A BLOG of PHILOSOPHICAL REFLECTIONS & SPECULATIONS

The Greatest Lie of Capitalism

Published on Tuesday March 22nd, 2011

Žižek on the bleak hand of capitalist realism:

The greatest lie of capitalism is perhaps its naturalisation – the idea that it is simply the law of nature that it is this way. The cuts cannot be helped, just as capitalism cannot be helped. Deborah Orr, at the high of the student protests displays this logic with stunning clarity. “Fiscal discipline really is necessary”, Orr opines “The truth is that they [so-called “adults” failing to protest] are too wise to waste their energy on something so silly. Protesting against the cuts is like protesting against water’s stubborn habit of flowing downwards”. My God! The bleak hand of capitalist realism! Protesting cuts is equivalent to being against the direction of the fundamental laws of the cosmos! But this is not nature, but simply custom, a custom that the ruling class have generated as an ideology that manufactures exploitation and alienation. To denaturalise capital, to subtract while remaining within to push outward, to reform spaces to pure use opposed to the commodity form, to not accept as regular what is simply custom – this is the essence of our protest. This strike can be seen as a dull churning of reaction against the telos of nature, or, placed in a global context of revolution, something ‘we have never seen before’ – just as Lady Gaga appearing in solidarity with workers, or as I have explained elsewhere, the utterly unpredicted revolutions shaking the Middle East.

Colloqium

Readers of this post have also read

April 22nd, 2011

Neo-bohemia is Always Contaminated By Nostalgia

From Neo-bohemian Rhapsody Neo-bohemia is always contaminated by nostalgia, by the belief that the scene is over, and has been over since the yuppies moved in, the old bookstore closed, the Starbucks opened and so on. Lloyd writes that bohemia dies a thousand deaths and is always reborn, and that "bohemia is always already over because it always already falls short…

Read more →
February 12th, 2011

My Wound Existed Before Me

My wound existed before me. I was born to embody it. — Joe Bousquet…

Read more →
January 12th, 2011

Politeness v. Tact

Zizek in Good Manners In the Age of Wikileaks: Imagine you inadvertently enter a bathroom where a woman is standing naked under the shower. Politeness requires that you quickly close the door and say, “Pardon, Madame!”, whereas tact would be to quickly close the door and say: “Pardon, Monsieur!…

Read more →

Recent Popular Posts

February 13th, 2014

Left Activism Goes Corporate

One of the most tedious features of the Silicon Valley Hype Machine is its endless repetition of progressive sounding marketing slogans about democracy and freedom, all while promoting a pro-business agenda. But it's too easy to read this as a sinister corporate ploy to co-opt the language of activists and twisting…

Read more →
December 20th, 2013

Civility: A Distance That
Brings Us Together

Just in time for the holidays, Apple's marketing department released Misunderstood, an ad about a surly teenager absorbed in his iPhone in the midst of scenes of his family's idyllic Christmas togetherness. But he surprises everyone when he reveals that the whole time he was making a touching video for everyone to document their familial bliss, moving them to tears. A…

Read more →
January 26th, 2014

Ten Parenting Lessons
I Learned from Franz Kafka

Here's an adage which I think is true: every theory of parenting is implicitly a theory of society. It follows that even if you aren't a parent now, nor ever intend to be one, if you're interested in society and culture, you ought to be interested in the topic because the problems that we parents face (or believe we face) is…

Read more →