand as obvious, a meaning that usurps as it calls all meaning to itself to thereby negate any other possibility situation. Hence we have located and identified a true aspect about the human being, and have begun along a different road in the effort to discover what the human being is. The question that informs this finding is “why are we still arguing whether or not the results are true when the same result has arisen through multiple testings of the same experiment?” This is how Philosophy retains its religious privilege of failing to become a science: Such a privilege is imposed as it is asserted. Religion allows for the human being to be infinitely creative in avoiding its determination and thus control — especially once it has established its power to control.


What I mean by this is the same or very similar to what we mean when we point to the near impossibility of getting outside or beyond capitalist ideology. Discourse is understood as communication of identity, which always involves a processual excess (transcendence) which when communicated “properly”is called progress (communion), and capitalism is the exploitation of this excess, again progress in evidence (“God’s Plan”). Because at this point, this moment in which this post for example is being read, anyone that has any higher sort of education at all will very soon come upon the reality that the argument about there being no skin colour that is naturally actually white in colour is an assertion of a discursive reality; shortly there after with a little bit of reflective thought people will inevitably stumble upon the fact that there is a sort of power that is being implemented in the use of the word “white” to describe human groups, social and cultural and economic positions and systems, in various sectors and for various reasons.

And yet there is indeed a certain factual basis that tells us in an obvious fashion that there is no human being that is white in colour. The next statement that would depart from relative discursive realities is the one that would say that the fact of there being no actual white person is true beyond what the discourse might reroute into a discursive reality, that is, to be argued and negotiated.

The involvement with the philosophical arguments around this issue thus becomes the issue, the issue that falls outside of a certain self-evident scheme of ideas.

But not everything is of ideas, you say.

The point then, the usual point, is that there is no argument to be made about whether or not being white is a discursive reality: The argument to be made must have to do with power relations and so is automatically reflective of this real situation of postmodern multivocal realities. In other words, there is no argument that can be made in the ethical region of common humanity that can argue that arguments about the problemitzation of whiteness should not be discussed; Even as we might be able to describe a situation where the discussion about race, power, and privilege becomes a secondary concern, we cannot, in good faith, dismiss the discussion as merely some sort of Idealistic fashion.

The only real way to get back to the things themselves is thus to create or establish or, even more, recognize that there is a partition that must occur. Some will cry “foul”, though, seeing this partition as another means to install a justification for segregation. But such a reaction is not comprehending the issue, nor the statement. Integral to this partition must be the fact that there are not separate species of human beings (we know that race is not a description of genetic fact), that ultimately whiteness as an indication of a particular group of people as well as a particular power structure of systems which is ultimately an ideology, and that this ideology a particular type of scheme of ideas that is been placed there necessarily. Nevertheless, this necessity is uncomfortable and tends to rely upon arguments that only make sense unto the ideology they support. Hence if we are to get around the contradiction that arises of the bare fact and the ethics that sees the necessity as incorrect, then we need to be able to theorize about the nature of Being that gets outside what necessarily has been given us for such Being. We find the placement of the postmodern as a rejection of this necessity. The problematization of whiteness is a pushback of ideas based in a universal ideal of proper human treatment. The idea struggles with itself.

We then must acknowledge that we are not allowed to acknowledge that we are dealing only with ideas: ethics demands that we are dealing with something that arises outside of discourse. And this is because of the insistence and near impossibility of getting outside what is present of discourse and it’s meaning, as an identity in itself. We must adhere to what is ethical to the common idea of humanity and no longer argue about what is real and what is Ideal, or what is actual compared to what is merely an idea. All such arguments are hopelessly caught in what philosophers Have termed lately “correlational”.

The very idea that we can formulate some sort of discourse that is able to get beyond what is correlational is itself based in a real idea founded in what is correlational, which is to say, discursive. The philosophical efforts that attempt to give to us some sort of argument to get us outside the correlational cycle is then, ultimately, based in the ideal that discourse is capable of identifying another way of getting to some actual situation of reality, an actual discourse that will lead, through its linking, to what is outside of discourse. Hence the continuation of the postmodern idea: correlation.

I’m not sure how many more ways I need to say it: If the problem is not understood by now then we have just realized an actual situation that occurs outside of what is correlational.

We’ll let that sit in a minute….


Once this situation has taken hold, and is no longer an effort of building on quicksand, then we can begin to understand why identity has become the valued thing that founds real ability of human interaction with the world. We have to admit that what is real, while a discursive formulation, functions more akin to a religious institution on one hand, and a thing in-itself to notice and have on the other to thereby be able to use and discuss without worrying about whether what is correlational will suck it back into relativity and conventional philosophical speculation.

This means that we are able then to problematize whiteness without asserting or attempting to impose again a hierarchical racist structure. The issue will level out to become an issue of the human being because of the religious effect of a common humanity.


Everywhere is War…

Ray Brassier Social Philosophy.

the REPOST first :

Originally posted on >ect podcast: >ect explores why philosophers are compelled to try to understand the social reality of which philosophy is a part https://soundcloud.com/ectpodcast/ect-9-in-conversation-with-ray-brassier “To really distinguish the ideal and the real is to understand how they are distinguished in practice, and not in thought – in what we do, and not in what…

via >ect 9 In Conversation with Ray Brassier — synthetic zerø

When the Speculative Realism symposium occurred, I think everyone acted like 1950 rock and roll fans. If Zizek is Elvis..

(But this is more on the mark)

then the SR guys were like the Everly Brothers…

Ray Brassier was at both of the Conferences.


we should not be too unavailable to the whole presentation embedded of these figures and their reception. But when we begin to discount what is occurring here, we are likewise able to have a view.

From the first moment of SR, those philosophers were attempting to put down the popularity. This seems to be because all the hoopla was around another sort of idealism, despite what the SR’s would be saying in their respective philosophies. The reaction to their popularity can be found even in the fact of the authors attempts to dismiss themselves from some a sort of common “philosophical school”. Even as I can say “the SR’s” we should be careful not to lump them into some organized category; each purports to have different views on various topics. But the main thing that organizes (-ed) them is they all felt that there should be a way to get outside of what we know all too well, the “central phenomenal thinker” as this aspect tends toward exclusivity. It is no wonder that they decried their pop-star-lartity.

This ‘new’ idea of getting outside of the central thinker was the right move at the right time, but the manner that they proceeded, and proceed, is and has been a let down overall; a let down to philosophy, that is, but actually really good (in this case, at least) in the area of critical thinking, social structures, and social justice. Though many did or do not realize what happened, the basic fault is that the only way to get outside of the central thinker is to set the issue of the CPT (central phenomenal thinker) aside. As I have said, perhaps we need to begin to be more clear about what philosophy does, is capable of doing, and is allowed to do. Maybe Im splitting hairs, but it seems like Brassier has become less a philosopher and more a critical theorist. He even proposes that it is less ‘thought’ and more ‘practice’; Sounds like he’s falling right in line with Pierre Bourdieu and those other social French.

What this does, or did, was close-in the walls of free thought into the defined parameters of religious theology. Basically, the flattening out of the activity of the mind to a defined category called “thought” announces as it proclaims that every philosophy is basically and universally based in central thinking that will no longer be individualized within a universe of possibility. 700 years ago we would have called this given “the soul”, and even 100 years ago “the spirit”, and argued over not only it’s the stance of quality but indeed how it is supposed to be situated in the truth of the human being and it’s world. Now, the free thought will be organized within a defined limit that we call the universe, as the universe is now defined as the given region where thought occurs over a common category of being called human; this then is suppressed to be given, unnoticed, as an essential substrate no longer addressed, to be enlisted in the common goal of “humanity”, now another defined object amidst a multiplicity of universal objects, a universe of ‘social’ situations. If we never had an actual “humanity”, the SR’s allowed for us to confine our situation to there by begin the long historical process of sterilizing it, commodifying it, to there by establish more thoroughly and definitely its worth as a thing of the (catholic/capitalistic) cosmos; a thing to be used for the purpose of furthering the interest of humanity, or as they would have said 700 years ago, “God’s Plan”.

OK. no problem. If there is a problem then I should hear about it.


This then allows us to gain purchase on what Brassier is really talking about.

Pave over the distinction between “appearances” and “reality”. In short, our current moment is occupied by a need to account for random and apparently uncontrolled occurrences. Something is occurring from the “outside” that we have not been able to account for nor control; things like Trump, addiction, climate change, Russia, China, market fluctuations, technological authoritarianism, commercial manipulation, etc..Ray’s lecture is a short theological report of how humanity can come to terms with a freedom that is confined (imposed religion), with the apology that it such a confinement is needed if we are to ethically address these obvious social concerns.

We can’t have thinkers who are really free contaminating the scientific research toward of anarchistic, random fluctuations. We are on a species (special) mission of control.


It is at this point that we are able to come upon a significant philosophy. Of course, this is not to discount the need for critical thought and creative solutions for actual social problems. But if you look at the over arcing statement by Ray we have the implications of the discourse that moves towards authoritarianism rather than creativity itself; he says that any philosophy that does not consider it’s route and what is social should not be taken seriously.

Here we have the usual divisional strategies that go along with authoritarianism.

With a layman ear, the ear that most people will hear him through, even those intelligent, educated and lettered “laymen”, he is not just saying that society and considering social solutions is very important, he is saying that any critical philosophical thought that does not found itself in these issues is not a serious philosophical pursuit.

“To really distinguish the ideal and the real is to understand how they are distinguished in practice, and not in thought – in what we do, and not in what we represent ourselves as doing.”

“A philosophy that doesn’t try to understand social reality – that doesn’t try to understand its own connection to a world that wasn’t created to be philosophisable – is not being done seriously.”

This kind of statement should put us on notice, but also we don’t want to be too reactionary to this reactionary statement and proclamation. Yes; as I have said elsewhere in this blog, philosophy should consider actual real issues. Yet, of course, philosophy and social reality cannot be distinguished except under particular conditions, conditions that allow for what is particular. I am not sure why or how any one could write anything that has any meaning or purpose behind it and not be considering the social arena. We could even go so far as to say that a discourse, or philosophy, that would situate itself in not having to do with the social realm is actually a move that finds itself in contradiction such that its meaning would have to be non sequitur to the proposed area that it addresses. Indeed; as I have indicated of a certain non-philosophy: It is done in Bad Faith. But then isn’t that the real issue? The issue of Reality?

So on one hand, Brassier is situating us to not look at the contradiction; SR itself is a move away from the further consideration of contradiction, a move into that region where contradiction is the marker of what is true of reality over what may be true in itself. So in considering Brassier’s proposal here, we might consider an original panel member of the Speculative Realism talk, Graham Harman, who advocates getting back to the thing in-itself. We are dealing here with an agenda, a specific and particular manner of speaking about things, a particular manner of using things, objects. for a certain purpose. Right now, the single most necessary object we need to deal with is a social one, so this object has been associated with what is ‘real’ because of the necessity involved with being human in the world right now.

On the other hand, we should at least understand that he is involved in an institution which, after his “great” contribution to the SR, Along with his growing need to appear relevant in the academic community, must be upheld. He has reached a certain position of authority and stature that must be maintained if not as a conscious choice at least as a theological man date required by his position: he has no other way to make a living and so he can’t really suggest anything too radical, that is, except by reducing the object of that “radical” to something that is actually not very radical at all. We begin to see why SR became so popular for about a half a second and now has kind of falling into philosophical mediocrity: Because thats what people want: to offer reparations to a claimant for an issue that they do not understand.  In other words, communication is likewise taken as a given potential accross a unitive category, even as we alteady know such a category is highly problematic.

yet, This is not a fault of Brassier; the issue has been laid out by his mentor, Alain Badou, and I doubt it was missed by Brassier. I like him, and I like SR, but it is a truth that, once pointed out, is commonly set aside as an indicator of intension to rebuke or deny. This is not the case with me or this post. This post is a description, a laying out what is before us in its blatancy. This is to indicate a certain categorical set where communication does occur. Again; it is not so much that we don’t need to consider Society it’s problems and ways to solutions through thinking critically, it is more that philosophers tend to lump “philosophy” into this generalized common category that as they go on in their institutional position are seeing more and more to be speaking to the whole category of not only philosophy but humanity in general as indeed a common ethical substance.

When we begin to understand what this motion is, and that an acknowledgement and recognition of this type of motion does not negate the validity of what is moving, then we begin to understand how such philosophical statements such as Ray’s here is really, often enough, limited in its scope of appropriation and provocative only in the sense that he is promoting a particular type of theological belief, at that, A necessary one that we call social justice.


We have stepped even deeper into that domain about which institutional and conventional philosophy becomes nervous.

In particular, we should see that the issue of race relations, in particular, problematizing Whiteness, is presently salient. In light of this, we would be remiss if we didn’t look to the end as it involved the reality of being human: If we at some point gain a sufficient equity of peoples such that race no longer can be used as a marker is power and oppression, what then, of a real humanity, do we have then? Do we think that Medieval Fuedal Europe was about race? Or the Ottoman Empire, or the Chinese Dynasties? or Pre-European Africa? Of course, because we are currently enmeshed in a pertinecy of race relations, we will inevitably see power and race being wielded everywhere, but if we take a cue from Descartes tac (highly unfashionable in this moment), we might just glimpse that race is not always the central issue. The issue is always power, that even within what we could generalize a homogegeous cultures, power is still wielded in an oppressive manner through manipulative systems and tactics upon people regardless of what type of people that might be. In fact, we might see that the discussion of race might move over into having to define what is not actually or specifically racial into it being the case, or analyzable through the racial trope. This is the post-modern condition we have; we need not go into how discourse may or may not determine reality and the repercussions of such an ideal here.

But to make short what could be a very long essay, I ask the reader to consider what systemic racism means in light of the following statement, and how that might have to do with philosophy, the turn away from the CPT, and the defining of the parameters of what should be taken “seriously”:

There are people who continue to write outside of white standards, to our collective benefit. But to reap the social fruits of their labor we must remove the standard of white-centric history.” ~Andre Perry, The Hechinger Report, Jan. 30, 2018

The issue of correlationalism and access appears to haunt the SR/SM thinkers; a very obvious and easy way to set this issue aside (the SR’s love ‘setting aside’ as a methodological tenant issues that directly challenge thier positions) is to move into the ‘social’ maxim.


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:


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.


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)

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.

Clean Shave, by CSP – and other postmodern avoidance.

clean shave CSP logo 2_Fotor

What is the relationship between art and philosophy?

That is the issue I treat.

In “The Postmodern Condition”, Jean-Francois Lyotard speaks of this dichotomy in terms of ‘narrative’ and ‘scientific’ discourses. Emmanuel Kant speaks of the difference between Practical and Pure reason. And others also divide essential Being into dichotomous factions and never seem to approach the ‘final frame’, as Slavoj Zizek might (maybe) call it. While they are all most commonly understood to be speaking of different aspects (all of them) of reality or whatever, the significant issue involved with all of them is that they are really using different terms to characterize and position the same thing, the same aspect of being itself (that which is being itself). This is the issue that Francois Laruelle attempts to show us, that philosophy, what we might call ‘conventional’ philosophy, understands these divisions, these decisions, as indicating essentially real and localizable essences, what we may now call ‘objects’, but also a condition that no human being can get out of (No Exit).

The conventional philosopher sees terms as identifying actual distinct and segregate idealized (there is not situation that escapes what is of an idea) situations as these situations are indeed thus due to the manner by which clausal arrangements are made: Discourse determines reality because that is what has been argued successfully, and this argument thus can no longer be questioned without determining reality in a manner whereby reality is thus determined. This is called idealism: The idea is transcribed into reality because the idea is that the idea is able to be transcribed into reality intact (is the idea itself real?) But again, conventional philosophy cannot admit this generalization, or will vehemently as casually set it aside (whatever works), and will then move to discount its idealist situation by defining further terms and clausal arrangements. They simply cannot stop seeing ‘more things’, or simultaneously ‘the comparison of things’ in their use of discourse as these lineages of meaning are understood to extend through an essential temporal substrate. 

See, though, that of course, this is not incorrect. It simply locates, evidences and positions a particular kind of thinking and the method that supports that thinking. The ability to find this philosophical situation thus, at once, understands that conventional philosophy views itself as a kind of essentialist science through its ability to situate itself above and around every assertion that is made upon it, to thereby deny that it is an idealism (religion); this type of maneuver once noticed cannot escape its scientific attitude, an attitude that ironically denies that it is any sort of science.

When we locate this situation, oddly enough, we have found an opening that places philosophy as an object; we are able to ‘see’ it as an object, and once an object can be located and defined for what it does (is something more than it does? IS more than AM? ), it becomes an object of science. This means that people are going to get nervous (isn’t this what we are already seeing?) . While philosophy will continue on in its conventional manner, there will be (is) another kind of philosophical manner that cannot help but supersede what has been traditionally the jurisdiction of philosophy as a whole kind of endeavor. This philosophy that moves beyond philosophy can therefore be called a kind of ‘science of philosophy’ and works to be able to define humanity in a manner that is better able to control and or first describe, then predict the outcomes of humanity even while humanity denies that it is being determined. The irony of this latter situation is that such control is not subject to the fears of totalitarianism or dictatorship (but neither democracy or communism) because such an understanding does not occur within the purview of real estimations; what falls into its purview will be checked by the regular political mechanisms which are around for any moment.

What in the past has been called ‘religious’, and then soon after ‘esoteric’, and then soon after ‘heretical’, now changes the stakes of the game. What has been the arena that these terms denoted has been dispelled (the term no longer ‘denotes’) in all effective ways save the enforcement of the meaning of the term itself: There is no ‘effective’ esoteric occasions but those which are defined within the general political arena as another political case, another political identity. What goes on behind closed doors is subject to the same rules as any other ‘closed door’ policy.

Due to this ideological upset that the concept of science brings about (along with its appropriate narrative support), the human situation is turned on its head and reality, by virtue of its ubiquity and omnipresence, becomes a religious institution. Once this happens, everything remotely ‘spiritual’ goes out the window into the the bin of science, yet even while it retains an effectivity within the meaning of the transcendental clause by which narratives afford, convey and maintain real worlds. What occurs then, is what otherwise would have been classified as ‘esoteric’ by modern analysts becomes the effective means to define parameters upon the human creature in such a fashion which moves beyond the ability for the real narrative to keep up with; power is enacted which does not fall into the modern ‘structural-Marxist-humanist’ designations for how power is supposed (proposed) to be used. As we have just said, what does fall into the lap of such analysts, regardless of what it means to such analysis, nevertheless functions to acquiesce data which is thus used to support the determinate scientific use of power upon reality. This is to say that what has been the problem of modern philosophy, that of what to make of essential difference and its interface, interaction or intersection, has been solved, albeit in a manner that leaves a particular mode of philosophical knowledge playing in the white wash despite its best efforts to paddle out into the monsters of Mavericks. Philosophy (conventional) becomes the means to make sense of what is already occurring, a manner to keep everyone calm and centered upon the practical business of living life, understood in the context of tradition though contingency, randomness, and the vicissitudes of free will. Religion is indeed the opiate of the masses, but to the extent that, as Giles Delueze might argue, knowledge of how this might be the case cannot and does not allow us to avoid its satiating glamour because within each attempt to overcome the oppressive and limiting aspects of our Leviathan, humanity functions to sedate itself through the very terms of its systemic freedom.

What is left is enacted by a contingent that, while recognizing the limits imposed and demanded, does not, as Zizek makes sense of the Buddhist philosophy of detachment, after all, totally comply with those limits, and indeed, lives a double life. Yet this one is not the conned apathetic agent of futility and happiness; on the contrary, it is the engaged and living aspect of the limitation itself.

There is a point, a moment, where Philosophy is split: one Philosophy continues in its traditionally real ontological approach and will see every discourse as a sign to be placed back into the correlational  (real) limit; the other Philosophy sees philosophical statements as the material of a science, as it begins to show what philosophical statements establish, what they do as objectival acts, as things in themselves, behaving in characteristic manners to establish typical situations, that can be identified and predicted along certain lines of purpose. 

This type of knowledge is deemed invalid in the narrative of reality despite every effort to validate it in narrative (the philosophical science is negated in the act of narrative) and so occupies a kind of knowledge that is usually categorized and classified as esoteric, but indeed is a science that is offensive to real agents of transcendence, which is to say, to practical reason. 

This situation always is the case (see my book “The Moment of Decisive Significance” for the description example) as history may be discerned along lines of the relationship of this polemical constant over the motions of ideological climate and of their reactionary politics. 

The Machine and Being: The Commons.

“We must situate what has been left out if we are ever to get anywhere beyond repeating the same old philosophical tropes.”


*note on the note: ‘They’ are those who are ‘in the commons’.



– The definition from the Digital Library of the Commons is; “the commons is a general term for shared resources in which each stakeholder has an equal interest”.
– A common is a shared resource managed by a community who create rules to make the resource durable. The resource can’t be monopolised by one or a group of individuals, it has to be as opened as possible. The resource is not private or public, it’s a third thing : a common.
– }

…But this also is not complete. We should at all times understand that this discussion has been made more than once, and by those who made it, we should assume that all the bases were covered, all aspects revealed and discussed. When we thus refer to the discussion, ‘it’, we also then cannot but remember that, strangely enough, not everything is expressed.

The discrepancy, or contradiction, evident in those conjoined sentences (just previous), thus reveals how it is possible that I might have something to say about it, since we have then the very essence of time (1) (Heidegger) played out through the stretch that occurs between any multiple of authors who had something to say about it. Further, we have an issue that arises when we consider that everything has been expressed in whichever discussion, but somehow not everything was expressed; this is the issue of the contemporary (2) because only the contemporary is able to view what has been said as, at once, describing the whole situation yet leaving something out. It is an issue of the contemporary because she does not make issue with what the other had to say, but only notices what he hasn’t said: Thus the issue of the condition of discourse (3) becomes salient. When we likewise reflect upon what is occurring, we cannot but help further notice that not everyone is privy to this view, but some are. The axis where this situation plays, what we can call the matrix that arises in the noticing of this strange situation, we call the point of contention (4), because it appears that though we might speak about it and describe it plainly, using the terms of the day and playing by the rules where by clausal structures relate definite meanings, the meaning is still not conveyed to most. One one axis (perhaps) we have the immature before the mature, and we cannot blame natural process for placing knowledge along whatever path of progress becomes each learner. On the other axis (perhaps) we have a more insidious situation because it has to do with what offends, and where offense might take place (Kierkegaard); we have the situation where the mere fact of being offended reveals a certain argumentative camp. We must situate such types within the continuum of consideration in order to be able to speak clearly about what is occurring, because there is no intension (Hursserl) to offend, but indeed such a discourse will offend certain types. It is the idea of intension where things often get fouled up.

Here then we come upon a term ‘conventional’ to describe that group who apparently cannot understand the simple meanings that are conveyed through the standard communicative medium of discourse. We thus come back around to a reason for why the term ‘common’ becomes so wonderful to indicate those who do not grasp the discussion that has already been had, nor that which is needing amendment, nor how the amendment is indeed amended to the previous and ongoing discussion, that is, over arguing with the points is has brought. Such a group are common because it is such a usual thing to place the varied elements and constituents of humanity in a hierarchical order of Being, that when someone describes this very situation to them in simple terms, terms which merely add to the discussions which have already occurred in total and describing every aspect of the situation at hand (5), the cannot but help themselves to view the description as a very complex thing, having so many aspects pro and con which can be tested by sematic meaning calculators that weigh importance within the hierarchy of meaningful ideas. They (common) simply do not (can not) see the simplicity, but must go through the hierarchy of semantic Being, (Foucault’s “order”), apply the complex functions of meaning to it in order to maybe get a glimpse at the initial simplicity of the whole situation and what has been occurring. This is the most common manner to approach knowledge as it is thereby (in the commons) already been categorized and classified into its semantic niches by the ‘identity machine’ that is the unreflected agent of faith involved with the unified reality of ideological religion (Deleuze) (belief and ‘unchosen thought-Being’)

As we have said, though, this is nothing new, but only an amendment to what has already been said in its completion about the whole of the situation. The amendment is to not figure into the automatic commonality that at one time we could call ‘reality’ and be working not only within but also toward a common human, but universal, purpose. Reality itself has become insufficient to contain the possibility of what exists, but has instead become a ‘unit’ of measure, a mode of classification, whereby knowledge may gain its quality of valid Being, such that what is common thus also defines which knowledge is valid (Lyotard), as well as through a kind of ‘established absence’ (subaltern; Spivak, after a manner) what now cannot be heard. What is ‘in the commons’, in this respect, marks a particular manner of understanding and processing things so that everyone can be included in the hierarchical ‘semantic’ universe and be put to good use with the best possibility for people not to question their situation: For the situation by this time has already included all the questions and supplied all the answers.

~{ this is all taken from my upcoming book ~ L.K. }

Again with this Love?

…Here Kate spells out the truth of Densher’s betrayal: he feels guilty, and refuses to profit from Milly’s death, not because he doesn’t love her and is for this reason unworthy of her gift, but because he does love her—not while she was alive, but from the moment she died.

— from “The Parallax View” by Slavoj Zizek used in the post by Neotenionos

The difficulty of speaking about love in the sense that Zizek wishes to convey in this segment is that the manner we have to use language is close to, what we can call, the point of contention in discourse. The meaning is quite similar to what Jaques Derrida attempts to convey, and even Theador Adorno, both who attempt to grant examples reflecting definitions in one setting. For conventional philosophers, it is that arena where ‘discourse’ begins to collapse into the space that brings an equanimity that is called demonic in one sense, and ridiculous in the next, nonsense to those worried about stature, and undifferentiated contradiction in still the next.

Where Zizek does succeed, though, is at remaining in the exact middle of what we could call, and as well locate through understanding the views inscribed by parallax, two states. The psychoanalytic of Lacan allows for an inscription upon the text of history; unfolding as contradiction (Adorno), Zizek represents an understanding that is repellant, or rather, that those who would understand him specifically or particularly are unable and indeed incapable of grasping, so offensive (Kierkegaard) to what we generally call the Real world. Zizek speaks, thus, the break, the gap, but in doing so manifests an historical-politcal moment that founds itself through the engagement with it (capitalism), since this engagement that does not see its own offense but instead understands the offense through the context of excess, perpetually finds itself drawn into this moment even as it resists and reestablishes its own mass (substance) and thus gravitas (objective identity).

We might see now where we are being lead even now.

We should not shy away from Francois Laruelle’s non-philosophy, and for a quite similar reason that we often confidently engage with Zizek even while we are effectively repelled. Slavoj does not often (at all?) engage with Laruelle, and the most probable reason is because Laruelle represents the explanation of the Hegel-Lacan-Zizek psychanalysis that effectively places it outside of the frame in which and through which Zizek works so fluently; the frame that most others think they can expose, confront, challenge and overcome through various agencies, Zizek knows is unassailable, yet he behaves concordant with the rules presented with any particular moment of how the frame is being challenged; he cannot but do so. This is the point that is so offensive.

The significance of this segment is in that Densher “refuses to profit from Milly’s death, not because he doesn’t love her…but because he does love her”. This is what is offensive to the conventionally oriented philosopher/critic. It is not that he is not choosing to profit; it is that due to his love that was not real love during her life, but only after, that by virtue of her sacrifice he is only able to love then, which is to say, because thereby does he realize how much she loved him. He there by is already sentenced, but it is a sentence that he suspected all along, and one that only now, once she dies, comes to fruition. The trauma of guilt is relieved by Kate helping him to be honest. He will be then the post-traumatic subject who no longer “lives” and yet is still alive, one who no longer ‘exists’ within the ethical confines that the love that was in bad faith had defined. He is thus free to love beyond the confines of ethics, his ‘punishment’ is that he cannot choose to escape this situation: He is free.

If Denser profits, then it is because he could do nothing else, thus, it is in effect no profit (profit depends upon the ability to notice a distinction, which needs a space for choice, a situation with excess, with room to move), and as well, a noticeable point of contradiction in the fabric of sensible (structural) space.