Tuesday, February 13, 2007

On How To "Build The Movement"

I read lots of right-wing people, doesn't mean I agree with everything they say. Zizek isn't one of the people I do much with and I do even less (meaning nothing) with his stuff on Yugoslavia. If you have a problem with him, fine, I'm not Serbian, I didn't declare war on your people [sic], I've signed no petitions, and on the whole I think what the West did was pretty stupid (though I don't know all that much about it). Don't really care as I'm not really sure my knowing much about it would help anything.

You really don't know anything about the American education system, but you seem to have some opinions. Quite annoying really.
Anthony Paul Smith Homepage 02.13.07 - 1:44 pm #


This is the American Academic Left.

23 comments:

  1. warszawa1:59 PM

    Heh. Heh-heh. Opinions, like, really suck. Heh. -But the Beavis-and-Butthead manner is not the only option available. It's also possible to imitate George Sanders impersonating Virginia Woolf (on a bad day), and then you come up with the High Style:

    Nice post, Alain. Surely a critical position refusing point blank to take any account of the profoundly encroaching changes in our experience, in our relations (to power, to each other, and so on) brought about by late capimodernity's sea of declarative 'babble' (including the pervasive emotive sterilizing/therapy/cult of television) risks becoming more stubbornly quaint (not to mention hypocritical) than it is, say, genuinely probing. While a certain anger, on the other hand, may be entirely appropriate.

    Of course there's plenty of evidence for the "decline in symbolic efficiency" (not to be confused with just any symbolism, rather obviously). That a general decline in (particularly USian) critical capacity (by which I mean a capacity for both radical interiority and for directly present, patient, caring interpersonal relation) has accompanied this cumulative change in our "faith" in something like "a symbolic order" (evident in both a reactionary, desperate clinging, but also a new sort of alienation and homelessness) may sometimes be forgotten in the act of blaming, purely, either one or the other. Or perhaps I should say, appearing to blame purely.

    But lest all that be mistaken for something other than a blog comment, how about a link. I confess to finding the following both "good" and (somewhat terrifyingly) obsolete:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8536707153900925247


    Posted by: Matt | Feb 12, 2007 9:40:02 PM

    http://www.long-sunday.net/long_sunday/2007/02/a_not_so_startl.html#comments

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  2. like victims of a cult, truly. BA and BFP pointed out how unfeeling it is to speak of 'drinking the kool-aid', considering the size of the catastrophe to which it refers (including kids), and they're right. So I won't. But a substitute is needed.

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  3. warszawa2:42 PM

    Soma.

    And it strikes me that the speaker Matt most resembles is in fact William F. Buckley (after three drinks too many).

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  4. yes! yes! but buckley is actually erudite, though eeeeevil.

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  5. From the Annals of Higher Education

    Or, The Monstrous Aryan Left At Leisure:

    It is so nice to see Chabert find a friend. A true soul-mate!
    Anthony Paul Smith | Homepage | 02.11.07 - 1:06 pm | #

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    Yeah, she burns through those at the rate of about one every couple of months...
    Dominic Fox | Homepage | 02.11.07 - 2:27 pm | #

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    The CPC parody blew my mind! Is it a meaningful parody of meaninglessness disguised as parody, or a pastiche of meaningless debate that ratchets up the level of meaninglessness already inherent in it? I am incapable of interpretation! CPC has made me realize, we must meaninglessly unite against our meaninglessness! We have nothing Deleuze but our Atari guts.
    VA | Homepage | 02.11.07 - 2:31 pm | #

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    Is "Leibach" an ignorant misspelling or a not very clever pun? The world may never know.
    ben wolfson | Homepage | 02.11.07 - 9:02 pm | #

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    The Cultural Parody Center wishes to extend our support for your sobering act on the way to a successful and speedy graduation.

    As for Leibach, they taught me at the faculty that when one adopts philosophers like dr. Zizek as one's missionaries, one is well-advised to check their cultural background. When you have done so, you may discover some highly dubious concepts in Dr. Zizek's esteemed output. For example, that the double-sided Moebius twist act of Leibach may be serving as a post-modern excuse for neoNazism.

    Sincerely,

    the Cultural Parody Center
    dejan | Homepage | 02.13.07 - 12:33 pm | #

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    It's "Laibach".
    ben wolfson | 02.13.07 - 12:38 pm | #

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    It's a deliberate misspelling to keep your American monolingual pothead busy with even more pointless post-structural musing as you spend taxpayer's money on your endlessly protracted academic study of a Slovenian Nazi social democrat.
    dejan | Homepage | 02.13.07 - 12:49 pm | #

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    Taxpayer's money? Are you familiar with the American education system?
    Anthony Paul Smith | 02.13.07 - 12:56 pm | #

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    thank God I'm NOT and you don't have to explain. I'm sure it's lovely as anything else American.
    dejan | Homepage | 02.13.07 - 1:01 pm | #

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    oh wait a minute... do you mean you're going to a PRIVATE school? Well I better warn you, those places are ideal for the breeding of hypocritical burgeois neo-Nazi monstrosities like Zizek. They thrive on intelligent students like you, esp. if they have a talent for wisecracking irony, whose brains they form for the future imperial conquest under the banner of Lacan's psychoanalysis, Leninism and Pauline Christianity.
    dejan | Homepage | 02.13.07 - 1:10 pm | #

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    I can't even pick up a woman at a bar, much less engage in imperialist conquest. You don't have anything to worry about from little old me.
    Adam Kotsko | Homepage | 02.13.07 - 1:14 pm | #

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    what I am saying Adam is that the intellectual celebrity you seem to collectively celebrate is the ideological defender of the Anglo-American cum Western European supremacist Empire chopping up the territories of the former Soviet Union so as to extend international capitalism and thus endless vampiric exploitation. Which wouldn't strike me as all that horrible were it not for the fact that Zizek seduced the American LEFT. I don't know how he did it but if I am to judge by your own productions, you seem misinformed or not at all informed about the history and the cultural background. You really should look a bit further than this academic conceit. I don't know what your dispute is with Chabert but she KNOWS all this, which I find very refreshing even surprising coming from an American thinker. Usually the public over there is completely brainwashed about Yugoslavia.
    dejan | Homepage | 02.13.07 - 1:18 pm | #

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    I have no interest in discussing this matter with you further.
    Adam Kotsko | Homepage | 02.13.07 - 1:22 pm | #

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    WHY?
    dejan | Homepage | 02.13.07 - 1:23 pm | #

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    well ok then, as long as you admit that you're basically being IDEOLOGICAL here
    dejan | Homepage | 02.13.07 - 1:24 pm | #

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    I admit it, and with that, you are banned. Further comments from you will be deleted, no matter what the topic. It would be a lot more convenient with me if you didn't attempt to post comments, but I'll understand if you're pissed off and need to annoy me.
    Adam Kotsko | Homepage | 02.13.07 - 1:28 pm | #

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    I read lots of right-wing people, doesn't mean I agree with everything they say. Zizek isn't one of the people I do much with and I do even less (meaning nothing) with his stuff on Yugoslavia. If you have a problem with him, fine, I'm not Serbian, I didn't declare war on your people, I've signed no petitions, and on the whole I think what the West did was pretty stupid (though I don't know all that much about it). Don't really care as I'm not really sure my knowing much about it would help anything.

    You really don't know anything about the American education system, but you seem to have some opinions. Quite annoying really.
    Anthony Paul Smith | Homepage | 02.13.07 - 1:44 pm | #

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    someone posts a comment after you cite a post of theirs, and tries to help you hear--that you just might listen... he writes that a contemporary academic celebrity is deeply implicated in the atrocities of western imperialism in the Balkans, against people there and a competing economic model, and for that he is banned.
    hollowentry | 02.13.07 - 6:14 pm | #

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    Shame isn't it? Someone should really send Zizek to some kind of People's Trail. Perhaps with you and Chabert sitting in judgment, being as you are very pure of heart and clean of hands. And poor little Cultural Parody Center guy, he only wanted us to hear! A lone voice crying out in the wilderness - 'Zizek is deeply implicated in the atrocities of Western imperialism! Hear ye who have the ears to hear! Oh and here's a joke about your friends and their film festival, isn't that funny? That's shit on the fist, in case you didn't catch it.'

    Why oh why haven't we listened. Instead we go on killing Serbs. Literally, I killed four Serbs just today and the only thing I did was read Zizke's work on Schelling!
    Anthony Paul Smith | Homepage | 02.13.07 - 6:20 pm | #

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    that you just might listen

    This kind of heavy-handedness is warrant enough for being banned.
    Brad | 02.13.07 - 6:20 pm | #

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    You know, let's just go ahead -- hollowentry is also banned.
    Adam Kotsko | Homepage | 02.13.07 - 6:21 pm | #

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    You know what they're going to say? That we're just creating a virtual holocaust and they, as usual, are the victims. If only we would listen!!!!
    Anthony Paul Smith | Homepage | 02.13.07 - 6:22 pm | #

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    If this keeps up, I'm going to need to keep some kind of list.
    Adam Kotsko | Homepage | 02.13.07 - 6:23 pm | #

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    Lord Zizek will be very happy.
    Brad | 02.13.07 - 6:32 pm | #

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    We owe so much to Zizek for being very generous and getting everyone here at The Weblog on the payroll of GE. Between the money I receive from American taxpayers and being a shill for capital I'm rich bitch!
    Anthony Paul Smith | Homepage | 02.13.07 - 6:39 pm | #

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    It seems like there's got to be some kind of way to avoid the simplistic pro-"liberal interventionism" read of the Yugoslavia situation without thereby becoming a rabid Serbian nationalist.
    Adam Kotsko | Homepage | 02.13.07 - 6:45 pm | #

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    Nope.
    Anthony Paul Smith | Homepage | 02.13.07 - 6:53 pm | #

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  6. specially loved anthony "you know what they're going to say? That weeeeeee..."

    He really can't bear it. You just know he was the class informer, the little ratfink, all his life.

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  8. Alain7:09 AM

    I know I am late to the match, but if Zizek is " a Slovenian Nazi social democrat," so what? Heidegger was a card carrying Nazi but he was still a brilliant philosopher - one that is still read, but always through the lense of his political choices. So why not read Zizek the same way? He may be a defender of genocide (though I am not convinced), but does that mean you can't gain from reading and appropriating his work? And if you do not like his use of dialectics and psychoanalysis, does that really have anything to do with his politics?

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  10. "Heidegger was a card carrying Nazi but he was still a brilliant philosopher "

    Well you've matched a fact to a mere assertion here as if equivalents.

    I guess it depends on what's important to you - the present actual imperial reconquest of eastern europe, the public equity and standard of living of a sixth of the worlds population, or your personal pleasure in reading 'philosophy' and watching videos.

    You can opt for the former, as APS does. Being provided with brilliant philosophy is your primary concern, about the rest you heh heh-heh can't be bothered! It's not your fault! I's not your problem! You didn't sign a petition!

    I just think that if this is your priority and because you didn't 'kill any serbs today' you can't really be bothered if somebody did, your government for example, then you are doing nothing but making war on what you confusingly refer to as 'symbolic efficieny' by expropriating the term 'Left' and 'Leftist' for yourself and your position.

    Go read your philosophy, whose trying to stop you? You misidentify yourselves as leftists interested in political theory so other leftists erroneously suppose you are interested in actual politics not just fiction and fantasy variety. So it's an error, resulting for your misleading self-identification. You can both repair it by being more forthright about your priorities and interests. The current US imperial conquest of the balkans is not among yur concerns, okay. Do you really not know why someone would mistakenly suppose it might be, with all your posturing about serious political commitments etc?

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  11. Nobody is suggesting you not read Zizek; I mean sheesh someone was trying to talk to you precisely about readng zizek, like a grown up not a nipple sucking devotee.

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  12. "does this have anything to do with politics?"

    the short answer is Yes.


    But you knew that.

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  13. "does that mean you can't gain from reading and appropriating his work?"

    this is what dejan was trying to do - gain something of significance out of readint his work.

    what do you gain? You seem to gain the belief that once upon a time there was one harmonious consensus about the facts reported in the newspaper and now its eroded so political change is just impossible and you can't trust any television news so you have to give up thinking. Is this gain others really must necessarily envy and seek for themselves? Isn't it just a kind of hypergullibility - everyone is lying so everyone is telling the truth? Everyone is confused so everyone is well intentioned? You have no independent position from which to judge Zizek's or Wolf Blitzer's pronouncements so you just take them on their own aggresively dictated terms? Try to 'learn' from these pseudo-authorities by sitting on their knees and abording uncritically? Well of course you end 'not knowing whom to believe'. The quest for an experty to which to submit your own capacity for judgement will end this way in a world of competing psuedo-authorities.

    It's an option of course. But it's not a leftist one, that's all.

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  14. Alain9:45 AM

    I know this probably doesn't matter but, just for the record, I am not a " a nipple sucking devotee." And I do not agree that one's philosophy or even approach to philosophy is equivalent to one's politics or political choices. I can read a philosopher and also be angry about the current US actions in the Balkans. they are not mutually exclusive options. I haven't read all of your posts and all of the evidence you have provided regarding Zizek's complicity and/or apologetics for genocide. If I knew all of the evidence, perhaps I would not feel the same affinity for his work. But this is still a different argument than the appropriation of psychoanalysis as a tool in talking about politics.

    From your comments and our past discussions, I take it that you believe the Zizek industry is a big scam, a con job that he is orchestrating for profit and fame. The more serious charges are something I have not had a lot of time to explore.

    And I do not think I have ever called myself a leftist. I am sympathetic to their aims but I do not see myself in that way because I am too invested in making a living and keeping my family afloat. If I had no responsibilities to anyone but myself, I probably would be a leftist. I tend to agree them on most things.

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  15. Anthony and Alain are banned.

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  16. They may still leave comments of course. It's a philosophical banning, with no relation to actual banning, and therefore very interesting and self-evidently virtuous.

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  17. "The more serious charges are something I have not had a lot of time to explore. "

    Fine. Do you mind that other people have, and write their conclusions in public places? And consider them important? We are talking about the theft of the public wealth of thirty million people, the depleted uranium poisoning of masses of agricultural land, the murder of thousands of people, the creation of a mafia-halliburton country in the middle of europe.

    Who cares? You can't be bothered. Well who is bothering you? It may not be, to you, as important an issue as George Soros' nefariousness and how people behave in elevators, but other people, including those whose entire welfare state, pensions, employment opportunities, infratstructure has been destroyed and expropriated, find more interesting than your personal reading pleasure.

    No one is trying to take your books away. Some people erroneously believed you would be interested in being informed and informing others about your governments current crimes in Kosovo, before it is too late to thwart them. They were wrong. Fine. Sue them. Call the police. Someone oh so stupidly attempted to engage you in a discussion of something you don't care about. Shocking! Intolerable. There's nothing to do but kill them.

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  18. Qlipoth, are you referring your comments to me or Anthony or both of us? I never said I was not interested in what is happening in the Balkans. In fact I would like to learn more - I am limited on resources and time. I have printed out several of the posts and comments at Chabert's blog and have not had a chance to read them yet. It looks like a very indepth treatment of the situation, including Zizek's involvement. I just do not share your rejection of a certain class or style of theory. But I have been known to change my mind. I openly admit to not being as informed as others - perhaps it is this ignorance that gets me in trouble.

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  19. I never said I was not interested in what is happening in the Balkans. In fact I would like to learn more

    Alain, I am sorry to tell you, you are clearly psychotic.

    Besides, I'm not sure what you mean by 'balkans'. Is that a candybar? They stick in my teeth.

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  20. I am a little surprised Alain that with your family history, this attitude of anthony's toward mass murder and imperial expropriation in Yugoslavia - don't know, don't want to know, not his fault so who cares - doesn't remind you of anything, and that you should make efforts to encourage such a self-congradulatory ignorance.

    So Zizek's political philosophy is so great because it actually has no relation to politics whatsoever. That's the beauty of it.

    Well, these postures are all in harmony, certainly.

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  21. Anonymous12:05 PM

    This is from DEJAN (I had trouble logging in):

    And if you do not like his use of dialectics and psychoanalysis, does that really have anything to do with his politics?

    Alain it's not a question of liking his ''use of dialectics and psychoanalysis''. You have to understand first that he uses both of these items in a POLITICAL way. He consequentially uses dialectics for example to turn arguments upside down, and then applies the conclusions hereby gained DIFFERENTLY depending on his own political agenda (example: he has completely different opinions about the bombing of Serbia, which doesn't fit into his Slovenian nationalism, and the bombing of Iraq, where he suddenly sees America as the Empire; and only seconds ago it was the benefactor of humanity disseminating liberalism and thereby enlightening the backward Balkan nations like Serbia. There's no other word for this than politically motivated ''opportunism''. It is certainly not a science, it isn't even philosophy, and it is ultimately not even psychoanalysis.

    From your comments and our past discussions, I take it that you believe the Zizek industry is a big scam, a con job that he is orchestrating for profit and fame. The more serious charges are something I have not had a lot of time to explore.

    Well does it really take hardboiled and extended analysis to come to the idea that Zizek's pop-psychologization of culture and politics serves the function of selling a lot of books? That it's more of a marketing project than it is philosophy? And then don't you see that Zizek married a girl 20 years younger than himself in a soap opera spectacle which can only be construed as an instance of corporate-style capitalism (the girl is also incidentally RICH). While he claims to be some kind of a Marxist and a decent Leftist (he writes these inane articles about European atheism and Marxism being the cool and rational answer to all the religious fervor surrounding the American Right and religious fundamentalists). And meanwhile, he is being a fanatical and obnoxious corporate manager himself!

    Qlipoth, are you referring your comments to me or Anthony or both of us? I never said I was not interested in what is happening in the Balkans. In fact I would like to learn more - I am limited on resources and time. I have printed out several of the posts and comments at Chabert's blog and have not had a chance to read them yet. It looks like a very indepth treatment of the situation, including Zizek's involvement.

    Well thank God Alain that you had the decency and the willingness to examine an alternative view. The Zizek academia never does that. I have ranted like a madman about Zizek and not once did anyone even attempt to look up the history of Serbia. Or any other former Yugoslav republic. They all have time for Zizek, though. His texts are examined with passionate scrutiny rivaling obsessive neurosis. So THANK YOU really for taking that crucial step towards an alternative or critical opinion.

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  22. " I never said I was not interested in what is happening in the Balkans. "

    Oh. What does "so what?" mean in symbolically inefficient circles nowadayzz?

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  23. "Heidegger was a card carrying Nazi but he was still a brilliant philosopher"

    So what? He was a brilliant philosopher, sez you, who cares? I couldn't care less. Why do you care about how well he philosophised or played golf? Are you the president of the MH fanclub or something, selling his dirty socks?

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