Hey, Zizek, where’s our dialogue. Step down from celebrity ‘asshole out front’ for a debate on the question of dialect…. Too celebrious to interact with peons.
I have been hard on Zizek, in part because he has cryptically tried to counter my work with a renewed defense of dialectical materialism. I can’t think of anything more useless to our current predicament that this subject which is served to confuse all who touch it. With Zizek it gets worse: we have this mixed with Lacan, Badiou and a whole slew of postmodern illusionists. The result is confusing a whole generation of students. Another problem is the proximity to Maoism, Stalinism. Maoism, hard to believe but not if you follow the ’68 generation.
My point here is to make it clear that potential recruits to a (new) communist left are not required to take this subject on faith just because of its legacy status. We need a completely streamlined ‘new communism’ with a series of eclectic borrowings from marxism, but a subject done from scratch. The academic parlor game of creating a melange of Hegel, marxism and Lacan isn’t going to help us here. This subject allows people with no study of science or anything else to disguise stupidity and look profound.
I suggest a more practical approach: simple history of philosophy, to first study the architecture of its variant worlds. A strict policy of challenging dialectical thinking with a reality check: some defense of the subject, its history, and some resolution via strict uses of ordinary logic. I was amazed to see how Badiou created a whole new subject area from Category Theory without anyone pointing out the absurdity of that. The realm of dialectical materialism is one long abuse of thought in that respect.
The best thing to do is simply sideline dialectics and never allow it to enter a real discourse on economy, strategy or the subject of revolution.
I think that my wariness here springs from seeing the ‘real’ dialectical materialism, i.e. so-called Samkhya, deal with these issues in a far better way, but still very far from science.