Not only as value, but also as surplus -- The will to enjoyment -- Jouissance at arms length -- From surplus-value to surplus-jouissance -- The unbearable lightness of being the proletariat -- Karatani's wager -- On shame and subversion -- From subject to politics -- Democracy under duress -- Dialectical materialism as parallax -- Vicissitudes of subtraction -- The invisible rabbit inside the hat -- Though this be madness, yet there is method in it?
With Slavoj Zizek and Michel Foucault, this book brings into dialogue two of the most influential thinkers in contemporary critical theory. Starting from a thorough reassessment of the Foucauldian paradigm of discourse analysis, it explores the theoretical scope, empirical usefulness and political relevance of Zizek's explosive combination of Lacanian psychoanalysis, Hegelian philosophy and Marxist politics. The contrasting comparison between the two thinkers throws into sharp relief the commonalities and irreconcilable differences of their respective approaches to critical theory. By unmasking reality (...) as contingent symbolic fiction, the authors argue, Foucauldian criticism has only deconstructed the world in various ways; the point, however, is 'to recognize the Real in what appears to be mere symbolic fiction' (Zizek), and to change it. The analysis of key concepts is accompanied by two empirical case studies which put theory to the test. (shrink)
Organised around the themes of economy and politics; critical theory; and culture in order to offer an impressive range of thematic perspectives and critical angles, the book delves into the most pressing of today’s quandaries by combining stringent critical analysis with creative foresight. A rigorous examination of the current crisis of late-capitalist society, States of Crisis and Post-Capitalist scenarios develops paradigms that promise to rekindle the desire to move beyond capitalism towards a different social order.
Introduction -- The dialectic's narrow margin: film noir between Adorno and Hegel -- On critical theory's dialectical dilemma -- a configuration pregnant with tension: Fritz Lang for critical theory -- Coda: the enjoyment of film in theory.
The present collection of essays brings into dialogue Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975) and Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1945-1982) by comparing their cultural and intellectual legacy. Pasolini and Fassbinder are amongst the last radical filmmakers to have emerged in Europe. Born in Italy and Germany, they inherited a traumatic social and political past which is reflected in their works through a number of similarly articulated and unresolved tensions: high and popular cultures, theatre, literature and cinema, ideology and narration, major and minor codes (...) of expression. The essays in this book examine the uncompromising character of Pasolini's and Fassbinder's films. Constantly oscillating between utopia and nihilism, these works invite us to reconsider subjective and collective questions which from today's perspective seem lost forever. (shrink)
The following article examines the theoretical foundations and practical consequences of Slavoj Žižek's critique of Foucauldian discourse analysis. It does so by uncovering Žižek's idiosyncratic approach to the question of ideology critique. The aim of our investigation is twofold. First, we attempt to demonstrate the implications of Foucault's failure to theorize the generative principle of sociosymbolic formations; second, we argue that by conceiving the Real of class antagonism as the disavowed core of ideological fantasy, Žižek rectifies Foucault's inconsistency while simultaneously (...) opening up a vital political space for the reconceptualization of the paradigm of ideology critique. Our article does not attempt to bring into dialogue Foucault's theory of discourse with Žižek's theory of ideology; rather, it stages an encounter between the two. The encounter involves a contrastive comparison, the tertium comparationis of which is the problematic of how Foucault's and Žižek's respective frameworks may help us conceptualize political change. Against this background and criterion it is possible to establish where and why their social theories differ, and to assess the extent to which Žižek's theoretical choices are preferable to Foucault's. (shrink)
This article combines a reading of Pasolini's first feature film, Accattone, with an investigation into what the theory of subjectivity of Zizek and Agamben might mean for a critique of today's liberal-democratic, late-capitalist hegemony. More precisely, my article claims that Pasolini's scandalous over-identification with the Roman sub-proletariat quaexcluded social class, in the context of Italy's modernization, should be read in conjunction with both Zizek's and Agamben's defence of the `abject subjects' of today's global order. Arguing against the de-politicizing trends of (...) contemporary cultural studies, I suggest that it is only through the identification of universality with the point of exclusion of today's late-capitalist experience, that our cultural discourse can radically disturb the socio-symbolic field. (shrink)
Did Somebody Say Ideology? explores the philosophical, political, and psychoanalytic foundations of Slavoj Aiek's work, almost two decades after his arrival on the international scene of contemporary philosophy with The Sublime Object of Ideology (1989). The book generally focuses on the understanding and applicability of Aiek's theory of ideology, arguably the distinguishing and most original feature in his oeuvre so far. The first part contains six essays that carry out specific investigations into key aspects of the Slovenian philosopher's work; the (...) second part practices Aiek's own injunction about Lacan (discover Lacanian themes everywhere!) on Aiek himself, employing his theories in different contexts and relating them to other thinkers. Each study in the present volume testifies to the extraordinary vitality of Aiek's writing, demonstrating how his psychoanalytic brand of ideology critique fosters innovative research in a variety of intellectual fields and academic disciplines. (shrink)