In Defense of Lost Causes by Slavoj Zizek

By Slavoj Zizek

"Something" occurs to to "the residing dead": a blending of "the dying force" with "the undead urge", inflicting a "compulsion to retreat". A "lamella" is subtracted from the "living being"
which accordingly has to "tonalize" itself for "secret tolerance", including "post-modern
intolerance", a "cynical chance to freedom". An instance will be an "absurd selection" outdoors of "the chain of purposes" just like the "sincere hypocracy" of Anne Frank. No wonder
"fundamentalist sects" like "Scientology" and "Cristian technological know-how" declare "objective technology" is in contract with them approximately "universal human rights".

We "as humans" are "transposed" into "things". This "obscene content material" will depend on "social roles". 'I should be an American "gay" guy, yet a "real personality". If Im "gaming hyper-
space", good, "it's just a game"!' hence somebody can "stage perverse good points" of his "symbolic id" that he might by no means admit with any "real intersubjective contacts".

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C . B r a d l e y , t h e g r e a t English Hegelian, s p e a k s of a c e r t a i n l i m i t a t i o n , a p a r t i a l s u p p r e s s i o n of t h a t e l e m e n t i n S h a k e ­ speare's mind which unites him with the mystical poets a n d with the g r e a t m u s i c i a n s a n d p h i l o s o p h e r s . In o n e o r t w o of h i s p l a y s , n o t a b l y in Trolluà and Cre^s'ida, w e a r e a l m o s t p a i n f u l l y c o n s c i o u s of t h i s s u p p r e s ­ sion; w e feel a n i n t e n s e i n t e l l e c t u a l a c t i v i t y , b u t a t t h e s a m e t i m e a c e r t a i n c o l d n e s s a n d h a r d n e s s , a s t h o u g h s o m e p o w e r i n h i s soul, a t o n c e t h e h i g h e s t a n d t h e s w e e t e s t , w e r e for a t i m e i n a b e y a n c e .

S o , a s in p o t l a c h , t h e e x c h a n g e b e t w e e n the a n a l y s t a n d t h e a n a l y s a n d i s b e t w e e n t w o i n c o m m e n s u r a b l e e x c e s s e s : t h e a n a l y s t is p a i d l o r n o t h i n g , as a gift, h i s p r i c e is a l w a y s e x o r b i t a n t ( t y p i c a l l y , t h e p a t i e n t s o s c i l l a t e b e t w e e n c o m p l a i n i n g t h a t t h e p r i c e i s too h i g h a n d b o u t s of e x c e s s i v e g r a t i t u d e ^—"how c a n I e v e r r e p a y y o u for w h a t y o u d i d .

P o t l a t c h i s t h u s s i m u l t a n e o u s l y t h e z e r o - l e v e l of c i v i l i t y , t h e p a r a d o x i c a l point at w h i c h restrained civility and obscene consumption overlap, t h e p o i n t a t w h i c h it i s p o l i t e t o b e h a v e i m p o l i t e l y . UlyMCii ' reaipoiitlk T h e o b s c e n e u n d e r s i d e t h a t h a u n t s t h e d i g n i t y of t h e M a s t e r - S i g n i f i e r from its v e r y i n c e p t i o n , o r t h e s e c r e t a l l i a n c e b e t w e e n t h e d i g n i t y of t h e L a w a n d i t s o b s c e n e t r a n s g r e s s i o n , w a s first c l e a r l y o u t l i n e d b y S h a k e ­ s p e a r e i n TroUud and CreMida, h i s m o s t uncanny play, effectively a p o s t m o d e r n w o r k amnt la lettre.

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