Can you see the real me, Doctor?
– The Who
Adding tags to my entries brought my attention to how much time I spend pointing out capitalism’s flaws — flaws that others have been discussing for years, and with much more knowledge and eloquence than I have.
I’ve recently discovered the work of philosopher Slavoj Zizek (and have already discussed him on this blog.) Since I have always been interested in psychology and film I’ll focus on this aspect.
This aspect is heavily influenced by Freudian theorist Jacques Lacan, who, according to Zizek’s chronology, “provides Zizek with the framework and terminology for his analyses.”
I’ve heard that Lacan is notoriously hard to understand, so despite the appalling style of the page (why/how did the web designer get everything squashed into such a thin column at the left of the page, leaving a huge white gap on the right?), I’ll keep it here for easy reference.
Of particular importance to what I’ve read of Zizek is the concept of the “big Other,” which the page defines as:
a purely symbolic order. It means that we all engage in a minimum of idealization, disavowing the brute fact of the Real in favor of another Symbolic world behind it. Zizek expresses this disavowal in terms of an “as if”. In order to coexist with our neighbors we act “as if” they do not smell bad or look ridiculous.
As we see from this article from the Journal of European Psychoanalysis, Zizek, following Freud, asserts that this order is behind all power — and even civilization itself. Freud posited two Oedipal-like murders that resulted in turning points in human development: one during prehistoric times and one after Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. These deaths led to different stages in the development of patriarchy.
The argument requires a bit of processing, and in my blog I’ll be doing just that. What I’ll be looking for is a way to understand the present system — and to find a way out.