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Posts Tagged ‘Zizek’

The Greece election through the prism of world history

June 19, 2012 Leave a comment

I have been reading Stathis Gourgouris “A Quick Assessment of the Electoral Situation”, which is a very interesting take on the outcome of the election in Greece. It is interesting because, for some reason, Gourgouris wants to analyze the events solely within the realm of politics; which is to say he places the events in Greece entirely within the limits of a dying domestic parliamentary democracy. No doubt most people see this as a mere “election outcome”, so the piece is useful in that sense as meaningful political analysis; but it is also disappointing as it brings nothing new to the table. For me, it is an example of mainstream punditry worming its way into social criticism — focusing our attention precisely on the least important aspect of what has occurred.

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Professor Kliman’s “Radical” Critique of David Graeber and the Occupy Movement

May 5, 2012 44 comments

Or, why Zizek believed, ‘We must not succumb to the temptation to act’

Between Kliman’s critique of the Occupy movement, Ollman’s critique of Marx on working class consciousness and Zizek’s critique of Negri, I notice something of a pattern. Ollman in his piece, which I examined in my last blog, argues “between determining conditions and determined response is the class consciousness of the actors”. Action without this class consciousness is insufficient to accomplish the revolutionary project.

Similarly, in his 2001 critique of Negri, Zizek warns us not to yield to the temptation to act without questioning the hegemonic ideological coordinates because, as he argues,

“If, today, one follows a direct call to act, this act will not be performed in an empty space”.

The space within which we act is dominated by the “liberal-parliamentary consensus” where the only rule is “say and write whatever you want-on condition that what you do does not effectively question or disturb the predominant political consensus.” To act against existing social relations without calling into question the political expression of these social relations is not sufficient.

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