Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cementing the Capstone

Modern society is defined by the lack of ultimate transcendent guarantee, or, in libidinal terms, of total jouissance. There are three main ways to cope with this negativity: utopian, democratic, and post-democratic. The first one (totalitarianisms, fundamentalisms) tries to reoccupy the ground of absolute jouissance by attaining a utopian society of harmonious society which eliminates negativity. The second, democratic, one enacts a political equivalent of "traversing the fantasy": it institutionalizes the lack itself by creating the space for political antagonisms. The third one, consumerist post-democracy, tries to neutralize negativity by transforming politics into apolitical administration: individuals pursue their consumerist fantasies in the space regulated by expert social administration. Today, when democracy is gradually evolving into consumerist post-democracy, one should insist that democratic potentials are not exhausted - "democracy as an unfinished project" could have been Stavrakakis' motto here. The key to the resuscitation of this democratic potential is to re-mobilize enjoyment: "What is needed, in other words, is an enjoyable democratic ethics of the political." The key question here is, of course, WHAT KIND OF enjoyment:
Libidinal investment and the mobilization of jouissance are the necessary prerequisite for any sustainable identification (from nationalism to consumerism). This also applies to the radical democratic ethics of the political. But the type of investment involved has still to be decided.
- Slavoj Zizek, "The Liberal Utopia: Against the Politics of Jouissance"
Cementing the capstone - Shifting battle from the political front, to the cultural front in a post-democratic, consumerist, American society. The post-modernist "political" project, designed and run by the "experts" is essentially "complete. What remains is the task of acculturating all those inhabitants trapped within her walls...

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