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A Touch More On Žižek

I was reading over at No Useless Leniency and it got me thinking about the “use” of Žižek, the place for his revelations. This was my response to these thoughts, which flowed from yesterday’s post, and the comments that followed; this a product of his thinking sitting within me for some time now, for much more than a decade. Unfortunately this sounds more bloggish than my usual entries, but it is worth posting:

I have to say that the “There is no Other of the Other” as a teaspoon of medicine works quite well, helping one see the nature of any manifestation of The Great Oz, but when you realize that the Other of the suturing Other is a necessary illusionary fold in a social field, the full weight of this critique becomes difficult to balance. As someone strummed and banged, “Meet the new boss…”

What concerns me is that such King-stripping contains its own satisfactions, its own perverse little joy of “ah ha!” or “gotcha!” which is one of the immense pleasures of reading Zizek as he performs his psychoanalytic Judo again again and again like a sociological master. We see the flips, but what about his ground-game, who is going to tap-out from the ideological arm-bar?

Don’t get me wrong, Zizek is a sheer pleasure for the contemplating, but I think I can sense of what makes him perpetually disappointed with his followers (without analyzing him). There is indeed the pleasure of interpretation, which makes his readings of films most satisfying, setting the battlefield upon every aesthetic surface. This is a good thing. But it seems that Zizek feels a vital connection to his conclusions, his opera, that has an immediacy that others simply cannot match.

This makes me feel that the path to “genuine” revolution, even that advocated by Zizek, is of the microscopic kind, the affective body-building of organizing powers which do not benefit so much from the Oz-defying adage “There is no Other of the Other” or even more enjoyably, “(M)Other”. One wonders if the phenomena of Zizek itself is best understood within a communitarian sense of constructive values, rather than in the ultimate satisfactions of the interpretive revelations that he champions. This is not to say that tracing the reservoirs of “enjoyment” cannot be a very good means of measuring social discourse and construction. Every objection to the claims of others seems to contain some element of an unstated objection to their hidden enjoyments. I think it wise to see that the organization of enjoyment is a primary guide to organizations of shared perceptions and actions. But dunotarian proclivities, it seems, could be folded into larger conceptions of constructive agency and action. Is our fundamental realization supposed to be that we are locked in a red room? Is this the limits of our discursive and bodily imagination?

 

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