History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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An example of Zizek’s dialectical nonsense

November 3rd, 2014 · No Comments

One of the reviewers cites the following as an illustrian of the dialectic, now with four stages (?!)
This confusion in no way illustrated anything significant. It is hard to fathom how this could be taken seriously.

Zizek of course also discusses the mechanics and merits of dialectical materialism.”Absolute Recoil” is the process in Hegel’s philosophy of the dialectical process when the subject is negated whereby the reflective subject withdraws from and to then itself and is then reflected upon itself. Zizek states it represents a conjoining of opposites. Students of philosophy will recall that Hegel’s dialectical process involves the Thesis, Antithesis and Synthesis. Zizek states there are four steps: The origin; the Absolute Recoil where the subject is negated into itself; the external reflection of the origin; and the transcendental reflection of the origin.

He illustrates the process with the colonization of India:

Step One: The so-called “indifferent multiplicity” of pre-colonial India.

Step Two: The brutal British colonial rule.

Step Three: Indian resistence to British colonization.

Step Four: Reflection of the liberated Indian society of itself.

This dialectic is perfectly legitimate. The dialectical process seems to work just fine; so where’s the crisis?

The crisis in material dialectics is occasioned following the collapse of Soviet Communism. Dialectical materialism was the foundation of Soviet Communism, a product of Lenin’s and Stalin’s gloss of Marx, who modified the concept from Hegel. As the illustration given above demonstrates, there is nothing wrong with the process of dialectical materialism. It remains a legitimate process of interpretation and explanation. The problem is with the end result and practical application.

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