Tag Archives: postmodern

Analogue vs Digital Philosophy.

Sound and Philosophy.
I am a music producer so I have some knowledge about sound and signal. If you are interested in what sound processing entails as a block of concepts, I imagine I might do a little bit on sound and philosophy in a post later. Or you could look on line.

But here’s just an intro into how sound and knowledge might be similar.

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The issue of communication is not merely a conceptual exercise. It is an actual lived experience that has been conveyed into philosophy with an interesting outcome: Some sort of communication is occurring, but in particular instances, it is difficult to tell just what kind. In some instances A is being communicated as A, and in other more usual instances, A is being communicated as B C or D…, depending on who you talk to, but with an odd sort of occasion where the ‘receivers’ of B,C,D still think they have been communicated A. This phenomenon is similar to what Zizek calls “changing the past”.

Since the mid-19th century we have found that there is an attempt to communicate something and that this attempt is not always successful, but again in an interesting manner. In the 1960’s Martin Heidegger spoke of this peculiarity in a series of lectures made into a book called “What is Called Thinking“. There he speaks of thinking in terms of a progress that is not made in time; that is, the progress that is the successful consummation of this philosophical communication does not occur as a proper historical phase, but rather involves a moment of thought. The theme is this book is “what is most thought provoking is that we are still not thinking”. It is interesting to note that this occurs after World War Two, because before the event of the engagement with the Nationalist Socialists, it was thought that this “thinking” was indeed linked with a historical progression of the likes of Hegelian “Historical Consciousness”. Now, in 1965, Heidegger is telling us that he (and many philosophers as well as a kind of cultural knowledge) was wrong.

But this somehow has not deterred people from thinking that they have begun to think, as a historical motion. We find traces of this in the Frankfurt School (the final solution has not arisen yet and, in one manner of looking at it, they were pondering what could have gone wrong in the “historical consciousness” that lead to WWI, attempting to find out what had been misapplied), and then Sartre, and Foucault, then the postmoderns, Lyotard, Derrida, and Delusional Guitar Player (Deleuze and Guattari). Then we find it in, what we could call the ‘post-Postmoderns’, Zizek, Badiou and Laruelle. Of course this list in not exhaustive, but there is seems to be something at work that has allowed those authors to be listed primarily, even if it is a presumptuousness on my part. All of these authors come about within a context of not still not thinking, for they indeed have begun to think. Graham Harman, I think, finds a significance of which Im not even sure he himself put his finger on particularly, namely, that while all these thinkers may have begun to think, and are thus involved with a certain (out of time) historical movement, Heidegger was at least correct in as much he noticed a problem against which he could not help but hold out hope for. This hope that extended from at least Nietzsche, had brought him to have to say that we have still not yet begun to think, even as those who would want to think that they are thinking by “…offering an overall exposition” of Nietzsche’s work . Harman has the philosophical acuity and balls to realize that “we” will never begin to think. We can find this implication in the assertion he made in the Harman/Zizek Duel-Duet, that we have always been dis-enchanted. The point here being that indeed the reality has been that the enchantment that Heidegger was involved with in his “still-yet” was exactly that: a fantasy.

But this fantasy in not what one would think. lol. The significance of this fantasy, this enchantment, is that it is never communicated in its truth. This could be said to be what the Frankfurt School was just beginning to notice back then, and after a time, this is what why the issue of communication came up with the postmoderns, because the fact is that such enchantment occurs, people do begin to think, but the truth of the Same (Heidegger) is lost in the attempt to communicate; this is an apparent fact. This fact is what brings the post-Postmoderns: Zizek with his complete capitulation to the paradox; Badou pointing out the issue of the two: Laruelle holding firm in the historical consciousness as a communicable situation.

There is a reason why I call Deleuze and Guattari “Delusional Guitar Player”: While the Frankfurt School was trying to make sense of what this ‘saturation of the signal’ was exactly, Deleiuze and Guattari 25-some years later mark a point when the ‘distortion’ of the ‘philosophical analogue’ (see below) signal was noticed as distortion but likewise being taken to be readable (see above video), such that whatever would be communicated as the distorted signal would be accounted for as indeed part of the communication, as accounted for in their philosophy: This is enchantment par excellence, and is why we have all the subsequent run-off Deluezian philosophies that have eroded more or less into “philosophical fictions” at one end and pure admitted fantasy at the other. (Laruelle’s version has likewise been commandeered by such ‘distortions’) with some people in the middle still debating over what is really going on.

We find this because we should not rub it in; we cannot continue to yell at people, like Nietzsche, anymore; its like beating a dead horse, we need let it be.

The continued attempt to communicate how what withdraws from thinking which then gives something worth thinking about might be communicated is failing, indeed has failed. This is the significance of Harman’s move (and perhaps the Speculative move in general) into the Object. A completely new way to speak about the situation at hand without having to retread over and over what had already been retreaded so many times and will continue to be. A clean break was called for. And even still, a divergence.

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The noise made by this event thus brings me to think (lol) about analogue and digital communication. The significance of digital (it seems) is that it can communicate accurately over long distances. Perhaps, what is being communicated through time that is actually outside of time, is something that is being communicated “digitally”, where as conventional philosophy is more like “analogue” communication, where to longer the distance traversed by the signal when the signal is read, the more distorted the signal.

 

Post Text:

When are we still not yet thinking? This is what the whole thing pivots apon, yes? For we know Heidegger; he loves a turn pf phrase. All along we will have been thinking, yes, what I quite bit of thought to ponder, this “still not thinking” as the most thought provoking thing. But it is! For everyone is obsessed with thinking; who is thinking best, who is helping the most people with their thinking, who is making the most money… So ti is that we might have bank of ideas that we disseminate to the students. But Heidegger’s teacher does nothing of the sort; all these thinkers thinking about the food for thought that is not thought provoking, but is merely thought promoting! Thought is that which is central to man, and man cannot be anything but the center of the universe in the many possibilities of ideas and concepts.

So it is that what is most thought provoking is that we still are not thinking…for we are not thinking at all. 

It is the distortion that is thought. In all its precision and ability to choose on various things to talk about and how to talk about them. We can’t undo this. The signal itself, though…well; that might be another matter entirely.

Larval Subjects, the Impetus for Communication and the Common Thought of the Past.

Prof Bryant has an interesting post today.  And it inspired me to comment, below:

As I taught Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics today, I emphasized the manner in which so many of the virtues he lists are social in nature. Although we intuitively value many of the virtues Aristotle lists, I don’t think it would occur to many of us to count these among more or ethical issues. I wonder what the […]

via The End of Dialogue? — Larval Subjects . 

Levi;

It is interesting that you happened to ponder communication right now, because I was also pondering it, but along a slightly different line. I think you are commenting along a different vector of knowledge, perhaps a different category, but still…

I was asking myself if the academic form-method of “papers” and “journals” are even needed any more, if they are relevant in the sense that considers the actual possibility of being human, in the sense of being involved with what can Be. 

I recall a post you made a while ago where you were questioning the academic proper method and presentation of papers, how the whole act seemed in some instances to mock the content of some of the papers themselves, as though the manner by which an author has to present their ideas in academia in order to be taken seriously actually functions to devalue and or discount what they have to say, actually invalidates their ideas, such that the seriousness required detracts from the significance of the meaning of the paper.

heresy-cover_2175694a

I wonder what you might think of this:

I was thinking along these lines:

The reason why ‘papers’ and journals and that whole thing came about (I could be wrong) was because thats what they had. Thinkers had to be able to communicate their ideas at length and so they had these vehicles by which to circulate those ideas so other thinkers could consider them and comment on them. The whole idea of ‘communal’ -cation.

And when you think about the whole ‘modern’ – ‘post modern’. thing, and then this ‘speculative realist’  kind of thing; It seems to have occurred in correspondence with the methods of communication available.

The breakdown of the metanarratives that Jean-Francois Lyotard brought up occurred with the opening up of methods of communicating, namely computers and similar technology. But perhaps, old ways die hard.

Think about back in the pre-computer day: It could appear that everyone was involved in a common progress, every philosopher involved in moving toward some great reckoning of knowledge (of sorts), like knowledge itself was moving in a particular direction (of enlightenment, of progress, etc). because there was only a relatively small number of papers one could come accross, not that one could read, but just the sheer lack of theoretical material, or, at least, people could still entertain the perception that because there was only a relative few number of people who were saying anything significant, we were indeed moving in a progressive motion. Also, though, just the (again relative) small number of people who even entered into “higher education” or were even allowed if not privy to being privileged even to be able to think intelligently and critically, was extremely limited. It was easy to think there was a “manifest destiny” of sorts, an “historical conscious’ moving philosophy and indeed the world. It was easy to discount the ‘ignorant’ as the necessary condition for such ‘thought’, as an historical and divinely ordered hierarchy of progress.

Now think about now. What does it mean when we have raised the ability of the aggregate and or average of people in the world to be able to consider these once effectively esoteric philosophical ideas? Is it not possible that the product itself (philosophy) might change under different conditions? What happens, say, just as a hypothetical example, when instead of 1 out of 10000 people are able to understand, consider, ponder and respond appropriately to ideas, now 50 out of 100 are able to understand, but 75 out of 100 are able to also give a considerate response. And more: The bare fact that all these people can now actually enter the discussion via our technology. I would think that not simply do we have the situation where many more people contributing to what is possible within the possibility of thought, but more so we have an entirely new arena in which thought is possible. Indeed; do you not think there would be a difference in not only the nature of ‘thought‘ itself but in fact the ‘nature‘ of thinking also? It is an odd perplexion; we need only consider what is occurring all over the world to begin to start to understand that perhaps what we are calling thought or thinking is not something that is commonly understood, but only assumed as common thing, and indeed enforced. Must we stop at the Colonialization of a particular era? Does that now bring into question what we have merely accepted due to the Fact of Colonization?

We might discover that what we are calling thought is really a harkening to another time (time is a construct also; Heidegger beckoning us to that other time), a time when there was indeed a functioning meta-narrative, a time by which we displace our time and are unable to reconcile what we experience with what we are knowing of thought and thinking, this because we are not actually considering what is really occurring right in front if us through the ability of consciousness as it is occurring right now, but are rather considering how things should be with reference to this common thought of the past.

What might happen then if we look with opened eyes upon what is occurring now? We night find that Lyotard was correct, but in a significantly different light. It is not that we become aware in someway that we must now be critical in some form about general descriptive and directive narratives. No; such an approach is missing what is occurring for what we think should occur. It is the fact that we are unable to look at knowledge without an authority as to which knowledge we are supposed to consider, why we should consider it, and how we are allowed to consider it. It is a condition of knowledge and not some logical reductive result of a traditional heritage: The heritage is alive and well in the proposal that we had some choice over whether we should approach philosophy through these tropes (meta-narratives).

Perhaps we might be able to glimpse that what occurs through the convention of Papers is no longer a general communication that concerns a direction and purpose involved in finding out independent, dependent and dynamic aspects of our world, but rather an exclusive correspondence between those who decide which knowledge is valid, a manner by which knowledge is to be contained within a certain traditional lineage of what thinking is supposed to be, presumed to be, but indeed, perhaps, allowed to be.

You, Professor Bryant, who facilitated the very notion of Object Oriented Ontology, who entertains the idea of Being machinery, involved with the Speculative; is it not possible that what before was functioning implicitly (Zizek), invisibly, is now merely staying invisible though the very ideal mechanisms that are supposed to defy such oppression (the Modern by the post-modern: The liberal critical academy) ? Would this not be a minimum plausible factor in our moment of the attempt to account for and displace the nihilism of Modernity not coming to pass?

Think not only about how difficult and fortunate you were (are) to have gained a position as a professor at an institution, but how much more difficult it is now to get one, but also the anxiety that accompanies such a position; I am thinking of The Academic’s Peculiar Dissonance — Samir Chopra, his recent post on this topic.

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Here I get speculative:

One could argue that it has always been difficult (We have always been disenchanted), but I might venture to say for the cloister itself, that the difficulty has reached a different timbre now, and not merely more of the same kind of difficulty; I think a different type of difficulty might be in play now. Perhaps you might disagree? No?

Perhaps it is not merely an effort to keep one’s position of power and prestige, as well as identity capital that is involved, but a creeping suspicion, maybe not even yet apprehensible, that the academy is no longer involved with the legitimacy it is proposed upon. Perhaps it is more involved in the perpetuation of a particular kind of thinking, and that this implicit agenda is behind the difficulty, and the sheer number of ‘thinkers’ that are just as able and who have just as novel thought hiding under their dresses, pants, belts, bras and jock straps, are eager congregants just waiting to impeach the Ideal Priests of the Academy so they can Preach the message?

LOL.

I do get grandiose; for sure.

 


But I think there is something in there that needs consideration –I mean, if we are indeed involved with something legitimate.

No?

The Postmodern Ethical Dilemma.

When we look at what Philosophy does through history, we might see that it is a more complicit role than a activist role. Philosophies of activism are necessarily divisional, so we can understand why philosophy appears more complicit.

When we attempt to situate ethics in such complicitphilosophies, we may find that there has been an infatuation with how to ground ethics. Despite what traditional lineage we might posit for thousands of years, it is possible to find in more local features problems of manifestations involved with transcendence and immenence.  In short; in one moment philosophy attempts to ground ethics in an absolute transcendence with momentary or event ruptures in the fabric of experience and existence, what we call in religion “prophetic” but intuition nonetheless and even inspiration, and then in another moment, which more closely can be associated with our postmodern moment, The concern becomes imminence , as a kind of total being or entire experience justified in itself. The problem with these kind of polemics is that they are really religious postures. The only way to argue against this is to remove oneself from the object of thought; basically the only way to argue against that the philosophical concepts however constructed, of transcendence and immenence, are theological ideals is to argue ones ground and transcendence or imminence. 

The problem with these debates is that ethics never finds a ground; rather the ground is currently theoretical and thus religious. It always passes it’s a good against a bad a me against you an us and them. 

So it is here that we find the problem with postmodern ethics. The very nature of postmodernity is human inclusion and the attempt to re-join or incorporate what is other into the state (of being). This is why it has become so difficult to separate out liberal relativity, human equality, cultural relativism and Generalinclusion from having a definite and ethical position on things. This is because when we stick to the postmodern conclusion, and it is a conclusion and end a no exit a futility a nihilism, we find that we’re perpetually opening ourselves up to the possibility of this other and what they might believe in with their ethical conclusions might be that it is almost like some sort of ethical mandate that I am not allowed to have my own definite ethics upon any situation. And this is because I’m always considering what the other person might think; I grow afraid to posit my ethical definitions for fear of being labelled a racist or a bigot or sexist or any of the -ists and – isms that people so often come up with to define how someone is ethically incorrect by asserting their ethics. Because of our ‘liberal deconstruction’ even the term ‘racism’ has become virtually meaningless. What about just plain ‘we do not tolerate your ignorance based hate and violence anymore’. Does that mean anything? I’m not sure it does. 

It is well known nowadays that the often the postmodern ideal is really just mushy accusation of guilt imposed upon another person for not being ‘inclusive’ or “tolerant”.  The problem is is that postmodernism has argued itself into a relativity of terms that it is almost as if the very idea of inclusion and tolerance have no meaning. This is why we find nowadays people saying that the liberal left has gone all the way around the spectrum and now is appearing as if they are conservative right.  For example the ridiculousness up in Evergreen Washington, where a tradition of racial inclusion finally developed into an ethically institutionalizedactivity of racial Exclusion, such that a professor who didn’t want to participate found himself the object of what we could call radically insane and buyersethical norms, The very thing that this professor if not the school itself was trying to educate people against.

At some point we need to get over that human inclusion means that we can’t ethically condemn certain practises that are based in an obvious educational void, and obvious lacking of what we should surely call intelligence. 

And I mean this in response to the Charlottesville incident. Our president is using the wishy-washy postmodern relativity as a means to hedges bets for future voters. He himself may not be an ideological racist but he is definitely the De facto racist by abusing philosophical Rhetoric that really is a distortion of what postmodernity is really means.

The same way , I had a small discussion with somebody about how popular culture usurps and commandeers the meaning of terms, for example “meme” and “radical”, we are leading our country become unethical in the spirit of America, which is to say the principle of human inclusion. We do not have to ride this out and tolerate hate and violence just because were seeing those ethical expressions within the context of our ethical wish wash. 

At some point we need to pull ourselves out of our politically correct postmodern enlightened asses and decide if the ethics that we actually talk about we really mean in a true human sense. 

Because the real postmodern/liberal/tolerant position is one that says “I am going to hang onto my ethical position of tolerance and I am going to allow you to enact violent and speak violently and hatefully about other human beings because God will provide and it will all turn out for the good”. This is exactly the attitude that brought the possibility of someone like Trump being elected. God provided exactly what was contrary to ethical humanity. It is exactly the postmodern ideal that somehow the words we use create our reality that have allowed us to void the fact that we’re just sitting back and waiting for God to provide. Well he did provide; any provided us the conditions to pull our heads out of our assholes. Lol. 

Reality, Naivety and Addiction in 3 parts. PART 1.

A Comment Upon Zizek’s Recent Talk in Spain, June 2017.

Reality, Naivety and Addiction.

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I know that everyone likes to have an opinion, and they also like for everyone else to have an opinion – no; they demand that what anyone has to say is an opinion.

I ask: What happens when someone does not have an opinion? What does that mean? Can you, the reader, think of someone saying something, putting forth a proposal that is not an opinion? What are the conditions involved with someone having an opinion? What is occurring that everyone has an opinion?

These are questions I think very few, if anyone, consider. I think most would think it useless and silly if not contradictory in its nature, to consider what conditions must exist for someone not to be proposing an opinion.

I begin this post in this manner because of the overwhelming consistency in which Slavoj Zizek comes off. It is almost spookey. How does someone not only have such a consistent approach upon matters, but then also have a theoretical platform that not only supports this consistency but is then the substance by which such a consistency indeed has consistency? It is almost magical. Maybe that’s why Zizek has been deemed the Elvis of critical theory. I love it.

My proposal here is that Zizek is conveying no opinion. His opinion arises through a kind of misappropriation of what is occurring, and by this feature, opens possibility to opinion. I will leave it to you readers to think about that and what I could mean by it while we step into a recent appearance in Spain, June 2017:

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Now; I admit I have not listened to the whole thing; only the first 30 minutes. But enough things came up in that introduction to warrant a good post, I think, so, here it goes.

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Consider how he begins his talk: Under an assumption of naivety. What does he mean by that?
In this moment, under this banner, it is almost as if he anticipated my earlier post where I point out the flaw of his entry in his book “Event”; it is also as if I anticipated this very lecture (above) by pointing out the contradiction. It is almost as if Zizek and Myself were involved in some sort of atemporal synchronicity, an event that would be then utterly psychoanalytical in theoretical nature – lol. But we mustn’t really think too much into this.

Ironically, if we are tempted to think into this situation too much we could be indicating just what Zizek might be meaning by his ‘naïve’ approach to this lecture. For, he is saying that, just for a moment (the moment of this lecture), he is defining a space whereby his presentation will not necessarily reduce back into the psychanalytical order. And this is to say that he is giving notice that he is going to step out of the ecstatic space where in everything will be topsy-turvy, where the slave will become master, where what seems apparent is not the case – he is making notice that for this particular lecture the ‘carnival’ will be suspended. This is to answer my post (above) by telling us that he will be standing on a stage where there are individual agents of personal thoughts, opinions and activities; basically, what he admits also: His lecture is mainly political. He is going to act like a regular critical theorist without the psychoanalyst riding along and making comments.

He is going to be naïve.

In this space, this political position, he is going to make no comments from the psychoanalytical chair about the situation. So what is he leaving out of his talk by this segregation? Can we speak to what might be occurring psychoanalytically?

His question, by which he asserts a new kind of social bureaucracy, he frames: What occurs after the carnival, after, as he puts it, that state where one is ‘eternally mobilized’, which is to say, within the ecstatic disruption? What are we to do afterwards?

Why would he need to frame things in this way? The first question that pops into my head is when the carnival was? When did this perpetual upheaval occur? We really shouldn’t look to any theoretical proposal – rather, I think the semantic argumentative contents of a theory is not the right place to look (of course we could look there). The reason we would be better looking elsewhere than back onto a theoretical position is we would not find the carnival there and commonly would not find anything upended or opposite, we would only find the quite ordered theory that was making sense of the carnival (Zizek makes note of his own manner, that he isn’t going to drop these ironic bombs on this lecture, commenting upon how sometimes he speaks upon somethings sarcastically or opposite of what he is saying). He could be referring to other theories, but I think he is referring to a particular psychoanalytical moment wherein the subject is in confrontation with its object of desire, involved in the attempt to situate the upheaval of the symbolic world by the imaginary, through the event of what is real.

In this lecture, Zizek is situating the alienation that occurs due to this confronting event within the political realm, and calls this political mechanism of subjective alienation bureaucracy: The institutionalization of that subjectivity which should remain ideally invisible to the subject, but which most often reveals itself by its dysfunction, is actually alienating the subject that is using that political system. He thus suggests a Socialist Bureaucracy as a better type of political institution than what we see of our Democratic Bureaucracy.

We can find the psychoanalytical aspect by understanding that the bureaucracy maintains the order even while the carnival is going on, that it is a kind of ‘mirror’ of the subjective alienation, that is not being recognized while the carnival is going on; the ‘substance’ or ‘material’ of the reflection is a political bureaucracy, in this case, the dysfunction of which is itself the effect of alienation. We return to our question here to find out what might be said of the subject of psychoanalysis when it is not recoursed into the political symbol. This is to ask, what of the subject of psychoanalysis itself?

The symbolic manifestation of the State Bureaucracy can be a good analogy for alienation because the confusion that brings about as well as manifests alienation as a lived experience can also be associated in the political world with the system of rules and procedures, as well as the people who uphold, enact and conform to these procedures, by which the state can accomplish things. It is a real manifestation of perceived alienation from the subject; the citizen often has much difficulty negotiating or even figuring out the rationale behind bureaucratic procedures. Likewise, the alienated subject of psychoanalysis is confused and has difficulty in discovering the sense of the ‘carnival’, of the intrusion of the Real into the Imagined sense of Symbolic order.

It is not very difficult then to look around and see what occurs ‘after’ the carnival: The carnival persists. In terms of Zizek’s noted ‘subject of trauma’, we find an immediate association with the subject of modernity; it is the post-modern subject that finds itself in the carnival. At every turn of investigation, the ordered sense that is the modern state becomes confused as the subject of modernity finds itself ‘alienated’ from the (orderly) world that was (is) known. In the attempt to get to the root of the postmodern confusion, the alienated subject of psychoanalysis finds ‘nothing’ at the end of the investigation, the nil subject. The subject under investigation finds that the very terms of the investigation are faulty: She is alienated from her own world.

But this is not what occurs right off. The subject that finds this ‘end’ is first incredulous, that is, as Jean-François Lyotard has given us, ‘incredulous toward metadiscourses’. The alienated subject of modernity searches for a ground of her alienation and finds, in the end, that there is no ground for it, that ironically this is the cause of her trauma, she thus becomes incredulous toward her world, what she knows of it as well as what is said of it, as the world is nothing but a series of discourses suspended in nothingness. It is not that somehow due to theoretical proposals everyone becomes doubtful of the world; everyone in fact has a complete world at all times. The idea that people become doubtful of their world due to some theoretical sensibility is a contradiction in terms, but a contradiction that indicates the carnival that no one can make sense out of, or rather, the sense they make complies with whatever the frame that supplies ‘questioning’, or doubt of authority of metanarratives. This is why we can speak of two routes (see my earlier posts), because so many people see theory as indicating a sort of agenda, as they are supposed to think a certain way because a theoretical position makes sense in various ways, as though their opinion is formed in segregation to the idea of the opinion.

This manner is the opposite of the psychoanalytical approach. The discrepancy in conception thus shows us that there is a disconnect occurring between what is true and what is real, a disconnect that amounts to what we understand as ‘alienation’ that cannot and will not be overcome through the symbolic mechanizations of the (current) state bureaucracy, and yet we cannot do without such a state system, eternally dysfunctional, indeed, eternally mobilized.

Zizek is speaking of certain philosophical moments wherein psychoanalysis finds occasions to use discourse. We have, though, the carnival occurring as we speak, regardless of what theoretical concepts we might entertain for a solution, for it is not the case that the theory drives psychoanalysis; it is psychoanalysis that drives theory (under certain conditions).

In this case, then, we have Zizek entertaining the notion of what might occur once the carnival stops. Of course, this is a speculative idea because he is not speaking about any actualized ending of the political dance of types but rather about a philosophical moment; this type he proposes is a contradiction in terms, and thereby unrealizable (or totally imaginable). Psychoanalysis is a constant mode based within shifting views of parallax; the political aspect of society will not go away, it will only change forms, but the only way that Zizek can speculate upon such matters is because he intuitively knows his Socialist Bureaucracy will not happen: He is speaking, making this proposal under the condition of naivety. The carnival does not stop, but indeed would require what he suggests is a kind Socialist Bureaucracy if it were to stop. But a bureaucratic socialism is a manner of situating psychoanalytical contradictory situations. As he points out, the problem with what we know (or have witnessed) as socialism is that it is, indeed, problematic; he is calling for a ‘pure’ kind of socialism, one that runs smoothly, invisibly, as he says, one that “I do not notice as it functions”; a functional bureaucracy would be one, as he says (paraphrase), ‘that determines everything I do but without me knowing it’. But it never runs that smoothly on the ground in actuality, that is why we can be sure that he is speaking, not figuratively or ‘down a hole’ (into or of nothing), but of an actual philosophical moment, which is to say, a ‘post-trauma’ psychoanalytical condition. When we remove the naivety of the moment, we are left with the ‘fully aware and cognizant’ moment where psychoanalysis must filter everything through its vanishing point. This point is, of course, the subject and due to its quality of being naught, if we are to experience this cognition, that is to say, without a certain ironic distance, it is, again of course, that moment where everything is topsy-turvy.

The question that arises here, though, is why this subjectivity does not appear topsy-turvy (like a carnival) but usually at best appears only so within a theoretical construct of critique? Yes; the on the ground political situation often appears convoluted and chaotic, but it does not usually appear like the allusion of the carnival, where, for example, the rioters are attempting to control the riot police (I am not being ironic here, lol), or the citizens are terrorizing the religious zealots. Through analysis (not necessarily psychoanalysis) all the chaos is ironed out and made sense of, even if the sense that is made can be debated as to its sense! To say that a situation may be like carnival is a theoretical (non-ironic) distance that is imposing order upon the chaos. So we can say that it is through the cognizant moment that we find the possibility of the Socialist Bureaucracy, and yet he is speaking of it in a manner as if it could or may come about, through the conditions of necessity and contingency. In this manner he is thus having to self-disclose the inherent contradiction, the ‘error’ involved in the juxtaposed discourse, and does this through the disclaimer of ‘naïve’. It is through the ‘invisible’ bureaucracy that we find the ideal situation that cannot and does not ever come to pass in the (political) world, but indeed can be believed in as a sort of utopian possibility in that effective ideological world; which is to say, the world that does not function through the ‘cognizance’ of its psychanalytical conception, but only functions ‘in the background’, albeit invisibly.

Clean Shave, by CSP – and other postmodern avoidance.

clean shave CSP logo 2_Fotor

What is the relationship between art and philosophy?

That is the issue I treat.

In “The Postmodern Condition”, Jean-Francois Lyotard speaks of this dichotomy in terms of ‘narrative’ and ‘scientific’ discourses. Emmanuel Kant speaks of the difference between Practical and Pure reason. And others also divide essential Being into dichotomous factions and never seem to approach the ‘final frame’, as Slavoj Zizek might (maybe) call it. While they are all most commonly understood to be speaking of different aspects (all of them) of reality or whatever, the significant issue involved with all of them is that they are really using different terms to characterize and position the same thing, the same aspect of being itself (that which is being itself). This is the issue that Francois Laruelle attempts to show us, that philosophy, what we might call ‘conventional’ philosophy, understands these divisions, these decisions, as indicating essentially real and localizable essences, what we may now call ‘objects’, but also a condition that no human being can get out of (No Exit).

The conventional philosopher sees terms as identifying actual distinct and segregate idealized (there is not situation that escapes what is of an idea) situations as these situations are indeed thus due to the manner by which clausal arrangements are made: Discourse determines reality because that is what has been argued successfully, and this argument thus can no longer be questioned without determining reality in a manner whereby reality is thus determined. This is called idealism: The idea is transcribed into reality because the idea is that the idea is able to be transcribed into reality intact (is the idea itself real?) But again, conventional philosophy cannot admit this generalization, or will vehemently as casually set it aside (whatever works), and will then move to discount its idealist situation by defining further terms and clausal arrangements. They simply cannot stop seeing ‘more things’, or simultaneously ‘the comparison of things’ in their use of discourse as these lineages of meaning are understood to extend through an essential temporal substrate. 

See, though, that of course, this is not incorrect. It simply locates, evidences and positions a particular kind of thinking and the method that supports that thinking. The ability to find this philosophical situation thus, at once, understands that conventional philosophy views itself as a kind of essentialist science through its ability to situate itself above and around every assertion that is made upon it, to thereby deny that it is an idealism (religion); this type of maneuver once noticed cannot escape its scientific attitude, an attitude that ironically denies that it is any sort of science.

When we locate this situation, oddly enough, we have found an opening that places philosophy as an object; we are able to ‘see’ it as an object, and once an object can be located and defined for what it does (is something more than it does? IS more than AM? ), it becomes an object of science. This means that people are going to get nervous (isn’t this what we are already seeing?) . While philosophy will continue on in its conventional manner, there will be (is) another kind of philosophical manner that cannot help but supersede what has been traditionally the jurisdiction of philosophy as a whole kind of endeavor. This philosophy that moves beyond philosophy can therefore be called a kind of ‘science of philosophy’ and works to be able to define humanity in a manner that is better able to control and or first describe, then predict the outcomes of humanity even while humanity denies that it is being determined. The irony of this latter situation is that such control is not subject to the fears of totalitarianism or dictatorship (but neither democracy or communism) because such an understanding does not occur within the purview of real estimations; what falls into its purview will be checked by the regular political mechanisms which are around for any moment.

What in the past has been called ‘religious’, and then soon after ‘esoteric’, and then soon after ‘heretical’, now changes the stakes of the game. What has been the arena that these terms denoted has been dispelled (the term no longer ‘denotes’) in all effective ways save the enforcement of the meaning of the term itself: There is no ‘effective’ esoteric occasions but those which are defined within the general political arena as another political case, another political identity. What goes on behind closed doors is subject to the same rules as any other ‘closed door’ policy.

Due to this ideological upset that the concept of science brings about (along with its appropriate narrative support), the human situation is turned on its head and reality, by virtue of its ubiquity and omnipresence, becomes a religious institution. Once this happens, everything remotely ‘spiritual’ goes out the window into the the bin of science, yet even while it retains an effectivity within the meaning of the transcendental clause by which narratives afford, convey and maintain real worlds. What occurs then, is what otherwise would have been classified as ‘esoteric’ by modern analysts becomes the effective means to define parameters upon the human creature in such a fashion which moves beyond the ability for the real narrative to keep up with; power is enacted which does not fall into the modern ‘structural-Marxist-humanist’ designations for how power is supposed (proposed) to be used. As we have just said, what does fall into the lap of such analysts, regardless of what it means to such analysis, nevertheless functions to acquiesce data which is thus used to support the determinate scientific use of power upon reality. This is to say that what has been the problem of modern philosophy, that of what to make of essential difference and its interface, interaction or intersection, has been solved, albeit in a manner that leaves a particular mode of philosophical knowledge playing in the white wash despite its best efforts to paddle out into the monsters of Mavericks. Philosophy (conventional) becomes the means to make sense of what is already occurring, a manner to keep everyone calm and centered upon the practical business of living life, understood in the context of tradition though contingency, randomness, and the vicissitudes of free will. Religion is indeed the opiate of the masses, but to the extent that, as Giles Delueze might argue, knowledge of how this might be the case cannot and does not allow us to avoid its satiating glamour because within each attempt to overcome the oppressive and limiting aspects of our Leviathan, humanity functions to sedate itself through the very terms of its systemic freedom.

What is left is enacted by a contingent that, while recognizing the limits imposed and demanded, does not, as Zizek makes sense of the Buddhist philosophy of detachment, after all, totally comply with those limits, and indeed, lives a double life. Yet this one is not the conned apathetic agent of futility and happiness; on the contrary, it is the engaged and living aspect of the limitation itself.

There is a point, a moment, where Philosophy is split: one Philosophy continues in its traditionally real ontological approach and will see every discourse as a sign to be placed back into the correlational  (real) limit; the other Philosophy sees philosophical statements as the material of a science, as it begins to show what philosophical statements establish, what they do as objectival acts, as things in themselves, behaving in characteristic manners to establish typical situations, that can be identified and predicted along certain lines of purpose. 

This type of knowledge is deemed invalid in the narrative of reality despite every effort to validate it in narrative (the philosophical science is negated in the act of narrative) and so occupies a kind of knowledge that is usually categorized and classified as esoteric, but indeed is a science that is offensive to real agents of transcendence, which is to say, to practical reason. 

This situation always is the case (see my book “The Moment of Decisive Significance” for the description example) as history may be discerned along lines of the relationship of this polemical constant over the motions of ideological climate and of their reactionary politics.