Master class links…

June 23, 2009

Zizek master-class link…

A university class taking the form of the master’s discourse?

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce by Slavoj Zizek (October 2009)

Mythology, Madness and Laughter:  Subjectivity in German Idealism by Markus Gabriel and Slavoj Zizek (December 2009)

A few rough comments on Zizek’s “Objet a in Social Links”

Zizek begins this paper by writing that critical theory needs psychoanalysis, and the psychoanalytic clinic needs critical theory (107-8). In this paper Zizek is attempting (i.e. beginning – the paper doesn’t come to a conclusion, but appears to be an early version of a chapter from Parallax View) to show that psychoanalysis is revolutionary (110) and needed to achieve social change. This would lead to the conclusion that the transformation of state power (“capitalist power”) is to be achieved via the Party as analyst (though, again, Zizek doesn’t quite get there in this paper).

Read the rest of this entry »

Seize the State…

June 16, 2009

In light of the Zizek paper we read for today, this (another version of the Lenin essay with a couple of new bits) fills the gap that was left. I.e. the role of the political. Where Zizek only breifly mentions the import of Lenin (with reference to State and Revoution), this perhaps functions as the missing peice.

Chávez’s Gift to Obama: What’s to be Made of What Is To Be Done?

Lars T. Lih, June 4, 2009

Hugo Chávez, President of Venezuela, has just announced on Venezuelan
television that the next time he meets with President Barack Obama, he
will give the American head of state a short book written in 1902 by
one Lenin, entitled What Is to Be Done? (Chto delat’?).

A surprising announcement. The last time Chávez showed his
willingness to fill out Obama’s reading list, he gave him a topical
book on the situation in Latin America. But what topical interest can
be found in a book over a century old, written under the drastically
alien circumstances of tsarist Russia? Besides, many of us will
remember being taught about this book in a poli sci or history class.
Isn’t What Is to Be Done? a ‘blueprint for Soviet tyranny’? Isn’t
this the book in which Lenin expressed his contempt for workers— or,
in any event, his worry that the workers would never be sufficiently
revolutionary? These worries, so we are told, led Lenin to advocate a
party of ‘professional revolutionaries’ from the intelligentsia that
would replace a genuine democratic mass movement. All in all, isn’t
What Is to Be Done? something of an embarrassment for the Left— a book
much better forgotten than thrust into the hands of world leaders?

Read the rest of this entry »

Holy shit…

Toronto Tamil’s refusal to play nice…