Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

6

[...] In a well-known passage from his Existentialism and Humanism, Sartre deployed the dilemma of a young man in France in 1942, torn between the duty to help his lone, ill mother and the duty to enter the Resistance and fight the Germans; Sartre’s point is, of course, that there is no a priori answer to this dilemma. The young man needs to make a decision grounded only in his own abyssal freedom and assume full responsibility for it. [...]

he mentions an "obscene" third way out, which is to do neither

—p.6 Introduction: (1) by Slavoj Žižek 1 year, 3 months ago

[...] In a well-known passage from his Existentialism and Humanism, Sartre deployed the dilemma of a young man in France in 1942, torn between the duty to help his lone, ill mother and the duty to enter the Resistance and fight the Germans; Sartre’s point is, of course, that there is no a priori answer to this dilemma. The young man needs to make a decision grounded only in his own abyssal freedom and assume full responsibility for it. [...]

he mentions an "obscene" third way out, which is to do neither

—p.6 Introduction: (1) by Slavoj Žižek 1 year, 3 months ago
7

[...] To everyone’s surprise, Lenin says, ‘I’d like to have both!’ Why? Is there a hidden stripe of decadent jouisseur behind his austere revolutionary image? No – he explains: ‘So that I can tell my wife that I am going to my mistress, and my mistress that I have to be with my wife …’ ‘And then, what do you do?’ ‘I go to a solitary place to learn, learn and learn!’

Marx chooses a wife, Engels chooses a mistress ... playing on the fact that Lenin's advice to young people under socialism was ‘Learn, learn and learn’

—p.7 Introduction: (1) by Slavoj Žižek 1 year, 3 months ago

[...] To everyone’s surprise, Lenin says, ‘I’d like to have both!’ Why? Is there a hidden stripe of decadent jouisseur behind his austere revolutionary image? No – he explains: ‘So that I can tell my wife that I am going to my mistress, and my mistress that I have to be with my wife …’ ‘And then, what do you do?’ ‘I go to a solitary place to learn, learn and learn!’

Marx chooses a wife, Engels chooses a mistress ... playing on the fact that Lenin's advice to young people under socialism was ‘Learn, learn and learn’

—p.7 Introduction: (1) by Slavoj Žižek 1 year, 3 months ago
8

While Lossky was without doubt a sincere and benevolent person, really caring for the poor and trying to civilise Russian life, such an attitude betrays a breathtaking insensitivity to the systemic violence that had to go on in order for such a comfortable life to be possible. We’re talking here of the violence inherent in a system: not only direct physical violence, but also the more subtle forms of coercion that sustain relations of domination and exploitation, including the threat of violence. The Losskys and their kind effectively ‘did nothing bad’. There was no subjective evil in their life, just the invisible background of this systemic violence. [...] In their benevolent-gentle innocence, the Losskys perceived such signs of the forthcoming catastrophe as emerging out of nowhere, as signals of an incomprehensibly malevolent new spirit. What they didn’t understand was that in the guise of this irrational subjective violence, they were getting back the message they themselves sent out in its inverted true form. It is this violence which seems to arise ‘out of nowhere’ that, perhaps, fits what Walter Benjamin, in his ‘Critique of Violence’, called pure, divine violence.

quoting Nikolai Lossky, one of the "haute bourgeoisie" forced into exile

this is so spot-on

—p.8 Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo: (8) by Slavoj Žižek 1 year, 3 months ago

While Lossky was without doubt a sincere and benevolent person, really caring for the poor and trying to civilise Russian life, such an attitude betrays a breathtaking insensitivity to the systemic violence that had to go on in order for such a comfortable life to be possible. We’re talking here of the violence inherent in a system: not only direct physical violence, but also the more subtle forms of coercion that sustain relations of domination and exploitation, including the threat of violence. The Losskys and their kind effectively ‘did nothing bad’. There was no subjective evil in their life, just the invisible background of this systemic violence. [...] In their benevolent-gentle innocence, the Losskys perceived such signs of the forthcoming catastrophe as emerging out of nowhere, as signals of an incomprehensibly malevolent new spirit. What they didn’t understand was that in the guise of this irrational subjective violence, they were getting back the message they themselves sent out in its inverted true form. It is this violence which seems to arise ‘out of nowhere’ that, perhaps, fits what Walter Benjamin, in his ‘Critique of Violence’, called pure, divine violence.

quoting Nikolai Lossky, one of the "haute bourgeoisie" forced into exile

this is so spot-on

—p.8 Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo: (8) by Slavoj Žižek 1 year, 3 months ago
12

Our blindness to the results of systemic violence is perhaps most clearly perceptible in debates about communist crimes. Responsibility for communist crimes is easy to allocate: we are dealing with subjective evil, with agents who did wrong. We can even identify the ideological sources of the crimes – totalitarian ideology, The Communist Manifesto, Rousseau, even Plato. But when one draws attention to the millions who died as the result of capitalist globalisation, from the tragedy of Mexico in the sixteenth century through to the Belgian Congo holocaust a century ago, responsibility is largely denied. All this seems just to have happened as the result of an ‘objective’ process, which nobody planned and executed and for which there was no ‘Capitalist Manifesto’. (The one who came closest to writing it was Ayn Rand.) [...]

—p.12 Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo: (8) by Slavoj Žižek 1 year, 3 months ago

Our blindness to the results of systemic violence is perhaps most clearly perceptible in debates about communist crimes. Responsibility for communist crimes is easy to allocate: we are dealing with subjective evil, with agents who did wrong. We can even identify the ideological sources of the crimes – totalitarian ideology, The Communist Manifesto, Rousseau, even Plato. But when one draws attention to the millions who died as the result of capitalist globalisation, from the tragedy of Mexico in the sixteenth century through to the Belgian Congo holocaust a century ago, responsibility is largely denied. All this seems just to have happened as the result of an ‘objective’ process, which nobody planned and executed and for which there was no ‘Capitalist Manifesto’. (The one who came closest to writing it was Ayn Rand.) [...]

—p.12 Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo: (8) by Slavoj Žižek 1 year, 3 months ago
12

[...] the ‘ultra-objective’ or systemic violence that is inherent in the social conditions of global capitalism, which involve the ‘automatic’ creation of excluded and dispensable individuals from the homeless to the unemployed, and the ‘ultra-subjective’ violence of newly emerging ethnic and/or religious, in short racist, ‘fundamentalisms’.

—p.12 Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo: (8) by Slavoj Žižek 1 year, 3 months ago

[...] the ‘ultra-objective’ or systemic violence that is inherent in the social conditions of global capitalism, which involve the ‘automatic’ creation of excluded and dispensable individuals from the homeless to the unemployed, and the ‘ultra-subjective’ violence of newly emerging ethnic and/or religious, in short racist, ‘fundamentalisms’.

—p.12 Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo: (8) by Slavoj Žižek 1 year, 3 months ago
17

Above all, liberal communists are true citizens of the world. They are good people who worry. They worry about populist fundamentalists and irresponsible, greedy capitalist corporations. They see the ‘deeper causes’ of today’s problems: it is mass poverty and hopelessness which breed fundamentalist terror. So their goal is not to earn money, but to change the world, though if this makes them more money as a by-product, who’s to complain? Bill Gates is already the single greatest benefactor in the history of humanity, displaying his love for neighbours with hundreds of millions freely given to education, and the battles against hunger and malaria. The catch, of course, is that in order to give, first you have to take – or, as some would put it, create. The justification of liberal communists is that in order to really help people, you must have the means to do it, and, as experience of the dismal failure of all centralised statist and collectivist approaches teaches, private initiative is the efficient way. So if the state wants to regulate their business, to tax them excessively, is it aware that in this way it is effectively undermining the stated goal of its activity – that is, to make life better for the large majority, to really help those in need?

[...]

We need to ask ourselves whether there really is something new here. Is it not merely that an attitude which, in the wild old capitalist days of the US industrial barons, was something of an exception (although not as much as it may appear) has now gained universal currency? Good old Andrew Carnegie employed a private army brutally to suppress organised labour in his steelworks and then distributed large parts of his wealth to educational, artistic and humanitarian causes. A man of steel, he proved he had a heart of gold. In the same way, today’s liberal communists give away with one hand what they first took with the other. [...]

[...]

[...] In liberal communist ethics, the ruthless pursuit of profit is counteracted by charity. Charity is the humanitarian mask hiding the face of economic exploitation. In a superego blackmail of gigantic proportions, the developed countries ‘help’ the undeveloped with aid, credits and so on, and thereby avoid the key issue, namely their complicity in and co-responsibility for the miserable situation of the undeveloped.

he's very savage on what he calls "liberal communists"; new prophets of capital follows the same vein (can't remember if she cites zizek or not though)

—p.17 Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo: (8) by Slavoj Žižek 1 year, 3 months ago

Above all, liberal communists are true citizens of the world. They are good people who worry. They worry about populist fundamentalists and irresponsible, greedy capitalist corporations. They see the ‘deeper causes’ of today’s problems: it is mass poverty and hopelessness which breed fundamentalist terror. So their goal is not to earn money, but to change the world, though if this makes them more money as a by-product, who’s to complain? Bill Gates is already the single greatest benefactor in the history of humanity, displaying his love for neighbours with hundreds of millions freely given to education, and the battles against hunger and malaria. The catch, of course, is that in order to give, first you have to take – or, as some would put it, create. The justification of liberal communists is that in order to really help people, you must have the means to do it, and, as experience of the dismal failure of all centralised statist and collectivist approaches teaches, private initiative is the efficient way. So if the state wants to regulate their business, to tax them excessively, is it aware that in this way it is effectively undermining the stated goal of its activity – that is, to make life better for the large majority, to really help those in need?

[...]

We need to ask ourselves whether there really is something new here. Is it not merely that an attitude which, in the wild old capitalist days of the US industrial barons, was something of an exception (although not as much as it may appear) has now gained universal currency? Good old Andrew Carnegie employed a private army brutally to suppress organised labour in his steelworks and then distributed large parts of his wealth to educational, artistic and humanitarian causes. A man of steel, he proved he had a heart of gold. In the same way, today’s liberal communists give away with one hand what they first took with the other. [...]

[...]

[...] In liberal communist ethics, the ruthless pursuit of profit is counteracted by charity. Charity is the humanitarian mask hiding the face of economic exploitation. In a superego blackmail of gigantic proportions, the developed countries ‘help’ the undeveloped with aid, credits and so on, and thereby avoid the key issue, namely their complicity in and co-responsibility for the miserable situation of the undeveloped.

he's very savage on what he calls "liberal communists"; new prophets of capital follows the same vein (can't remember if she cites zizek or not though)

—p.17 Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo: (8) by Slavoj Žižek 1 year, 3 months ago
20

When he donates his accumulated wealth to public good, the capitalist self-negates himself as the mere personification of capital and its reproductive circulation: his life acquires meaning. It is no longer just expanded reproduction as self-goal. Furthermore, the capitalist thus accomplishes the shift from eros to thymos, from the perverted ‘erotic’ logic of accumulation to public recognition and reputation. What this amounts to is nothing less than elevating figures like Soros or Gates to personifications of the inherent self-negation of the capitalist process itself: their work of charity – their immense donations to public welfare – is not just a personal idiosyncrasy. Whether sincere or hypocritical, it is the logical concluding point of capitalist circulation, necessary from the strictly economic standpoint, since it allows the capitalist system to postpone its crisis. It re-establishes balance – a kind of redistribution of wealth to the truly needy – without falling into a fateful trap: the destructive logic of resentment and enforced statist redistribution of wealth which can only end in generalised misery. It also avoids, one might add, the other mode of re-establishing a kind of balance and asserting thymos through sovereign expenditure, namely wars …

This paradox signals a sad predicament of ours: today’s capitalism cannot reproduce itself on its own. It needs extraeconomic charity to sustain the cycle of social reproduction.

—p.20 Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo: (8) by Slavoj Žižek 1 year, 3 months ago

When he donates his accumulated wealth to public good, the capitalist self-negates himself as the mere personification of capital and its reproductive circulation: his life acquires meaning. It is no longer just expanded reproduction as self-goal. Furthermore, the capitalist thus accomplishes the shift from eros to thymos, from the perverted ‘erotic’ logic of accumulation to public recognition and reputation. What this amounts to is nothing less than elevating figures like Soros or Gates to personifications of the inherent self-negation of the capitalist process itself: their work of charity – their immense donations to public welfare – is not just a personal idiosyncrasy. Whether sincere or hypocritical, it is the logical concluding point of capitalist circulation, necessary from the strictly economic standpoint, since it allows the capitalist system to postpone its crisis. It re-establishes balance – a kind of redistribution of wealth to the truly needy – without falling into a fateful trap: the destructive logic of resentment and enforced statist redistribution of wealth which can only end in generalised misery. It also avoids, one might add, the other mode of re-establishing a kind of balance and asserting thymos through sovereign expenditure, namely wars …

This paradox signals a sad predicament of ours: today’s capitalism cannot reproduce itself on its own. It needs extraeconomic charity to sustain the cycle of social reproduction.

—p.20 Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo: (8) by Slavoj Žižek 1 year, 3 months ago
24

Children of Men is obviously not a film about infertility as a biological problem. The infertility Cuarón’s film is about was diagnosed long ago by Friedrich Nietzsche, when he perceived how Western civilisation was moving in the direction of the Last Man, an apathetic creature with no great passion or commitment. Unable to dream, tired of life, he takes no risks, seeking only comfort and security, an expression of tolerance with one another: ‘A little poison now and then: that makes for pleasant dreams. And much poison at the end, for a pleasant death. They have their little pleasures for the day, and their little pleasures for the night, but they have a regard for health. “We have discovered happiness,” – say the Last Men, and they blink.’

We from the First World countries find it more and more difficult even to imagine a public or universal cause for which one would be ready to sacrifice one’s life. Indeed, the split between First and Third World runs increasingly along the lines of an opposition between leading a long, satisfying life full of material and cultural wealth, and dedicating one’s life to some transcendent cause. Isn’t this the antagonism between what Nietzsche called ‘passive’ and ‘active’ nihilism? We in the West are the Last Men, immersed in stupid daily pleasures, while the Muslim radicals are ready to risk everything, engaged in the nihilist struggle up to the point of self-destruction. [...]

—p.24 Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo: (8) by Slavoj Žižek 1 year, 3 months ago

Children of Men is obviously not a film about infertility as a biological problem. The infertility Cuarón’s film is about was diagnosed long ago by Friedrich Nietzsche, when he perceived how Western civilisation was moving in the direction of the Last Man, an apathetic creature with no great passion or commitment. Unable to dream, tired of life, he takes no risks, seeking only comfort and security, an expression of tolerance with one another: ‘A little poison now and then: that makes for pleasant dreams. And much poison at the end, for a pleasant death. They have their little pleasures for the day, and their little pleasures for the night, but they have a regard for health. “We have discovered happiness,” – say the Last Men, and they blink.’

We from the First World countries find it more and more difficult even to imagine a public or universal cause for which one would be ready to sacrifice one’s life. Indeed, the split between First and Third World runs increasingly along the lines of an opposition between leading a long, satisfying life full of material and cultural wealth, and dedicating one’s life to some transcendent cause. Isn’t this the antagonism between what Nietzsche called ‘passive’ and ‘active’ nihilism? We in the West are the Last Men, immersed in stupid daily pleasures, while the Muslim radicals are ready to risk everything, engaged in the nihilist struggle up to the point of self-destruction. [...]

—p.24 Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo: (8) by Slavoj Žižek 1 year, 3 months ago
30

Here is the dark side of 1960s ‘sexual liberation’: the full commodification of sexuality.

—p.30 Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo: (8) by Slavoj Žižek 1 year, 3 months ago

Here is the dark side of 1960s ‘sexual liberation’: the full commodification of sexuality.

—p.30 Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo: (8) by Slavoj Žižek 1 year, 3 months ago
31

We live in a society where a kind of Hegelian speculative identity of opposites exists. Certain features, attitudes and norms of life are no longer perceived as ideologically marked. They appear to be neutral, non-ideological, natural, commonsensical. We designate as ideology that which stands out from this background: extreme religious zeal or dedication to a particular political orientation. The Hegelian point here would be that it is precisely the neutralisation of some features into a spontaneously accepted background that marks out ideology at its purest and at its most effective. This is the dialectical ‘coincidence of opposites’: the actualisation of a notion or an ideology at its purest coincides with, or, more precisely, appears as its opposite, as non-ideology. Mutatis mutandis, the same holds for violence. Social-symbolic violence at its purest appears as its opposite, as the spontaneity of the milieu in which we dwell, of the air we breathe.

—p.31 Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo: (8) by Slavoj Žižek 1 year, 3 months ago

We live in a society where a kind of Hegelian speculative identity of opposites exists. Certain features, attitudes and norms of life are no longer perceived as ideologically marked. They appear to be neutral, non-ideological, natural, commonsensical. We designate as ideology that which stands out from this background: extreme religious zeal or dedication to a particular political orientation. The Hegelian point here would be that it is precisely the neutralisation of some features into a spontaneously accepted background that marks out ideology at its purest and at its most effective. This is the dialectical ‘coincidence of opposites’: the actualisation of a notion or an ideology at its purest coincides with, or, more precisely, appears as its opposite, as non-ideology. Mutatis mutandis, the same holds for violence. Social-symbolic violence at its purest appears as its opposite, as the spontaneity of the milieu in which we dwell, of the air we breathe.

—p.31 Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo: (8) by Slavoj Žižek 1 year, 3 months ago