Zizek has two new books, the first now out: I got the first via further credit card debt: Mr.Zizek, you are a Hegelian bullshit syndrome capitalist in league with Verso to milk the rad/book market with oulala ‘late marxist’ obscurantism…I am owed a refund…but I will try to proceed by making the best of a bad lot. But Zizek proliferates his books ad infinitum, the strategy can only be commercial. A serious student of his work low on funds has a problem.
Let me just say that these two books are all too obviously attempting to challenge my Last and First Men 1848+:Capitalism, Communism, and the End of History but Zizek is too discourteous, or else too afraid of it, to cite or mention its perspective. It is discouraging to spend two years trying to communicate with the left and be totally ignored. It is a warning the left will rapidly produce an elite who will murder rivals,dissenters. Zizek, who knows. Perhaps he is on the level. But to try and reimpose marxist bullshit/orthodoxy by a reign of silence against innovators and critics isn’t going to work.
Last and First Men could have been printed by Verso, but they are the capitalist defacto censors of dissent on profitable marxism. And the book was so handcrafted with layout and image innovations (and a book set at free) no profit-driven marx capitalist could make a profit.
I promised I would try to critique his take on dialectical materialism, pending a view of his treatment, which could save the subject. From a first look I see the same problems as before. As I said in Last and First Men the left needs to move beyond dialectical materialism. Zizek tries to defend the subject but his treatment is incomprehensible. I will study it further.
But, meanwhile, it is unfair to poor leftists to charge this kind of price: I gave my book away free as a PDF. How about it Zizek?
My first impression here is Adolescent Bullshit Syndrome. When I was in school we used to joke about that, with a less formal term, because we had stumbled on the sudden revelation that spinning bullshit was so easy it was a downright danger: more mature folks, like the ‘teach’ with the grades in pocket could spot the phenomenon at once. The world of Hegel to Lacan, plus dialectic, is an invitation to thinking that looks profound but is spun from a linguistic complex that is incoherent, but hard to expose as such. Hegel, whom I have come to respect, despite Schopenhauer’s warning that he would cripple thought, is VERY hard to really grasp. Schopenhauer was right: his thinking crippled a whole generation of thinkers and his influence still does that today.
It is obvious why Marx was in a dilemma, and provided the false solution: replace Hegel with a materialist variant. With Zizek the camouflage possibilities simply multiply. Throw in Badiou and Lacan and we are in what must be Cloud Cuckoo Land 2.0.
Let’s be fair, and try to consider the attachment of leftists to such subjects, despite the fact that Marx himself had never heard of the subject. The issue is discussed in Last and First Men which tries to replace philosophizing with an historical outline in which the place of philosophy is clarified by simple chronicling. We are not going to solve the problems of capitalism with this kind of speculation.
I feel sad and frustrated a celebrity could get away with this indirect trashing of someone who tries to dissent slightly form the marxist dogma syndrome. But I am not going away, so if the fight must start, let it start.
Mr. Zizek I don’t take it lying down. If you peddle dialectical materialism you should get it straight. and the forty bucks for two of your books is a lot of money for someone on foodstamps: I will get the debt paid off plus interest by 2017, I hope. How about a refund for a review copy free text?
I will refrain from ‘comrade’ in cases where ‘murder’ paranoia starts fizzling… All this said, one might try to endure the attachment of Marxists to dead subjects like Diamat. We can’t amputate the key objects of devotion all at once. But we must face the fact that jargonizing with Hegel, dialectic and psychoanalysis are not going to solve the problems of capitalism. We have to try to get something simpler and more practical past the noise of marxist stale thought and its not so stale jazzed up versions as here with Zizek.
This is bluster with a warning: we are going to kill each other off as we try to close on a the right critique of capitalism and the way beyond it. Can’t be helped, unless it can be helped. We must at least to upgrade marxism. The materials of the Second International were so flawed the phase of Bolshevism disintegrated. We have to attempt something better. There dialectical materialism in my view should be sidelined as a historical saga of a now obsolete communism. It was Stalin who created this, btw, not Marx. It was a subject molded to serve cadre study courses with the secret police in the background grading papers. We can play hooky now on all that, and move on to something better.
I am mindful the ‘marx flavor’ is probably stuck with ‘diamat’ BS syndrome, so the solution has to be a way to not let it get in the way. We can’t discuss that other BS, marginalist economics, with dialectical materialism, so we can concentrate on the other side’s BS and not be fooled by our own.