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174

Epilogue:

ADAGIO

2
terms
3
notes

Žižek, S. (2009). Epilogue:. In Žižek, S. Violence. Profile Books, pp. 174-183

175

Second lesson: it is difficult to be really violent, to perform an act that violently disturbs the basic parameters of social life. [...] Towards the end of Andrew Davis’s The Fugitive, the innocent persecuted doctor (Harrison Ford) confronts his colleague (Jeroen Krabbé) at a medical convention and accuses him of falsifying medical data on behalf of a large pharmaceutical company. At this precise point, when one would expect a focus on Big Pharma – corporate capital – as the true culprit, Krabbé interrupts and invites Ford to step outside, and then, outside the convention hall, engages Ford in a passionate, violent fight: they beat each other till their faces are red with blood. The scene is telltale in its openly ridiculous character, as if, in order to get out of the ideological mess of playing with anti-capitalism, one has to make a move which renders directly palpable the cracks in the narrative. The bad guy is transformed into a vicious, sneering, pathological character, as if psychological depravity (which accompanies the dazzling spectacle of the fight) somehow replaces and displaces the anonymous, utterly non-psychological drive of capital.

—p.175 by Slavoj Žižek 4 years, 6 months ago

Second lesson: it is difficult to be really violent, to perform an act that violently disturbs the basic parameters of social life. [...] Towards the end of Andrew Davis’s The Fugitive, the innocent persecuted doctor (Harrison Ford) confronts his colleague (Jeroen Krabbé) at a medical convention and accuses him of falsifying medical data on behalf of a large pharmaceutical company. At this precise point, when one would expect a focus on Big Pharma – corporate capital – as the true culprit, Krabbé interrupts and invites Ford to step outside, and then, outside the convention hall, engages Ford in a passionate, violent fight: they beat each other till their faces are red with blood. The scene is telltale in its openly ridiculous character, as if, in order to get out of the ideological mess of playing with anti-capitalism, one has to make a move which renders directly palpable the cracks in the narrative. The bad guy is transformed into a vicious, sneering, pathological character, as if psychological depravity (which accompanies the dazzling spectacle of the fight) somehow replaces and displaces the anonymous, utterly non-psychological drive of capital.

—p.175 by Slavoj Žižek 4 years, 6 months ago
177

The same, of course, applies to Nazi Germany, where the spectacle of the brutal annihilation of millions should not deceive us. The characterisation of Hitler which would have him as a bad guy, responsible for the deaths of millions, but none the less a man with balls who pursued his ends with an iron will is not only ethically repulsive, it is also simply wrong: no, Hitler did not ‘have the balls’ really to change things. All his actions were fundamentally reactions: he acted so that nothing would really change; he acted to prevent the communist threat of a real change. His targeting of the Jews was ultimately an act of displacement in which he avoided the real enemy – the core of capitalist social relations themselves. Hitler staged a spectacle of revolution so that the capitalist order could survive. The irony was that his grand gestures of despising bourgeois self-complacency ultimately enabled this complacency to continue: far from disturbing the much-despised ‘decadent’ bourgeois order, far from awakening the Germans, Nazism was a dream which enabled them to postpone awakening. Germany only really woke up with the defeat of 1945.

yoooo

—p.177 by Slavoj Žižek 4 years, 6 months ago

The same, of course, applies to Nazi Germany, where the spectacle of the brutal annihilation of millions should not deceive us. The characterisation of Hitler which would have him as a bad guy, responsible for the deaths of millions, but none the less a man with balls who pursued his ends with an iron will is not only ethically repulsive, it is also simply wrong: no, Hitler did not ‘have the balls’ really to change things. All his actions were fundamentally reactions: he acted so that nothing would really change; he acted to prevent the communist threat of a real change. His targeting of the Jews was ultimately an act of displacement in which he avoided the real enemy – the core of capitalist social relations themselves. Hitler staged a spectacle of revolution so that the capitalist order could survive. The irony was that his grand gestures of despising bourgeois self-complacency ultimately enabled this complacency to continue: far from disturbing the much-despised ‘decadent’ bourgeois order, far from awakening the Germans, Nazism was a dream which enabled them to postpone awakening. Germany only really woke up with the defeat of 1945.

yoooo

—p.177 by Slavoj Žižek 4 years, 6 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

178

The Stalinist purges of high party echelons relied on this fundamental betrayal: the accused were effectively guilty insofar as they, as the members of the new nomenklatura, betrayed the Revolution.

—p.178 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
4 years, 6 months ago

The Stalinist purges of high party echelons relied on this fundamental betrayal: the accused were effectively guilty insofar as they, as the members of the new nomenklatura, betrayed the Revolution.

—p.178 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
4 years, 6 months ago
179

[...] to put it in the Nietzschean terms which are appropriate here, the ultimate difference between radical-emancipatory politics and such outbursts of impotent violence is that an authentic political gesture is active, it imposes, enforces a vision, while outbursts of impotent violence are fundamentally reactive, a reaction to some disturbing intruder.

—p.179 by Slavoj Žižek 4 years, 6 months ago

[...] to put it in the Nietzschean terms which are appropriate here, the ultimate difference between radical-emancipatory politics and such outbursts of impotent violence is that an authentic political gesture is active, it imposes, enforces a vision, while outbursts of impotent violence are fundamentally reactive, a reaction to some disturbing intruder.

—p.179 by Slavoj Žižek 4 years, 6 months ago

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

179

a catastrophe which is a ‘suicide’ (the result of immanent antagonisms) appears as the work of a criminal agent – Jews, traitors or reactionaries.

—p.179 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
4 years, 6 months ago

a catastrophe which is a ‘suicide’ (the result of immanent antagonisms) appears as the work of a criminal agent – Jews, traitors or reactionaries.

—p.179 by Slavoj Žižek
notable
4 years, 6 months ago