[Marxism] Zizek's Lenin and Ours?

Jeff Rubard jeffrubard at fusemail.com
Sun Feb 1 13:10:02 MST 2004


> Message: 3
> Date: Sun, 1 Feb 2004 14:36:18 +1100
> From: Zivko Vukolaj <zivko_vukolaj at hotmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [Marxism] Zizek's Lenin and ours
> To: <marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
> Message-ID: <BAY10-DAV6gI3Lfz2Vm0004decd at hotmail.com>
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>
>
> Dear comrade Lewis,
>
> Slavoj Zizek is merely a radical bourgeois eccentric whose sole purpose is
> to agitate the mind and play the role of an iconoclast. In my opinion he
> should actually be taken advantage of, and his position cleverly
> manipulated, not blatantly criticized. The fact that few deranged
> conservatives make positive references to his articles is due solely to
> their own confusion, not Zizek's misdeeds.
>
> In solidarity,
> Zivko Vukolaj
>
Comrade Vukolaj,

He feels for you, he thinks he loves you: and if he is so bourgeois why
does he have to write so many goddam books in English?  The answer is, of
course, that we should focus on the figure that we are interested in
during the heated barroom debate and if we are to have a Lenin worth
having today I am not so sure there will be endless room for agency on
textual grounds: i.e., that there is a covert reference in Lenin's
*mature* critique of formal freedom to  Pavlov's paper "The Reflex of
Freedom" and his definition of genuine negative liberty as non-intentional
inaction, what the animal can't help not doing -- also the definition of
natural slavishness as what Aristotle's slave wouldn't have any kind of
inclination to do (i.e., cede comprehension of the dictates of economic
rationality).  But, so much the relevant for Lenin *save for* the fact
that his textual corpus as a whole betrays a certain application of this
principle: i.e., easy people-pleasing inmixed with the usual revolutionary
virtue (cf. the letter to Gorky).  Is this a model?  Oh my yes, but it is
not a model for the consumer "manufacturing consent" (the Stalinist
cultural items manufactured earlier are probably more instructive in that
respect) and I am not sure that the time is not upon us for a study of
"ordinary Leninism": *The Presentation Of Self In Extraordinary
Circumstances*, perhaps.

Rubard






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