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143

Epignosis

J'ai hâte de vour servir!

6
terms
7
notes

Žižek, S. (2015). Epignosis. In Žižek, S. Trouble in Paradise: From the End of History to the End of Capitalism. Penguin Books, pp. 143-191

146

In short, what Marx overlooked is, to put it in standard Derridean terms, that this inherent obstacle/antagonism as the 'condition of impossibility' of the full deployment of the productive forces is simultaneously its 'condition of possibility': if we abolish the obstacle, the inherent contradiction of capitalism, we do not get the fully unleashed drive to productivity finally delivered of its impediment, we lose precisely this productivity that seemed to be generated and simultaneously thwarted by capitalism. [...] Marxian Communism, this notion of a society of pure unleashed productivity outside the frame of Capital, was a fantasy inherent to capitalism itself, the capitalist inherent transgression at its purest, a strictly ideological fantasy of maintaining the thrust to productivity generated by capitalism, while getting rid of the 'obstacles' and antagonisms that were--as the sad experience of 'really existing capitalism' demonstrates--the only possible framework for the effective material existence of a society of permanently self-enhancing productivity. [...]

need reflect on this more but it seems interesting

—p.146 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago

In short, what Marx overlooked is, to put it in standard Derridean terms, that this inherent obstacle/antagonism as the 'condition of impossibility' of the full deployment of the productive forces is simultaneously its 'condition of possibility': if we abolish the obstacle, the inherent contradiction of capitalism, we do not get the fully unleashed drive to productivity finally delivered of its impediment, we lose precisely this productivity that seemed to be generated and simultaneously thwarted by capitalism. [...] Marxian Communism, this notion of a society of pure unleashed productivity outside the frame of Capital, was a fantasy inherent to capitalism itself, the capitalist inherent transgression at its purest, a strictly ideological fantasy of maintaining the thrust to productivity generated by capitalism, while getting rid of the 'obstacles' and antagonisms that were--as the sad experience of 'really existing capitalism' demonstrates--the only possible framework for the effective material existence of a society of permanently self-enhancing productivity. [...]

need reflect on this more but it seems interesting

—p.146 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago
150

[...] The Christian church faced a common problem from the fourth century onwards, when it became the state religion: how does one reconcile feudal class society, in which rich lords ruled over impoverished peasants, with the egalitarian poverty of the collective of believers as described in the Gospels? The solution of Thomas Aquinas is that, while, in principle, shared property is better, this holds only for perfect humans; for the majority of us, who dwell in sin, private property and difference in wealth are natural, and it is even sinful to demand the abolition of private property or to promote egalitarianism in our fallen societies, i.e., to demand for imperfect people what befits only the perfect. [...]

kinda brilliant

—p.150 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago

[...] The Christian church faced a common problem from the fourth century onwards, when it became the state religion: how does one reconcile feudal class society, in which rich lords ruled over impoverished peasants, with the egalitarian poverty of the collective of believers as described in the Gospels? The solution of Thomas Aquinas is that, while, in principle, shared property is better, this holds only for perfect humans; for the majority of us, who dwell in sin, private property and difference in wealth are natural, and it is even sinful to demand the abolition of private property or to promote egalitarianism in our fallen societies, i.e., to demand for imperfect people what befits only the perfect. [...]

kinda brilliant

—p.150 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago
154

[...] Only a strong political intervention can counteract the exploding inequality--Piketty proposes an annual global wealth tax of up to 2 per cent, combined with a progressive income tax reaching as high as 80 per cent. An obvious question arises here: if capitalism's immanent logic pushes it towards growing inequality and a weakening of democracy, why should we not aim at overcoming capitalism itself? For Piketty, the problem is the no-less-obvious fact that the twentieth-century alternatives to capitalism didn't work: capitalism has to be accepted as the only game in town. the only feasible solution is thus to allow the capitalist machinery to do its work in its proper sphere, and to impose egalitarian justice politically, by a democratic power which regulates the economic system and enforces redistribution. One should not underestimate Piketty here: in a typically French way, the naivety (of which he is fully aware) of his proposal is part of his strategy to paint the bleak picture of our situation--here is the obvious solution, and we all know it cannot happen ...

[...] Piketty is well aware that the model he proposes would only work if enforced globally [...]; such a global measure presupposes an already existing global power with the strength and authority to enforce it. However, such a global power is unimaginable within the confines of today's global capitalism and the political mechanisms it implies--in short, if such a power were to exist, the basic problem would already have been resolved. [...]

interesting ... wonder what Piketty thinks of this

—p.154 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago

[...] Only a strong political intervention can counteract the exploding inequality--Piketty proposes an annual global wealth tax of up to 2 per cent, combined with a progressive income tax reaching as high as 80 per cent. An obvious question arises here: if capitalism's immanent logic pushes it towards growing inequality and a weakening of democracy, why should we not aim at overcoming capitalism itself? For Piketty, the problem is the no-less-obvious fact that the twentieth-century alternatives to capitalism didn't work: capitalism has to be accepted as the only game in town. the only feasible solution is thus to allow the capitalist machinery to do its work in its proper sphere, and to impose egalitarian justice politically, by a democratic power which regulates the economic system and enforces redistribution. One should not underestimate Piketty here: in a typically French way, the naivety (of which he is fully aware) of his proposal is part of his strategy to paint the bleak picture of our situation--here is the obvious solution, and we all know it cannot happen ...

[...] Piketty is well aware that the model he proposes would only work if enforced globally [...]; such a global measure presupposes an already existing global power with the strength and authority to enforce it. However, such a global power is unimaginable within the confines of today's global capitalism and the political mechanisms it implies--in short, if such a power were to exist, the basic problem would already have been resolved. [...]

interesting ... wonder what Piketty thinks of this

—p.154 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago

(noun) defensive wall

165

small Slavic nations were all looking towards Russia, the bulwark of reaction, for their liberation

not really sure what it means in this context

—p.165 by Slavoj Žižek
strange
2 years, 3 months ago

small Slavic nations were all looking towards Russia, the bulwark of reaction, for their liberation

not really sure what it means in this context

—p.165 by Slavoj Žižek
strange
2 years, 3 months ago
169

[...] colonialism is not overcome when the intrusion of the English language as a medium is abolished, but when the colonizers are, as it were, beaten at their own game--when the new Indian identity is effortlessly formulated in English, i.e., when English language is 'denaturalized', when it loses its privileged link to 'native' Anglo-Saxon English-speakers. [...]

—p.169 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago

[...] colonialism is not overcome when the intrusion of the English language as a medium is abolished, but when the colonizers are, as it were, beaten at their own game--when the new Indian identity is effortlessly formulated in English, i.e., when English language is 'denaturalized', when it loses its privileged link to 'native' Anglo-Saxon English-speakers. [...]

—p.169 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago
170

[...] fidelity to pre-modern ('Asian') values is paradoxically the very feature which allows countries like China, Singapore and India to follow the path of capitalist dynamics even more radically than Western liberal countries. Reference to traditional values enables individuals to justify their ruthless engagement in market competition in ethical terms ('I am really doing it to help my parents, to earn enough money so that my children and cousins will be able to study,' and so on).

this isn't even just a pre-modern value (I can think of lots of Western people who fit this mold)

—p.170 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago

[...] fidelity to pre-modern ('Asian') values is paradoxically the very feature which allows countries like China, Singapore and India to follow the path of capitalist dynamics even more radically than Western liberal countries. Reference to traditional values enables individuals to justify their ruthless engagement in market competition in ethical terms ('I am really doing it to help my parents, to earn enough money so that my children and cousins will be able to study,' and so on).

this isn't even just a pre-modern value (I can think of lots of Western people who fit this mold)

—p.170 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago

(adj) of lower status; (noun) an officer in the British army below the rank of captain, especially a second lieutenant

170

Post-colonial 'subaltern' theorists, who detect in the persistence of pre-modern traditions the resistance to global capitalism and its violent modernization, are here thoroughly wrong

—p.170 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

Post-colonial 'subaltern' theorists, who detect in the persistence of pre-modern traditions the resistance to global capitalism and its violent modernization, are here thoroughly wrong

—p.170 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

physical or intellectual pleasure, delight, or ecstasy; the concept featured heavily in the psychoanalysis of Jacques Lacan's and was expanded on by Roland Barthes for literary theory, to contrast with mere "pleasure" derived from reading texts that don't challenge the reader as a subject. can also refer to pleasure that devolves into pain

172

there is no place for the Real of jouissance in Heidegger's edifice

—p.172 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

there is no place for the Real of jouissance in Heidegger's edifice

—p.172 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

(adjective) keen, sharp / (adjective) vigorously effective and articulate / (adjective) caustic / (adjective) sharply perceptive; penetrating / (adjective) clear-cut, distinct

173

It is difficult to imagine a more trenchant political example of the weight of Lacan's distinction between the 'subject of the enunciated' and the 'subject of the enunciation'

—p.173 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

It is difficult to imagine a more trenchant political example of the weight of Lacan's distinction between the 'subject of the enunciated' and the 'subject of the enunciation'

—p.173 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

(noun) marsh swamp / (noun) a situation that traps, confuses, or impedes / (noun) an overwhelming or confusing mass or mixture

174

In the morass of such ideological denegations

—p.174 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

In the morass of such ideological denegations

—p.174 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago
176

[...] John Jay Chapman (1862-1933), today a half-forgotten American political activist and essayist who wrote about political radicals:

The radicals are really always saying the same thing. They do not change; everybody else changes. They are accused of the most incompatible crimes, of egoism and a mania for power, indifference to the fate of their own cause, fanaticism, triviality, want of humour, buffoonery and irreverence. But they sound a certain note. Hence the great practical power of consistent radicals. To all appearance nobody follows them, yet everyone believes them. They hold a tuning-fork and sound A, and everybody knows it really is A, though the time-honoured pitch is G flat. The community cannot get that A out of its head. Nothing can prevent an upward tendency in the popular tone so long as the real A is kept sounding.

somewhat relevant to drift though almost in the opposite direction

—p.176 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago

[...] John Jay Chapman (1862-1933), today a half-forgotten American political activist and essayist who wrote about political radicals:

The radicals are really always saying the same thing. They do not change; everybody else changes. They are accused of the most incompatible crimes, of egoism and a mania for power, indifference to the fate of their own cause, fanaticism, triviality, want of humour, buffoonery and irreverence. But they sound a certain note. Hence the great practical power of consistent radicals. To all appearance nobody follows them, yet everyone believes them. They hold a tuning-fork and sound A, and everybody knows it really is A, though the time-honoured pitch is G flat. The community cannot get that A out of its head. Nothing can prevent an upward tendency in the popular tone so long as the real A is kept sounding.

somewhat relevant to drift though almost in the opposite direction

—p.176 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago
180

So what remains of Thatcher's legacy today? Neoliberal hegemony is clearly falling apart. The only solution is to repeat Thatcher's gesture in the opposite direction. [...]

the big question is if it's even possible to go in the opposite direction, or if you're just swimming against the tide

—p.180 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago

So what remains of Thatcher's legacy today? Neoliberal hegemony is clearly falling apart. The only solution is to repeat Thatcher's gesture in the opposite direction. [...]

the big question is if it's even possible to go in the opposite direction, or if you're just swimming against the tide

—p.180 by Slavoj Žižek 2 years, 3 months ago

referring to a type of subterranean plant stem; as a metaphor, means interconnected

182

from traditional hierarchy a pyramid-like subordination to a Master, to pluralizing rhizomatic networks

—p.182 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago

from traditional hierarchy a pyramid-like subordination to a Master, to pluralizing rhizomatic networks

—p.182 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
2 years, 3 months ago