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Interview  I think that the task of philosophy is not to provide answers, but to show how the way we perceive a problem can be itself part of a problem. Lecture "Year of Distraction"  , at If you give me a paper I may read it and not like it and you can get a lower grade. The problem is thus not that of how to grasp the multiplicity of determinations, but rather to abstract from them, how to constrain our gaze and teach it to grasp only the notional determinism. This desire attaches itself to the dream, it interlaces itself in the interspace between the latent thought and the manifest text; it is therefore not 'more concealed, deeper' in relation to the latent thought, it is decidedly more 'on the surface,' consisting entirely of the signifier's mechanisms, of the treatment to which the latent content is submitted.
You know you are not a grain, but a man. So he should not exert himself with proving the truth of the historical mission of the working class; rather, he should learn to subdue his petty bourgeois passions and prejudices.
He should take lessions from those who were once as important as he is now, but are ready to risk all for the revolutionary Cause. As soon as we enter the symbolic order, the past is always present in the form of historical tradition and the meaning of these traces is not given; it changes continually with the transformations of the signifier's network.
Every historical rupture, every advent of a new master-signifier, changers retroactively the meaning of all tradition, restructures the narration of the past, and makes it readable in another, new way. The theoretical interest of this story lies in the fact that the failure of their first encounter, the double misrecognition concerning the real nature of the other, functions as a positive condition of the final outcome: we cannot say 'if, from the very beginning, she had recognized his real nature and he hers, their story could have ended at once with their marriage.
What would happen?
Instead of being bound together in true love they would become a vulgar everyday couple, a liaison of an arrogant, rich man and a pretentious, every-minded young girl If we want to spare ourselves the painful roundabout route through the misrecognition, we miss the truth itself: only the working-through of the misrecognition allows us to accede to the true nature of the other and at the same time to overcome our own deficiency - for Darcy, to free himself of his false pride; for Elizabeth, to get rid of her prejudices.
And perhaps all the effort to articulate the metaphysical meaning of the Titanic is nothing but an attempt to escape this terrifying impact of the Thing, an attempt to domesticate the Ting by reducing it to its symbolic status, by providing it with a meaning.
We usually say that the fascinating presence of a Thing obscures its meaning; here, the opposite is true: the meaning obscures the terrifying impact of its presence. This, then is the basic point: in its very construction, the symptom implies the field of the big Other as consistent, complete, because its very function is an appeal to the Other which contains its meaning.
That is how we must read Frued's ' wo we war, soll ich werden :' you, the subject, must identify yourself with the place where your symptom already was; in its pathological particularity you must recognize the element which gives consistency to your being.
The priest is a functionary of the Holy;' there is no Holy without its officials, without the bureaucratic machinery supporting it, organizing its ritual, from the Aztecs' official of human sacrifice to the modern sacred state or army rituals. The saint on the contrary, occupies the object petit a , of pure object, of somebody undergoing radical subjective destitution. Far from being the positive cause of social negativity, the Jew is a point at which social negativity as such assumes another formula of the basic procedure of the criticism of ideology, supplementing the one given above: to detect, in a given ideological edifice, the element which represents within it its own impossibility.
Society is not prevented from achieving its full identity because of Jews: it is prevented by its own antagonistic nature, by its own immanent blockage, and it projects this internal negativity into the figure of the Jew. In other words, what is excluded from the Symbolic from the frame of the corporalist socio-symbolic order returns in the Real as a paranoid construction of the Jew.
In Nazi ideology, all human races form a hierarchical, harmonious, whole the 'destiny' of the Aryans at the top is to rule, while the Blacks, Chinese and others have to serve a all races except the Jews: they have no proper place; their very identity is fake, it consists in trespassing the frontiers, in introducing unrest, antagonism, in destabilizing the social fabric.
As such, Jews plot with other races and prevent them from putting up with their proper place - they function as a hidden Master aiming at world domination: they are a counter-image of the Aryans themselves, a kind of negative, perverted double; their is why they must be exterminated, while other races have only to occupy their proper place.
And what, at this level, is the death drive? Exactly the opposite of the symbolic orderL the possibility of the second death,' the radical annihilation of the symbolic texture through which so-called reality is constructed. They very existence of the symbolic order implies a possibility of its radical effacement, of symbolic death - the the death of the so-called real object in its symbol, but the obliteration of the signifying network itself.
There is nothing behind the fantasy; the fantasy is a construction whose function is to hide this void, this nothing - that is, the lack in the Other. This gap can be filled in various ways; it can contain either sublime beauty or fearsome monsters: in Antigone's case, her symbolic death, her exclusion from the symbolic community of the city, precedes her actual death and imbues her character with sublime beauty, whereas the ghost of Hamlet's father represents the opposite case, - actual death unaccompanied by symbolic death, without a settling of accounts - which is why he returns as a frightful apparition until his debt has been repaid.
This place between the two deaths, a place of sublime beauty as well as terrifying monsters, is the site of das Ding, of the real-traumatic Kernel in the midst of symbolic order. And in totalitarianism, the Party becomes again the very subject who, being the immediate embodiment of the People can rule innocently. It is not by accident that the real-socialist countries call themselves 'people's democracies. The subject who thinks he can avoid this paradox and really have a free choice is a psychotic subject, one who retains a kind of distance from the symbolic order - who is not really caught in the signifying network.
The totalitarian subject is closer to this psychotic position: the proof would be the status of the enemy in totalitarian distance the Jew in Fascism, the traitor in Stalinism - precisely the subject supposed to have made a free choice and to have freely chosen the wrong side. This is also the basic paradox of love: not only of one's country, but also of a woman or a man.
If I am directly ordered to love a woman, it is clear that this does not work: in a way, love must be free. But on the other hand, if I proceed as if I really have a free choice, if I start to look around and say to myself 'Let's choose which of these women I will fall in love with,' it is clear that this also does not work, that it is not real love.
The paradox of love is that it is a free choice, but a choice which never arrives in the present - it is always already made I can only state retroactively that I've already chosen To use Kripkean terminology, the Real is the rock upon which every attempt at symbolization stumbles, the hard core which remains the same in all possible worlds symbolic universes ; but at the same time its status is thoroughly precarious; it is something that persists only as failed, missed, in a shadow, and dissolves itself as soon as we try to grasp it in its positive nature The blue of the sky thus becomes not only the father's problem, but in a way even his fault.
The sky is blue, and you're just staring at it like an idiot incapable of doing anything about it! Augustine's De Nuptiis et Concupiscentia : 'Original sin lies in man's arrogance and pride; it was committed when Adam ate from the Tree of Knowledge, wanting to elevate himself to the divine heights and to become himself master of all creation.
Someone with a strong enough will can starve to death in the middle of a room full of delicious food, but if a naked virgin passes his way, the erection of his phallus is in no way dependent in the strength of his will. What do they see in me? Pity Jordan Peterson.
Can a giant lobster analogy ever replace a sense of humour? Both of these men know that they are explicitly throwbacks.
They do not have an answer to the real problems that face us: the environment and the rise of China as a successful capitalist state without democracy. Neither can face the reality or the future. Therefore they retreat.
They returned to their natural subject: who is the enemy? Peterson was an expert on this subject, at least. He gave a minor history of the French critical theorists who transposed categories of class oppression for group oppression in the s. If the academic left is all-powerful, they get to indulge in their victimization. This postwar generation entered their professional lives in the age of the electronic type writer, well before the introduction of the personal computer.
As authors they are the ones that profit from the copyright regimes and are known to have a firm grip on the print media. Even though computer literate read: they can type their cultural attitude towards the WWW is ambivalent—if not absent. If a critic like Zizek includes Wikipedia in his verbal stream of consciousness it is a sign of the times that Wikipedia has become an integral part of our media environment.
So far, in the case of Zizek, referenced media have been books, followed by feature films. Forget newspapers, television and radio, or hearsay conversations and correspondences. If Zizek starts telling stories it is based on contemporary myths and current affairs that are supposed to be known to all of us, written down without detailed references.