[Marxism] Re: Zizek's Lenin and ours

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Feb 1 09:50:38 MST 2004

Emrah wrote:
>Dear Louis,
>I think you don't need to be so mad. As Lenin obviously talks about firing 
>squads figuratively, Zizek is using Lenin's text figuratively, too. That's 
>what he always does. He uses the whole world, extended temporally and 
>spatially, as a huge encyclopedia, and copies this or that entry (it might 
>be a cartoon, Stalin, a scene from Hitchcock, an elevator button) in his 
>text to prove one of his witticisms. I guess you are angry at him for 
>that, because he is disinterested in the truth-conditions of the things he 
>copies from his encyclopedia.

Yes, you are right. I get really pissed off when Lenin is used in this way. 
I also have a beef with the way that CLR James and Antonio Gramsci are 
turned into harmless fathers of "cultural studies". I also get pissed off 
when Meghnad Desai writes a book "Marx's Revenge" which argues "that 
globalization, in bringing the possibility of open competition on world 
markets to producers in the Third World, has proved that capitalism is 
still capable of moving forwards". I also get pissed off when Doug Henwood 
writes that Afghanistan needs maquiladoras and quotes Joan Robinson as an 
authority. And then there's Hardt and Negri, who are portrayed as having 
written a Communist Manifesto for our epoch by the batty Zizek himself (who 
then changed his mind after presumably reading what was between the covers) 
while defending the spread of capitalist property relations in a 
postmodernist version of Eduard Bernstein.

They should all be put in front of a firing squad--figuratively speaking.

Louis Proyect
Marxism list: www.marxmail.org 

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