By Jodi Dean
A serious advent to the political considered some of the most very important, unique and enigmatic philosophers writing this present day. Zizek's Politics presents an unique interpretation and defence of the Slovenian philosopher's radical critique of liberalism, democracy, and worldwide capital.
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Extra resources for Žižek's Politics
Bush’s speech enables me to be self-righteously horrified, to write letters to the editor, talk with friends and colleagues, and send money to Move On, all while denying the way that I am nonetheless trapped, unable actually to change a thing. And, perhaps, here “Bartleby politics” involves a shift in perspective on precisely this trap, a turning of what appears to be an impossibility into the possibility that things might be otherwise, but a turn that cannot occur in the absence of a refusal to acknowledge our underlying passivity.
In this case, then, we become like Baldwin, thinking of these men as, sure, nice guys, but when it comes right down to it, failures. indb 27 6/15/06 7:34:04 AM Žižek ’s Politics Conversely, we may see the salesmen’s condition as our own; like them, we are trapped—but, it is not our fault. Like them, we could succeed if we only had that extra, the right stuff, or, in the film’s specific version of the object-cause of desire, if we had the right leads. Thus, in one version, the salesmen are inert objects, instruments of Mitch and Murray’s enrichment and Baldwin’s enjoyment.
The point, then, is that through symbolic identification the subject posits the very entity it understands itself as responding to. 24 Symbolic identification, positing the gaze before which one acts, is a primary mechanism by which the subject is integrated into the socio-ideological field. Of course, insofar as ideological interpellation is never complete, insofar as there is always a remainder, the subject never knows for sure what the other wants—what exactly it as a subject is to the other and what it should be doing.