Žižek's New Universe of Discourse: Politics and the Discourse of the Capitalist


Authors
Levi Bryant
Loyola University, Chicago
Abstract
This paper argues that the thought of Lacan and Žižek are to be distinguished at the level of the formal structure of discourse. Although Žižek often situates his own theoretical project in terms of the discourse of the analyst, his work occupies an uneasy place in this position insofar as the discourse of the analyst is directed at the singularity of the subject’s symptom, rather than shared political causes. Drawing on his “Milan Discourse” where Lacan presents the discourse of the capitalist, this paper argues that Žižek discourse inhabits the universe of capitalism, rather than the universe of mastery. Through the development of a modified version of Lacan’s discourse of the capitalist, it is shown that it is possible to derive three additional discourses-- the discourses of biopower, immaterial labor, and critical theory --from the initial discourse of the capitalist. A psychoanalytic approach to these discourses using Lacanian discourse theory goes beyond standard accounts of biopolotical production and immaterial labor by revealing the function of the unconscious and real at work in these discourses, thereby opening new possibilities of engagement. Žižek’s theoretical project is shown to be an important cartography of this new universe of discourse, revealing both how the discourses inhabiting this universe contain certain constitutive deadlocks and devising strategies for engagement where the foe is no longer entirely clear
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Escatología y síntoma: un discurso que se incluye afuera.Óscar Rodríguez de Dios - 2011 - International Journal of Žižek Studies 5 (1):01-18.

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