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Kritikal Super Best Friends

Kritik Authors and You


A Lecture by Josh

Key Terms:
Here is a list of key terms. You should use this as a reference during this lecture and in future lectures
and debate.
Biopower: Power over life. The ability to preserve life is the flip-side of the power to take it away
(Foucault).
Calculability – The grouping of people together in order to manage them.
Capitalism- is an economic system in which the means of production are mostly privately owned, and
capital is invested in the production, distribution and other trade of goods and services, for profit.
Communism/Socialism- is a political ideology that seeks to establish a future classless, stateless social
organization based upon common ownership of the means of production and the absence of private
property. It can be classified as a branch of the broader socialist movement.
Deconstruction: You can break down any word/sentence because they say many things at once.
Philosophers deconstruct complex things like god. E.g., deconstruction of law = It’s composed of
people, they are corrupt, many people are denied rights.
Deontology: Each person is an end unto his or herself. Someone who really believed in this system of
ethics would find the idea of the politics DA abhorrent. Cannot decide to use the people of the harms as
a means to preventing a war that is not their fault.
Difference: Usually fundamental; traits that distinguish certain groups of people from others (gender,
sex, ethnicity, etc.)
Discourse: Basically means “ideas.” Refers to language and its assumptions; everything that conditions
the way one speaks.
Empiricism: Belief that humans can understand the world through objective observation.
Epistemology: A study of the history of thought, how we acquire knowledge of the world.
Ethics: Most common, asks, “What is right?”
Fantasy: A story we tell ourselves in order to explain reality. E.g., a movie.(psychoanalysis).
Form/Content: Form = how you say something; Content = what you say (e.g., sarcasm, numbering
arguments, speed).
Genealogy: Historical investigation; research of how ideas have changed over time (Foucault).
Geopolitics: Geo = geography; politics = making decisions that weigh the pros and cons. Geopolitics =
politics of the world
Hermeneutic: A method of analysis/perspective. You start from one kind of thinking to get to another.
Humanism: Idea that humans are the best and are the center of the universe, and we’re also getting
better (e.g., don’t judge slave owners because our values hadn’t evolved yet).
Holy (Fasching) - A multi-culturalist understanding of the world that focuses on cross-cultural
understanding and building bridges of understanding that allow for a peaceful world community to be
created.

Identity politics- is the political activity of various social movements for self-determination. It claims to
represent and seek to advance the interests of particular groups in society, the members of which often
share and unite around common experiences of actual or perceived social injustice, relative to the wider
society of which they form part. In this way, the identity of the oppressed group gives rise to a political
basis around which they then unite.
Logic: Reason determined through rationality
Metaphysics: “What is it?” Pre-Socratics like Heraclites or Anaximander who thought that there were
fundamental substances in the universe like fire, water, nothingness—has now shifted more to questions
about the relationship of the self to the world…almost always dealing with an external world
Multiculturalism- is a public policy approach for managing cultural diversity in a multiethnic society,
officially stressing mutual respect and tolerance for cultural differences within a country's borders.
Ontology: The study of being/metaphysics- transcends the physical world and the 5 senses.
Modernism – Philsophy that is derived from the works of the seventeenth century, most noted for
ascribing to capital ‘T’ truths.
Performance: Resist discourse through comporting (e.g., break down heterosexuality by cross-
dressing).
Phenomenology: How things are represented in our consciousness, without reference to the status of the
object outside ourselves. Will be important to postmodernism in a few minutes. A philosophic
movement that originated around the turn of the century on the Continent (see Husserl’s Cartesian
Meditations for example). This movement -- like Russell, G. E. Moore, and the analytic movement
generally -- insisted on divorcing philosophy from (empirical) psychology, thus avoiding something
labeled psychologism. The phenomenologists insisted that philosophers could directly study the pure
phenomenon of thought (intensional objects) by a bracketing technique which avoided any commitments
about empirical psychology.
Positivism: Belief that the world can be read as a physical science with only concrete values.
Postmodernism: Shift in philosophy and art in 20th century, from objectivity and truth to “the world is
constructed.”
Post-structuralism- is most easily understood as a critique of structuralism. Major contributors
included Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and Julia Kristeva.
Pragmatism- A concept put forth to construct correct metaphysical doctrines rather than reject
metaphysics.
Realism: Dominant philosophy of international relations. Assumes states are rational actors and can
accurately predict and avoid war.
Representation: How we describe the world, the terms we use to describe the world, how we process
information, etc.
Resistance: Fighting against (unjust) power.
Sacred (Fasching) - Exclusive groups that have differing descriptions of God and the correct reality.
Sacred groups are responsible for Hiroshima, Auschwitz and the coming apocalypse.
Standing reserve: Many people think of the world as a resource. They only think about what something
can do for them, not its essence. It’s merely a “reserve” that is waiting around for us to use.
Statism: The existence and authority of the state. State means any organized system of governance.
Subaltern: Alterity = difference; subaltern = below difference. Means people who are not considered
within your community
Subject(ivity): Consciousness of the self in relation to the external universe; the accumulation of
personal experiences; self-reflection.
The “other”: Other people/subjects, often the disempowered and marginalized.
The Big Other: (Capitalized “O”) Like big brother- hidden thread that organizes society. (Psycho-
analysis based)
The Real: Reality is a lie. The “Real” never is fully grasped by the human mind (psychoanalysis).
Utilitarianism: Greatest good for the greatest number.

Our Heroes:
KARL MARX

Biography
Karl Heinrich Marx was born May 5, 1818 in Germany. He was an immensely influential German
philosopher, political economist, and socialist revolutionary. He is most famous for his analysis of
history in terms of class struggles. Marx died in London on March 14, 1883. While Marx's ideas have
declined somewhat in popularity, particularly with the decline of Marxism in Russia, they are still very
influential today, both in academic circles, and in political practice, and Marxism continues to be the
official ideology of some Communist states and political movements.
Important Ideas
Human Nature:

Commodity Fetishism:

Ideology:

Religion:

The Environment:
Alienation:

Revolution:

Socialism to Communism:

Superpowers: Equality- Declaring that all people should be entitled to equal distribution of research.
Sharing is better than being selfish.
Utility in debate rounds: Marx’s criticism of capitalism, as an economic structure, is good because it
questions the intent and function of most laws and economic practices. By advocating a destruction of
all structural hierarchies, Marx’s communism can be seen as a fair liberal alternative to the consumerism
and unequal economic practices of the status quo.
Sidekicks:
Zizek- Who will be discussed below
Chomsky- Though a social anarchist, much of his criticism of history and structures are economic
concerns.
Churchill- Though concentrated on Native American Liberation, much of Churchill’s criticism and
suggestive alternatives have very strong Marxist roots.
Derrida- Discussed below
Frederick Nietzsche
Biography
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was born October 15, 1844. A German philologist and philosopher,
produced critiques of contemporary culture, religion, and philosophy centered around a basic question
regarding the positive and negative attitudes of various systems of morality toward life. He died on
August 25, 1900.
Main Ideas
Nihilism and God is dead and beyond good and evil- Nietzsche saw nihilism as the outcome of repeated
frustrations in the search for meaning. Nietzsche saw this intellectual condition as a new challenge to
European culture, which had extended itself beyond a sort of point-of-no-return. Nietzsche
conceptualizes this with the famous statement "God is dead”. Nietzsche believed this "death" had
already started to undermine the foundations of morality and would lead to moral relativism and moral
nihilism. As a response to the dangers of these trends he believed in re-evaluating the foundations of
morality to better understand the origins and motives underlying them, so that individuals might decide
for themselves whether to regard a moral value as born of an outdated or misguided cultural imposition
or as something they wish to hold true.
Master morality and slave morality- Nietzsche argued that two types of morality existed: a master
morality that springs actively from the 'noble man', and a slave morality that develops reactively within
the weak man. These two moralities do not present simple inversions of one another, they form two
different value systems; master morality fits actions into a scale of 'good' or 'bad' whereas slave morality
fits actions into a scale of 'good' or 'evil'.
Amor fati and the eternal recurrence-A person who unconditionally affirms life would do so even if
everything that has happened were to happen again repeatedly. According to Nietzsche, it would require a sincere
Amor Fati (Love of Fate), not simply to endure, but to wish for the eternal recurrence of all events exactly as they
occurred — all of the pain and joy, the embarrassment and glory. The wish for the eternal return of all events
would mark the ultimate affirmation of life.
Übermensch- Some controversy exists over who or what Nietzsche considered the Übermensch (in
English, "overman" or "superman") to be or to represent. This is a person who leaves passive nihilism
behind, and is proactive in an attempt to transvalue values. Nietzsche's vision of the overman aligns
more with the concept of a Renaissance type of man or woman, than a Nazi-like will to power as
solicited by Nietzsche’s sister.
Superpowers: Makes fun of everyone! Nothing was too sacred as to miss the wrath of the philosophy’s
picked on kid brother. Everyone’s Achilles Heel was exposed when Nietzsche wrote about them.
Utility in debate rounds Questions all forms of existing morality, which all debate impacts depend
upon to call things like death, genocide and war as being ‘bad’. Nietzche also question reactivity to
situations, which would criticize us presenting a harm and then a method to solve that problem.
Nietzsche also rights about unconditionally affirming ones own fate, which has made interesting
affirmative arguments in the past.
Sidekicks:
Foucault- see below
Sartre- An existentialist who embraced Nietzsche’s concept of radical individualism and atheism.
Sartre is most known for claiming that human’s have complete freedom and can’t know ‘the
other’.
All postmodern philosophers- (above)
Martin Heidegger
Biography
Heidegger was born in rural Messkirch, Germany. Raised a Roman Catholic, his father was the
sexton of the village church. He served as a salaried senior assistant to Edmund Husserl at the
University of Freiburg until 1923. After Hitler's rise to power, Heidegger became a member of
the NSDAP (Nazi party) in 1933. He was appointed Rector of the University and his inaugural
address, his "Rektoratsrede," became notorious. He resigned the Rectorship in 1934, but never
resigned from the Nazi party. He died May 26.
Important Ideas
Science and Technology:

Problem solving:

Ontology and Dasein:

Sidekicks:
Sartre- see above- took his concept of being towards death to aid in existentialism
Spanos- Criticizes American foreign policy for it’s problem solving method. Most famous for
using the Vietnam Conflict as a model for why the methodology of United States policing is flawed.
Timothy W. Luke

Biography
areas of research specialization include environmental and cultural studies as well as comparative
politics, international political economy, and modern critical social and political theory. He teaches
courses in the history of political thought, contemporary political theory, comparative and international
politics.

Important Ideas
Let’s talk about Foucault
Michel Foucault
Biography: Born in 1926 in France. He had an uneventful childhood and was a mediocre students until
his late teens. He suffered a bout of depression and attempted suicide in his twenties. His interactions in
this period may have influenced his ideas about psychiatry, a subject about which he wrote extensively.
He lived in France, Tunisia, and the US during his lifetime. He was active in student protests, prison
reform, and the gay movement. It is believed that he contracted AIDS while living in San Francisco. He
died of AIDS in Paris in 1984.
Important Ideas:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbUYsQR3Mes

1. Disciplinary power –

2. Biopower –

3. Geneaology –

Superpowers: X-Ray vision – ability to see power differentials in all human relations; Spidey-skin –
ability to stick (link) to any affirmative which useds the government.
Utility in debate rounds: Foucault is often used to link to affirmatives which make claims about the
state’s abiltity to improve life – this is the biopolitics argument. Any time the state takes more interest in
the ability to preserve life, there is the risk of increasing it’s ability to take life. Foucault is also used as
a critique of reformism through the state. One important note for aff teams – Foucault may have written
in opposition to the state, but he was very active in fighting for real, often state-based reforms of prisons
and medicine.
Sidekicks:
1. Giorgio Agamben – Looks at the history of the Roman Law and shows draws an analogy to today in
which he argues that the Roman concept of homo sacer (“sacred man”) is used to justify biopolitical
extermination. Homo sacer is the life that can be killed but not sacrificed. He connects this to the
Holocaust.
2. Judith Butler – Below
3. Securitization authors – This group uses Foucault’s ideas as a foundation for criticisms of national
security. Authors include Campbell, Dillon, and Shapiro. The argument here is that when the aff or neg
identifies something as key to life or survival, this is an act of “securitizing.” Once something is
securitized, it becomes critical to life and thus justifies war to protect it. For example, the argument that
we should stop global warming to prevent resource wars securitizes the environment. The impact is
biopolitical wars. This kritik can often be used as a discursive one – when you read a security impact of
any kind on a DA, you are securitizing that subject.
Arne Næss:
(born January 27, 1912) is widely regarded as the foremost Norwegian philosopher of the 20th
century[2], and is the founder of deep ecology. His philosophical work focused on Spinoza, Buddhism
and Gandhi. He was the youngest person to be appointed full professor at the University of Oslo. Næss,
himself an avid mountaineer, is also known as the uncle of mountaineer and businessman Arne Næss Jr.
(1937–2004) and the younger brother of shipowner Erling Dekke Næss.

Næss cited Rachel Carson's 1962 book Silent Spring as being a key influence in his vision of deep
ecology. Næss also engaged in direct action. In 1970, together with a large number of demonstrators, he
chained himself to rocks in front of Mardalsfossen a waterfall in a Norwegian fjord and refused to
descend until plans to build a dam were dropped. Though the demonstrators were carried away by
police, the demonstration was eventually a success[3].
In 1958, Arne Næss founded the interdiciplinary journal of philosophy Inquiry.

Philosophy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2gZ6FRhc3w

Deep ecology is a recent branch of ecological philosophy (ecosophy) that considers humankind an
integral part of its environment. Deep ecology places greater value on non-human species, ecosystems
and processes in nature than established environmental and green movements. Deep ecology has led to a
new system of environmental ethics. The core principle of deep ecology as originally developed is Arne
Næss's doctrine of biospheric egalitarianism — the claim that, like humanity, the living environment as a
whole has the same right to live and flourish. Deep ecology describes itself as "deep" because it persists
in asking deeper questions concerning "why" and "how" and thus is concerned with the fundamental
philosophical questions about the impacts of human life as one part of the ecosphere, rather than with a
narrow view of ecology as a branch of biological science, and aims to avoid merely utilitarian
environmentalism, which it argues is concerned with resource management of the environment for
human purposes.

Principles
Proponents of deep ecology believe that the world does not exist as a resource to be freely exploited by
humans. The ethics of deep ecology hold that a whole system is superior to any of its parts. They offer
an eight-tier platform to elucidate their claims:[9]

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
Development

Scientific

Spiritual

Experiential
Françoise d'Eaubonne
(March 12, 1920 in Paris - August 3, 2005 in Paris) was a French feminist, who introduced the term
ecofeminism (écologie-féminisme, éco-féminisme or écoféminisme) in 1974.

Her father was member of the religious Sillon movement and anarchist sympathiser, her mother a child
of a Carlist revolutionary. Her childhood in Toulouse was marked by the physical decay of her father,
due to the gas he had been exposed to in the trenches during the war in 1914. When she was at the age of
16, the Spanish Civil War broke out. Three years later she witnessed the arrival of the Republicans in
exile. Between the age of 20 and 25 she endured the privations of the time. In a train station in Paris the
Liberation, the end of the war met her in form of freed Jews returning from the camps. Later she would
express her feelings in this period of her life with the meaningful title "Chienne de Jeunesse".

Such a childhood together with a hypersensitive personality made her look at the world critically and
formed her into a militant radical and feminist. Former member of the communist party of France, in
1971 she co-founded the FHAR, a homosexual revolutionary movement. She coined the term
ecofeminism in her book Le féminisme ou la mort in 1974. In her literary and militant life she came
across a number of people of influence in the 20th century, like Colette, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-
Paul Sartre, Jean Cocteau and many more.

Philosophy:
It is a philosophy and movement born from the union of feminist and ecological thinking, and the belief
that the social mentality that leads to the domination and oppression of women is directly connected to
the social mentality that leads to the abuse of the environment. It combines eco-anarchism or bioregional
democracy with a strong ideal of feminism. Its advocates often emphasize the importance of
interrelationships between humans, non-human others (e.g., animals and insects), and the earth.

A central tenet in ecofeminism states that male ownership of …

Vandana Shiva

Some ecofeminists point to the linguistic links between oppression of women and land
Feminist and social ecologist Janet Biehl has criticized ecofeminism as idealist, focusing too much on
the idea of a mystical connection with nature and not enough on the actual conditions of women.
However, this line of criticism may not apply to many ecofeminists who reject both mysticism and
essentialist ideas

Françoise d'Eaubonne proposed a cooperative system in small unities (villages) with autonomization,
without alienating technology.

Superpowers: Bringing everybody together to fight all evil…coalescing the good against evil.

Superfriends: Ghita rajan, Vandan Shiva


Ayn Rand
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ukJiBZ8_4k&feature=related

Biography: Ayn Rand lived from 1905 – March 6, 1982. She was a Russian-born American
novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter. She is widely known for her best-selling novels
The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and for developing a philosophical system called
Objectivism.

Philosophy:
Rand's philosophical system, Objectivism, encompasses positions on metaphysics, epistemology, ethics,
politics and aesthetics.Objectivism embraces objective reality in metaphysics, reason in epistemology,
and rational egoism in ethics. In politics she was a proponent of laissez-faire capitalism and individual
rights, believing that the sole function of a proper government is protection of individual rights
(including property rights). …

Rand considered the initiation of force or fraud to be immoral,

Man as a heroic being…

Rand was greatly influenced by Aristotle, …

Summary:
rational individualism
laissez-faire capitalism, categorically rejecting socialism, altruism, and religion.
Super Friends: Jason Peterson: A gun loving rural bumpkin from the middle of nowhere
California, who hates taxes, the government and people who go to the movie and stay for a second.
Tim Mahoney: St. Marks debate coach
Adam Smith: Father of free market capitalism. Coined the term invisible hand. Donated lots of
money to charity.
Satan: Dark Night, Beezlebub
Jacques Derrida
Biography: Born in 1930 in France and a contemporary of Lacan and Foucault. He was kicked out of
his school in Algeria under the Nazi-sympathizing Vichy French government. After the war he came to
prominence as a literary theorist. He died of cancer in 2003
Important Ideas:
Post-Structuralism – Structuralism was a theory that was prominent in literature, linguistics,
anthropology and psychology in Derrida’s heyday. The general idea, in terms of linguistics, is that a
signifier (a word, sound) relates in a certain given way to the signified (the idea behind the word or the
sound). Struturalism is a deterministic theory which argues that the relationship between the signified
and signifier is fixed. Derrida, while he is often called a structuralist, argued that this relationship is not
an easy one to establish. That language is very indeterminate and all language should be seen as
influenced by culture. This influenced other thinkers. It is responsible for the “death of the author”
school of thought which argues that texts should be viewed as cultural phenomena and not as creations
of individual authors.
Deconstruction – The answer solution to the modern problems of the world proposed by Derrida. He
often uses the word “decentering” – this means attempting to remove signifiers from the center of our
search for meaning. One can deconstruct any concept by attempting to dig underneath the superficial
meaning and examine the history of the word or concept as a cultural object. According to Wikipedia,
deconstruction is “A philosophy of meaning that deals with the ways that meaning is constructed by
writers, texts, and readers and understood by readers. One way of understanding the term is that it
involves discovering, recognizing, and understanding the underlying — and unspoken and implicit —
assumptions, ideas, and frameworks that form the basis for thought and belief.” Deconstruction debunks
the idea of “capital ‘T’ Truth.”
Superpowers: Transforming – ability to turn any word or idea into a whole set of cultural practices.
Utility in debate rounds: Derrida’s deconstruction often offers a useful alternative in debates. His idea
of deconstruction is often paired with the idea of “embracing the other” which will be discussed a little
more below.
Sidekicks:
Dillon – A security author who write about calculability.
Emanuel Levinas
Biography: Levinas was born in Lithuania in 1906. He moved to France and survived the Holocaust
because he was “fortunate” enough to be in a work camp instead of a concentration camp. He was a
follower of Heidegger’s, but is in many ways the anti-Heidegger. He died in 1995.
Important Ideas:
Alterity – The idea that people are wholly different and incalculable. This recognition of the fact that
people are different is the foundation for ethics which is the best way to combat the prioritization of
metaphysics/ontology (big words for knowledge of the world) over ethics. He argues that scholars focus
too much on the “love of knowledge” (which leads them to treat people as objects, as in the Holocaust)
that they forget about the “knowledge of love” – ethics.
Superpowers: Love – He’s like a big Care Bear only with less hugging.
Utility in debate rounds: Any aff that tries to help people in a way that assumes that people are
fundamentally the same can link to a Levinas- style argument. The alternative of “recognizing the
other” is often combined with Derridian deconstruction.
Sidekicks:
Badiou – A contemporary ethicist who argues that ethics, as meant by most scholars, are dangerous
because they create a central truth. He uses math, poetry, and a lot of other craziness to argue that we
must “decide upon the undecidable” as a way to reject truth.
Judith Butler
Biography: Judith Butler is an American post-structuralist feminist born in 1956. She is currently a
professor of rhetoric at Berkeley.
Important Ideas:
1. Discursive construction of gender – This takes the ideas of Derrida (about language) and Foucault
(about normalization) and argues that masculinity and femininity are learned behaviors. The way that
we learn these roles is through language and societal norms. There are expectations transmitted through
language, media, and law which create a particular idea of how a male should act (masculinity) and how
a female should act (femininity). Butler argues that the problem with this is that it leaves out people
who don’t act in the way that their sex dictates – gay men, masculine women, lesbians, transvestites,
bisexuals, etc. This idea of biological sex determining gender roles also leaves out people who don’t
have a defined biological sex (transgendered people).
2. Performativity – Since gender is discursively constructed, when we act masculine or feminine it is a
type of performance. She argues that the alternative to accepting a normalized gender role is a counter-
performance. In particular, she talks about transvestism as a way to counter society’s normalizing
functions.
Superpowers: Mistress of disguise – gender is a performance after all.
Utility in debate rounds: Any affirmative that talks about women or femininity is begging to be
Butlered. Any affirmative that nails down a particular identity is engaging in some kind of
normalization. There is always some room for link turns on this Kritik – if there is any risk that the plan
opens up new gender performances they may be able to solve for the K. The impact turns are also pretty
persuasive. Many feminists argue that some idea of what is a woman is critical to advancing feminism
and ending patriarchy.
Slavoj Zizek
Biography
Slavoj Žižek was born March 21, 1949. He is a Slovenian sociologist, philosopher and cultural critic.
He was born in Yugoslavia, and received a D.A. in Philosophy in Ljubljana and studied Psychoanalysis
at the University of Paris. Žižek is well known for his use of the works of Jacques Lacan in a new
reading of popular culture. Žižek is a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of
Ljubljana, Slovenia. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Chicago, Columbia, Princeton,
New School for Social Research, New York, the European Graduate School, the University of
Minnesota, the University of Michigan, etc. He is currently the International Director of the Centre for
Advanced Studies in the Humanities at Birkbeck College, University of London.
Important Ideas
Metaphysics- Some argue that Žižek's metaphysics belongs to an Idealist tradition that holds that reality
is constructed in the mind (Canning, 1993, p. 89). Unlike postmodernist theorists he often criticizes,
Žižek tries to sidestep charges of relativism by focusing on the relationship between the subject and the
political State. Žižek often describes himself as an "old-fashioned dialectical materialist" or simply a
materialist.
The formation of the subject- Since the unconscious is structured like a language, it will orient itself
towards desire in two aspects: first, the objects of desire, which is called the "goal" of desire and, the
unconscious, or the mechanism of desire in itself, which is called the "aim" of desire. Objects are mainly
contingent, yet they are supposed to find their place inside the Symbolic realm to be desirable to us. In
other words, the Symbolic decides what is desirable and undesirable to us; while the desirable objects
can provide us with temporary pleasure, the latter is both the remains and surplus of Symbolization.
The Real- Here the Real is a rather enigmatic term, and it is not to be equated with reality. For our reality
is symbolically constructed; the real, however, is a hard kernel, the trauma that cannot be expressed in
words. The real has no positive existence; it exists only as barred. (see vocab)
The Symbolic- The Symbolic is inaugurated with the acquisition of language; it is mutually relational. At
the same time, there always remains a certain distance towards the real: not only is the beggar who
thinks he is a king a madman, but so is the king who really believes he is a king. For effectively the
latter has only the symbolic mandate of a king. (see vocab)
The Imaginary- The imaginary is located at the level of the subject's relation to itself. It is the gaze of the
Other in the mirror stage, the illusory misrecognition. The imaginary is the fundamental fantasy that is
inaccessible to our psychological experience and raises up the phantasmal screen in which we find
objects of desire. Here we can also divide the imaginary into a real , an imaginary, and a symbolic
imaginary thinking. The imaginary can never be definitively grasped, since any discourse on it will
always already be located in the symbolic.
Postmodernism- One theme in particular that Žižek addresses is postmodernism, which confronts
psychoanalysis with new questions. Zizek criticizes post-modernism for denying the existence of the
real. He uses his criticism of capitalism to show that the fluidity of post-modernity denies suffering and
perpetuates the inequalities that the market economy functions through.
Politicization- Today, in the aftermath of the end of ideology, Žižek is critical of the way political
decisions are justified; the way, for example, reductions in social programs are sometimes presented as
an apparently 'objective' necessity, though this is no longer a valid basis for political discourse. He sees
the current talk about greater citizen involvement or political goals circumscribed within the rubric of
the cultural as having little effectiveness as long as no substantial measures are devised for the long run.
But measures such as the limitation of the freedom of capital and the subordination of the manufacturing
processes to a mechanism of social control—these Žižek calls a radical re-politicization of the economy.
Sidekicks:
Freud- Father of psycho-analysis.
Lacan- He considered his work to be an authentic "return to Freud", in opposition to ego psychology.
This entailed a renewed concentration upon the Freudian concepts of the unconscious, the castration
complex, the ego conceptualised as a mosaic of identifications, and the centrality of language to any
psychoanalytic work. His work has a strong interdisciplinary focus, drawing particularly on linguistics,
philosophy, and mathematics, and he has become an important figure in many fields beyond
psychoanalysis, particularly within critical theory.
Marx- Above