Despite the parakeet, the octopus, and an assortment of other animals, only one entity can accurately predict the World Cup final: Slovenian philosopher and critical theorist Slavoj Zizek. We had a quaint chat with the man to wax Marxism, the Lacanian real, and Mark Von Bommel.
What he had to say will probably only confuse you, unless of course you obtained a doctorate from the European School of Philosophy. But not the University of Chicago – everybody knows those hacks just say really big words. Ahem. Now onto the interview!
Slavojile, you’ve argued very vehemently against the hegemony of regimes that presume interpellating individuals in a set polity. Is that really just a subtle dig at Total Football?
The problem with a set polity and an emphasis on individuals as parts is that it overlooks the important role of psychology within each individual. Only when we focus on the category of the subject, accepting a degree of “manque”, will we begin to decipher anything of worth.
Slavdawg, you seem to walk a fine line in your interpretations of consciousness according to Marxist ideals. On the one hand, you reject the concept of “false consciousness”, yet you also claim no individual truly grasps their own motives. So, does Sergio Ramos wear tight green pants because he knows they’re ridiculous? Or is he clueless?
The existence of tension underscores a truth that cannot be plastered upon every landscape at every given time. On the one hand, the Marxist notion of false consciousness represented quite well the 20th century bourgeoisie – the prevalence of creature comforts sedated them into submission, and any attempts to empathize with the proletariat were hollow. However, just because the self cannot pinpoint it’s won motive, that does not foreclose a better appreciation of conscious workings in how those motives play out in the real world.
Slavvyslav, your work has been summarized as the Lacanian approach to reconciling the eternal tension between materialism and idealism. Basically, “the Real” is not experienced by the subject as our systems of comprehension order it. Does that explain why Camacho flipped his shit when Villa scored against Paraguay?
Sadly, your question answer itself with a very important presupposition. If we begin our analysis with a non-referential scope of ideology, then the domination of the subject’s senses and experiences clouds our conclusions. Only by rejecting these assumptions and inverting the pyramid can we approach a true and accurate Lacanian understanding of the modern self at this exact point in time.
Audioslavoj, you have steadfastly critiqued the modern desire to scientifically analyze the brain, concluding that a biological description would still leave a gap between material reaction & consciousness – that very gap, known in Freudian terms as “the death drive”, is, in your understanding crucial. Will Spain find any similar gaps in the Netherlands’ back line on Sunday?
A techno-scientific discourse is to philosophy as the conquistadores were to the natives of the Americas – all consuming, destructive, and a retardation. The desire to paint ourselves in a black & white light is tempting, yet ultimately this picture reflects more of what we hope for than the reality beneath. More troubling, this discourse, with its matter of fact descriptions and conclusions, obscures and ignores the more important, fascinating, and overarching questions of morality that guide the subject conscious self.
Slobslav, relying heavily on Descarte’s problem of possible automation, you take the controversial conclusion that consciousness is opaque – thus, one can never know if another conscious being is truly conscious or a mere mime. Do you think Xavi will dance circles around Von Bommel, like those annoying mimes along Las Ramblas?
The problem of interacting subjective conscious entities always comes back to the Husserlian failure to account to the other’s selfhood. Von Bommel and DeJong do not accumulate yellow cards because they are a tad slow or reckless in the tackle, but rather because they do not acknowledge the consciousness of opposing attacking midfielders.