Friday, November 13, 2015

The Socialist Message

Right about the problem, but kills the golden goose to solve it
Even communist philosopher Slavoj Zizek would agree that Totalitarianism is NOT the answer...
...the hegemonic discourse of modernity has two forms of existence in which its inner tension ("contradiction") is externalized: capitalism, its logic of the integrated excess, of the system reproducing itself through constant self-revolutionizing, and the bureaucratic "totalitarianism" conceptualized in different guises as the rule of technology, of instrumental reason, of biopolitics, as the "administered world." How, precisely, do these two aspects relate to each other? We should not succumb to the temptation of reducing capitalism to a mere form of appearance of the more fundamental ontological attitude of technological domination; we should rather insist, in the Marxian mode, that the capitalist logic of integrating the surplus into the functioning of the system is the fundamental fact. Stalinist "totalitarianism" was the capitalist logic of self-propelling productivity liberated from its capitalist form, which is why it failed: Stalinism was the symptom of capitalism. Stalinism involved the matrix of general intellect, of the planned transparency of social life, of total productive mobilization- and its violent purges and paranoia were a kind of a "return of the repressed," the "irrationality" inherent to the project of a totally organized "administered society." This means the two levels, precisely insofar as they are two sides of the same coin, are ultimately incompatible: there is no metalanguage enabling us to translate the logic of domination back into the capitalist reproduction-through-excess, or vice versa.

The key question here concerns the relationship between the two excesses: the economic excess/surplus integrated into the capitalist machine as the force that drives it into permanent self-revolutionizing and the political excess of power-exercise inherent to modern power (the constitutive excess of representation over the represented: the legitimate state power responsible to its subjects is supplemented by the obscene message of unconditional exercise of Power-laws do not really bind me, I can do to you whatever I want, I can treat you as guilty if I decide to, I can destroy you if I say so).
- Slavoj Zizek, "Jacques Lacan's Four Discourses"

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