April 20, 2008

More Copjec and Laclau (fifth in a series on drive) Laclau is quite explicit about the relation between his discussion of hegemony and Copjec's discussion of drive. The problem, though, is that there seems to be a difference between these discussions that Laclau doesn't acknowledge. He writes: The logic of objet petit a and the hegemonic logic are not just similar: they are identical. For him, the 'logic of objet petit a' seems to mean "making an object the embodiment of a mythical fullness." This seems to overlap with the idea of the elevation of the object to the dignity of the Thing. But that Lacanian notion remains vague and indistinct, hovering between the logic of desire and the logic of drive. Laclau writes: The aspiration to that fullness or wholeness does not, however, simply disappear; it is transferred to partial objects which are the objects of the drives. In political terms, that is exactly what I have called a hegemonic relation: a certain particularity which assumes the role of an impossible universality. . . . With this we reach a full explanation of what radical investment means: making an object the embodiment of a mythical fullness. Affect (that is, enjoyment) is the very essence of investment, while its contingent character accounts for the 'radical' component of the formula. I will leave to the side a discussion of how affect and enjoyment are not, strictly speaking, synonymous. What interests me here is that Copjec does not say that in drive an aspiration is transferred. She writes: The partial object or...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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