In Less Than Nothing, the pinnacle publication of a distinguished career, Slavoj i ek argues that it is imperative that we not simply return to Hegel but that we repeat and exceed his triumphs, overcoming his limitations by being even more ...
Capitalist socialism? -- Crisis as shock therapy -- The structure of enemy propaganda -- Human, all too human-- -- The "new spirit" of capitalism -- Between the two fetishisms -- Communism, again! -- The new enclosure of the commons -- Socialism or communism? -- The "public use of reason" -- --in Haiti -- The capitalist exception -- Capitalism with Asian values-- in Europe -- From profit to rent -- "We are the ones we have been waiting for.".
If the radical moment of the inauguration of modern philosophy is the rise of the Cartesian cogito, where are we today with regard to cogito? Are we really entering a post-Cartesian era, or is it that only now our unique historical constellation enables us to discern all the consequences of the cogito? The paper deals extensively with these questions on topics introduced by Catherine Malabou's Les nouveaux blessés (The New Wounded). Malabou proposed a critical reformulation of psychoanalysis, her starting point (...) being external shocks, brutal unexpected encounters or intrusions, due their properly traumatic impact on the way they touch a pre-existing traumatic "psychic reality". Malabou's basic reproach to Freud is that, when confronted with such cases, he succumbs to the temptation of meaning: he is not ready to accept the direct destructive efficiency of external shocks – they destroy the psyche of the victim (or, at least, wound it in an unredeemable way) without resonating in any inner traumatic truth. These cases of post-traumatic subjects show that if we take the "stories they are telling itself about itself," the narrative symbolic texture, away, something (or, rather nothing, a form of nothing) remains, which is nothing but the pure subject of the death drive. This is an idea of cogito at its purest, its "degree zero," and this is also the reason why today we so adamantly resist the spectre of cogito. (shrink)
Presents collected writings of Slavoj Zizek - one of the world's leading contemporary cultural commentators. Drawing upon a range of his prolific output, the articles here cover psychoanalysis, philosophy and popular culture.
There are not only true or false solutions, there are also false questions. The task of philosophy is not to provide answers or solutions, but to submit to critical analysis the questions themselves, to make us see how the very way we perceive a problem is an obstacle to its solution. This holds especially for today’s public debates on ecological threats, on lack of faith, on democracy and the “war on terror”, in which the “unknown knowns”, the silent presuppositions we (...) are not aware of, determine our acts. (shrink)
The text focuses on the different roles played by the void with regard to desire and to drive: although, in both cases, the invested object is objet petit a as the primordially lost object, the object which gives body to a void, desire remains caught in the infinite search for the lost object, while drive directly targets the loss as such. The turn from desire to drive is thus the turn from the lost object to the loss itself as "object".
The latest book by the Slovenian critic Slavoj Zizek takes the work of French philosopher Gilles Deleuze as the beginning of a dazzling inquiry into the realms of radical politics, philosophy, film (Hitchcock, Fight Club ), and psychoanalysis. Of Organs without Bodies Joan Copjec ( Imagine There's No Woman ) has written: "With all his ususal humor and invention, Zizek -- the acknowledged master of the 180 degree turn -- here takes a trip into "enemy" territory to deliver Deleuze of (...) a marvelously rebellious child, one that seriously challenges Deleuze's other progeny with a surprising but convincing bid for succession. Those who thought Deleuze's forward march into the future would follow a straight path are forced to rethink their stance. From now on all readings of Deleuze will have to take a detour through this important -- even necessary -- book." Eric Santner ( On the Psychopathology of Everyday Life ) describes Organs without Bodies as offering "an entirely new degree of conceptual clarity and political urgency. Through his deep engagement with the logic of Deleuze's project, Zizek opens up new possibilities of thought beyond the terms of the current political debates on globalization, democratization, war on terror. Once again, Zizek has produced an utterly timely and radically untimely meditation." Recently profiled in The New Yorker , and hailed by the Village Voice as "the giant of Ljubljana," Zizek is one of the most provocative and entertaining thinkers at work today. (shrink)
In his formidable Transcritique: On Kant and Marx, Kojin Karatani endeavors to assert the critical potential of an in-between stance which he calls the “parallaxview”: when confronted with an antinomic stance, in the precise Kantian sense of the term, one should renounce all attempts to reduce one aspect to the other. One should, on the contrary, assert antinomy as irreducible, and conceive the point of radical critique not as a certain determinate position as opposed to another position, but as the (...) irreducible gap between the positions themselves, the purely structural interstice between them. Kant’s stance is thus “to see things neither from his own viewpoint, nor from the viewpoint of others, but to face the reality that is exposed through difference (parallax).” What Kant does is to change the very terms of the debate; his solution—the transcendental turn—is unique in that it first rejects any ontological closure: it recognizes a certain fundamental and irreducible limitation (“finitude”) of the human condition, which is why the two poles, rational and sensual, active and passive, cannot ever be fully mediated—reconciled. And, according to Karatani, Marx, in his “critique of political economy,” when faced with the opposition of the “classical” political economy and the neo-classic reduction of value to a purely relational entity without substance, accomplished exactly the same breakthrough toward the “parallax” view: he treatedthis opposition as a Kantian antinomy, i.e., value has to originate outside circulation, in production, and in circulation. (shrink)
Two topics determine today's liberal tolerant attitude towards Others: the respect of Otherness and the obsessive fear of harassment: the Other is OK insofar as its presence is not intrusive, insofar as the Other is not really Other. The central human right in late-capitalist society, namely the right to be free from all harassment by the Other including the violent imposition of ethical norms, contrasts sharply with the violent imposition of divine Mosaic law – the Decalogue – from which the (...) idea of human rights ultimately derives. The underlying discursive shift can be analyzed with the help of Lacan: the discourse of the Master had been replaced by university discourse. While the Master's decision is per se violent, university discourse is enunciated from the position of neutral Knowledge. The truth of the university discourse is power: the constitutive lie of the university discourse is that it disavows its performative dimension, presenting what effectively amounts to a political decision based on power as a simple insight into the factual state of things. (shrink)
The texts selected here present the entire scope of the Lacan debate, from the late 1970s through the present. Focusing on the four principal domains of Lacan's influence--psychoanalytic theory and practice, philosophy, social sciences, and cultural studies, this set includes a new introduction by the editor and a thorough index.
Slavoj Žižek argues that Rand's fascination for male figures displaying absolute, unswayable determination of their Will, seems to offer the best imaginable confirmation of Sylvia Plath's famous line, "every woman adores a Fascist." But the properly subversive dimension of Rand's ideological procedure is not to be underestimated: Rand fits into the line of c overconformist' authors who undermine the ruling ideological edifice by their very excessive identification with it. Her over-orthodoxy was directed at capitalism itself; for Rand, the truly heretic (...) thing today is to embrace the basic premise of capitalism without its sugar-coating. (shrink)
What happens to our supposedly atheistic, secular beliefs when they meet the internet, consumerism and New Age mysticism? Zizek, the renowned philosopher and cultural critic, shows in his controversial and witty new book that, despite postmodern warnings that belief is groundless, we are secretly believers. From "cyberspace reason" to the paradox of "Western Buddhism," On Belief traces the contours of the often unconscious beliefs that structure our daily experience.