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January 17, 2008

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anonymous

I have to say, right off the bat, that Zizek really needs to do his homework. As one who has read him of and on for ten years, he doesn't seem to do any research to ensure the validity of his claims. All one would have to do is pick up an issue of the Economist or read a Financial Times columnists to see that the term "capitalism" is quite frequently used. What of all the talk of "authoritarian capitalism" lately? I increasingly think that he's become a buffoon. In fact, I want to say that at one point earlier in his writings that he referred to the fact that it was only after the triumph of capitalism over communism in 1989 that the term "capitalism" could safely be used again by social scientists and political theorists.

Jodi

"buffoon" strikes me as wrong, not to mention inappropriate. Rush Limbaugh is a buffoon, not Zizek. Additionally, that sort of dismissive remark is insulting without shedding any insight into why the person deserves to be insulted; it's a term of derision, not critique that says more about the person using it than the person to whom it is applied.

Bryan Klausmeyer

Jodi--

I haven't read the entire article yet, but just looking at the clip of text you posted, I don't understand how that insinuates a stance that is in favor of "Inclusion."

>In short, without the antagonism between the Included and the Excluded, we may well find ourselves in a world in which Bill Gates is the greatest humanitarian fighting against poverty and diseases, and Rupert Murdoch the greatest environmentalist mobilizing hundreds of millions through his media empire.

I think the key word here is "antagonism." The emancipatory political position is opened up precisely in the space between the binary between "inclusion" and "exclusion." I don't see how it differs from his "Leninist" stance (in the sense that Zizek evokes Lenin)

... but I would definitely be open to my being wrong.

Jodi

If class struggle has been the name for the fundamental antagonism in the past (and sexual difference as well) then there is a profound shift in saying that inclusion/exclusion names the antagonism. My point is that this division in no way opens up an emancipatory political position but is in fact defeatist, accepting the conventional democratic rules of the game. "exclusion" is the negative side of the division/"inclusion" the positive. In previous work, Zizek has been explicit about the necessity of a partisan position, political division. To rally around 'inclusion' is not the same as rallying around the proletariat--they want more than inclusion; their problem is more than exclusion--it's the system as a whole.

Honestly, do you think the Z sentence you quote makes sense? Is it the antagonism between included and excluded that enables us to recognize that Gates is not the greatest humanitarian? Or is it something more akin to the fundamental economic division that class struggle names?

Bryan Klausmeyer

After reading the article, it seems pretty clear that the "Excluded" stands precisely for the "new proletarian":

>So what if the new proletarian position is that of the inhabitants of slums in the new megalopolises?

>While today's society is often characterized as the society of total control, slums are the territories within a state boundaries from which the state (partially, at least) withdrew its control, territories which function as white spots, blanks, in the official map of a state territory.

>it is only the reference to those Excluded, to those who dwell in the blanks of the State space, that enables true universality.

I think you misunderstood me. First, I see no mention in his essay of rallying around "Inclusion." Moreover, if the above example indicates that the "Excluded" refers to today's "new proletarian" (the slum dwellers 'not on the map'), then I don't see how this essay doesn't refer to class struggle, except that it modifies Marx's terms to include the premise of there now being "new forms of apartheid, new Walls and slums."

I think the conclusion is a bit overstated and sloppy, just like the writing of the article as a whole, but my main question for you is this: how does the antagonism between the Included and Excluded not refer in any way to class conflict? Over the past several decades, I think there's been a noticeable shift in the way state policy works: it's no longer legitimate for bourgeois leadership to "believe" in national identity, since they've all "deconstructed" it. The post-political trend relies more and more on state differences based on GDP per capita, annual import/export, integration into global financial institutions, etc. So, for example, a union between Mexico and America isn't rejected by today's technocratic leadership because of America's "ineffable national identity," but instead on financial issues (currency and the aforementioned, etc. etc.). Thus, the terms of globalization renegotiate the old "nation-state" system by more and more "excluding" those who do not fit in with the "financial identity" of those "included."

My other question for you is: where in the article does Z suggest that the "Excluded" masses should seek to become "Included"? The most bizarre part of the essay that I noticed was this little piece:

>So where do we stand today with regard to communism? The first step is to admit that the solution is not to limit the market and private property by direct interventions of the State and state ownership. The domain of State itself is also in its own way "private": private in the precise Kantian sense of the "private use of Reason" in State administrative and ideological apparatuses...

This is strange because it ostensibly contradicts his response to Simon Crichtley's Infinitely Demanding in the London Review of Books.

(Hopefully this post isn't too excessive)

Amish Lovelock

1. I'm sure that only a few years ago he mentioned, along with others, that Capitalism as a word was back.
2. Does the mobilization of communism within different "frames" from those of the past constitute an "alternate modernity"?
3. Agreed. Why the Excluded/Included thing? I don't get it.

Bryan Klausmeyer

I think it means that the "Included" will have to buy his new book to find out.

Jodi

I'm arguing that Zizek's shift of terms to inclusion/exclusion is a bad change. To refer to slum dwellers as the excluded makes it seem as if they should be or need to be included. This is not just an innocent reformulating of class struggle. It's a reformulation in fundamental mainstream democratic terms. So, I think his shift to inclusion/exclusion actually results in a rallying around inclusion. He may not say that directly. I'm claiming that it is the implication of his emphasis on inclusion/exclusion. So, I would still say that the way you describe inclusion/exclusion above is actually not helpful--there are multiple more accurate and political ways to think about how people(s) are linked to some systems, remaindered out of others, conditions for some, products of others, etc.

If this inclusion/exclusion would be the mobilization of communism in an 'alternate modernity' then it is an alternate that is a bad alternative, a terrible, depoliticizing compromise.

Next thing you know Zizek will ask how come no one talks about democracy anymore.

Barret

I'd say you are right Jodi. Perhaps it is useful to think about Zizek's critique of Critchley, particularly Zizek's call to "do nothing" as opposed to contributing (quoting Badiou) "to the invention of formal ways of rendering visible that which Empire already recognizes as existent" (Parallax View, 334). Z's theory of political action at the end of the Parallax is far more compelling than the trap of universal inclusion...

Brad

But the "Inclusion" that Zizek (and Ranciere) are talking about isn't about a democratic assimilation -- whereby everybody becomes included in the Whole. If anything, it disrupts any possibility of the Whole by delegitimizing its claim to being essential & natural.

Barret

You could be right Brad, but I think the problem is that the idea of 'inclusion' is not an empty signifier in this case.

Jodi

to assert the part that's no part is, to my mind, not the same as viewing inclusion/exclusion as the fundamental antagonism. The part that's no part may be 'no part' not because it is excluded; it's outsideness would have to be understood within a different rubric/frame. and, it is this very difference that disrupts the inclusion/exclusion binary.

I agree with Barret that inclusion is not an empty signifier in this case.

and, what if we think about the feminine formulate of sexuation? non-all breaks completely with a masculine logic of the whole and it's constituent exception.

Brad

But the "Excluded," as I understand Zizek (certainly his reading of Ranciere), is not a constituent exception, and in fact functions along the same lines as the non-all. I just don't see a huge departure here.

For Ranciere, when a slave claims freedom, it is an immediate claim devoid of any justification. In such a claim, the slave insists that the correlation between social position/role and natural capacity is purely theatrical, and thus artificial to the core. Zizek would seem to run with this in the same way I have: by exposing the duplicity at the heart of the political community we should not mistake the slave’s egalitarian claim to freedom as an unmasking of truth. Here, the claim to self-creativity (a kind of "inclusion," I suppose, but not the liberal-humanist variety, exposes the masquerade of the political community as such in order that it might become a masquerade par excellence (back to the feminine formulate of sexuation). That is to say, not the truth behind the masquerade, but the truth of the masquerade, i.e., its singularly and necessarily arbitrary nature. Inasmuch as they speak forth themselves as free, the slave/excluded do so only by knowingly speaking forth a lie -- the lie of "inclusion."

Brad

I should point, out, too ... I agree w/ you, Jodi. The "part that is no part" does require a different rubric. But the point of my last comment is that the relationship between "Included" / "Excluded" set forth in Ranciere & Zizek is not strictly binary.

peBird

Jodi - your response to this article surprises me - I've spent a couple of days reading the article and re-reading your post and comments and I am still baffled.

I don't believe that positing an Included/Excluded necessarily means that the "solution" is to include into the existing political process. Of course, that is an impossible demand - so I see your point, but I don't believe Z states that directly. The question for me: does Z imply and/or his argument lead to the position of solution = including the excluded. I'm not sure that it does.

I think he is pointing to something different - that the space is a point of antagonism and that revolutionary political potential is situated with these people, and this is a historical situation that needs attention.

..."the principal task of the XXIth century is to politicize - organize and discipline - the "de-structured masses" of slum-dwellers" - I don't see this as a call to "include" the excluded. Is that what Chavez has accomplished - he is really a liberal democrat in disguise?

I believe there is another point to the article - that as this crisis of late global capital deepens and encroaches on the privileged countries - there is an ideological attempt to 'categorize' the crisis: 1) ecological, 2) property, 3) technical and 4) separation/apartheid/include/exclude.

Of these, Z argues that the fourth will be least amenable to ideological manipulation and is the site with the most potential for disruptive change. In fact, he notes that there is a possibility that the Included will become "conscious" of a threat by the polluting Excluded - with horrifying implications.

Adam Kotsko

You denounced "guilt by association" attacks when Zizek said that discipline wasn't the sole property of fascists -- but now you're upset that he's using the same terminology as liberals? Your reaction is especially strange given that he's clearly inverting the standard usage: the point isn't to "include" the Excluded in liberal universality, but to assert the Excluded as directly embodying the true universality. And incidentally, he's been working with this notion for at least a few years now, so it's strange to me that you're painting this article as some kind of break.

Jodi

Adam,

first, discipline has never been a sole or primary characteristic of fascism for anyone; so your point here makes no sense.

second, upset is the wrong term; I simply think Zizek is wrong and that he is undercutting his own best insights.

third, I don't think he is 'inverting standard useage' at all--hence the point of my criticism; if one is already working with a conception of the universal as the truth of a partisan position, which Zizek generally does, then the binary inclusion/exclusion is irrelevant--there is always exclusion, it is hardly fundamental for anything.

I don't know where he has been working with the set inclusion/exclusion 'for a couple of years'--I don't recall it figuring in Parallax View, his last major work.

PE Bird: inclusion/exclusion can be understood in different ways. Is it descriptive? Is it conceptual? I think it is wrong on both counts. Slum dwellers are not well described as 'excluded'.

So, conceptually, does it help to think about them in this way, does it allow for a better kind of politicization? I say no--for one, it seems like Marcuse's appeal to the third world and unaligned people etc; for another, what sort of struggle is implicated here? if one's position is that the current setting is already one with various fields and levels of zoning, visibility, control, surveillance, privilege, freedom, domination, etc, then reducing the struggle to a mythic front or terrain from which some are excluded is unhelpful, to say the least.

neil

It's good to see people make clear the points of contact between Zižek and Rancière, especially given Zižek’s summary account of Rancière’s thought in 'The Politics of Aesthetics' and the parallel trajectories in Rancière’s 'Hatred of Democracy' and Zižek’s essay in his Robespierre book.

Reading the initial post, I was confused: did Jodi’s negative assessment of inclusion refer to the ‘bad’ Included, i.e., some cosmopolitan ideal of indentitarian equivalence and infantile faith in political economic neoliberalism (which seems as 'contra Zižek' as possible); or the 'good' Included, which is the premised on the momentary granting of inclusion from the exclusion of the Excluded, where democracy is always an empty space, where the meritless/surnumerary/part-of-no-part intervene politically into the field of police discourse, state power, sovereign power, etc.

I was left wondering whether Jodi was either:

1. deriding the ‘bad’ Included - a position which seemed both like a simplification and missing the point; it seemed to me that this was not the direction of Zižek’s adherence to Included.

2. deriding the ‘good’ Included produced by the Act, the event, the entry into the empty space that is the default universal (and hence potential promise) of democratic politics - if Jodi was deriding this, then I’d be interested to hear why.

I don't think Zižek ever intended to invoke the ‘bad’ Included. I think Jodi’s assessment was based on the first distinction; it seems that she reads Zižek as advocating for the ‘bad’ Included. I think she missed the point.

In the Violence/Ecology piece, Zižek’s first mention of Included refers to “inclusion”, namely Chavez’s capacity to harness the politicization of Venezuela’s 'proletariat' in its sovereign moment of dictatorship. Suggesting that Chavez induced this movement is mystification; that the mobilization and intervention by the part-of-no-part was merely result of being duped by a strong man seems equally hard to take. That said, how the situation has played out from those germinal moments remains open to debate.

My point – as made by several folks above – is simply that Zižek’s first employment of inclusion (as Included) in the piece refers to a pragmatic entry into a space that is always empty, from which a people, 'the people', or any people are always-already Excluded.

Of course, for all of this to be so, one subscribes to Zižek’s conception of sovereignty and biopolitical power.

All that said, I support Jodi’s suggestions about side-stepping the sovereignty of the inside/outside distinction itself, especially regarding the singular capacities of communities to organize and self-organize. This relates to a political potentiality (or actualization of the virtual, i.e. "something" is always there) before any particular orientation around sovereignty as such and beyond the assignment and distribution of registers and relays that determine what is visible, sensible, or intelligible.

[note: For what it’s worth I think De Landa's ideas on 'neoassemblage theory' - throughout his work and in his notion of a new philosophy of society – could offer a trajectory in this direction. The empty space of democracy, within which the Excluded are momentarily Included for the duration of the political Act, can be conceptualized as a universal singularity or chaotic attractor. The resurgence of systems theory and the travel of complexity theory and ecology into the humanities has allowed for interesting theorization of certain social and political questions. Zižek himself deployed quantum physics beyond mere explanatory metaphor in his book on Schelling.]

As well, I wonder if Jodi’s ideas about Rancière’s Habermasian tendencies will be further revealed?

chakira

The reason Mr Zizek thinks that it is ok to make a dichotomy of inclusion exclusion is because he has been influenced by close friend and drinking buddy Alain Badiou who has recently been focusing on just this dichotomy. Badiou in several speeches explicitly uses this dichotomy, as well as named/unnamed and counted/uncounted as a way to subvert his earlier ethics of continuing and say that there needs to be some kind of radical praxis beyond what gibson and other badiou interlocutors see as "watching."
I think for Slavoj there is the additional element of his Delueze plagarism: Bartleby politics of passivity. Which leads him to believe that hey, he can BE for the OTHER as long as he is lazy. Bartleby, overread by Deleuze and buddies, is about someone in an office breaking out of said office. In the end it is the drama of counting/not counting and Zizek merely answers with a praxis reflective of his own ironic laziness.
My solution: time to open up more radically reductionist texts and realize that its not about including the excluded as much as excluding the included.

Amish Lovelock

He's definetely not looking to include the excluded. Although a "part of no part," or more rigorous "excluded in order to assure the possibility of their inclusion" or vice versa version of "the Excluded" would have settled everyone's tummies in retrospect.

Then again, as Brad and others have insisted, this "notion he's been working on over the past couple of years," lies in the Ranciere connection. Not a constitutional exception but more of an axiom running against the notion of Exclusion/Inclusion as the paradigmatic norm of politics (I'm still not quite sure as to how this position of masquerade as the Included by the Excluded amounts to anything other than a kind of "part of no part" position. They seem to be just two ways of saying the same sort of thing in a different idiom).

Anyway the initial problems seem to have been solved, right?

p.s. Putting the Inclusion/Exclusion thing to one side I'll rephrase my question above: Is communism an "alternate modernity"?

Teo

(1) I agree with Jodi that the criteria by which Z's ideas should be measured is effective politicization.

(2) At a political plane, I don't think excluded-included as a frame of analysis is appropriate to understanding the situation of slum dwellers. It is too rigid, does not permit an understanding of the ways these people are making and re-making their and our worlds.

(3)I think Z can say that he is not arguing for the inclusion of the excluded. If that is the case, this particular analysis is a legitimate target of his "Leninism" -- coordinates that must be transcended, changed or done away with so that we can move forward.

Nathan

I am indeed sympathetic towards jodi's analysis--especially the way she contends with Zizek's use of Excluded/Included language, but I suspect Zizek is simply speaking the language of the enemy so as to repress his "part of no part position" (I am indebted to Lovelock's insight here).

I heard an interesting "narrative" from a family friend a couple of months ago which, to my mind, addresses an element of our current language impasse.

The city of San Francisco has a clandestine operation that collects, in effect, unwanted or undesirable subjects and ships them to Merced, a small agricultural town approx 115 miles east of San Fran. This peculiar invisible policy renders problematic the (empty) signifier 'slum dwellers.' From this vantage point the term slum dwellers is increasingly becoming an empty signifier for both social agents already injected within the coordinates of said term as well as for the dominant social group. What if we were to suppose that the Tenderloin District in San Fran (notoriously known as the worst district in the city) makes use of binary logic so as to be heard and to thereby symbolically get rid of its own exclusionary excess so as to stifle the 'capitalist logic of enclosure' via City/State violence?


visiter

I think that Bryan, PeBird, etc are right. Jodi's reading seems too quick. I didn't think that Z's argument implied 'rallying around inclusion' at all. Instead I understood it as premised on the claim that inclusion/exclusion is THE constitutive antagonism of our time. So, yes, indeed, I think that this is his translation of class conflict. So, in response to the questionss:

"Honestly, do you think the Z sentence you quote makes sense? Is it the antagonism between included and excluded that enables us to recognize that Gates is not the greatest humanitarian? Or is it something more akin to the fundamental economic division that class struggle names?"

I think that Z's answer would be yes to both of them. It is only if everyone is 'included' ideologically (ie: merely abstractly) that Gates appears as the greatest humanitarian. For this to fully make sense you have to remember that Zizek rejects humanitarianism as the nice face of capital. For Z, I think this is inspired in part by the Marxist idea of abstract equality in bourgeois legal order, where class conflict becomes the name for hidden antagonism of concrete inequality. And then of course his reading of political theology further complicates his idea.

Rob

"Part of the political potential of slums is neither that they are spaces excluded from state control (and hence radically free) nor that they are spaces of despair the only hope for which is inclusion into the state. Rather, the political potential rests, first, in the ways that the massive numbers of people dwelling in slums disrupt the most basic suppositions of capitalism (the formation of multiple different kinds of economic arrangements and practices) and, second, the ways that slums subvert the simple political binary of inside and outside. "

fantastically well-put, Jodi

Adam Kotsko

So the "part of no part" has no relation whatsoever to the "excluded"?

Jodi

Thanks, Rob.

'has no relation whatsoever' is not the question; the question is whether the conceptual pair inclusion/exclusion are merely another way of getting at the same point. My argument is that they are not another way of getting at the same point and that they move the discussion in a conventional direction as well as fail theoretically and descriptively when linked to slums and slum dwellers.

there are various ways to think of 'part of no part'--like Agamben's remnant (non non-Jew). What about non-non slum dwellers? This is preferable to a tired opposition between included and excluded.

Navid Nak

This reply has nothing to do with Zizek's post-structuralist thought, but rather on the point that he makes between consumption/politics.

As I live in Oakland, I take the BART (SF-Bay Area multi-city underground) to school (to Downtown Berkeley). Glazened on the walls of both the 19th Street BART station and the downtown Berkeley station are ads for Credo mobile (website: credomobile.com). There ads are something witty like

"I'll see you this week/end the war" (with juxtaposed colors for each sides and with week-end connected)"

Their ads don't say anything about pricing and only make these cute play of words. Nonetheless, they promise to donate 1% of yr bill to whatever cause you choose (like Amnesty Int'l, Greenpeace, ACLU, global fund for women, etc.)

The point of this comment is to add to the idea that Zizek makes about consumption and politics become merged.

From the view of intellectual history, was it not the Miltonites who first inspired people to speak about "pocketbook activism"? They, however, saw it as a negative act- a boycott of a corporation for its bad behavior. Zizek points to a positive act, where you support/reinforce a company for its good behavior of its employees/good products for the environment. This, in a weird way, is, taking that to another level, no?

Battleofthegiants

Just as a note on Z's sources, in _Parallax..._ he cites Mike Davis' "Planet of Slums": http://newleftreview.org/A2496 Aparently it's also a book. A gander at this may answer a few questions as to how Z is thinking the Favelas(etc).

Second, it's maybe also helpful to look at how Marx described the proletariat:

"A class must be formed that has radical chains, a class in civil society which is not of civil society, a class which is the dissolution of all classes, a sphere of society which has a universal character because its sufferings are universal..., which is, in short, a total loss of humanity and which can only redeem itself by a total redemption of humanity. This dissolution of society, as a particular class, is the proletariat" (quoted in the editor's introduction to The German Ideology, 13).

Although Marx was talking about the working class, I guess the question is: do the people living in the world's slums match the 'letter' of this description? In his paper-fight with Laclau in Critical Inquiry, Z argues that whether Marx meant to or not, he made an implicit destinction between 'universal class' and proletariat...

Battleofthegiants

er... that should read "working class" and "Proletariat".

Jodi

On Davis--I posted a short response to his book here and at Long Sunday on March 29, 2006.

Davis, in the book on slums, draws from the UN Report on Human Settlements (which I've also discussed here). What gets lost from the report, through, Davis, and then with Zizek, is the diversity among and within slums. In some instances, what was once a slum, is now valuable property occupied by successful entrepreneurs. A (too) simple distinction in the report is between slums of despair and slums of hope; there are differences with respect to political organization, relations to capital, etc. For example: is a 'solution' to the 'problems' of 'slum dwellers' (as if they were a class) a right to own the property they occupy, a kind of title? Or does this further a particular vision of neoliberalism? Similarly, should slumdwellers be counted or is this a nascent form of state control? Basically, it is possible to imagine the 'redemption' of slumdwellers that is not the 'redemption' of humanity.

Also, the location where one dwells does not determine whether one is in a class.

Battleofthegiants

Sure, location doesn't determine class, but there is definitely a correlation between a factory (vs. an office), one's place in it, and one's class. Same goes for people addicted to drugs in Vancouver (being pushed to Hastings Street), or a large section of the homeless people in Toronto (Sherbourne and Dundas streets): the police forced the former where they are, and the latter are in a certain section of town because they've been squeezed out of other places (i.e. they can’t afford to be anywhere else). Conversely, of course, you don’t see many working class people working or living in expensive neighbourhoods or working in the financial district…

And, of course, Sherbourne and Dundas (Toronto) is quickly gentrifying, so it's not simply a homogenous population: there are also lots of expensive houses and businesses moving in because everything is so cheap... so soon the indigent will be forced to move elsewhere. Similar goes for Hastings (Vancouver): It’s right below and China Town, and these two populations bleed into each other. That doesn’t mean that these groups do not have different ways of making money, surviving, etc. They still have a lot in common in terms of their political and economic standing.

What I’m trying to get to is that 1) no, place doesn’t determine class, but there’s a strong relation; and 2) heterogeneity of the slums also goes for 'working class' - they were never a homogenous group (and still aren't), nor do they all have the same relation to capital, even just at the level of unionization (the strength of certain unions to get certain concessions where others can’t; many aren’t unionized, ‘business unionism’ vs ‘social unionism’, union officials becoming parliamentarians, etc). I don’t think that diminishes Marx’s observation about the potential of the working class.

So, there are certainly divisions in the slums, but is it not possible to consider the people in them as having far more in common politically and economically with each other than with the people who live in the cities that surround them, just as working class people’s interests - while very different between themselves - are more closely associated than with those of the owners of capital?

(Hence the need for Lenin to denounce ‘opportunism’ – sure Auto workers can gain concessions from their employers, but if they worked with all unions and in the interest of all working people they could smash capitalism, rather than just ameliorating their particular relation to capital).

But back to the slums: In Parallax.. Zizek notes that the slums are, perhaps, an ‘evental site’ – which is of course a reference to the potential for an ‘event’, which has nothing to do with inclusion, but the potential for the total reorganization of society via something that looks like revolution. I.e. creating a ‘new state of the situation’ that has nothing to do with the old. Of course it’s possible to think of a bettering of the slum dwellers’ lives within capitalism and liberalism, just as workers after WWII saw their living and working conditions bettered considerably. But I think what Zizek is pointing to is the potential for them to revolt against the economic forces that put them in the situation they’re in, and make that system and attendant social organization disappear.

On another note, (perhaps it’s too late to respond to this person’s post): the notion of ‘event’ was not plagiarized from Deleuze by Badiou. It, of course, comes from Heidegger (and I’m sure other places) and Derrida also talks about the event. Zizek even thinks that Lukacs has something akin to it (‘Augenblick’). All four talk about it in very different ways. And so too is Zizek’s version (the “Act”) very different.

And to say that “Bartleby” is a do-nothing or lazy philosophy is to confuse Bartleby with Hegel’s “Beautiful Soul”: The BS thinks it is outside of everything, and can exclude itself from what’s going on. In Zizek’s ontological view of the world, all subjects are part of the world, and as such it’s impossible NOT to act (Likewise, the ‘excluded’ is not ‘outside’, but constitutively embedded in ‘the situation’). That is, the refusal to do something is also an act. When you consider that right at the beginning, in The Sublime Object of Ideology, Zizek says that ideology is not in the thinking but in the acting, then to stop doing is a way of being political. (I.e. if I don’t act as if money is magic, then it ceases to be magic and ceases to work. If I merely THINK it’s not magic, but act as if it is, I fully believe in its magical properties, and it effectively has them…) And, of course, accomplishing this sort of “Act” it’s not just a means of stepping into an ‘empty place’ where everyone is ‘included’, but into a place where it’s possible to ‘sublimate’ – i.e. create something totally new, something outside capitalist/liberal-democracy.

Battleofthegiants

(sorry): By 'hese groups do not have different ways of making money, surviving, etc.' I mean the homeless in Toronto and the people addicted to drugs in Vancouver...

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