August 9th, 2012

S.C. Hickman

Slavoj Zizek: Beyond all Messiahs - Solidarity in Greece

"Greece is not an exception. It is one of the main testing grounds for a new socio-economic model of potentially unlimited application: a depoliticised technocracy in which bankers and other experts are allowed to demolish democracy. By saving Greece from its so-called saviours, we also save Europe itself."
          - Slavoj Zizek

            In this new article on the London Review of Books site Zizek offers his take on the current political and economic struggle going on in Greece: click here!
S.C. Hickman

Is Zizek a secret OOO philosopher?

      "Dialectic proper means that concrete historical struggles are at the same time struggles for the absolute itself; that each specific epoch, as it were, has its own ontology."
       - Slavoj Zizek

Sometimes Zizek amazes me... in the passage below he comes close to sounding a key aspect of OOO thought: the Split Object!

"With the logic of Real-as-impossible you have this notion of the unattainable object -the logic of desire, where desire is structured around a primordial void. I would argue that the notion of drive that is present here cannot be read in these transcendentalist terms: that is to say, in terms of an a priori loss where empirical objects never coincide with das Ding, the Thing. The vulgar example that I would give here is the following. Let us say you are in love with a woman. and that you are obsessed with her vagina. You do all the pos sible things: you penetrate it, kiss it, whatever -it's your problem; I won't go into that. Now, from a transcendental ist perspective the idea is that this is a typical illusion: you think the vagina is the Thing itself, but really it's not, and you should accept the gap between the void of the Thing and the contingent object filling it up. But when you are in such an intense sexual love relationship, I don't think the idea can be that the vagina is just an ersatz for the impossible Thing. No, I think that it is this particular object, but that this object is strangely split. There is a self-distance -you know it is the vagina, but you get never enough -the split is within the object itself The split is not between the empirical reality and the impossible Thing. No, it is rather that the vagina is both itself and, at the same time, something else.

The point is that the objects of drive are these privileged objects which are somehow a double in themselves. Lacan refers to this as fa doublure (doubling). There is kind of a safe distance, but it's a safe distance within the object itself: it's not the distance between the object and das Ding."

- Slavoj Zizek, Conversations with Zizek (p. 71 Slavoj Zizek and Glyn Daly 2004)

Harman once stated “there is the unremitting duel between an object itself as a real unity, as a single thing, and the same object as made up of numerous specific features”. The traits, attributes and features of an object are its notes. Some notes are inessential but even those which aren’t “do not in any individual case constitute its full reality as one thing”. “The object in and of itself is merely doubled, split between its formal unity and its abundance of traits” (GM, p.149).