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A blog of Post-Capitalist critique in general, economic, philosophical and political analyses, Post-Capitalist poetry and prose, Post-Capitalist philology, book reviews, Postcapitalist news, interviews, praxis, art and much more! For the record, Davide Ferri is a Postcapitalist, who graduated with a B.A.Economics(Honours) degree from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University, India. He currently lives and works in Mumbai.

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Wednesday, 25 January 2012

SOME REMARKS ON "VIOLENCE" BY SLAVOJ ZIZEK





“Charity is the humanitarian mask hiding the face of economic exploitation"
(Zizek, Violence 22)

I suggest everybody to get the must-read work Violence by Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek; you'll find a soft copy (in PDF) with a brief search on Google.

I discuss the concept of "systemic violence" in my "The Problems of Democratic Centralism and their Solutions". To download it, you might conveniently click here!

Or here:

Davide Ferri - The Problems Of Democratic Centralism and their Solutions

What to do for the making of a Participatory Front and How to do that
[Get an updated free PDF version on my academia profile here: here]

and in the Postcapitalist Manifesto. To download it, you might conveniently click here!
Or here:

A very short introduction to the building of a Post-Capitalist economy
Davide Ferri


What is Violence?

Among other things, Violence is an intelligent, concise and perceptive critique of the systemic violence (or "the often catastrophic consequences of the smooth functioning of our economic and political systems ") on the part of passive "liberal Communists", court philosophers, philanthropists,  hippies, NGOs and "humanitarian activists".
As Slavoj Zizek observes, systemic violence - which is dominant in our social structure - is far more dangerous and ruthless than the 'subjective' isolated violence, a produce of the former.
Zizek excels with his irony, cultural examples, intelligence and politico-economic insight; and provides a precious analysis of various cultural and socioeconomic perverse dynamics of Capitalism.

Davide Ferri


1 comment:

  1. I think we should be clear that Zizek’s fetishism of revolutionary terror is central to his philosophical program. Simply look at his publications since 2007:
    “Virtue and Terror” (in praise of Robespierre’s divine terror);
    “Terrorism and Communism” (where he applauds Trotsky’s assault upon Kautsky’s sentimental appeal to human rights);
    “On Practice and Contradiction” (where he approves of Mao’s divorcing communism from any and all humanist impetus);
    “In Defense of Lost Causes” (Heidegger’s support for the Nazis was the “right step in the wrong direction” — “…the problem with Hitler was that he was not violent enough, that his violence was not ‘essential’ enough. Nazism was not radical enough, it did not dare to disturb the basic structure of the modern capitalist social space…”; his theoretical aversion to protecting non-combatants in revolutionary situtations: “there are no innocent bystanders in the crucial moments of revolutionary terror…”; his willingness to be anti-democratic: “the trust in democracy… This is the hard kernel of today’s global capitalist universe”; more on Trotsky: “…the figure of Trotsky nonetheless remains crucial inasmuch as it stands for an element which disturbs the alternative ‘either (social-)democratic socialism or Stalinist totalitarianism’: what we find in Trotsky, in his writings and his revolutionary practice in the early years of the Soviet Union, is revolutionary terror, party rule, and so forth, but in a different mode from that of Stalinism. One should thus, in order to remain faithful to Trotsky’s real achievements, dispel the popular myths of a warm democratic Trotsky…”; etc.)
    “Violence” (call to realize the divine virtue of violence, but then ends the book by asserting the truly ‘essential’ violence we must engage in is non-action, resisting the temptation to “do something”; but the idea remains that once a proper theory is constructed that can properly challenge contemporary global capitalism, another sort of mass violence will likely be in the equation)

    “First as Tragedy…” I just finished this book last week. It has all that we’ve come to love about Zizek: crude humor, pschoanalytic paradoxes, ocassionally coherent analyses, and above all a call to move beyond the utopian ideology of “global capitalism as the end of history.” He frames this latter bit in terms of a necessity, which pours fuel on the fire for those of us who see the urgency of creating an alternative (for us, democratic socialism). All of this can be found in Zizek’s earlier work. And like his other writing, such appealing flourishes are in service of his more central program: reinvigorating the ideal of revolutionary terror. this time, it is in the form of a re-committment to communism (which he opposes to socialism): “…a good dose of just that ‘Jacobin-Leninist’ paradigm is precisely what the Left needs today. Now, more than ever, one should insist on what Badiou calls the ‘eternal’ Idea of Communism, or the communist ‘invariants’–the ‘four fundamental concepts’ at work from Plato through the medieval millenarian revolts and on to Jacobinism, Leninism and Maoism: strict egalitarian justice, disciplinary terror, political voluntarism, and trust in the people.” Zizek insists that he is not calling for an assault on democracy as such, but only its limitations in its parliamentary form. His solution to the problem, however, is communism. And his communism is essentially defined by the previously listed four qualities that I think we, as democratic socialists, should reject.

    And regarding whether or not Zizek is a Stalinist: Let’s again be clear, Zizek himself claims that the humorous form of his comments (the shock-factor) actually conceals his seriousness. He’s pretty straight forward about this. See, for example, his comments regarding the portrait of Stalin in his apartment in the film ZIZEK!

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