Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

17

Diagnosis

Hors d'oeuvre?

13
terms
8
notes

Žižek, S. (2015). Diagnosis. In Žižek, S. Trouble in Paradise: From the End of History to the End of Capitalism. Penguin Books, pp. 17-50

19

[...] From Marx on, the truly radical Left was never simply 'progressist'. It was always obsessed with the question: what is the price of progress? Marx was fascinated by capitalism, by the unheard-of productivity it unleashed; it was just that he insisted that this very success engenders antagonisms. And we should do the same with the progress of global capitalism today: keep in view its dark underside, which is fomenting revolts.

What all this implies is that today's conservatives are not really conservative. While fully endorsing capitalism's continuous self-revolutionizing, they just want to make it more efficient by supplementing it with some traditional institutions (religion, for instance) to constrain its destructive consequences for social life and to maintain social cohesion. Today, a true conservative is the one who fully admits the antagonisms and deadlocks of global capitalism, the one who rejects simple progressives, and who is attentive to the dark obverse of progess. In this sense, only a radical Leftist can be today a true conservative.

I wouldn't really call it a dark underside ... it's a feature, not a bug (that's how it re-invents itself, and maybe eventually, as tech continues to develop, that's how we move to a post-capitalist world?)

—p.19 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago

[...] From Marx on, the truly radical Left was never simply 'progressist'. It was always obsessed with the question: what is the price of progress? Marx was fascinated by capitalism, by the unheard-of productivity it unleashed; it was just that he insisted that this very success engenders antagonisms. And we should do the same with the progress of global capitalism today: keep in view its dark underside, which is fomenting revolts.

What all this implies is that today's conservatives are not really conservative. While fully endorsing capitalism's continuous self-revolutionizing, they just want to make it more efficient by supplementing it with some traditional institutions (religion, for instance) to constrain its destructive consequences for social life and to maintain social cohesion. Today, a true conservative is the one who fully admits the antagonisms and deadlocks of global capitalism, the one who rejects simple progressives, and who is attentive to the dark obverse of progess. In this sense, only a radical Leftist can be today a true conservative.

I wouldn't really call it a dark underside ... it's a feature, not a bug (that's how it re-invents itself, and maybe eventually, as tech continues to develop, that's how we move to a post-capitalist world?)

—p.19 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago

(verb) to promote the growth or development of; rouse incite

19

we should do the same with the progress of global capitalism today: keep in mind its dark underside, which is fomenting revolts

—p.19 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

we should do the same with the progress of global capitalism today: keep in mind its dark underside, which is fomenting revolts

—p.19 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

philosophical and metaphysical theories of divine presence in which the divine encompasses or is manifested in the material world

21

the world market is, with regard to its immanent dynamics, 'a space in which everyone has once been a productive labourer, and in which labour has everywhere begun to price itself out of the system'

on higher productivity resulting in more unemployment, which should be a blessing but is instead a curse (drift?)

he uses this word about a million times later on

—p.21 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

the world market is, with regard to its immanent dynamics, 'a space in which everyone has once been a productive labourer, and in which labour has everywhere begun to price itself out of the system'

on higher productivity resulting in more unemployment, which should be a blessing but is instead a curse (drift?)

he uses this word about a million times later on

—p.21 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation (adj: semiotic)

22

the semiotic square proposed by Jameson

workers/temporarily unemployed/permanently unemployable/formerly employed

—p.22 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

the semiotic square proposed by Jameson

workers/temporarily unemployed/permanently unemployable/formerly employed

—p.22 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

a discourse between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject but wishing to establish the truth through reasoned arguments

23

in a properly dialectical twist, exploitation includes its own negation

those who produce AND those who are excluded from producing are all exploited

—p.23 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

in a properly dialectical twist, exploitation includes its own negation

those who produce AND those who are excluded from producing are all exploited

—p.23 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago
26

Communism remains the horizon, the only horizon, from which one can not only judge but even adequately analyse what goes on today--a kind of immanent measure of what went wrong. That's why one should abandon the 'neo-Ricardian compromise between wage labour and productive capital against the power of finance', which tries to resuscitate the Social-Democratic welfare-state model: every demonization of financial capital is a manoeuvre to obfuscate the basic antagonism of capitalist production by transposing it onto 'parasitic' financial capital. [...]

this is so good that I've forgiven him for the note 1538 fiasco

—p.26 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago

Communism remains the horizon, the only horizon, from which one can not only judge but even adequately analyse what goes on today--a kind of immanent measure of what went wrong. That's why one should abandon the 'neo-Ricardian compromise between wage labour and productive capital against the power of finance', which tries to resuscitate the Social-Democratic welfare-state model: every demonization of financial capital is a manoeuvre to obfuscate the basic antagonism of capitalist production by transposing it onto 'parasitic' financial capital. [...]

this is so good that I've forgiven him for the note 1538 fiasco

—p.26 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago
26

[...] the crisis is not just the result of inadequate financial regulations, it expresses 'the intrinsic difficulty to make immaterial capital function like capital and cognitive capitalism to function like capitalism'. As such, this crisis signals the end of the 1990s project of the New Economy, the idea that capitalism can be revitalized in its digital form, with programmers and other intellectual workers turning into 'creative' capitalists [...] stronger and stronger state intervention is needed to keep the system viable. We should not miss the double irony here: there is some truth in the claim that state-socialism disintegrated in 1990 because it was not able to adapt itself to the digitalization of economic and social life; however, the same traditional Marxist notion of the contradiction between productive forces and relations of production is now undermining capitalism itself.

shit, this is good

—p.26 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago

[...] the crisis is not just the result of inadequate financial regulations, it expresses 'the intrinsic difficulty to make immaterial capital function like capital and cognitive capitalism to function like capitalism'. As such, this crisis signals the end of the 1990s project of the New Economy, the idea that capitalism can be revitalized in its digital form, with programmers and other intellectual workers turning into 'creative' capitalists [...] stronger and stronger state intervention is needed to keep the system viable. We should not miss the double irony here: there is some truth in the claim that state-socialism disintegrated in 1990 because it was not able to adapt itself to the digitalization of economic and social life; however, the same traditional Marxist notion of the contradiction between productive forces and relations of production is now undermining capitalism itself.

shit, this is good

—p.26 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago

referring to Frankfurt School sociologist and philosopher Jürgen Habermas, best known for his theories on communicative rationality and the public sphere

27

Recall Habermas's notion of distorted communication (distorted because of extra-linguistic power relations of oppression and domination)

—p.27 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

Recall Habermas's notion of distorted communication (distorted because of extra-linguistic power relations of oppression and domination)

—p.27 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago
29

[...] At a more fundamental level, we should clearly perceive the paradox of debt. The problem with the slogan 'You cannot spend more than you produce!' is that, taken universally, it is a tautological platitude, a fact and not a norm (of course humanity cannot consume more than it produces, like you cannot eat more food than you have on the plate), but the moment one moves to a particular level, things get problematic and ambiguous. At the direct material level of social totality, debts are in a way irrelevant, inexistent even, since humanity as a whole consumes what it produces--by definition one cannot consume more. One can reasonably speak of debt only with regard to natural resources (destroying the material conditions for the survival of future generations), where we are indebted to future generations which, precisely, do not yet exist and which, not without irony, will come to exist only through--and thus be indebted for their existence to--ourselves. so here, also the term 'debt' has no literal sense, it cannot be 'financialized', quantified into an amount of money. The debt we can talk about occurs when, within a global society, some group (nation or whatever) consumes more than it produces, which means that another group has to consume less than it produces [...]

thought this was interesting. he goes on to talk about the IMF and austerity and all that

—p.29 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago

[...] At a more fundamental level, we should clearly perceive the paradox of debt. The problem with the slogan 'You cannot spend more than you produce!' is that, taken universally, it is a tautological platitude, a fact and not a norm (of course humanity cannot consume more than it produces, like you cannot eat more food than you have on the plate), but the moment one moves to a particular level, things get problematic and ambiguous. At the direct material level of social totality, debts are in a way irrelevant, inexistent even, since humanity as a whole consumes what it produces--by definition one cannot consume more. One can reasonably speak of debt only with regard to natural resources (destroying the material conditions for the survival of future generations), where we are indebted to future generations which, precisely, do not yet exist and which, not without irony, will come to exist only through--and thus be indebted for their existence to--ourselves. so here, also the term 'debt' has no literal sense, it cannot be 'financialized', quantified into an amount of money. The debt we can talk about occurs when, within a global society, some group (nation or whatever) consumes more than it produces, which means that another group has to consume less than it produces [...]

thought this was interesting. he goes on to talk about the IMF and austerity and all that

—p.29 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago

(noun) a vote by which the people of an entire country or district express an opinion for or against a proposal especially on a choice of government or ruler

35

Hans Tietmeyer, then government of the Deutsches Bundesbank, who praised national governments for preferring 'the permanent plebiscite of global markets' to the 'plebiscite of the ballot box'

—p.35 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

Hans Tietmeyer, then government of the Deutsches Bundesbank, who praised national governments for preferring 'the permanent plebiscite of global markets' to the 'plebiscite of the ballot box'

—p.35 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

by that very act or quality; thereby

37

since meeting these financial dictates/expectations is the condition of maintaining the constitutional order, they have priority over the constitution (and eo ipso state sovereignty)

—p.37 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

since meeting these financial dictates/expectations is the condition of maintaining the constitutional order, they have priority over the constitution (and eo ipso state sovereignty)

—p.37 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago
38

[...] the capitalist system is ready to make considerable concessions to the workers and the poor only if there is a serious threat of an alternative, of a different mode of production which promises workers their rights. To retain its legitimacy, capitalism has to demonstrate how it works better even for the workers and the poor--and the moment this alternative vanishes, one can proceed to dismantle the welfare state.

—p.38 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago

[...] the capitalist system is ready to make considerable concessions to the workers and the poor only if there is a serious threat of an alternative, of a different mode of production which promises workers their rights. To retain its legitimacy, capitalism has to demonstrate how it works better even for the workers and the poor--and the moment this alternative vanishes, one can proceed to dismantle the welfare state.

—p.38 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago

a category of people within the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries who held various key administrative positions in the bureaucracy running all spheres of those countries' activity

39

dispensing with the non-Russian republics would have been to destroy much of the party nomenklatura

—p.39 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

dispensing with the non-Russian republics would have been to destroy much of the party nomenklatura

—p.39 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

a theory developed by supply-side economist Arthur Laffer to show the relationship between tax rates and the amount of tax revenue collected by governments (a typically conservative theory that believes that too much taxation will depress business investment)

40

the so-called 'Laffer curve', evoked by free-market advocates as a reason against excessive taxation

I first encountered this in an earlier book but I guess I didn't add it to Bookmarker. he defines it later on, and goes into what's wrong with the theory (i.e., proceeds of taxation creating conditions appropriate for business, plus taxation money itself being spent on private business)

—p.40 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

the so-called 'Laffer curve', evoked by free-market advocates as a reason against excessive taxation

I first encountered this in an earlier book but I guess I didn't add it to Bookmarker. he defines it later on, and goes into what's wrong with the theory (i.e., proceeds of taxation creating conditions appropriate for business, plus taxation money itself being spent on private business)

—p.40 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

the postulate that markets are organised most effectively by private enterprise and that the private pursuit of accumulation will generate the most common good; accomplished by opening international markets and financial networks, and downsizing the welfare state

41

As individuals become poorer through the shrinkage of their salaries and the removal of social provision, neoliberalism offers them compensation through debt and by the promotion of shareholding.

—p.41 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

As individuals become poorer through the shrinkage of their salaries and the removal of social provision, neoliberalism offers them compensation through debt and by the promotion of shareholding.

—p.41 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago
45

In this way, the ultimate triumph of capitalism comes about when each worker becomes his or her own capitalist, the 'entrepreneur-of-the-self' who decides how much to invest in his or her own future (education, health and so forth), paying for these investments by becoming indebted. What were formally rights (to education, healthcare, housing) thus become free decisions to invest, which are formally at the same level as the banker's or capitalist's decision to invest in this or that company, so that--at this formal level--everyone is a capitalist getting indebted in order to invest [...] the freedom of choice imposed on him is a false one; it is the very form of his servitude.

the last part is on the difference between the real capitalist and the worker-as-capitalist

—p.45 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago

In this way, the ultimate triumph of capitalism comes about when each worker becomes his or her own capitalist, the 'entrepreneur-of-the-self' who decides how much to invest in his or her own future (education, health and so forth), paying for these investments by becoming indebted. What were formally rights (to education, healthcare, housing) thus become free decisions to invest, which are formally at the same level as the banker's or capitalist's decision to invest in this or that company, so that--at this formal level--everyone is a capitalist getting indebted in order to invest [...] the freedom of choice imposed on him is a false one; it is the very form of his servitude.

the last part is on the difference between the real capitalist and the worker-as-capitalist

—p.45 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago
45

[...] Today's global capitalism brings the relationship of debtor/creditor to its extreme and simultaneously undermines it: debt becomes an openly ridiculous excess. We thus enter the domain of obscenity: when a credit is accorded, the debtor is not even expected to return it--debt is directly treated as a means of control and domination.

It is as if the providers and caretakers of debt accuse the indebted countries of not feeling enough guilt [...]

he goes on to cite the EU with Greece, and the IMF with Argentina (not wanting Argentina to pay its debts back because then they would lose control over its finances)

—p.45 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago

[...] Today's global capitalism brings the relationship of debtor/creditor to its extreme and simultaneously undermines it: debt becomes an openly ridiculous excess. We thus enter the domain of obscenity: when a credit is accorded, the debtor is not even expected to return it--debt is directly treated as a means of control and domination.

It is as if the providers and caretakers of debt accuse the indebted countries of not feeling enough guilt [...]

he goes on to cite the EU with Greece, and the IMF with Argentina (not wanting Argentina to pay its debts back because then they would lose control over its finances)

—p.45 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago

ethical component of the personality and provides the moral standards by which the ego operates (acc to Sigmund Freud)

45

Superego is not an ethical agency proper, but a sadistic agent with bombards the subject with impossible demands, obscenely enjoying the subject's failure to comply with them.

on the EU and Greece lol

—p.45 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

Superego is not an ethical agency proper, but a sadistic agent with bombards the subject with impossible demands, obscenely enjoying the subject's failure to comply with them.

on the EU and Greece lol

—p.45 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

express vehement protest

47

Just before the final pardon, Tito himself fulminates the proliferation of treasons that obliges him to proliferate acts of clemency

—p.47 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

Just before the final pardon, Tito himself fulminates the proliferation of treasons that obliges him to proliferate acts of clemency

—p.47 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago
48

[...] Peter Buffett (Warren's son) recently published a New York Times op-ed in which he explained Philanthropic Colonialism:

Inside any important philanthropy meeting, you witness heads of state meeting with investment managers and corporate leaders. All are searching for answers with their right hand to problems that others in the room have created with their left ... [...]

As more lives and communities are destroyed by the system that creates vast amounts of wealth for the few, the more heroic it sounds to 'give back'. It's what I would call 'conscience laundering'--feeling better about accumulating more than any one person could possibly need to live on by sprinkling a little around as an act of charity. But this just keeps the existing structure of inequality in place. The rich sleep better at night, while others get just enough to keep the pot from boiling over.

—p.48 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago

[...] Peter Buffett (Warren's son) recently published a New York Times op-ed in which he explained Philanthropic Colonialism:

Inside any important philanthropy meeting, you witness heads of state meeting with investment managers and corporate leaders. All are searching for answers with their right hand to problems that others in the room have created with their left ... [...]

As more lives and communities are destroyed by the system that creates vast amounts of wealth for the few, the more heroic it sounds to 'give back'. It's what I would call 'conscience laundering'--feeling better about accumulating more than any one person could possibly need to live on by sprinkling a little around as an act of charity. But this just keeps the existing structure of inequality in place. The rich sleep better at night, while others get just enough to keep the pot from boiling over.

—p.48 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago

in a way that cannot be removed or forgotten

48

in fidelity to the Master, I follow him out of respect, while in repentance, what attached me to the Master is the infinite indelible guilt.

—p.48 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

in fidelity to the Master, I follow him out of respect, while in repentance, what attached me to the Master is the infinite indelible guilt.

—p.48 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago